Musick’s Hand-Maid: sonnets by Boyer Rickel. Number 3.06 in the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series.
Cover: portrait of Henry Purcell.
Release date: March 21, 2018 [100 copies]
Boyer Rickel’s other publications include two poetry collections, remanence (Parlor Press) and arreboles (Wesleyan), a memoir-in-essays, Taboo (Wisconsin), as well as two poetry chapbooks, Tempo Rubato (Green Linden Press) and reliquary (Seven Kitchens Press). Recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arizona Commission on the Arts, he taught in the University of Arizona Creative Writing Program for twenty years.
Waiting for a sign now that his heart has stopped–
like some tabloid hoax, like those Virgin
sightings. Mary’s face in a tree stump. So he joins
all my other voiceless ghosts. I’d hoped
time would implode that mountain, but he’s topped
the pile: my infant nephew and three old aunts,
the geologic accretion of friends’ parents
I ex-out in my address book. Names lopped
like blighted tree limbs. I’d like to think I’m
slipping my chains, or just editing to essence; it stands
to reason loss purifies the soul . . .
Such clichés burn the tongue. Live coals.
Death, grant a son’s impossible whim:
to hear that voice, to touch those giant hands.