March 8, 2015

POETRY BY ANNE BABSON "AIR: WHY DO THE NATIONS SO FURIOUSLY RAGE TOGETHER?, THE WAKING LIFE, THE TEMPLE"

My first full-length collection is coming out in February with Vox Press – The White Trash Pantheon. My current chapbook, Poems Under Surveillance (Finishing Line Press, 2013) is currently available in independent bookstores.  The opera for which I wrote the libretto, entitled Lotus Lives, was performed in the Northeast in 2012 and is currently being considered for broadcast by WGBH Boston.  I have been nominated for the Pushcart four times. I have been featured on Poetry Daily.  My work has recently appeared in Iowa Review, Cider Press Review, Southampton Review, Bridges, Barrow Street, Connecticut Review, The Pikeville Review, Rio Grande Review, English Journal, New Song, The Penwood Review, Sow’s Ear, The Madison Review, Atlanta Review, Grasslands Review, WSQ, Global City Review, Comstock Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, The Red Rock Review, and many other publications.
In Europe, my work has appeared in Current Accounts, Iota, Poetry Salzburg, Nth Position and in Ireland, I was in an issue of Crannóg last year.  In Asia, I was published in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Yuan Yang.  I have been anthologized multiple times in both the US and the UK. I have done residencies at Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center.  My work has particularly appeared in Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, Christianity and Literature, Windhover, Dappled Things, The Penwood Review, and other journals of interest to Christians.  I often write and publish poems that engage theological questions through public life. 


AIR: WHY DO THE NATIONS SO FURIOUSLY RAGE TOGETHER?
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,” – Psalm 2:1-2


Rage, your look is all the rage.
Its flip très à la page.
It’s leading and it’s large.
It’s bâteau mouche and barge.
It’s of this cursed new age.


You’re a ruler.
You rule with a wink.
You strut and you stink.
You pucker in pink,
You sucker in mink.


Vain, your look is slim and vain.
You laugh at fat girls’ pain.
You puke to fight weight gain.
You wear white, but the stain
Of your grease will remain.


You’re a heathen.
You’re zero and zen.
You brood like a hen.
You pickle your pen.
Before you write when.


Fool, you’re such a fashion fool!
Your smirking now is cruel!
You idiot, you tool!
Your brain’s an empty spool!
What’s more you think this cool!


You curmudgeon,
You smoke like a gun.
You twiddle your thumbs,
You waggle your gums,
And the insult comes.


Cliff, you’re standing on a cliff.
You rhapsody and riff,
But, stupid, take a whiff!
The ending in a puff
Is coming.  That’s enough.



 THE WAKING LIFE


The Waking Life takes courage. It is lived

Sacrificially. The tonic pain smarts

From umbilical cutting to the sieved

Disappointments where the blood filters, starts

Clotting in the chaste pores that sweat it out.

The waking life takes courage. The doctor

Slaps us on the backside, and we all pout

Betrayed. The test that searing aches proctor

Is graded unfairly. But look at you,

Biting the leather strap gamely, nodding

To God Almighty to start the buzz saw on cue.

The waking life takes courage, takes prodding,

Takes a man, my man, my man manifest,

My man remanning his manhood at rest.


 THE TEMPLE

The temple of the soul is the body.

The temple of the offer is the “yes.”

The temple of the laugh is the giddy.

The temple of the riddle is the guess.

The temple of the sleeper is the bliss.

The temple of the losses is the waste.

The temple of the kisser is the kiss.

The temple of the tonguing is the taste.

The temple of this hand is your own.

The temple of your word is this ear.

The temple is the harvest of seed sown.

The temple of this future is no fear.

The temple of the lover is the lover.

The temple is the temple, love the cover.

~Anne Babson

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