By Jay Neugeboren
Upstairs She Ties Her Poems in String
Upstairs she ties her poems in string
And thus her heart at last flies free—
Though hope is surely not the thing
On fire within that none can see—
But words that sear and blind her eyes—
While in the room below her room
Her upright brother bucks and cries
And spears his secret lover’s womb.
Because she cannot stop the sound
These two entwined downstairs create—
She opens wide a Mind that’s found
A world sublime and inchoate.
Jay Neugeboren is the author of twenty-two books, including five prizewinning novels (The Stolen Jew; Before My Life Began; 1940; Poli: A Mexican Boy in Early Texas; and The American Sun & Wind Moving Picture Company), two prizewinning books of nonfiction (Imagining Robert; Transforming Madness), and four collections of award-winning stories. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and The American Scholar, as well as being published in over fifty anthologies. He is the only writer to have won six consecutive PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. Visit jayneugeboren.com.
**A version of this article appeared in print in Honeysuckle Magazine’s HERS issue, summer 2017 edition.