For Your Perusal

painting by Jeremy Enecio

Isn’t “perusal” a cool word? (Perusal, noun: the action of reading or examining something : I continued my perusal of the instructions.) Forgive me, but I’ve been sleeping with dictionaries lately. I woke up facedown between “maud” and “maudlin” but I digress…

Here are some 2 poems & 1 story I’ve happened across online that are worth your time.

Motown Crown by Patricia Smith

Silk where his throat should be, and growling grace,
Little Stevie made us wonder why
we even needed sight. His rhythm eye
could see us click our hips and swerve in place
whenever he cut loose. Ooh, we’d unlace
our Converse All-Stars. Yeah, we wondered why
we couldn’t get down without our shoes, we’d try
and dance and keep up with his funky pace
of hiss and howl and hum, and then he’d slow
to twist our hearts until he heard them crack,
ignoring what was leaking from the seams.
The rockin’ blind boy couldn’t help but show
us light. We bellowed every soulful track
from open window, ’neath the door—pipe dreams.

Uganda, 1997 by Shane Book (via The Cortland Review)

She stands pigeon-toed in too-large
plastic sandals, her Sunday dress
white with orange ruffles, mouth a simple line,
gold studs in tiny ears, close cut hair,
a slight welling in her eyes. Arms motionless
at her sides, she does not hide the stump ends,
the burnt meat’s wrinkled dark—where
the soldiers cauterized her wounds…

A Happier Tree by Patrick Allen Carberry (via Word Riot)

The man knows almost nothing about trees.  He tries to picture an Oak as the doctor speaks at length about his new condition.  The doctor uses doctor-talk, sees that most of it goes over his patient’s head. The man isn’t sure what started him thinking about trees. Linden and Birch and Sycamore.  Do their leaves turn orange or yellow or red?  The doctor takes a deep breath then gives the simplified, layman’s explanation: “It’s petrified.”  The “it” is the small Abductor Pollicis Brevis muscle at the base of the man’s right thumb.  The man thinks That’s funny, I was just thinking about trees.


One response to “For Your Perusal

  1. That poem by Shane Book is unbelieveably amazing!

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