Alice Friman, "Of Crockery and Mythic Tales"


OF CROCKERY AND MYTHIC TALES                                       

What’s seen from the corner of the eye
teases our notions of reality
the way the sliver from what’s left
of last night’s dream
proves fondle enough
to shatter a plate the next morning
while washing the dishes.

If real contains other than
what’s to stub your toe—trees
outside the window, the broken
shards at your feet—
then add the wounds of childhood
never to be scabbed over
and safely stowed under a scar.

And don’t forget the jolt
that lives in shadows playing off
a wall or the sudden flash of light
bounced off a polished table.
What difference if what flickers
from the periphery is actual
or the mind’s projection? Maybe

that buzz in the brain is creation’s
running narrative, the holy book
of empty space. Nights
when the ceiling locks down
and the palm at the end of your wrist
repeats and repeats its lines, it’s the mind
that spins out deliverance.

A bedtime story. A horse with wings.


Alice Friman’s fifth full-length collection is Vinculum, LSU Press, for which she won the 2012 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Poetry. A new collection, The View from Saturn, is forthcoming from LSU in the fall of 2014. Friman is Poet-in-Residence at Georgia College.