I cup the frozenbody of evening,trace the linesthat creep alongthe beetle's velvetshell. It's hardto replicatean insect's symmetry;you might drawthe thing overand over againuntil there's nolight outside,start thinkingyou seemore clearlythis way. The same wayyour bone marrowemanates heat,like the beetle'sluminescence.I've learnedthe mind isa velvet curtain:not all thingsneed heator light.
“Ground Beetle” from ENGRAMS: by Ana Pugatch.
Published by Redhawk Publications on March 7, 2023.
Copyright © 2023 by Ana Pugatch.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Ana Pugatch completed her MFA at George Mason University, where she was awarded the ’20-’21 Poetry Heritage Fellowship. Before then she lived in Asia, teaching English in China and Thailand, as well as studying Buddhism. She holds an Ed.M. from Harvard and a B.A. from Skidmore College. Her debut poetry collection, Engrams: Seven Years in Asia, won the Lena Shull Book Award. You can find more of her work on her website, www.anapugatch.com.
“The poems in Ana Pugatch’s debut collection of poetry, Engrams, are alert and unwavering in their keen consideration to things spiritual and material. In these poems of travel, the poet is far from home, from the familiar. The attention of her dislocation makes each poem luminous, radiant, vivid, and immediate. The poems—quiet, searching, careful—possess the beautiful, seemingly impossible, and off-kilter balance one finds in a cairn along a pilgrim’s way. The poems seem almost to levitate, to defy gravity with their accuracy, clarity, and mystery.”
“I was immediately drawn to this manuscript by the voice. It’s inviting in its approach—never assuming, never too sharp—and eases us into a world of mystery to the western eye. It’s the voice that shapes the images in the poems—lush and shimmering to the dark and quiet. In short: the poems are real. They are witness to a foreign land where a step forward means a step outside of the confines of luxury, safety even, and into a world that opens itself for the self. Foreign as east to west, as the natural world to the manmade, as life to death. There is no going back. There is no eye for an escape back. Only forward and only witness. And that may be part of the genius of this beautiful collection.”