Maureen Seaton has authored seventeen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative— most recently, Fibonacci Batman: New & Selected Poems (Carnegie Mellon University Press 2013) and Caprice: Collected, Uncollected, and New Collaborations (with Denise Duhamel, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). Her awards include the Iowa Poetry Prize and Lambda Literary Award (both for Furious Cooking), the Audre Lorde Award (for Venus Examines Her Breast), an NEA fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her memoir, Sex Talks to Girls, also garnered a “Lammy.” She teaches creative writing at the University of Miami, Florida.
Two Poems by Maureen Seaton
I never had a nemesis before. I kinda like it.
~Felicity Smoak, The Flash
Wonder what I’d be today if I was still married to my Wall Street husband
besides married to a Wall Street husband and puking gin in a silk sheath
at Delmonico’s. I might be a blond size 4. I might be a secret Democrat
or a weekend lesbian. This morning five planes flew over the yard in a V
as I was about to dig into a pile of lavender pancakes al fresco. The V
flew low and slow. It flew loud and ominous. It alarmed me, sounding
a lot like the war movies of my fifties’ childhood. My cranky Chihuahua
was proverbially biting at flies and I was sitting there not thinking about hate.
Recently, I experienced life with cancer. An intoxicating time, richly infused
with the liquor of death, but good too because no one expected much of me
and I was left to my own mind, which is what I’m missing most these days.
Unless that’s it over there, screeching on two wheels around the racetrack.
Today I typed gnos instead of song and I wondered if it was some new app
designed to mess with me. I’ve never thought to call the world sweet before.
A nemesis can do that for you, make things taste different. Suddenly you’re
a hero/ine. All this devastation—and you’re still standing in the middle of it.
Planes Fly in Formation over My Backyard, As in War Movies
Forever is so unfathomable it cannot be held responsible.
Or it is the joyful repetition of the increased effect of sun at high altitudes.
Meanwhile, birds are wise in thin air but live such a short time.
One lies broken in the snow; others surround it, screeching.
Normally I would say there are no images for infinity, but today I am not so sure.
Infinity flows in a blood-red path to itself.
(War spills infinitely into other wars.)
Five planes fly in formation over my backyard, as in war movies.
In reality, I kneel beside this infinite bird.
I am nothing but a string of bells, the hand of a minor god.
I will walk in snow four more times before spring arrives in the foothills.
Snow of burial and keening jays—the opposite of forever.