Eric McHenry chose Andrew Feld and Pimone Triplett as a dual entry in this week's Poetry Chain. (You can read a lovely juxtaposition of journal entries by Feld and Triplett here.) At noon, we read Triplett's poem, and now it's time for Feld's.
We have already read McHenry's reasons for choosing Feld, but here's a little more information. He's the editor-in-chief and poetry editor of The Seattle Review. Several websites point out that he is the recipient of "a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, the "Discovery," The Nation Award, and two Pushcart Prizes." He's the author of Citizen, an award-winning book of poetry.
But of course, we all know that the poetry is what matters. So here is Andrew Feld's poem:
Little Viral Song
Always the fear was the infection Would shift from them to us. So the sad piles of chicken flesh In West Timor and Bangladesh Gave us that certain, sad frisson One feels near the apocalypse.
One feels, near the apocalypse, A little less than one— A chill you can warm your hands on. As the infection zeros in From the East, one feels jaundiced. The end would come from that direction.
The end will come from that direction One is already inclined Toward. In suburban Maryland, The epicenter of my mind, The die-off of the crows and ravens Made me think: here? in Kensington?
And even here in Washington We watch them, shivering Inside the zero's open eye Of our wide-screen television (They are sick, they must die) (and no birds sing). So long to the great wingéd migration.
So long to the great wingéd migration: Now harbinger, instead Of spectacle of the world's renewal. What should the likes of us do, Crawling between toilet and bed? And there are other, worse, symptoms.
Among the other, worse, symptoms Is an embarrassing Tumescence, the chthonic thrill Of apocalyptic porn, the chill. One feels the zero homing in. Always, the fear is the infection.
Thanks to Eric McHenry and many thanks to Andrew Feld and Pimone Triplett. Next Friday at noon, we'll find out who they've chosen for the next link in the Seattle Poetry Chain.