This month’s issue of Poetry features a buncha dudes/dudettes who won the Ruth Lilly Fellowship, which if you are like me and had no fuckclue what that means it means they got paid $15 grand for being writers. Awesome, right? People should get money for making words (truly). Let’s look at some of these fifteen-thousand dollar words, no?
Sifting in the Afternoon
by Malachi Black
Some people might describe this room as spare:
a bedside table and an ashtray and an antique
chair; a mattress and a coffee mug;
an unwashed cotton blanket and a rug
my mother used to own. I used to have
a phone. I used to have another
room, a bigger broom, a wetter sponge.
I used to water my bouquet
of paper clips and empty pens, of things
I thought I’d want to say if given chance;
but now, to live, to sit somehow, to watch
a particle of thought dote on the dust
and dwindle in a little grid of shadow
on the sunset’s patchy rust seems like enough.
Oh, whoops. Seriously?
How did that blank piece of regurgitated dog anal win the moneys? Surely there are kids in 8th grade writing more interesting pap than that, yeah?
Hold on, let’s take a little look at old Malachi (pen name?)’s bio:
Malachi Black is literary editor of the New York Quarterly and a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. His work appears widely.
Excuse me, I was going to write a bunch more about these people, but now I have to take a blood dump, and there are plenty of sitcoms already on TV.
Thanks for killing America a little bit harder, Poetry Magazine.
Sometimes I kinda miss Foetry.
(P.S. If anybody wants to write up a close reading of this poem, or any of the other Ruth Lilly pieces in Poetry, please send it over and we’ll probably run it.)