Implications for Modern Life

By Matthea Harvey b. 1973 Matthea Harvey
The ham flowers have veins and are rimmed in rind, each petal a little meat sunset. I deny all connection with the ham flowers, the barge floating by loaded with lard, the white flagstones like platelets in the blood-red road. I’ll put the calves in coats so the ravens can’t gore them, bandage up the cut gate and when the wind rustles its muscles, I’ll gather the seeds and burn them. But then I see a horse lying on the side of the road and think You are sleeping, you are sleeping, I will make you be sleeping. But if I didn’t make the ham flowers, how can I make him get up? I made the ham flowers. Get up, dear animal. Here is your pasture flecked with pink, your oily river, your bleeding barn. Decide what to look at and how. If you lower your lashes, the blood looks like mud. If you stay, I will find you fresh hay.

“Implications for Modern Life” © 2007 Matthea Harvey. Reprinted from Modern Life with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Source: Modern Life (Graywolf Press, 2007)

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Poet Matthea Harvey b. 1973

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Landscapes & Pastorals

Poetic Terms Prose Poem, Free Verse

 Matthea  Harvey

Biography

Matthea Harvey was born in Germany, spent her childhood in England, and moved to Milwaukee with her family when she was eight years old. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Iowa. Her collections of poems include Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (2000), Sad Little Breathing Machine (2004), and Modern Life (2007).

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Prose Poem, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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