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Best of Irish Poetry 2010
Editor: Matthew Sweeney
Songs of Earth and Light
Barbara Korun poems translated by Theo Dorgan
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition
Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes
Munster Literature Centre
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Judith Krause is a Regina poet, editor and educator whose publications include four books of poetry—Mongrel Love (Hagios Books 2008) is the most recent; and a collaborative chapbook—blue transport/ the insistence of green (JackPine Press 2007). She is currently completing a fifth collection tentatively entitled Homage to Happiness. She is a two-time winner of the City of Regina Writing Award and co-winner of the 2006 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Award. Two of her books have been short listed in the “Book of the Year” category and the “City of Regina” category of Saskatchewan Book Awards. Judith has studied writing in Canada, France, and the US where she completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She has received support for her writing from both the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council, and has been awarded residencies and fellowships in the US at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
Photo © Tom Bartlett
Mitterand's Last Meal
At last it is illegal to trap the ortolan,
those fragile songbirds the size of a small girl’s fist
once so common in southwestern France.
Illegal now to poke out their eyes and keep the birds
in the dark, force feeding them millet
until their tiny frames swell to four times their size
and they are drowned in Armagnac.
Rumoured to be tastier than foie gras,
these buntings, roasted whole and plucked,
become two-ounce gourmand snacks,
a banned gastronomic feast
even a dying French president can’t resist,
indulging, again, and for the last time,
his sensual nature and the pleasures of the table.
The ritual napkin over his head, the better to absorb
the maximum odor and flavors (and perhaps hide
the whole messy business from sight), an entire bird
is popped, back end first, into his dying mouth.
The beak, protruding ever so slightly
from his lips, is severed, then discarded,
as he chews and sucks and swallows
the sizzling yellow fat, the blood, the guts,
chewing and chewing until the small
roasted delicate bones that taste like hazelnuts
begin to cut into his gums and blood oozes
from the corners of his sated lips.
©2012 Judith Krause
Review of Mongrel Love
Mongrel Love: collection by Krause at Hagios Press