Friday, June 21, 2013

Poem of the Week: Jennifer Perrine

Jennifer Perrine                    

A Theory of Violence   

              -after New Delhi, after Steubenville

Under the surface of this winter lake,
I can still hear him say you're on thin ice
now, my heel grabbed, dragged into the opaque
murk of moments--woman raped on a bus;

girl plunged into oblivion, taken
on a tour of coaches' homes, local bars,
backseats of cars, the sour godforsaken
expression on each classmate's face; the dark,

the common route home, faint footfalls behind.
How many times have I bloodied my fist
against this frozen expanse to remind
myself there is another side, hope-kissed,

full of breath? I howl. The water begs, drown,
its hand pressing tight, muffling every sound.

-Jennifer Perrine

Used by permission.

Jennifer Perrine's first collection of poems, The Body Is No Machine (New Issues), won the 2008 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry. Her second book, In the Human Zoo(University of Utah Press), received the 2010 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize. In 2014, she will serve as a member of the U.S. Arts and Culture Delegation to Cuba. Perrine teaches in the English department and directs the Women's and Gender Studies program at Drake University.

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