Puget Sound English Department

March 29, 2010

Weds. Night Poetry Reading on Campus

from Professor Bill Kupinse, an event this Weds., March 31:

Poetry Reading by Tammy Robacker

Author of The Vicissitudes

7 p.m., Wednesday, March 31

Murray Boardroom, Wheelock Student Center

Free and Open to the Public

Sponsored by Gender Studies and the Department of English

Your Ass Is Grass

cusses my dad who mows the lawn mad on his only goddamned day

off. And he’s ringing my neck for it. From the front window, I hang

back in the curtain and let him curse me but decidedly,

he should be dead. So, I close one eye and cut off his head

with my fingers. Form them like two busy blades born to a pair

of scissors—and cut cut cut that mean mug clean off

his shoulders. He stands in the yard headless, jerking

the pulley of the rotary mower. He huffs and wheezes

final breaths. That floating head hovers for me like poor old Yorick

speckled with soil and lime green seedlings. Running rivulets

of oily adult sweat that break apart and bleed out

once they reach his neck. They leave a watery puddle of fluid

muddled in his deep throat crease. Believe me, I have studied that

pulpy wrinkle many times at the dinner table. The way it jiggled

while he ate. Split when he swallowed. It cuts a liquid line clear

across his throat like a butter knife might. But, that never stuck. So,

I evaporate his face in a haze. In the fumes of raw blue fuel pluming

up from the sputtering motor, I hear his mouth still mutter. Then,

I detach him and gas him in the grass for good measure.

– Tammy Robacker, from The Vicissitudes (2009)

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