Featured Poet: Todd Hearon, Exeter
Todd Hearon’s first book of poems is Strange Land (Southern Illinois University Press), winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Prize. His poetry, plays and essays have appeared in AGNI, Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry London, The Southern Review and Slate. He is the recipient of a PEN New England “Discovery” Award, the Friends of Literature Prize from Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation, a Dobie-Paisano writing fellowship and, most recently, the Rumi Poetry Prize from Arts & Letters. He lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, with his wife, poet Maggie Dietz, and their twins.
I was reading somewhere about the peyote religion as practiced by a certain tribe in the American Southwest and how, in preparation for the “hunting” of the mystical plant, members will speak using only negative statements for a period of days. I thought, well there’s an idea: try writing a poem using only negative statements.
That enchanted door between us, I’ll never open it.
You will never step inside. We won’t live
for a thousand years like the Arabians knowing everything
the garden of sensual gratification can supply.
You won’t rise in a morning when the crocus comes
and leave me for the sun. There will be no more suns.
There will be no earth, no myths, no stories.
We will never be greater strangers to each other.
Happiness, contentment, those illusory lasting treasures,
these will not touch us. Loss will not
as it did for us in our time.
We had no time. We’ll never die.
The locket I gave you, the ring of fire, the silver cord,
all the photographs destined for our children never
pass into being, nor do our children.
None of this will have happened. We will never forget each other.
For more information about Todd Hearon visit: