Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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In the Garden of Our Spines – Susan Azar Porterfield

In the Garden of Our Spines - Susan Azar Porterfield

In the Garden of Our Spines – Susan Azar Porterfield

Poetry. Paper, perfect bound, 54 pp
$12.50 plus s&h
2004, ISBN 0-932412-30-0

With an intensity of vision sometimes touching on the mystical, Susan Portfield crafts poems rich with strong imagery and compelling music.

Perhaps I Can’t Explain
by Susan Azar Porterfield

I was about to say that my hand rimmed like this with light
from the window
hints at some kind of truth, something
I can almost know or feel, something
that involves me so that this truth, or whatever, enters,
swirls around, lights up my body or x-rays me
like this early sun passing through my hand,
the webbing between fingers, translucent,
and in the line of the thumb, verisimilitude
that I’ve noticed before, like once when getting into bed,
the sincerity of the curve of the outside of my foot
stopped me cold because here it was, you know?
that essentialness, come out of nowhere,
and you almost get it but not quite,
like deja vu or glimpsing something behind you in the mirror
but when you turn—
or hearing it in the drone of a mower four blocks down
beneath the high-frequency static of late cicadas,
something is there,
though you can’t tell what, exactly
because all around you this truth business is opened onto
now and then, a fissure is made wider now and then,
and when it is, as you’re getting into bed or rinsing a glass
or staring in the mirror, well then,
there you are, there you are, there you are—


Susan Azar Porterfield was born in Chicago and is currently a Professor of English at Rockford College. She has studied in London and taught there as well as in Lebanon. She has edited Zen, Poetry, the Art of Lucien Stryk (Ohio Univ. Press) and published several articles on Stryk’s work, including a profile of him for Poet’s and Writers.