Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shelley Puhak

Shelley Puhak and I studied together for a summer in Italy. She was working on her MFA from the University of New Orleans and I was working on my MA. Although, we've lost touch as the years have gone by, she kept me kind of sane while I was there, and I have a great respect for her talent. So, I was very pleased to see that she's gotten a book of poems published-- some of which we discussed in our creative writing workshop. Stalin in Aruba is being well-received and can be purchased through Black Lawrence Press or Shelley's website: http://www.shelleypuhak.com/. I have not received my own copy yet, but from what I gather and remember, many of these poems are dramatic monologues based (loosely?) on Russian history. I am including here a poem from the book which was first published in the Adirondack Review.
Support emerging poets, and buy the book!
What They Left Out of My Obituary:
Father Pritikin, Dead at 85
You've heard of me: when I was seventeen
I threw the perfect pass, seventy yards,
breaking the school record. Those present said
the pigskin arched into the sun, but I
saw nothing, only that same sun spinning spots
while my breath's smoke pawed the cold.
You wouldn't have heard I spent my twenty-first
in a Guatemalan hut, shivering with heat,
brown-skinned women crowding me, muttering padre,
padre, and forcing me to drink hot tea.
Or that at seven, I found my mother's razor
in the bathtub nook and slipped my thumb across
the blade. As blood spilled forth I knew
nothing but dead leaves crisping underfoot.
When I was conceived, it was winter. That spring
the snow never melted, just crusted into ice.
My mother toe-heeled, toe-heeled as belly swelled,
or did she run, hoping to slip, to jar me loose?
At fourteen, I found freckles, light and flat,
across the clavicle of a girl on the field
hockey team, constellations spilling across bare
shoulders while the trees pulsed green.

Labels: , ,


At November 11, 2009 at 7:02 AM , Blogger nharris said...

She's good. I like the obituary one. I am assuming that these are 2 different poems. There is no space between them so I was a tad confused at first but I'm one smart cookie and figured it out. I think...

At November 11, 2009 at 7:26 AM , Anonymous Katie Kidder said...

oops. yes I meant to only post the obituary one, but I guess I grabbed both and didn't notice. I just recieved the book yesterday. She's the real deal for sure.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home