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Poetry Focus On: Mary Meriam

Mary Meriam

Eyewear is glad to runa  Poetry Focus again today, this time on the American poet Mary Meriam, who made her way from rural New Jersey to Bennington College, then to Columbia University, where she completed an MFA. She has published poems in Literary Imagination, The New York Times, The Gay & Lesbian Review, American Arts Quarterly, Poetry Northeast, American Life in Poetry, as well as several anthologies. She studied formalism and invented a form, Basic Me. Her sonnet about waltzing with Julie Andrews was a finalist in A Prairie Home Companion’s Bed of Roses Love Sonnet Contest and read on National Public Radio (Segment One). Another sonnet won Honorable Mention in the New England Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest. Her UK conquests consist thus far of The Spectator and Horizon Review.  In 2006, her first chapbook, The Countess of Flatbroke, was published by Modern Metrics and received an award from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Next, she edited the chapbook Filled with Breath: 30 Sonnets by 30 Poets, which was published by Exot Books in 2010. As if chapbooks had become her life, in 2011, Seven Kitchens Press published her memoir in ottava rima, The Poet's Zodiac, which quickly sold out. On Gay Pride Day, 2010, she gave birth to Lavender Review, an e-zine dedicated to lesbian poetry and art. At this point, it was imperative that she become a blogger at Ms. Magazine.

Somewhere Along the Spectrum
(for Tiffany Krupa)

I take a class in feminine approach.
I hold my breath about my boyish clothes.
There is a subject I’m afraid to broach,
and for this fear I’m granted one red rose.
She smells so good, I wonder what she knows.
We leave the class together, go downtown
and dance. The beat goes fast and then it slows
until the slowness seeps inside and down.
Down to the dancing floor I fall and drown.
The dancers strip me clean of every shred
of gown and every penny in my crown.
I leave the Duchess, bleeding from the head,
naked and blind to nakedness, a mist
below the radar of the feminist.

poem reprinted with permission of the poet, Mary Meriam; copyright 2012.
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