Blown Away by Poet Jennifer Bartlett

Tonight I left my stack and horn and crossed the street to hear a reading at Bookworks. I was sorry I could only stay for the opening. The lineup was Jennifer Barlett, Miriam Sagan, Erica Wurth and V.B.Price.  Jennifer Bartlett was first up and as she read all the angst and sadness fell away. We were poetry. We flew. This is why we are here, to make wings of that which has destroyed us.

Here are is a poem from her 2007 release DERIVATIVE OF THE MOVING IMAGE, from the Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series at UNM Press. Congratulations Jennifer, AND UNM Press.

"From a Paris Hotel Room"

"It was the spring after my sister died that I began to notice
the moths. They would follow me from room to room beating
against the window shades or showing themselves in the one
tiny patch of light as I dressed for the day.  Some days, some
hours, I would count as many as twenty and still they held no
significance for me. I saw them as many see the trees that line
the highway, just passing objects.

One afternoon when the rains came I let the girls take off all
their clothes and run naked in the yard while I dance around 
them in my blue nanny dress. I don't know why I did that.  That 
night the moths were so large that they woke me like a burglar
might. I put bowls of sugar around the house to keep them 
from the books.

Occasionally, the elder of the two girls will touch my arm and
speak of my sister as if she remembers her. She tells me that
my sister is dead.

Then the moths.  They like to linger in hot places like the roof 
of the car.  The smaller ones cling to my hands as I water the
garden in the morning. When I ask others if they notice the
creatures with the same consistency most deny it or act as
though it is ordinary.  The few that show an interest describe
them as hideous monsters. I argue them to be more beautiful
than butterflies."

Jennifer Bartlett

P.S. She is a University of New Mexico graduate.

No comments: