Friday Nov 24

Erikson Poetry Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of four collections of poetry, including In the Palms of Angels and A Lake of Light and Clouds,published by Press 53. Her work has appeared in the 2013 Poet's Market, Cutthroat, Asheville Poetry Review, Christian Science MonitorstorySouth, North Carolina Literary Review, The Writer's Almanac, American Life in Poetry, and many others. Among her numerous awards are the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize, and a Nautilus Book Award. For more information about her work, please visit here website here or at Press 53 here

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Taharah




Part-fish, part grieving widow,
I swim in the sea for hours.
Saltwater buoys my body far
beyond the breakers, though
I sometimes choose to brave
the waves. The large ones
drag me down with shards
of shells, blades of seaweed,
swirls of sand—leaving me
battered and beached. Others
bear my body to shore like
men who carry their lovers
to bed, except I am no one's
lover now. Remember our
first kiss, how my breastbone
broke and my ribs fanned
out, revealing the small red
bird of my heart? You drank
my tears of joy like a salt-
seeking moth. But you would
drown in them today, my love.
There are too many—the taste
of sadness, bitter on the tongue.
So I will soak my sorrow in
the sea, wrap it like a pure
linen shroud around an old
woman's flesh, washed clean.






                                                                                                                                                            
Pilar Rioja Dancing in Neil Goldberg's Studio

"... I've always felt a contrast between the emotional
aspirations of my work and the unassuming place
where it's made. To illuminate that tension, I decided
to stage a larger-than-life performance by flamenco
dance legend Pilar Rioja and her company in my
300 square foot space." –Neil Goldberg



Pilar Rioja waits, her face in profile
against a wide window—her lithe,
lean form drenched with light. Her
hand taps the sinewy muscles of her
black-clad thigh before she glides
to the center of the room, pausing
like a heron before it dips its beak
in water. And then she is water
and after that, the fish thrashing
through it. The sheer fabric of her
blouse caresses shoulders, arms,
and breasts, while the musicians
strum guitars and a man moans
rather than sings the words of his
song. Eyes wild, Rioja pummels
the floor as her lungs expand and
contract—expelling breaths both
guttural and erotic as cameras roll,
capturing on film one woman's
hot heart beating the ribcage of
a room far too small to contain it.
Yet, the walls hold and the dance
goes on—Rioja's heels pounding
death's unyielding chest like the
fists of a lover, betrayed.