Featured Poet: Jennifer Militello, Goffstown
Jennifer Militello’s first collection, Flinch of Song, won the Tupelo Press First Book Award, and her second collection, Body Thesaurus, was named a finalist for the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award by Marilyn Hacker and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She is also author of the chapbook Anchor Chain, Open Sail. Her poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the New Republic, the North American Review, the Paris Review, and Best New Poets 2008. She is a recipient of the Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award as well as grants and fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and Writers at Work. She is director of the creative writing program at River Valley Community College.
“A Dictionary at the Turn of the Millennium” reflects on the mass consumption and relentless overpopulation that have come as a result of the voracious appetite of the collective human machine. It repeatedly greets a future that is shaped by our present communal acts and desires. The poem comes from a new manuscript I'm working on, tentatively titled A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments, the third and final book in what I consider the ‘identity trilogy’ of my first three collections. The book is made of up a series of ventriloquisms in the form of ‘dictionary’ poems written in the voices of ancient goddesses and long-dead composers, mythological heroes and murdered girls, those selves shifting and slipping away as facets of the disguises we all wear.
A Dictionary at the Turn of the Millennium
Hello to devouring, hello to digest,
to the end of lostness and the chill of less.
Hello to living like sardines.
To solace. To the offspring of hello.
Hello to desperation. Hello to welcome in.
Hello to generations that etcetera as we watch.
Hello to experiment with us.
Hello to angels at the mouth-ache
of more. Hello to the surgical morning.
Hello to the delicious red let of lakes,
to being gone like a long underwater.
Hello, it is an ordinary world, hello
limited time and autumn’s pent-up monsters.
Hello, routine. Paralysis. Paradise.
Adrenaline catastrophe. Hello.
--originally published in Crazyhorse
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