Weekly Feature: Poetry at The Arts Fuse

Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem every Thursday.

A New Idea


The structure failed to cohere at the end of the struggle.

It had some music in it. Therefore, it could be located.


Women seemed forced from the dark burrows of their own bodies. 

To see what caused the collapse.


A cupboard door, a ladder, a piece of clothing, and

Suddenly a childs bright solution:




Put the bed posts evenly to hold the planks still.

Everything up, windows facing into a wall.

Human bones ground down and painted into the pallor.

Pink will help.


Nothing extra: the victims could tell they were being failed.

But bones ground into bricks—were just powder.

And if (later) saved and used they could be sanctified.


Poor childrens hair pulled into mud and stucco and high-rise pipes.

Oh Builder, why today?


Now it is an altar.  A widowed house.  A place to sit against and resist.

God will take pity on this strange creation—the god of Nature.

Void of human cruelty.  Empty of imeasures.

Its intention always bare.


So the children heated the flowers Persephone had gathered.  She used chemicals like turpentine, glycerin, and collagen, and flattened them between sheets of foam. When sewing the petals together she waxed thread that allowed the fiber to pass through the petals without ripping them. Finally, they stitched the petals onto a flexible polymer that would lend the stuff an extra layer of stability. Then she and Hell called the nymphs to help them make necklaces and tunics and belts. The main thing is that these bouquets would never die. With those chemicals they would dwell forever in a state of being and nonbeing. Did they have souls?  Does a flower have willpower or only the wind to move it.  No one wants to go to Hell for advice on how to break apart a color. A baptismal gown pearled together with spider webs shimmers till nothing can be seen of the cloth.  I would say, Leave it there to regenerate by contact with contact.  


Fanny Howe is the author of over 20 books, including works of poetry, fiction and essays. Her most recent book of poems is Love and I from Graywolf Press.

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

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