Haunting the Last House On Holland Island, Fallen Into the Bay
by Sarah Ann Winn
This is a dream landscape and it is underwater, all the house-things, human-things curled in between blades of red seaweed and pearl-filled oyster. It is a shimmer of sunlight filtering through from the surface, the glimmer of something faceted buried in silt. This micro chapbook is exploration and memory, the way we risk ourselves to look deep in search of some half-forgotten treasure, something we’ll always go back for, no matter how far down. (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
Haunting the Last House on Holland Island, Fallen Into the Bay,
a Ghost Cento
And were you lost, I would be
among the stones and the red seaweed,
chairs and red leaves
where I fail to fit in (and I’m not trying) or
not-yet-dead, not yet-lost, not-yet-taken
into the mirror — can I take it from you,
what would it take?
When does a moment end?
In this season of salt
within, without, I’d repeat the prayer,
‘til the rooms, blurred like water, like blood,
dance the length of the old wreck,
a path in the dark wood, where the trees,
diffuse, push boundaries.
So you are with me far into the past.
I’ve looked over the photographs
and they all are of you,
the oysters that hid in the bloody coral.
Now I’ve broken my ties with the world of red dust.
Is it true you have no fear?
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop,
now there’s a pearl.
Find pleasure in the woods beside the path
of an object toward the light.
Sources: Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Karen An-Hwei Lee, Marina Tsvetsaeva trans. by Elaine Feinsten, Jane Hirschfield, Jorie Graham, Rae Armantrout, Linda Pastan, Sharon Olds, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Simic, Sally Ball, Heid E. Erdrich, Robert Bly, Michael Palmer, Edward Hirsch, Han Shan, trans. by Burton Watson, Margaret Atwood, Rumi, trans .by Coleman Barks, Mark Doty, Elizabeth Bishop
ABOUT THE POET
Sarah Ann Winn’s writing has appeared or is upcoming in Five Points, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Little Patuxent Review, Massachusetts Review, and Passages North, among others. Her chapbooks include Field Guide to Alma Avenue and Frew Drive (Essay Press, 2016), and Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015). She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Poetry from George Mason University, as well as a Masters in Library Science from Catholic University of America. She teaches creative writing workshops and dispenses book recommendations as a free-range librarian in Manassas, Virginia, where she lives with her husband, two lovely beagle/lab mixed dogs, and one bad cat. Visit her at bluebirdwords.com or follow her @blueaisling.
The cover is a painting by Angie Reed Garner.
Field Guide to Alma Avenue and Frew Drive (Essay Press, 2016)
Portage (Sundress Publications, 2015)
REVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
nominated for the Elgin Award in 2018