Michelle Boisseau Click to

IMG_1882 - Version 2Michelle Boisseau is a Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her books of poetry include: No Private Life (Vanderbilt, 1990), Understory (Northeastern University, 1996), Trembling Air (Arkansas, 2003), A Sunday in God-Years (Arkansas, 2009) and the forthcoming Among the Gorgons.  Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Yale Review and Ploughshares. In 2010 she received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and in 2015 was awarded the Tampa Prize.


After Montale’s “The Eel”

Dragon, siren, prima
prima donna, she flickers
in the cold crushing depths
of the seafloor, on an earth
without water or land,
just acid seas that slosh
above writhing rocks, in trenches
and slits deep as miles
while Earth spins so fast
a day is five hours
and the moon, huge grave
child, clings so close
it drags up tides as high
as Andes then shoves them down
in churning sinks and sumps
and in the dark catalytic
climb of smoking towers
something shifts and catches
and begins to eel its way
through hissing vents, to strain
through capillaries with thriving
torches of Touch this tininess—
the trembling quickens and what
can you do now but finally
recognize your mother?