Our featured publication for September is You’ve never seen a doomsday like it by Kate Garrett, published by Indigo Dreams Publishing.
These are poems about surviving doomsdays. People use the word doomsday to describe the apocalypse, and apocalypse simply means ‘an uncovering of knowledge’. Every life has its share of apocalyptic moments—not only great catastrophes, but also small secret revelations, and surprise twists of good fortune as well. They leave you with lessons learned, and stories to tell.
You’ve never seen a doomsday like it
He opens the car door for two sweat-and-dirt sculpted
children with ten cent hope – their earth-scent rising
as they root through decades of leftovers, synthetic dreams
once resting on every child’s lips: Smurfs, Garfield, He-Man.
My life at bargain prices, in stasis, this millennial cusp.
An askew Rockwell: the boy and girl treasure hunting
as the July sun makes toffee of the driveway, holds itself
multiplied in each cell of each husk of the rows of green corn
along the road from here to the village.
He asks where I’m going.
London, I say, the one in England, not Ohio. His face
doesn’t darken or cloud the way they say faces do;
his eyes stay the same blue when he says I am right
to get out. Either get away or load your gun. This year
2000 isn’t going to be pretty. These cornfields will burn.
Houses will be searched, he says, and I’ll be dragged away
like the rest. And he’s going to get his wife and kids
and keep driving. But you get on that plane,
he says, don’t come back –
my life spread out on folding tables between us,
the man laying down five American dollars for pieces
of my childhood; five American dollars
I will change to pounds sterling, while they’re
still worth something, while we have the choice.
An august sacrament
The sun lowered itself into our six o’clock
armchair, blushing cream walls to the tune
of Dionysus’s blood, your faith between
my ribs chanting thanks to God for the static
and when the same sun has gone tortoise-slow
and quiet through the ground beneath us
the breeze that didn’t blow today transforms
a moonless night into myth – a remark thrown into shape:
it’s summer, these things happen.
you would dance through
blackthorn if I asked.
I try to believe
in empires, effigies.
They say three is the magic number
We sealed the cusp of winter
with wine and a kiss – our lips on the rim
of each glass purging scars; your voice
carried promises across a room in front
of your God and our friends; my tongue
traced the arc of our story: from a damp
night in June to trading silver rings
in a dying afternoon, daring the dark.
It’s said All Hallows’ Eve is when
the barrier between two worlds thins out
lets all sorts through – spirits, demons, ghosts.
I’d whispered my own brand of prayer
all autumn long: she could claim her place
after the dress was worn, after dancing and relief
from the ache in my feet, after the wine flowed to a stop.
In the Samhain dark, just barely wed, we married
flesh and soul between midnight and the witching hour,
arms and legs woven together – laid out as kindling
on a bonfire bed, licking flames.
And if dimensions met that night
beyond some lifted veil
while our bodies were inseparable –
who can say which action cast the spell?
November soon brought a sadness, a sickness.
Maybe it was too much drink,
maybe a bleed was on the way,
or maybe after the celebrations
we should expect this comedown
under bare trees, steel clouds.
With the third week came exhaustion
and two pink lines
and I understood everything.
Previous publication credits for the poems are Prole, Melancholy Hyperbole, and The Black Light Engine Room Literary Magazine, respectively.
Kate Garrett’s poetry has been widely published, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and longlisted for a 2016 Saboteur Award. She is also the founding editor of Three Drops Press and Picaroon Poetry. Kate lives in Sheffield with her husband and four children. Twitter – @mskateybelle
More information on You’ve never seen a doomsday like it – and details of how to purchase a copy – can be found on the Indigo Dreams Publishing website.