This week has been riddled with strong female poets and it's only fitting to close with the descriptive and emotive work of Sarah Maria Murdock. What I relish most about Sarah Maria's work is the effort she takes to carefully set the tone of her pieces. The lush oubliette scenes that she procures via her writing has left me feeling gratified especially concerning the little nuances she includes within the details of her pieces.
Selling Dust (for you)
Hello stark contrasts in dust detached,
Hello dead skin skimming air,
sifted in sunlight,
swimming like perch in tributaries.
There is no current here. Hang as you may.
Hello mantle. Hello final rest.
Hello summit primed for your piling.
They say death be no proud
but you are laid like crowns of barren ash.
Hello hallowed choking.
I am here; I am drawing you in.
Surly is the day deemed unstirred.
Damned is the domicile weighted by existence,
“Hello grave. Hello sacred grounds. Come lay in mounds.
Come pray at our wake for our sunlight sinking. Come.”
Hello door ajar, swinging swan song in her moans,
tracks trailing past your threshold.
Hello cabin. I can hear you say it... “goodbye.”
Although this poem takes place in a cabin -- it reminds me of an apartment that's recently been discovered in France that had remained abandoned and untouched for seventy years. Can you imagine, not entering a place for that long a duration -- everything as you left it before you departed to where ever you were forced to escape to? Something so eerie and beautiful with places that have remained untouched, save the exception of the dust that settles. There's infinite characteristics in the things we leave behind, although layered with the dust of time -- only a soft cotton glove could remove sheets of dead skin cells that collect over the ages. These items create individual sentences that are drawn together to compose larger in depth emotions such as the piece above.
I am miles.
Cracked and painted straight
and coughing at the kicked up dust of passerby.
I become abstract hush.
Paused pulses growing less hollow,
a split second splintering
of blue rivulets hastening their coursing.
I become stale tunnels.
The trains above are not like trumpets,
as there is no heaven.
They are magnets.
Theirs is a pulling's screeching
tearing at our staying.
It will deepen my cacti greens
like summer trees
in the palm of a Pennsylvanian forest
I will grow as lush fallacy,
my pricking pavement will be weary cautioning:
“Do not inch further.
I am not outstretched as miles often are.”
Lush Fallacy brought me back to a simpler time in my life -- I remember exactly where I was when the word fallacy made it's way into my lexicon. It was in my 2nd year university philosophy class. I pictured this poem almost as though the imagery had been a fallacy mirage within in itself that provides the to ultimate warning.
I follow pipelines
for the grace
of your baseboard heat
hands in trails of air compare
the feel of your feathered features
of the pines of Pennsylvania
in their whistling
it is a burning
flames fed like gods in their sacrificing
I am cotton mouth martyr
refusing the spring,
carving indecision like initials
with your bed of needles
it is a needling long since separated,
a wishbone frailty unintended
unleashing its yearn to the unbiased skin
We withstood like stoic woods in the winter
the changing of our guarded selves.
This piece reminded me of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and all of the trouble that Puck not only caused for himself but the young lovers. More specifically the scene where the young lovers had been found in the forest after Puck had reversed his initial spell.
Black & white was dreaming
walking us in tones cinematic.
You were a dark sidewalk,
where leaves lingered indisposed.
I was those,
persistent in the staying.
Karma coming quickly
in her delicate decaying,
decorating the well water stagnancy
of just before dawn,
in the lull,
in the halcyon hush of harvest,
in the shadowless shivers
seeping out like a streetlamp dance.
No second chance
but the inevitable growing... back
from the season of ruin on the rise,
like opening eyes after the realization,
peace exists in the walking,
like tongues in dead languages
leaving contradiction like Communion
on the tips of our tongues
like the death we dreamt the night before.
Don't you find a romantic quality associated with black and white dreams? The minute I read the first lines:
“Black & white was dreaming
walking us in tones cinematic.”
Can you picture it right now? These two monochromatic colours in a delicate dream state that could very quickly be turned into a volatile and painful nightmare. I relished the use of the word karma through this piece as it clearly outlines the universal laws of our time. And, that for certain is something that the face of karma consistently does to set the balance as perfectly straight as a water bubble in a weathered level. But more specifically the darkness from this piece reminds me in the cosmic sounds of the “tell tale heart.”
Thank you to Sarah Maria for furnishing me with this bio.
Sarah Maria is a thirty-something, LGBTQ poet from the greater Philadelphia area. She wrote her first book of poetry for her third grade teacher at the age of 9, and is now working on her first collection to be published. Her inspirations range from Sonia Sanchez to Emily Dickinson.
Please feel free to follow Sarah Maria on social media via: Facebook & Instagram.