Lie Low, Goaded Lamb. Poems by Ellen McGrath Smith, selected as Number 23 in our Keystone Chapbook Series.
Publication: January 14, 2023 [100 copies]
Cover art: Angie Reed Garner, “horrorwriterboggle,” oil on canvas, 5 x 4′.
Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Literature from Duquesne University. Her poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review, Quiddity, Cimarron, and other journals, and in several anthologies, including Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disabilityand Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. Smith has been the recipient of an Orlando Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her second chapbook, Scatter, Feed, was published by Seven Kitchens Press in the fall of 2014, and her full-length collection, Nobody’s Jackknife, was published in fall 2015 by the West End Press.
My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun
Msr. Mesmer’s eyes: adept, narcotic, luring the soul’s
magnetic muse, easing ailments; nebulous liquid trickles, surges.
My mother’s eyes, always knowing, languished through sorrow,
melded mercy, earth. Aegean. Numinous. Lighting the seams.
Mass murderers’ eyes after newspaper logs the suicide:
mutiny, marble. Empty and necrotic, lids tabernacular scabs.
Marilyn Monroe’s eyes asked. Not listening, tabloids showed
miasmic mincing eros and noodling lashes to shoppers.
Milky mammals’ eyes address nobody, led to slaughter.
Meat minus eyes = a nutritious lunch. Take some.
Mealy-mouthed evenings, ankles nodding lest they snap,
make me eager, adze numbness, lift the scrim.
Mirror my eyes and never let them see
my marriage ending as naked lies twist sense.