Tag Archives: Ink for an Odd Cartography

Poetry Spotlight: Michele Battiste

Photo Michele Battiste

Good  love poems can be as difficult to find as good love. Too often, even accomplished poets, take on the love poem head on with a fevered description of lust and passion, often to the detriment of their other work in a collection.

In her book, Ink for the Odd Cartography, Michele Battiste provides us with love poems filled with the details of life. some danger, and  a dash of duende. Below, is one of the poems from that collection, Commitment , that I returned to several times in order to experience the dangers and delights of what commitment means.

Martin Ott

Commitment

This church drowns, legs

kicking and churning eddies

at the altar, the sacristy filmed

with silt.  I am not to mourn

here, my shoes ruined

with stickseed and blister

juice, my sorrow like milk-

weed forced from its pod.

The plane plummets, the car

crashes, the millet rusts

across the road.  This side,

windrows are thinning

and wait to be baled

and the babies are impatient

underground, smacking

their fists at roots.  Soil

shrivels in the autumn drought.

The Reverend Myrtle Tuttle

predicted gravel and a foul

moon.  My love, one day

I will marry you, bend

to pick up blossoms

that drop from my crown.

I promise I will lose

the map of the cemetery,

a penciled circle marking

your collapsed mound.

Previously published in Mikrokosmos

About the Author:

Michele Battiste is the author of two books of poem: Ink for an Odd Cartography (2009) and Uprising (2013, forthcoming), both from Black Lawrence Press. She also has four chapbooks, the most recent of which is Lineage from Binge Press. She lives in Colorado where she raises money for corporations undoing corporate evil.

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