Guest Poet Rachel Dacus

Woman Wading in Poetry

Leads with the instrument of mystery,
curves and depths
shivering on a page.

Hold hands
and look into her eyes.
One of you becomes the other.

No other words. Sudden flaring.
Decades unfold.
their clean linen
for swaddling or polishing.

Amid the drab, a hand reaches out.
The one who mothers color.
Words held close, given randomly away.
Sheer in the numinous.

Hearth-hugging ecstasy.
Exquisite quotidian.

In the midst of vacuuming
she divides a moment from the rest
and sits down, thumbs through a book.
From between its leaves flies up
life -- miraculously
still alive, scintillating
down these dusty years.

April, 1999

Rachel Dacus's Questions:

(1) Would appreciate thoughts on whether this poem's format of fragmentary ideas and images serves the theme of poetry as a non-linear communication.

(2) Does the title serve the theme? Too obvious or unclear?

In Golden Cups

As a child, small cups of light
were goblets for my thirsty eyes
and a swallow of sun
drenched my little tongue.

Older now, I still drink mustard, jonquil,
dandelion. Shining ruffles and spokes
summon from within the child's
gold flush in sun motes.

April, 1999

Rachel Dacus's Questions:

(1) Please comment on the use of rhyme in this poem and its reference to nursery rhymes.

(2) Is the theme of this poem clear?

(3) Does the title serve to draw the reader into the poem?

Dancing in Space

A dead-end Friday night. I channel-surf
the blinking air, tired of lugging integers
with puppet fingers. Tired
of being defined by yes/no switches
and approaching the speed
of thought migrating electrically,
zinging in wires like chattering gerbils
or fish slithering in neon-lighted bowls.
Polluted with too much seeing,
we materialize every day with an audible
in Mercury’s restless machinery.
But have we teleported anywhere?
Tonight my riddling thumbs
sling me through space
as silver ribbons riding buzzed non-air.
Free to perch where thought dances too fast
for the glottal stops of language. Dead
of books sail and clump in the gutter.
I live in whisking senses, in a radioactive
a new biochemical consensus.
I breathe light and speed
transubstantiation made flash.
Time to shed worn-out coat of substance?
Slip off dinosaur mechanics
and log onto a blinking galaxy,
lunge and spin into a new species.

April, 1999

Rachel Dacus's Questions:

(1) Does the imagery in this poem work for the theme? Are there too many images?

(2) Is the poem condensed enough?

(3) General comments on this poem would be appreciated.

The Albany Poetry Workshop