Weekly Feature: Poetry at The Arts Fuse
Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem every Thursday.
A pigeon flies in an arcing spiral reminiscent of a more important bird to list on one’s resume. We installed the screens to prevent disease. A resume is the involved house we remember to clean, hunkering beneath one’s profile while dusting the near edge of the bookshelf, of an instep seam. I look back and it’s not a pigeon, it’s a risk. A profile is an image of ill birds gathering at the cornice of a nearby building—we anticipate food, a nest, or a peek in the full-length pigeon-mirror of others. Gradually it becomes clear that for a while now acid rain has been falling into our cup, a drop by drop which internally grows and rankles. We are becoming drones, we hear ourselves breaking the sound barrier overhead, we fear our best or worst qualities switching hats. In the light beneath the canteen sign we glimpsed the sheriff and the outlaw embracing, talking about us behind our horse in lush vocals slung back. To list is to enfold a new norm—that’s what the outlaw spawns. An illustration of smoke on a defunct chimney. Drone smoke. From the roofline’s edge you can see the route where we first rode into town, greeted by gasps of closure. Unite the rats of the air.
Trace Peterson is a poet, editor, and literary scholar. Author of the poetry book Since I Moved In (Chax Press, 2019) and numerous chapbooks, she co-edited the groundbreaking anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2013) and Arrive on Wave: Collected Poems of Gil Ott (Chax, 2016). Peterson is also the editor and publisher of EOAGH, a literary journal. She is a visiting assistant professor of English at UConn, Storrs.
Note: Hey poets! We seek submissions of excellent poetry from across the length and breadth of contemporary poetics. See submission guidelines here. The arbiter of the feature is the magazine’s poetry editor, John Mulrooney.
— Arts Fuse editor Bill Marx