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Creative Study: Elisabeth Horan - Twist in Time Literary Magazine
Artist Statement: I find myself so thankful for the feminist writers who have taught me to write poetry… When I first read Emily Dickinson, I thought this is the real thing… the power of scarcity, the complete control of the tone and voice. She is the master of doing so much with so little. I have always wanted to emulate her craft, which is so original, so effective – – – one just knows… it’s perfect. Emily’s poems evoke solitude, lust, hope, yearning, loss, quiet, cold, passion, and most certainly, death. I also write these themes. In starting these poems, I first found it intimidating. What business do I have trying to write something even vaguely attune to Emily’s work… With Emily, I had to find the control…. to corral my often knee-jerk pain and conform it to something… tight. Tightness, regularity, clever and surprising placement of rhyme. Control of voice, always in control… even when out of control. I think Emily always knew the purpose, always had a formula for the outcome. I had to let myself into her world. In these poems, I let out the solitude I often feel, the darkness of New England winter, the correspondence with a Sir… it all evoked a spirit in me and I found the cadence and the right words. Lastly, I have always loved the pioneer which Emily was with punctuation. She didn’t give a crap about whether it was cool to use the dashes. Everywhere. She just did it. In my poems to her,,, I began coming up with punctuation in threes. As so much of the meter I heard in my head was in threes, pauses is threes, rhymes in threes;;; see what I mean??? So that is becoming my ode to Emily punctuation. And I absolutely dig it. Channeling a poet heroine makes me write better, I think. Out of respect for them, I try harder; I have to get it just right. Otherwise, I would be letting them down. And by God, I can’t let that happen. Odd list odd house odd me – – – Odd list odd house odd me – – –Time navigates its ream of paper My father sister brother neighborsMy quill my ache my captain allows me Travel, upon scented rainbowsmade, laid upon my breast in arcing layers A love bandage, my soul less hollowmy face more colorful, a theater enacted From the weight of my legs I cannotstand. You do not write enough thesestoic days of leaves and language – – – Not that I judge, yet behold a woman’s seethe Seems to permeate my list my housemy pores, this skin-wrapped present dampwith a mildew stench, unbeknownst, Before I knew of your tick tock hands, to me. I am a Simple Woman – – – I am a Simple Woman – – –my pasty grey-dawn SmileI cannot leave my bedroom;I’m naked and I’m vile I love my bedroom linensthey seduce me ever lightly –they do not use such fingersas the men who grip too tightly – – – In here – I am safety Goddess of a night filled with golden ships; ruby-red riches; slippery hipsI pine for; would die for. A winking Woman’s eyeDoes not judge my hag-filled Harem – – – but holds it tender for the Feminine. Never as Provocateur, nor some Bastard Child ofthe Masculine – – – This is The Knell This is The Knell. The DeathKnell Some can smell – thesimple way He says – youngLady, you shall come with Me now – The Horses stomp within their leathers –the Gollum flicks a fork-ed tongue. Back. And forth. A change – – – In the Gross Weight – – – sevensentient Grams – had I not takenthe Fatal Dram – I would still harbor His Trolls – – –with all their crude supportas Traitors, mutants of My body. Something for to worship What a woman wouldn’t doto be torn into something new –a more vixen version of her usual;a muse unknown by her summer god One covered by youth and geniusand the lushly muscled torso. That of thelion and the rhino. Not that of the cobra and the gecko. See inside me now – Little orb of red bullet flickers on/offfor the idea of you; little gem ruby-redrock produces shock waves at the image of a man, with his hands, with a face, With a mouth residing in the cave ofmy crisis – saying lay down woman…be still. Lay down – – – while I go aheadand revel in the worship of you. Some days, alone is not what it seems Big horse big horseA lover. I lost I lostMy father Curled violentI circumcise My petal. BigHorse creates Kill chaos. Some Lover did eatMy face off Left nothingFor the crows & My shirt isStill off Big horse, my Heart Evil lover, tookHis part. His part, Took my art Evil lover. Were I With Thee – – – And Your Scepter Wild is the untaming of the night’s quiet slip – her Soothing movement in thethrush’s bush – The reeds the reeds, the cattailswhisper; go young one, go And touch The Scepter. Hush Babe – – – She nudges the door, it’sa rock, a sway, her hip Does push it fartheraway, his mouth, is not A static door but a portaland he knows the cave, Honey meadow pollenthief, all the petals of – All the Blossoming Shebascannot sate the pinched- Lip Flower Seller. He rowsupon the river. He follows Her into the night– – – wherever. And So Easily, I Cave The feathers have been stitched intoa pillow, young woman, Did not they tell you?the tree has come down A terrible hurricane, a nor’easter, came and fell The mother’s nook aerie. Who shall we stone – – – who shall we arrest; the pyre waits for no one The licking flames succumb to no rogue wave Tickling my leg knee to tendon; you’ve cut A slit for diversion – I know your type – this Kind who skirts punitive damages. This is Not the first time the white dove has died. Now you are Tracing the L of my leg and I cry out, not for Hope, nor for the broke and dripping eggs. Scant be the Blessings The window does shine a light for youDusted cobweb path; the moth from one wing Hangs; Suspended over the bridge of life – what effortWhat recoil the silken string – the moth, cannotMatch this kind of tensility, as we, simple humansCannot mime any kind of strength from weavingOrbs of crystalline dew receivers, the miracles ofArachnids – ah, spinners of everything meticulous And deadly – Are you not like The Creator who hathMade a window of sand and flame? for you to peerOut from – small miracle of the eye – to see thatWhich is still alive in the world – outside. ____________________________________________________________ Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is Co-Owner of Animal Heart Press. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique and a 2018 Pushcart Nomination from Cease Cows. Follow her @ehoranpoet & ehoranpoet.com