a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Living the dark days of the future, the architect angled for sky—a mocked- up chapel, a spire’s prismed spike: all those tiny severed rooms. Spring again’s a wash of egg casings, like chains of blonde seaweed tangled ashore: here a serifed spine, there a sundered arm. Tattered and toothy, all those braceletted blown pods, and the one still shrouded—an infant stilled in its caul. A certain economy to the dead, this minimal exertion to memory: dovecote or necropolis, the face is a winged veil, a bell cave secreting its cinerary urn, a blocked-letter name stick-crossing the grained facade like an urchin’s snapped spines, like shell fragments so aligned in sand as to appear treasure, an outsized singularity. Distinctly lightning, the sinistral shell; any whelk’s, the barbed marble crest, the nipple of ossified air topping the false nautilus swirl any cathedral’s spiraling staircase would have the eye look up to through the marred heart of spin. To sketch the shadowed steps, sun-spiked lashes halo the scepter, the shell’s mace and drill, its mute nacreless ribs. The wall filling, all those put-out pearls of window light; or vessels post storm, low tide’s finds late sun glisters, rending curtains of ash to fire that perfect gathering: the whole drowned world salted over, sparking.
Sandra Meek is the author of five books of poems, An Ecology of Elsewhere (Persea 2016), Road Scatter (Persea 2012), Biogeography, winner of the Dorset Prize (Tupelo 2008), Burn (2005), and Nomadic Foundations (2002), as well as editor of Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad (Ninebark 2007). Recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the 2015 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, she has twice been awarded Georgia Author of the Year, in 2006 for Burn, and in 2003 for Nomadic Foundations, which also was awarded the Peace Corps Writers Award in Poetry—Meek served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Manyana, Botswana. She is a co-founding editor of Ninebark Press, director of the Georgia Poetry Circuit, poetry editor of the Phi Kappa Phi Forum, and Dana Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at Berry College. Visit her at www.sandrameek.com.