From the Poet Laureate

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This new feature, “From the Poet Laureate”, highlights (2022-2024). The poetry editor Of Rust and Glass, McIntire’s most recent chapbook, Semidomesticated (Red Flag Poetry, 2021) won Red Flag Poetry’s 2020 chapbook contest and went into a second printing within a year of release. Her prior chapbooks include Beyond the Sidewalk (Nightballet Press, 2017) and Not All Who Are Lost Wander (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her poems, published in print journals, anthologies, online and even into cement, have been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prize.

McIntire hosts a monthly reading series, Uncloistered Poetry from Toledo. Learn more about her at https://www.joniemcintire.net. Poetry ranges from songs you hear on the radio, to the hymns you know from church, funny billboard advertisements to loving remembrances uttered at a funeral.

Poems capture moments of heightened language that

From the Poet Laureate often relate complex scenes or relationships distilled down to their very essence.

In my poem, “Love is a Carcass,” I talk through years of a relationship, jumping from scene to scene. Think of a relationship,
either one that is very close or more casual. List a few memories with that person. What are themes? Food, laughter, anger, music? Write out some specifics of those scenes. Try to work that theme through some of those scenes to link them together, particularly focusing on the senses. Perhaps write about those scenes, but from the viewpoint of the other person orr someone else witnessing the scene.

After reading “Love is a Carcass” try writing your own poem or prose, walking through a relationship from the viewpoint of the other person.

Love is a Carcass
A roasted grocery chicken, purchased as dinner with a coupon about to expire, fills the car in steam. The smell seeps in before the front door is fully open and the children run up, eagerly hungry. We barely make it to the table our savage fingers dripping flesh into our mouths. Our lips glisten smiles and you walk in, laughing look at us!

We talk, cheeks full, of the time with the fish on the grill, whole with his eyes and us circling with forks. Then another time with snow forts, the second baby coming home, and earlier, to the first baby and all the while both kids chime in with memories they don’t have but heard. They are wide-eyed and we have talked back, long before the work left and the bills turned red, before we two became we four, back to our audacious wedding, only fifteen minutes long with flies and hayrides, and the Sharon Olds poem and how we refused to explain that moo shu pork is a vow, that love is a carcass. Our fingers are filthy and we find rags to wipe them off, the four of us rubbing our bellies, placing bones in water to make tomorrow’s soup from the juice.

– from Not All Who Are Lost Wander, Finishing Line Press 2016