Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: Anemomancy


              divination by predicting weather change or reading the future strength and

direction of the wind


Along the road’s pitch, a token of yellow moths—the auburn
river’s warning tool— electricity
                          between wing and crescent, where
reeds open the mailbox’ flag. As for the matter
of your father’s death.  I observe a signet ring lower
into the dim.  I signal in conscious dream
that day’s influence where I crossed into a calm
             holding his hand— what bereavement became—a percussion
of bullets bore his chest
in the faithful matter of betrayal.  No more ledgers.

But a bowl’s moss and mixed grain, a morning
without generation, a narcoleptic close of eye like envelopes.

Once I stopped talking.  Once I was love’s weak redundancy.
Did I not say no?       I did not say yes.
My hair undoes the lake’s ether.

SR Pod/Vod Series: Maureen Alsop

Each Tuesday we feature audio or video of an SR Contributor reading their work. Today we’re proud to feature a podcast by Maureen Alsop.

maureenalsopMaureen Alsop, Ph.D. is the author of Mirror Inside Coffin (forthcoming, Cherry Grove Collections), Mantic (Augury Books, 2013), Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag), and several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in various journals including Watershed Review, Your Impossible Voice, ditch, The Laurel Review, AGNI, Blackbird, Tampa Review, Action Yes, Drunken Boat, The Kenyon Review, and Verse Daily.

You can listen to the podcast on our iTunes Channel.

You can read along with the work in Superstition Review.

Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: But First There Was the Body, Then the Mind, Then the Mind Letting Go of the Body

MidsummerThe day you died we cut off three slips of your hair, as is the custom. I asked myself if grief’s capacity, in part, is joy for its certainty. And because there is now an actual hour between the hour, it is my recompense. Together we’d been versions of “gathering and stopping.”  Breath volunteered its kind-hearted calmness; you’d found that going was up to the touch. Eventually we are all in such a position as you once were. I know you tried hard. It made you quicken.  The rain chased you with its cool evidence, its mythmaking clarity. Moss inscribed, you were evidently lungs and nouns and the last plot upon which no one could center. Maybe the physicality of sound, a surround of the inordinate laughter, was compost to make a new story. You were the last word I could cook for food.

And I have loved the top view of your weathers, criss-crossing the spaces just long enough to swim among your underbody’s chill, the soul’s photons buried in a passing train. When this is you. The point we begin a gallery of leaves, a river of light spaces just long enough to be remembered, shuffled images pooled. Or because I remember thinking of the point at which there would be no waiting, I might sit gathering the full stop of us.

Either way, all my protections go unmeasured. There is a miniscule grotto inside my heart, where votives remain lit, a scrim of bird-oil sullies the glass. I am a tracing of veins on your temples in the mirror. Opening a new woman in the glass. So I say to myself, so saying to you, as if you were another—well this is one way that we might continue to speak—So that I might go outside into the world soon and love only this other.

Until we are automatic. Eventually we dream a deeper black, behind the workings of smooth numbers, variant windows. In the end you would reveal you were both the carrier and interpreter of dreams. Scarred only at the center of intuition, I was the myth of what you had hidden.

Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: Aspersions

SpringI gathered a sense of how the human face demands rooms by which to mark calendars, then I made record of whose singing was enough. When my flock was sent to the egress, it seemed as if hundreds of horses traversed the open grassland. When somehow I’d followed back into the mire, their quick crescent-shaped steps; when I stood, somehow stalled; a sense of the last ghost was conveyed to me as a guide.

The redirection that I thought I agreed to was a tendency. Infrastructure impaired by vibration and extinguishment. Visually loyal to the mind of the learner, smoke-tree’s drop a euphoric identity. This is clinical to their nature. A luggage of small leaves, signal images, crucial imitations which wood-pigeons sing.

I didn’t survive the horse’s synchrony.

Yesterday, having returned from the dialect, opening from the trance of my small death, I read the dull arrangement, solving what had gone extinct under quivering waters. The studded plains were small studied voices; the activity of convergence, an eluded dialogue. Listening offered charms, a prod of trinkets. Those who I met through the stubble, over the canyon’s platinum topography asked me into the kill of winter. This is what I took from the landscape. As if collections of pebbles become administrative, communal. Rescue by rescue, someone will be worth the trawl.

What did I carry, asking the years I loved to be held in bottles slung from strings around my neck?

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.

Guest Blog Post, Maureen Alsop: MABON. AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

Maureen Alsop

The sojourners tried designating the world to the darkness to reflect the way I am.  Then they created their protections.

When did I unclench their papers?

I was adorned again.  That hiddenness made open. The spoils of my old self were dragged to the hilltop.

To be criticized I was percussive, and I refused to hide my dead. Untutored were the examined trees above me. Punctual trees, heavy and ridden by snow’s asymmetry.  Perhaps this was how I developed my sensitivity for unsteady measure. No there. This half-silver unbroken palate, blue gradient of midheaven.

Bright was my disappointment to summon what might already be perceived. Grief’s compression & renewal were not wedded to the things I fed you.


Guest Post, Maureen Alsop: Lughnasadh


Maureen AlsopI already gave you a plan. Heliocentric smoke signals.  Sunwise. Sojourner, I told you you must shut the one sparrow within your mouth. Shut within vesper, the whole of the afternoon. You knew without doubt the incomplete animal I’d become.  Small vice, my delusion. You multiplied the consequence of the dead. You whispered it. You blessed fields.  Among patterns in my voice you tarried.  I followed your irregular direction, the necessary fragment, later knives and trees. You appeared to pass among those I loved.  Quickly you offered blight. Bright hawks as a swift shimmering geometric.  Spotted leaves you encouraged among maples.  What supplication must failure bring me.  Your location’s trail permits a cold grace. My feck of immunity, your air. 

Presently the empire recedes; we are corrected or we are alone.  Presently I am part of the dog pack at the end of table. No, we may no longer go to the caves no matter how they please us.  I saw myself shine. I saw an airiness beyond me.  I saw that You were walking inside the map, unburdened. That time when the narrow depth of the water bore us. My message was the need for truth. I filled a bucket with coins and gave my gatherings to the soldiers.  Inconsolable that every pinch of flower-shaped flame might loosen from me.  Where might I keep the small armatures.  Once there was myself and that was “identity.”