by Janice Moore Fuller
Available at Upcoming Book Signings
Available at the Literary Bookpost (Salisbury, NC)
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What the Dead See
The angel had a pimpled countenance,
stone wings spread—guarding what?
The yew tree? The maroon DeSoto,
cloudy plastic stretched across its windows,
parked too close to my mother’s plot?
The crow did what crows do: perched
on a headstone, cawed now and again,
let the sun extract the purple hidden in its wing.
It hopped to another grave, watched me watching it,
then cocked its head away. I could see only one eye,
exact as a rifle sight. What do the dead see?
The roots of the yew tree inching toward them?
The still earth filled with failed crocuses
never opening a passage to the sky?
When I was little, my cousin and I would lie
on our sides facing each other, each headed
the opposite way. Downside up, we’d talk for hours,
making all the weird faces we could.
The familiar made strange, my cousin an alien,
mouth in her forehead, blank spread of skin
where she ought to be kissed. Could I still loop
my arm inside her arm and walk along the beach?
Maybe the dead see us like this: upside down,
combing what we should be shoeing, smirking when we
should be crying, laughing at all the wrong parts.
“In Janice Fuller’s stunning third book, the dead and the living sit at the same table, reach across distances of time and space—through recovered diaries, lunar surface snapshots, and in the perfectly imperfect topography of a lover’s body. Fuller’s command of poetic forms is striking and her metaphors sharply original: a child’s knees are radio knobs; a flag’s stripe, a laceration. But finally it is the ghostly marriage of hand and heart that haunts the reader long after the séance is over.” – Rebecca McClanahan
“In Séance we feel the tension and beloved expectation of worlds about to receive, in detail, in tender language, in real light, their living mythologies. Brought very near, eternity speaks clearly here.” – Donald Revell
“Lithe, elegant, and expertly framed, the poems of Séance light down on the page and lift the reader into exotic backdrops and brilliantly timed escapes. From Falcarragh to Galápagos, Fuller’s precise approach begs the reader’s active participation as her words nestle and cohere. This swan swings, and leaves memorable markings and graceful maneuvers in her wide-winged embrace of this lost world and the one that extends beyond our earthly remains.” – Keith Flynn