By Emily Blair:
Today’s poems previously appeared in cream city review (vol. 41.1) and Indiana Review (vol. 39, no.1) and appear here today with permission from the poet.
Emily Blair’s poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Sixth Finch, Juked, Indiana Review, New Ohio Review, cream city review, Gettysburg Review and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, among other places. She received a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry in 2014 and in Fiction in 2006, and is the author of the illustrated chapbook Idaville (Booklyn Artists’ Alliance, 2010). Also a visual artist, she creates multimedia books and collaborates with social practice artist Michelle Illuminato under the name Next Question.
Guest Editor’s Note: To begin reading a poem by Emily Blair is to step onto a sturdy roadway only to find halfway along that you are swaying wildly on a rickety rope bridge, your foot’s about to fall through the rotting jute, and there’s no going back. All you can do is rush forward and hope you make it to the other side before it collapses behind you. She pulls you along with brilliant wordplay: “—were the heavens ablaze—was there a topiary maze—” and half-recognized allusions to the plot points of movies you probably slept through while you were babysitting those demon kids across the street. Toward the end of the poem you realize that the poet is cleverly yet subtly addressing some of your most mundane and commonly shared fears and despite all signs to the contrary–is every single sentence a question?–the poet gives us a temporary reprieve from that anxiety in the form of a quirky answer: “Are you going to haunt me forever? I’m free every night this week.”
A NOTE FROM THE MANAGING EDITOR:
After nearly ten years as Contributing Editor of this series, it is an honor and a unique opportunity to share this space with a number of guest editors, including the editor featured here today. I am thrilled to usher in an era of new voices in poetry as the Managing Editor of this series.
Viva la poesia!
Sivan, Managing Editor
Saturday Poetry Series, AIOTB