“Magpie to the Morning” by Neko Case
Three months into the six-month unceasing earworm, I bothered to listen & was bowled over by how aptly the lyrics applied.
The song came to Neko Case in a dream, and the rolling melody—ghost ship barreling forward—zooms through surreal, Americana-steeped images. Case uses poem-logic to build an injunction against waste—particularly of creative time and power—on one’s demons rearing their yipping little heads. It buoyed me through my first residency, during which I freaked out incessantly and built a very intimate personal relationship with a rotating cast of characters, most non-human. The death-rattle owl on my roof was their chief, although I never found my studio’s rumored musician-ghosts.
“C’mon sorrow/ take your own advice/ hide under the bed, turn out the lights,” I’d hum, side-eyeing my poems. The conclusion, “Morning’s teeth are lit/ they are waiting” is both stunning craft-wise and a reminder that if each day felt like a terror, I could make it mine.
Nina Puro is a poet, human, & queer weirdo whose writing is in The Atlas Review, Guernica, the PEN/ America Poetry Series, & others. A member of the Belladonna* Collaborative; author of two chapbooks (Argos Books and dancing girl press); recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Deming Fund, the Brooklyn Community Pride Foundation, & Syracuse University (MFA, 2012), Nina cries and works in Brooklyn.
Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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