I’m delighted to welcome Diane Raptosh, a poet who is currently serving as Idaho’s Writer-in-Residence, to Seattle. We’ll be reading together at Elliott Bay Books on Sat., March 14 at 7p. To whet your appetite, here’s an untitled poem from her most recent collection, American Amnesiac:
The self is a thousand localities
like a small nation—assembly required: borders and roads,
armies, farms, small and large pieces of parchment. I stand by
all the territories I have ever been, even as I can’t
remember them. I am a locum—ear to the emperor penguin, a banner ad
blinking to the hoi polloi. Since I’ve become John Doe, I swear
I can feel most objects with sixty digits
instead of five. This makes me think
of Lisette. Makes me miss her left collar bone. Her hips’ wingtips.
A train moans from a far hummock.
Which reminds me that everyone I’ll have to live without
I must help to find a place within. Which is an act
of granite will. A strain. A ditty.
An exercise in utmost beautility.
from American Amnesiac, by Diane Raptosh
(Etruscan Press, 2013)
Watch Diane’s TEDxBoise talk: Poetry, Democracy and the Hope of Sounds.