Friday, April 10, 2009

Introduction: Donna Masini

Then a blackout—we can’t see it yet—it’s daytime. But weren’t we amazed? Like a misguided dragonfly driving into the brick, Donna Masini’s poems auger and awl their way into us. Fiction & luster, I want them both, she tells us: his arm, his arm. Stupid, lusting, plunging—weren’t we imagining? What were we imagining? She could see herself layered with pages, the black print across her body—it’s touching really, what one stranger will do for another. This man in the snow (she saw him) peeling an orange, peeling the white shreds from the fruit like the organs under the plastic page in (she hadn’t seen this yet) Grey’s Anatomy, or The Beatles’ White Album, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, face half gone. Annunciations, inky diffusions—all year I’ve been watching myself flicker, unsure. And now the priest leans into the screen, your father moves the nativity to the coffee table. Donna Masini’s poems are a natural history of incarnation & grave, of being afraid of the small things, delphiniums, of thinking about sex. Not much lost—what I thought were birds was the Body of Christ I loved to hold in my mouth. The voice that makes him luster. Donna Masini.

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