Palinode

By Sasha Steensen b. 1974 Sasha Steensen

O dove, fly to Aleppo with my Byzantine ode
And take my greeting to my kinsman.  
                                                –Mahmoud Darwish

Before I was born, I saw a tissue of ingenious detours, an inextricable tangle

wreathed with mistake.

 

Perhaps the ghost does not limp away, but rather forests flee me, frightened.

Look, they are setting a place for loss, clearing the table for the first glow of

antiquity.

 

Here we see William T. Walters in his little library illuminated, carefully

smoothing the lip of the continent.

 

What form bounds forward from behind but The Atlantic Railroad Coastline Co.?

The whole Roman Empire was sold by ascending auction in 193 A.D.

 

A globe enclosed. Bottomless years. The train has stopped on the platform and no

one is there, for these are the Public Days, when the “Poor Association” claims the

museum’s building.

 

As if bound by the knots of invention, I found a wrong road dotted with weeds

and sorrows.

Sasha Steensen, “Palinode” from The Method. Copyright © 2008 by Sasha Steensen. Reprinted by permission of Sasha Steensen.

Source: The Method (Fence Books, 2008)

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Poet Sasha Steensen b. 1974

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, Time & Brevity, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

Biography

Poet Sasha Steensen grew up in rural Ohio and Las Vegas. She earned a BA and an MFA at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a PhD in poetics at SUNY Buffalo. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including House of Deer (2014), The Method (2008), and A Magic Book (2004), which won the Alberta DuPont Bonsal Prize, as well as several chapbooks, including the collaboration Correspondence: For La Paz (2004) with . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Time & Brevity, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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