But Animals Embody Gender Even As They Are Beyond It
Sliding down of towers, moon in tree. Mensurround mein the early skin of my backache.Moon in the water and landed grassbeholding. Down-sliding methrough each evening. Our boxes and down-slidingtowers, tree slickeningto cold. Oh moon, who caresfor your slick-sly down. The skywhen you slide drops down. Eveningskeins off in down-meaningropes. Bodywith its mark. And stable,surrounding. Grass upon whicha moon can cast light.Circle of holding-spacelight. Mensurround mein the slide-downing sparrow. Little blow-bird with lighton its circle. A grass growsthe water darker. In the flood the red knotslips down. Silt on the moon making bloodand slid towers. Arrow of men and bird neverreaching. Down the grass whichslickens the even-so. Evening, that stiffskin, slacks off its crust.Heart's open bag, slag on the water.Men surround me,swell of water goinggreen. Down-slidingto grass and landedtowers blue. Mensurrounded me next year, too.
Copyright © 2018 by Anne Marie Rooney.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2012), as well as two chapbooks. Her poetry has been twice featured in the Best American Poetry anthology, and has been the recipient of the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and others. Born and raised in New York City, she currently lives in Baltimore, where she is studying Expressive Arts Therapy.
In Anne Marie Rooney’s second full-length book, she queers form and narrative to explore girlhood at the corner of the twenty-first century. In poems that excavate and subvert ideas of female desire, adolescence, and storytelling itself, Rooney resists easy dualities to craft a transcendent, necessary, and utterly original work that offers “no beautiful midnight,” “no beautiful morning.”
"Anne Marie Rooney’s haunting poetry comes up against that which dehumanizes. It is the language of reverb as it resounds in the body. ‘Do not dream of faces like roads / That can be climbed,’ she writes. We are always in proximity to something in Rooney’s poems and that something soaks in or overshadows or crushes. In this unforgettable work, recovery is the mystery nonetheless."
“Anne Marie Rooney’s phenomenal second collection gathers and transforms the vulnerable truth of lived experience into a deep, fractal genealogy of girlhood, love, loss, and form. But even as Rooney stuns and alchemizes the present moment with her rare organicism and formal awareness of language, it is our perception of form itself that these poems demonstrate rewilding.”
—Lo Kwa Mei-en