heather mchugh

Do You Mean What You Say?

Are the enemies of God welcome here at the Bay Shore Mennonite church? Verse 11 of Matthew 5 reads, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” But, seriously, what if the enemies of God (whatever that means) walked into church one Sunday morning screaming obscenities or staging a hunger strike in front of the podium? I seriously doubt the Mennonites would be down. Not to mention, this sign is probably not saying what it means (or meaning what it says for that matter). Does it mean, “Praise and worship the enemies of God” or “The enemies of God are welcome here” or “Praise and worship. The enemies of God, with reference to the Beatitudes. Welcome” ?

Look at this (bathroom poetics No. 3):

I believe that someone in the bathroom stall at Smokin’ Joes was tired after a few beers, a few missed opportunities, too much inhaled smoke. I believe it because it’s a likely scenario. But welcoming the enemies of God into your place of worship is not as likely on a number of levels, the most obvious being that “enemies of God” is the dumbest phrase in the world. Not that I am a realist, by a long shot. I like unlikely scenarios when the writer gives me the freedom (leeway, wiggle room) to not believe them literally.


Craft Notes & Random / 6 Comments
July 19th, 2010 / 9:29 am

The absolutely brilliant Heather McHugh has won a MacArthur Grant. (Deborah Eisenberg and Edwidge Danticat also won, but Heather is a favorite of mine.)

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In Ten Senses


Next time you have an hour, go listen to poet (and officially recognized by a Seattle alt-weekly, genius) Heather McHugh deliver a lecture on art called “In Ten Senses: Some Sentences About Art’s Senses and Intents.”

Go out and look for her work, too. Don’t be fooled by McHugh’s obvious affection for the sounds of words and their multiple meanings. She is much more than merely clever. She has a dark, comic sensibility, too, but is not simply a creator of black comedy. McHugh’s got levels to her.

An e-poem by McHugh.

Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
March 17th, 2009 / 8:14 pm