Friday, December 11, 2015

"Wildfire Season" by Julie Wells

Back Cover Blurb

In this compelling collection of poetry by native Julie Ann Wells, such themes as loss, loneliness, guilt, jealousy, anger, sex, and 'all things female' are thoroughly expressed as the author excavates her personal life experiences for a sense of 'being

Book Excerpt

Wide Open
Ghazal poem

Your heart is a crowbar, your heart cracked my skull wide open
I don't remember my hand on the the door, but there it is, wide open.

We always walked the railroad tracks. We kept our pockets full.
Lanky shadows and bony feet, blisters split wide open.

I find your pieces everywhere: notes scrawled with heavy hand.
A tangled necklace, a tarnished charm. A slap with a fist wide open.

All those times I felt you, a heaviness beside me in bed
the shape of your body burned into my sheets, the eyes the mouth wide open.

Your smoke still hangs all around me. I suck it in, sweet and grateful.

Something to tide me over. I look for you. I leave my window wide open.

When I Was a Woman

When I was a dancer, my feet painted tracks on the floorboards

When I was a beggar, I made my lips plump and juicy

When I was a mother, my body was warm holy Eucharist

When I was a sister, a switchblade cooled in my pocket

When I was a painter, I slept feverish and never alone

When I was a lover, I feasted on little blue pills

When I was a fighter, I howled like a dog in the moonlight

When I was a daughter, my knees were scraped raw and bloodied

When I was a drinker, I screamed myself hollow by morning

When I was a Catholic, I choked on the blood of the lamb

When I was a victim, I communicated only in rhymes

When I was a liar, my tongue was syrupy sweet

When I was a girl, my heart was a quivering knife wound

When I was a woman, I ate but I never felt full

To Pass an Ex-Lover in the Street

Not one word. Not even a slip of sugar-sweet tongue. Keep still

your teeth, made slick with nicotine and lies. A nod of your head

an earthquake; a wink of the eye rimmed sickish and bruised,

a knife in my back. So hold fists balled in pockets deep: no flutter

of milky hands, no sapphire threading. No flash of bloodied crescent

fingertips that once traced my body's lines against secondhand

cottons. I beg you. Turn away the inky head, its imprint lingering at

plump inner thighs: still visible to a trained, quivering eye. The throat

that throbs pulsing with blood dirtied and black; that dip in the flesh

I sank my teeth in, creamy blue. The mouth raw and swollen I took,

whole, in my own, sew it shut and move steady, please! Pass silent,

smooth vapor. My image travels through your cones and rods, fragmented,

apart and away. Tangible: to reach out and touch, to feel, just don't.