Friday, March 28, 2008


Four Poems by Ivy Alvarez: “Pear”, “dumb”, “The tree” and “Parsonage Parlor”


As the pear ripens into its blush
and, once teeth bites its rough circle, rusts,
so does my gaze comfortably rest
on yours, and resting feels lush,
slow—syrup drips off the curve,
falls on your tongue, sweet from the breast
that beats with steady nerve—
like love, inevitable and quiet as dust.

[previously published in Blue Giraffe (Australia)]



baby brother brings me booty
booty I do not want
blood out of squirrels’ mouths
blooms from a badger’s back
broke spine splinter bones
blown wide apart
belly open of a fine snout fox
bleached fur stiff fuzz
better not show baby brother
briny pinpoint pupils’ glaze

brings me his killing jar
bees, spiders, hornets and wasps
brave his fingertips’ acetone smell
dumb husks in a glass shell

[previously published in Brilliant Coroners anthology (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2007)]


The tree
[from ‘Auto/biography, or so I was tolde’]

‘dare never swallowe those seedes,’ I was tolde
‘else a tree wilt growe
from yourn stomache’

mayhaps a tree didde growe in me
wyth rootes lyke feet
to paddle in the acidde
be mullched byn byle
be waterd byn juice

a slendre saplyng that didde hardden its barkke
from thinne to thicke

& ware it dydde push
throghe myn intestinalle skinne
past myn oesophagusse
& myn openne throate

for leaffes to gathre in the cuppe of myn mouthe
flowres to prikke myn tongue with blod

alle petalls droppe
ane obsceen fruitte fattens

& seeddes dysgorge ane alphabette
a storie, a songge

trannsplante from anither lande
from a soile of alyen fragrans

fulle of once uponn a tyme

[previously published in STAND (UK)]


Parsonage Parlor
response to Corinne May Botz’s photograph of the same title

look at the dead girl on the floor
madonna and child stare from the wall
the piano is silent, the clocks are stilled
dust gathers on the windowsill

a packet of meat rots in the chair
drops of blood dry in her hair
more letters come through the door
look at the dead girl on the floor

a wood-handled knife in her side
a ball peen hammer on her right
the vases are empty, the lights are dimmed
she knew the killer, she went with him

she knew the killer, she went with him
into a room where her chances were slim
the windows are shuttered, the carpet is mute
red ribbon, red belt, red lips, red shoes

bite marks on her belly, bite marks on her breasts
dirt and blood on her pleated white dress
the radio is quiet, the mirror is blank
she lies on her back with open white hands

her dead eyes were blue, her long hair was black
the radio is quiet, the mirror is blank
look close, take notes, say nothing more
look at the dead girl on the floor


Ivy Alvarez is the author of Mortal (Washington, DC: Red Morning Press, 2006). Her poetry is published in journals and anthologies worldwide and online. A MacDowell and Hawthornden Fellow, both the Australia Council for the Arts and the Welsh Academi awarded her grants to write poems for her second manuscript.

No comments: