Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: The Flowering Self Smaller, Frozen

Maureen Alsop

I cannot begin with a metaphor. Who you were in pieces?  It was insistent work, quickened by observation. But hadn’t we been warned? What we saw was not the same as what we understood. I tried to find every person in the wrong so that I would recognize my true hallow. When will you choose to know me? Will you linger there? Will the great pull of air around you do the same? Will the cold fall away from the underbody? Then as you are telling, in brimstone, the lies that you tell the liars, then will you remember the advantages we shared?

Perhaps now I am your empire. You who created me with openings through time.  I will not clear this of you. I followed you as well as I could through silver corridors, entered the topmost valley of the sky, beyond the whole of the sun. You wore gloves. Christmas snow pasted its voluminous pages over alleys, oxen. You were among spindled volumes of wool- season’s ornamentation.

Clay layerings, my internal pigeons were indiscriminate. The flowering self, smaller, frozen.  Yeah, it was fine, I guess.

Here I am looking upon a page upon which a woman is looking into font as if drawn to what is real. The emergence of idealizing eyes fall upon trees, trenchant her distance, the mount of her sea smooth iris. Firs, the willow, are perfect listeners. Real silence traces change from the darkened corners of her composed mouth. Snow covets the lilies, thickly astonished. You are so near.

I trace the river which breathes through our sleep. I guard the given valley.

Sometimes I breathe a reversal, your mind winding back, sacred and unaccustomed to place. Sometimes we are modestly smaller than our disappearing

But if this were to be read aloud, as I read it, I begin to imagine our love has been like connectivities beneath the grass, indeterminate voices buried, splice the whole of the inland together. I displace myself so I might be true to the wrong words. Among tangled patterns we shift between gullies, grassland, mountainous- irregular swoon. Birth-heavy.  At times we were fired. Sardonic, we are sinister in tone.

Surrender, beggar. We are multitudinous.

Maureen Alsop

Maureen Alsop, PhD is the author of four collections of poetry: Apparition Wren, Mantic, Later, Knives & Trees and Mirror Inside Coffin. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including Superstition Review (issue 13) where she has previously contributed a series of guest blog posts on the theme of self portrayal.

2 thoughts on “Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: The Flowering Self Smaller, Frozen

  • March 24, 2014 at 9:01 am
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    Beautifully written, such good imagery. “I tried to find every person in the wrong so that I would recognize my true hallow.” So true. Thanks for sharing!

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  • March 24, 2014 at 9:26 am
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    I want to read this again and again until I memorize it because I don’t get it. The imagery is beautiful, the prose is pristine. I can’t help but break the rules of alliteration as I try to describe how this made me feel. I still don’t get it, but I want to read it over and over again.

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