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Best of Irish Poetry 2009
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RACHEL GALVIN

 

 

 

Rachel GalvinRachel Galvin is the author of a collection of poems Pulleys & Locomotion (Black Lawrence, 2009), and a chapbook, Zoetrope (Ediciones Chätaro, 2006). Her poems and translations appear in Boston Review, Chicago Review, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, Octopus, PN Review, and Poetry. She has published translations from the Spanish of Oliverio Girondo and César Vallejo, and her translation of Raymond Queneau’s Hitting the Streets won the Scott Moncrieff Prize for best translation from the French published in the UK in 2013. Rachel is co-editor of Auden at Work (Palgrave 2015) and her essays and reviews appear in Boston Review, Comparative Literature Studies, Jacket 2, Los Angeles Review of Books, MLN, Modernism/modernity, and Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas. Galvin holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and is assistant professor of English the University of Chicago.

 

 


 

 

Arab Spring

 

Fratricide on Uruk’s alluvial plain

3500 years ago, archaeologists found,

was by way of slings and clay bullets,

a city where burned gods called out

You are my brother, not my friend.

The golden hamster, a crepuscular

mammal hailing from the wheat fields

near Aleppo, is known as “mister

saddlebags” for its cheek pouch storage,

and will, given propitious circumstances,

devour its kin, often asphyxiating

both parties in the process. You might

discover one has consumed another

when you find a partially eaten

carcass, furless and skin-free. Or you

might come upon two clasped together,

Jacob swallowing his angel,

as if caught in a Chinese finger puzzle

that tightens as each draws away

from the other, the circumference

of the cylindrical braid shrinking

as both begin to panic—you may wish

to tell them to push together

so they’ll be sprung loose and you may

smack the glass until it cracks.

 

 

 

©2015 Rachel Galvin

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Rachel Galvin homepage

Rachel Galvin at the Poetry Foundation

'Lyric Backlash': article by Rachel Galvin in Boston Review

Follow Rachel Galvin on Twitter @RachelJGalvin

 

 

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