Merry Xmas, Headless Mama Returns, & Stranger Things

“O burst O pop O clank
O fuck my swollen bell of  brain. If no candles light
when we scratch the match, has God forsaken?”

(You can read the whole poem here, online at the POETRY Foundation).

Stranger Things Xmas lights Ouija (2)

As a mama poet, I struggle sometimes with feeling less important or relevant or current than if I were writing about other than my experiences raising my children & healing my childhood wounds as I usher my loves through this world, & together we build altars & lay to rest old wounds as we raise the dead into this living & our arms to whatever praise we can find.

I know deep in my heartgut that mama poems are damn important and culturally/socially/emotionally relevant, and I’m so grateful, always, for readers who see/feel the truths my family & I offer in my work. But sometimes when the accolades seem ever evasive & the funds dry up, I forget. In my exhaustion & fear & dailiness, I forget.

This month though, I’ve had the deep joy of publishing my newest work “Headless Mama Returns [Xmas 19 Redux]” in POETRY, my dream magazine, and recording the poem & process for their podcast (you can listen to it at the POETRY Foundation, here). I’m listening to it now, & hearing venerated, respected, wonderfully empathetic poet & editor Don Share talk about the ways in which my poem short-circuits the cultural detritus surrounding our myths about the holiday season & gets to the necessary marrow of mothering — well my mama heart couldn’t be any brighter, even through trauma-induced & seasonal depression, even through difficult suicidal ideations & the deep physical and emotional pain of chronic illness, the Universe/God has reminded me of the importance of my work here, & I couldn’t be more grateful.

Thank you, all, loves, & I hope you’ll take a listen & share. xoJenn

p.s., I discuss STRANGER THINGS in this podcast, as this poem was inspired by my investigation into the Upside Down of this show I adore, which I liken to duende & the underbelly & the hero’s journey — & I’m teaching this, my favorite workshop, online this coming January 2020 through The Poetry Barn. xoxo

Wishing For More & Never Enough—

Jenn Givhan

Wishing For More & Never Enough—                                                                                               

 

What more did I want than this, child? Than you stretched

taffy horizontal across my bed, a little black chihuahua

on your lap? What miracle would I erase

for a sizzling new day, a razzle in the heart & another

day’s fade. My mother dipped her napkin into a glass of ice

water before rubbing dirt or jelly from my face. I use

spit. On a plain thumb. Rub vigorously. & not only

when your eyelashes have fallen, child, do I grasp wishes.

I pluck your lashes out. I do. You blink & there I go

with my tweezers for fingers. What did you wish for

Mama, in your little bird’s rasp when we press our damp

hands together & the lash sticks to mine & I hold it

triumphant. The wish used to be you. I used to wish for you.

The ache now: When I tell you my wish, you say

that was yours too.

 

 

 

Landscape with Headless Mama is here!

Jer and Lina with Mama's first book!

My babes are excited to hold Mama’s first book! Proud loves.

Dear Friends!

My book is now available from Pleiades Press and Amazon.

If you’d like a signed copy of LANDSCAPE WITH HEADLESS MAMA (17.95 + 2.50 shipping), you can order it directly from me and I’ll send the book to you!

Thank you for your support! Just click on the following link to pay using PayPal.

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Reabsorption Elegy

Sculpture by Kenneth Paul Lesko

Sculpture by Kenneth Paul Lesko

 

Daughter, I won’t make milk for you anymore.
      The body retreats. It reclaims
miracles.

Published in Glint Literary Journal.

ADOPTING DEPRESSION

ADOPTING DEPRESSION

My poem on The Feminist Wire, inspired by my writer friend Natashia Deón and her poem Welcome to Motherhood, published a few weeks ago.

It is always a bit scary for me to share, but so important.