Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Elijah Burrell



Bones

I.
At school, my daughter made a skeleton:
She cut little swabs of ribs, toes, and eyes,
broken Q-Tips held down by slick-smooth pearls
of glue against matte black construction paper.

II.
Flipping channels from the couch, we see a show
about Africa. Perhaps we’ll learn about lions.
As corpses appear, I quickly cover her eyes.
I click off the TV, amazed at my lapse.
Quiet seconds pass. Then, “Daddy, what
was that?”

III.
Sixty-five thousand fled the church, stampeded
to the school, the grave of masses. Armed with dirt
clods and rocks, fingernails and teeth, no match
for the Hutus. Then they watched each other die.
There’s a place called Murambi, where the walls are lined
with the bones of babies. Eggshell skulls are cracked.
Shivers of femurs. Fractured ulnae.

IV.
Saying grace, I feel the bones in my daughter’s hand.
The Q-Tip skeleton stares from the fridge.



About the Poet:
Elijah Burrell holds his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His writing has appeared in Measure, The Sugar House Review, Structo, Swink Magazine, Cedars, The Country Dog Review, and many others. He received the 2009 Cecil A. Blue Award in Poetry and the 2010 Jane Kenyon Scholarship at Bennington College. Recently, two of his poems were featured on The Missouri Review’s audio podcast. Burrell teaches creative writing and literature at Lincoln University and resides in Jefferson City, Missouri with his wife and two little girls.



About the Sound of Sugar:
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Julia Bouwsma

Bodil The Animal Lover  

Bodil Joensen was a Danish pornographic actress who also ran a small farm and animal husbandry business. Known for performing acts of bestiality with her dogs, stallion, and boar in footage that was exploited for numerous pornographic films, she died in 1985 as the result of alcoholism and possible suicide.

In the old pictures, I am solemn-faced—my hand
is around the neck of my collie, knobby
knees under my school kilt. Always,

I stand apart from the other children.



Escape was simply anywhere out of Moder’s gaze.

At twelve, it was the Hundige train station. There were always
stray dogs there, and I kept crusts of bread in my pocket.
One day, I sat watching two dogs sniffing
each other under the tail, circling, sniffing
each other’s asses again,

when a man saw me watching.
I said, Wouldn’t it be funny if people greeted each other that way?

The man and I talked until someone told Moder.
Moder called the police.
The man, a known pedophile,
was sent to jail.

Moder thought I’d been raped, so she beat me in the attic
to let the Devil out.

I raged in the attic for days—
it seems the devil did not want to leave me. I screamed,
When I grow up, I’ll fuck boars!

I did not live with Moder much longer after that.



Dogs just lick when they want to lick—

Spot is my friend. Alone
in the house, without heat or light,
we go to bed together. We share
a biscuit, talk until we fall asleep.

She understands what I am.



During his first mating, a boar must be taught
to make love.

At the breeding center, it is my job to teach him.

Young boars run together develop bad habits,
the most common—servicing
the rectum.

It is my job to ensure vaginal entry, also
that he does not mount the front end
of the sow.

The development of his confidence is vital.



The farmers’ wives all hate me.
Their husbands all try to screw me.
I do not let them,

but the money stops coming in:
the farm rent due
and then the truck…

Finally, one day, I go
to Copenhagen to
answer the ad.



When the movie men come from far away: America, Japan,

I welcome them all.




• Some language from the third section is adapted from a 1980 interview: http:// bit.ly/RaxcK. Some language in the fourth section is adapted from an article on pig husbandry: http://bit.ly/HHU1nw. 


About the Poet: 
Julia Bouwsma's poems and reviews have appeared in publications such as Colorado Review, Cutthroat, The Progressive, Puerto del Sol, Weave Magazine, and Wisconsin Review. A self-employed writer, editor, teacher, and farmer, she lives off-grid in the mountains of western Maine. More information about her work can be found at www.juliabouwsma.com



About the Sound of Sugar:
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.