Poem of the Week | November 11, 2010

This week we are proud to feature“Metastasis” by Maureen Seaton, a poem from our new issue, TMR 33:3. Maureen Seaton’s sixth solo book of poems is Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen. She authored a memoir, Sex Talks to Girls, winner of the Lambda Literary Award, and coedited, with Denise Duhamel and David Trinidad, Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry. In 2011, two book-length poetic collaborations are due: Stealth with Samuel Ace and Sinéad O’Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds with Neil de la Flor. The recipient of an NEA fellowship and two Pushcarts, Seaton teaches poetry at the University of Miami.

Author’s Note: “What these poems have in common is a formal impulse that expresses itself in rambunctious ways. The poems in terza rima join a series of musings that have arrived over the past fifteen years like quirky visitors, a tic that interrupts my inclination toward prose (as in ‘Metastasis’)-and always opening with the same phrase, ‘When I Was…’ They’re fun, and they allow that distance the imposition of form often permits for memory: tricky, imagined or circumvented.”


    (Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge, Hutchinson Island)

When the glaciers armied through Florida, like anywhere else, they left a
mess of rocks and sand and animal bones behind them. They did this
peacefully over a long period of time, and the animals felt peaceful as they
died in the crush of ancient cold, and present-day sea creatures poking
through deserted coral remember nothing of those faraway deaths. Yet
when the moon presses down on the Atlantic like the whole hard body of
God, even the smallest worm on the reef will admit to hearing a moan in
the ocean’s bed. And if you’re standing on shore past your bedtime,
Northern creature warmer than you’ve ever been in winter, and the
moonlight pins you like a moth to the side of the old sea-eaten hand-built
bench, you can hear it too — you don’t want to, you shake your head
against it, but it’s real and mixed up with every other sound that’s ever
occurred up and down this killer beach.