Jean Howard: Garden Before the Move

marathonlitreview —  June 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

Like an old movie,
sepia tone soaking through light
falling frame by frame,
slow death rattling across
the pavers,

Or even flashing birth—forecasting shadow
as well as brightness,

Old garden,
clicking and anxious,
cicada-filled, scratchy
with dusk
and gangly June,
spreading beyond your marks,

I get it,
still spellbound by bold
displays and clapping
hands of cottonwoods,

Yet sense a difference—the bloating at seams
and pause, tinted
by Russian olive,

And the movie—much bluer and beautiful,
resonates with irony,
now that I must leave it.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, performance poet Jean Howard resided in Chicago from 1979 to 1999. She has since returned to Salt Lake City. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Off The Coast, Clackamas Literary Review, Harper’s Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Eclipse, Atlanta Review, Clare, Folio, Forge, Fugue, Fulcrum, Crucible, Gargoyle and others.

A participant in the original development of the nationally acclaimed “Poetry Slam” at the Green Mill, she has been awarded two grants for the publication of her book, Dancing In Your Mother’s Skin (Tia Chucha Press), a collaborative work with photographer, Alice Hargrave. She has been organizing the annual National Poetry Video Festival since 1992, with her own award-winning video poems, airing on PBS, cable TV, and festivals around the nation.

Garden Before the Move previously appeared in Vending Machine Press.

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