Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Holly Day Explains A Mummy's Confession, Belgian Monasteries, Rampant Bulbs, and The Frigid Coast of the Simulacrum

The Mummy, 20 Years Between Visits

this bundle of dried skin, matchstick bones
hands folded over one another in
frozen yet thoughtful contemplation
caused me such nightmares
impossible, this

tiny brown thing, half-seen through
the crumpled, painted lid, teeth not
bared in an angry grimace as I
imagined as a child but in
a peaceful, purposeful smile
as if to say

I am dead, I really am
I’m dead.

The Monks in My Head

my garden makes me think of God, of
the Alsatian monks toiling endless to create
climbing, bright-faced clematis that would spread
all over a wall, taking tiny yellow down-turned flowers on thin
upright stalks and unleashing something holy, wholly
new twining plants with palm-sized flowers in shades
of blue and white and pink and purple.

my beer makes me think of God, of how
hours of studying and painstaking labor
in the basements of Belgian monasteries helped improve
guttural meads flavored with clover and honey
how those monks must have thought they’d bottled something holy
when they tasted their own creations, kept them secret and hidden
from the hungry flat-ale-swilling masses outside.

Stunted, Thwarted

The tulips I grow in pots
never do as well as the ones
spreading rampant in my backyard
bulbs swollen big as fists
sprays of flowers bursting like fireworks
from a single hidden point. Every time I try

to recreate the flamboyant show of color from out there
in here, I end up with
shrunken, mold-speckled bulbs bearing
withered, yellow-green stalks
twisted striped buds that
open sickly as sea anemones
in polluted tidepools
on some frigid coast.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

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