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Poem of the Week by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

By Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Darkness still here, hunkered against the trees.

Spring so uneasy this year.

No matter morning’s boundary culling our bodies,

another romantic passage assaults us!

O limp future centered on this body!

In the model solar system, planets suspend & twirl

as if from a spider’s whirl.

The quantum in backpedal, in decline, spring so ungripping

this year. Bored mouth. Bored fingers.

The umpteenth day/night running like such –

truly, truly – this troubling with physics!

Not still winter, not yet anything.

O thuggish awakening.

All planets but this one were named after gods.

LILLIAN-YVONNE BERTRAM returns to Buffalo to join poet Catherine Wagner and the musical duo Flatsitter at the next Silo City Reading Series event at 7 p.m. July 17 at the Silo City complex on Ohio Street at Childs Street. A Buffalo native, Bertram is a 2014 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Poetry Fellowship. This poem is from her first book, “But a Storm Is Blowing From Paradise,” which was selected by Claudia Rankine as the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award winner and published by Red Hen Press in 2012. It was a 2013 poetry nominee for the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award for outstanding works of literature published by people of African descent. Her second book, “A Slice From the Cake Made of Air,” is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Her third book, “Personal Science,” is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She holds degrees in creative writing from the University of Utah, where she is the current managing editor of Quarterly West; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently a pre-doctoral Diversity Fellow at Ithaca College, where she teaches creative writing.