Everything I Own
by Angela Just
These poems are about storytelling, things handed down and examined, from the gifts a mother might give to her daughter to the embrace of two Neolithic skeletons. This micro is intimate and brave—a little wicked, a bit bruised. Ultimately, Just’s poems are darn intriguing. (Porkbelly Press, 2016)
AN EXCERPT FROM “HOW I WOULD DO IT”
… I will take you to the deep forest and leave you without breadcrumbs to take communion with weeds and berries, the sap of maple trees. There among rooted things you will forage for the roots of words, dark etymologies for the poems to come. I’ll plant memory chips the size of poppy seeds behind your ears so you can find your way back to all you will read and touch—nothing will escape you. In this way you will grow large. At night your arms will accept the intravenous drip of world mythology and baseball, biology and quantum physics. Thus, time is saved for practice of three instruments: piano, cello, and your own voice. Especially your own voice. …
ABOUT THE POET
Angela Just grew up surrounded by quiet cemeteries and tiny woods dark and deep. That, along with her Italian-American and Catholic upbringing, encouraged introspection, observation, and alternating seizures of guilt and rapture. She writes lakeside in Chicago from the 10th floor of a distinctively pink building.
ABOUT THE COVER
The cover is a custom illustration based on one of the poet's favorite dresses—the original is a screenprint. You can find more of Nicci's work on IG: @wickedlittleheart.