Sara Biggs Chaney

Against Poetic Proclamations

Say the world. Say a picture.
With that, say idea of intention.
Restitute the fir tree akimbo.
About the creep of ivy
at the foot of the elm, say embracing.
Of northern pine, say tuning fork.
Test the pitch of heaven
and spit. Say sour,
meaning dissonant
as the flat clanking
of a cumulous cloud.
Smirk & continue
the preposterous hornswoggle
of projecting your
scare quote
lyrical scare
quote self
to say of the sky
what it would never
say of itself,
that it falls shaved,
diagonal as parchment,
brown, down, drown,
and further falling.

Plenty of lilies, still,
when you shut up.
Growing wild on a corner
full of light.

What do you think
the sky says about you?



Interlude, Autumnal [south window]

Today you pulled dry branches from the forest overcanopy we had a bonfire bits of ash blew through the grate and landed in my hair the dog lolled in the too tall grass

Leaves are claiming orange under black and green & we are slower in our shoes

Where do the crickets go when they are sleeping? Why has no one lifted the boat from its place by the chimney for years?

It is cold enough we huddle together talk of turning the heat on the leaves have become paper “there is so much color out there” There is so much

It is in the nature of the earth to come again & then again & what is in our nature

We are left We reach like branches pine needles, rust and balsam falling from the sky, grace is falling from the sky and we are left asking how many nights longer will the poppies stand and blush, pine needles trace roadways of gold?



Sara Biggs Chaney received her Ph.D. in English in 2008 and currently teaches first-year writing at Dartmouth College serves as the Associate Coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. She has recently published poetry in Redivider, Quarterly West, Blackbird, Sixth Finch, Whiskey Island, The Pinch and elsewhere. With her collaborator, Michael Chaney, she has recently published prose in Sycamore Review, Hotel Amerika, and Green Mountains Review.