So we get there just as
some asshole—forgive me—on a joyride inthe Outback runs her down, the emu,and keeps going. After all, he'sgot a planet to desecrate.A very long line offeathered-bloody-something, she's lifting nowand falling back to the road, not exactlyan ostrich but as lordly, and slower each time.Don't fool yourself. It wasn't wind, nota broken hinge crying out to open a door.Our worthless offerings—O Emu, here's our numb speechlessness.But there are those who drive towho-cares-if-I-kill and never regret. We willedthat news to hermedieval as prayer, all abruptlystricken in the Flinders,the handwringing two of us asanother acolyte stepped from his truck with a hugeplumber's wrench to bash her kindlya goodone two three—her ooaa each time faint, fainterooaa on a loop, a loop...Reader, you who think poemsshould never story too much or rendernews of the day,I need to get this right—grief is human-speak for emu.Night's quiet since then.
“SO WE GET THERE JUST AS” from BESTIARY DARK: by Marianne Boruch.
Published by Copper Canyon Press on October 12, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Marianne Boruch.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Marianne Boruch’s work includes eleven books of poems, among them Bestiary Dark, The Anti-Grief and Cadaver, Speak (Copper Canyon 2021, 2019, 2014); four essay collections (from Michigan and Trinity, and one out next year from Northwestern University Press); two memoirs, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011) and, forthcoming from Copper Canyon, The Figure Going Imaginary made of notes taken in Gross Human Anatomy (aka the “cadaver lab”) and a Life Drawing class from which the poems in Cadaver, Speak were drawn. Her honors include the Kingsley-Tufts Award for The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon, 2011) plus fellowships/residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, two national parks (Denali and Isle Royale) and two Fulbright Scholarships (University of Edinburgh and University of Canberra—Australia.) Her work appears in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, APR, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere.
Boruch taught at Purdue University for 33 years where she established the MFA Program in Creative Writing, going rogue and emeritus in 2018. Since 1987, she’s been on faculty in the low-residency Graduate Writing Program at Warren Wilson College, where she continues. In spring 2022, she was the Jennifer Jahrling Forsee Writer-in-Residence at Colby College in Waterville, Maine where students rewrote the poems in Bestiary Dark into a very strange black-box theater production.
“Written with unabashed awe… Boruch keeps her touch light and self-deprecating as the world that the poems describe disappears, or has already been destroyed by the bush fires…shortly after her time there. … But she believes that to ‘recollect is to rescue,/ to invite back the plain astonishments.’ These poems offer delights and fascinations at every turn.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“She sees and considers with intensity. Her poems often give fresh examples of how rare and thrilling it can be to notice.”
“Boruch displays a quietly gymnastic intellect in the examinations of art, the body, and the human condition.”