Ann Tweedy | Beleaguered Oases

Tweedy_Beleaguered Oases_web front-boldBeleaguered Oases: poems by Ann Tweedy. Number 10 in our ReBound Series. Originally published by TcCreativePress in 2010, now in a new edition with cover art by Matthew Brandt.

Publication:  April 27, 2020 [100 copies]
ISBN: 978-1-949333-64-0
21 pages
$ 9.00 — click here to purchase

Ann Tweedy‘s first full length book, The Body’s Alphabet, was published by Headmistress Press in 2016 and was awarded a Bisexual Book Award in poetry. It was also a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Golden Crown Literary Society Award. She also has published two chapbooks, and her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, literary mama, and elsewhere. Ann holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. Originally from Massachusetts, she has lived in many places on the West Coast and in the Midwest and now makes her home in South Dakota. She works as a law professor, after having served for several years as an in-house attorney for an Indian Tribe.

“Ann’s unique voice is both soft and intuitive, fierce and defiant . . . Ann is a humble poet, willing to take risks both within her craft, and with her subjects. She can pivot within a poem from landscape to landscape, from the inner life to the outer world, create mesmerizing tableaus and poems that ripple . . . Beleaguered Oases is also an important book in the landscape of LGBTQ+ writing―even 10 years after its first publication, so many of the poems and themes remain both relevant, and crucial, to a community exploring and reconciling ideas of sexual preferences, gender expression and non-heteronormative relationships. It is not an overtly political book, but one that portrays with honesty and tenderness love and desire, body and belonging―between women, between the poet and the natural world. They are Testimony, which is the purest form of any writing. They are written to be seen. They are meant to be read.”
— Kristin Berger

A More Delicate River

Coming home from a club in wee hours, a fox
jumps among median strip bushes, just a black shadowy
shape, but somehow the levitation, the dance
of front paws, back rounded in hop
say fox. And before I can think any of this, my heart jumps
and falls back down, crushed, to earth,
the danger of the world suddenly breathtaking
and terrible. Not an hour earlier, I’d swayed
on the polished, beer-smattered floor
watching couples act out desire, searching
for some interesting, boyish woman, my body beating
out the rhythms of high school—mindless well of happiness

in retrospect. But the fox uncovers the traps
thoughtlessly set to get me there and back—
highways heaving and stretching
longer and wider, swallowing a strip of grass here,
a line of trees there, so that one day they may stop wending
and become the only “there.” And the animals whose territories
span from one side to the other, what can they do 
but take up the gauntlet to make brief use of what’s still left?

Sometimes on I-5, as I traverse the 65
miles to work, an eagle flies over and circles
for a minute or two, peering down at the metal stream
apparently endless in rush hour, and I know all of us
in the throb of the thoroughfare
propel the nightmare of another, more delicate river.

–Thank you to Swell for first publishing this poem.