Tuesday, May 24, 2016
"Fuchsia and Ivy"
From Boston to the Liscannor Vat, therefore, in a straight a line as I could, I travelled to a well Sacred to Bridgid, about whom I knew almost nothing. A part of the material out of which I had begun to rebuild my Faith, she was patroness of Poetry, Smithcraft, and Healing. In someone else's guidebook, I'd read the name, the place, a calendar of ritual. With the help of some Catholic women thinkers, I'd scrape away what felt like centuries of ash and manure to get here, whatever that was. Water. It's steady, private pulse. No middleman. No man. Fuchsia. Ivy. The dead.
Down behind the framed picture of the Sacred Heart I stuff a copy of my first book of poems, in gratitude and a slow-fermenting amazement. I inscribe it, "To My Mother. From Her Daughter." I know I am in the presence of what of my lifetime of churches-of men in dresses and flowers in vases-have blacked out like the flesh-sex of the middle panel. In my hand is the manuscript of the second book, from which the publishers of my first, lyric poems have turned away. These poems relive the sanctified violence of my childhood. These poems utter that violence not in a lyric frame-not to arrive at forgiveness as a collision that transcends, not to present exquisite feelings exquisitely wounded, not to whisper lamentations to the likewise entrapped-but in one who judges the judge. With no name yet for this posture of address, for there is no name for it in the United States lyric tradition, I have invented the ancient public, Irish bardic mode, from necessity. "Your Honour, when my mother stood before you," the cornerstone poem begins, from the shadow realm, empowered, for the sake of the tribe, to Speak to Power as its Equal.
"May these poems find their way powerfully into the world," I implore, and I kneel down to drink from the water...
24 May, 2016
Posted by Beannaichte's Blog at 10:33:00 AM