Tag Archives: Jackalope

First Death by Denise Low

after “The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin” by Fra Angelico

Behind us lie halls of crucifixes. Bloody Jesuses
contort. Faceless gilt saints
adore Him.

No one  has told me about death or sex. I’m too young
but the museum displays the gamut.
Thank you

Fra Angelica for the prone Virgin Mary,
hands folded in prayer, no wounds,
beautifully

haloed as disciples bathe her corpse. Above float
winged handmaidens kneeling under
golden glow.

They dance from dormition into ballet swoons.
On a stage of molten light they circle
double Marys.

How I wish to enter stage among pastel flowers
jeté past shadowy Harpies.
How I wish

musicians behind the Virgin plucked lute notes.
This wonderland of jewels shines brilliant
but deadly silent.

Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, won a Red Mountain Press Award for Shadow Light. Other books include Jackalope and a memoir, The Turtle’s Beating Heart (Univ. of Nebraska). At Haskell Indian Nations Univ. she founded the creative writing program. She teaches for Baker Univ. and lives on Tsuno Mountain. www.deniselow.net

Remembering Monk, 1966 by Denise Low

Thelonius prowls stage
edges while

the drummer
drills a solo

jigs back backwards
to the bench

spreads fingers
stares at them

ripples an arpeggio
see-saw fall

clunks two
notes at once

stops
for the cymbals

walks behind curtains
comes back

outlines a snake spine
of notes stops

walks out maybe
gone maybe.

Denise Low, a Kansas Poet Laureate, is award-winning blogger and author of 25 books, including Jackalope and Mélange Block. Her memoir Turtle’s Beating Heart is forthcoming, Univ. of Nebraska Press. Low is past board president of AWP. She has an MFA, Wichita St. Univ., and Ph.D, Univ. of Kansas. www.deniselow.net