Mari Deweese (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: "Diz/zy” Mari Deweese creates the various and sundry in Memphis, TN. Her first three books are published or upcoming by Nixes Mate, and she is currently consolidating the next two, as well as recording her poetry-turned-music under the project name diMzy.

Three Diwalis Ago 

On this eve of light
explosions of triumph
disturb and disrupt

Once I was disrupted
twice disturbed, now
I only see in the dark

A memory of black
eyes alive as memories
recalled ignites curious

festivities. But from one
hemisphere to another
a year murders the last

and days are sand
that made lovely
patterns on the tile

like us, exploding
circles, sparks, burning
out, becoming ash.

Letter for the Unrisen Sun 

Perhaps I should have written before this moment,
but, I confess, I had no interest. There is all
too much

To whom it may concern is a queer way
of addressing oneself but if
the apron fits
I tie it securely
round and round me.
Barefoot I lay claim to only my soles

and only when dead skin has removed
any trace of former softness. I love
these callouses,
these useful pads,
these unseen grips-

f**k me

if I ever forget to tread
on asphalt in August, you’ll know
I wasn’t in my left mind.

This isn’t a found poem
but the printout of my vitals
at the nurse station

Parathas on Black Lake
I wanted to scrape
every bit of the rust-
coloured stain off
the bottom of that skillet more than
anything. What I wanted more
was to take it with me
when I left, and to place it,
and a dozen green bottles
and a box of lit matches
in a kitchen that does not exist
and to sit, with my tea,
in my stockings,
and watch you flip something else
with such deft skill, watch it land,
and hot, blistered, in the bottom
of that pan that I wish
I could have
kept and I could not,
all that discoloration
left for another hand
to try to clean, another
one to watch with less
wistfulness than I over the cooking
of an early morning
after-screw snack, wanting
to keep the residue
of this memory for long,
long after the soap
bubbles settled and the crumbs
dissolved in a dark
mush down the trap

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