Birdwolf is a new year-long project authored by the collective Entropy community. It is a collaborative online epic poem written by the Entropy community on a weekly basis. A different author will write the next stanza or section of the poem each week, to be posted every Tuesday, following the previous post from the previous week, and following a very limited set of guidelines (that each author has one week to write the next piece after the previous week’s installment goes up, that the installment should build from the previous section’s content and form, and that contributions should range between 8 and 24 lines or be a visual work).
Follow the entire epic poem here: Birdwolf.
The twenty-fourth installment is presented this week by Gale Marie Thompson.
None of this is natural. But still
the refusal calls to me. A crystal grief
strikes from under my thumbs.
If the body is a dwelling is an archive,
I know I moan in its ragged globe.
Asking the machine of myself
to answer for the thread of death,
to pull at me in a way that produces a cry.
How must I incant this, how can I bow away
when my own writing is quartered
and my mouth staggers over the counting.
The counting. The many to make a gash.
I throne this selfishness, hunting violets
until barbed. I face my own carving
and chain it to the floor.
When I pass a family of unborn figs
I love them to slice them open,
slip into their patterns. I am sorry
for this world and for me, little red thing.
Still I need you to open your mouth
onto me. Still I need you to know the stream
from my body’s atrocity.
Gale Marie Thompson is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, 2015) and two chapbooks, Expeditions to the Polar Seas (Sixth Finch, 2013) and If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (H_NGM_N, 2013). Her work can be found in the Best New Poets 2012, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, TIMBER, Guernica, Cloud Rodeo, The Volta, MiPoesia, Nightblock, B O D Y, and others. Originally from South Carolina, she is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts MFA Program and a PhD student at the University of Georgia. She is creator and editor of Jellyfish Magazine and lives, teaches, and writes in Athens, GA.