Love Song for the New World: poems by Christopher Nelson. Number 1 in Volume Four of our Editor’s Series.
Publication: March 18, 2019 [100 copies]
Christopher Nelson is the author of Blue House, published in the Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Series, and Capital City at Midnight, recipient of the 2014 Bloom Chapbook Prize. He is the founder and editor of Green Linden Press and the journal Under a Warm Green Linden, publications dedicated to fostering excellent poetry and supporting reforestation effort. Entropy Magazine listed them in the top twenty journals and presses of 2017.
Among Christopher’s honors are a fellowship from the Jacob Javits Foundation and inclusion in the Best New Poets series. His poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Long Poem Magazine, The Missouri Review, Salamander, The Seattle Review and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona, and he has taught writing and literature since 2004. For more information please visit christophernelson.info.
Love Song for the New World (Catedral de Sevilla)
In the altar of La Virgen del Madroño, Mary offers her gilt breast.
What else could a woman do in 1454? Give suck or burn
with the faggots. The origin of the derogatory metaphor:
lynched, murdered, beaten into comas, boys who looked wrongly
at, say, the muscled reapers or
men who, despite caution, were discovered together in barns
and groves, these thrown down like bundles of sticks to be
part of the fire, the spectacle, the offering to the unnamed
place in us we’ve made whole religions to displace.
But the Child refuses her milk
and refuses what the kneeling angel offers, the sweet fruits of the World,
turning instead to look at me, His center, with eyes of wood,
until I’m stolen by the seven circling swallows in this
space vast enough to hold other cathedrals entire, their swift
sickle bodies, not frantic, not
looking to land—who knows if it’s joy or panic that fuels them—
and only rarely tricked or enticed to try the false sky
that entranced Saint Anthony has gazed into for four hundred
years, the bright white vortex churning with cherubim . . . .