Mercedes Lawry: "Whiskey Songs"






He tells the fire, the gold

in the glass, the smoky glow,

he tells the fire the true parts,

the sweet swill that keeps him

from the smash or so he believes,

in his cups, in the candle-shine,

without a whisper in the house.

There are several ways to get under

the earth, and he chooses this,

to burn from the inside, singing

his guts out, ghosts in attendance,

the moon gone missing




Evidence of storm and blather.

Noise glorious and misshapen.

Whatever the song promised

will be washed away by morning.

The man places his heart in the well

and moves on in the lashing rain.

No countenance tells of drowned hope.

Nothing is gained or lost in the pause

before thunder. He is only considering

how many miles to the made-up town

where the fields are glad green,

the air honeyed, humming.



Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Rhino, Nimrod, Poetry East, Seattle Review, and others.  Among the honors she’s received are awards from the Seattle Arts Commission, Hugo House, and Artist Trust. Her chapbook, There are Crows in My Blood, was published by Pudding House Press in 2007 and another chapbook, Happy Darkness, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2011.  She lives in Seattle.