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Lea’s Bottle Ship Poetics

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She sits there on that high hill    just sits there and lets things pass through her until one snags and she fits it into the pattern of this fine mesh of    what    spirit?    But, ah, there’s a cowboy hat and a cherry bomb tattoo and it snags    and what she lets through may, 
I say, may be caught second time around like that oil pan off an old Hudson or that artificial leg    toward morning she’s collected some radio signals from a dead ship    and a janitor’s song and some folderol from a church picnic with iced tea fried chicken collards and a whole lot of stentorian god-speak with apple pie and ice cream.    I’ll be damned if all those things aren’t moving around in one another’s magnetic fields, some kind of counterpoint that happens each time she breathes    it’s a mobile only no wires    there’s a piece of mirror turning on a spider web and now she’s a    signal beacon    says come on up I’ve got something to read and somehow it all works. Then she pulls this silk thread and it becomes a form.
Source: Poetry (April 2017)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Poetry magazine

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Lea’s Bottle Ship Poetics

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  • Poet Doug Anderson grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He served as a combat medic in the Vietnam War, and after Vietnam attended the University of Arizona, where he studied acting. He started writing poetry after he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, and worked with the poet Jack Gilbert.
    Anderson has written about his experiences in the Vietnam War in both poetry and nonfiction. He is the author of the poetry collections The Moon Reflected Fire (1994), the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police (2000). In 2009 he published his memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery. His most recent book is Horse Medicine (Barrow Street Press, 2015).
    His awards include a grant from the Eric Mathieu King Fund of the Academy of American Poets, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. Anderson has taught at the University...

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