Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Sunday Poet: Lori Desrosiers

The Sunday Poet:  Lori Desrosiers

Sofia’s Thumb

Odd how pain rises
in the nerves, wakes
the brain at night.

Muscles grip
cleave to the bone.
In daylight, the body

twists, contorts
stone to the touch.
Doctor signs a pad

sends you driving, hunched over
up a flight of stairs
holding the rail.
With her thumb
Sofia pushes
starts slow, then it hurts.

Sometimes you scream, swear
but as quickly as it came,
Freed from bone’s tug
nerves relax
muscles and mind

exhale a long-held,

Lori Desrosiers’ debut full-length book of poems, The Philosopher’s Daughter was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013. A second book is due out in 2016. A chapbook, Inner Sky is from Glass Lyre Press. Her poems have appeared in New Millenium Review(contest finalist), Contemporary American VoicesBest Indie Lit New England, String Poet, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The New Verse News, The Mom EggThe Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish-American Poetry and many other journals and anthologies. She won the Greater Brockton Poets Award for New England Poets award for her poem “That Pomegranate Shine” in 2010, judged by X.J. Kennedy and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. She is Editor-in-Chief of Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry and serves as an editor for several other publications. She teaches Literature and Composition at Westfield State University and Poetry in the Interdisciplinary Studies program for the Lesley University M.F.A. graduate program. She has read her poetry and taught workshops at numerous colleges and conferences. She holds a M.F.A. from New England College and a M.Ed. from Lesley University. Her website is 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Sunday Poet: Lawrence Kessenich

Lawrence Kessenich

Lawrence Kessenich won the 2010 Strokestown International Poetry Prize. His poetry has been published in Sewanee Review, Atlanta Review, Poetry Ireland Review and many other magazines. He has a chapbook called Strange News and two full-length books, Before Whose Glory and Age of Wonders. He has had three poems nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Kessenich has also published essays, had short plays produced at festivals in Boston, New York and Durango, Colorado, and his first novel, Cinnamon Girl, will be published in September 2016.

It was my job to retrieve the body from the giant cooler.

I’d wheel it on its gurney to the autopsy table, remove the cold
white sheet, slide the corpse off the cart onto the table. It was

part of my job at the hospital near my college. The night before
my first autopsy, I lay in bed terrified, my girlfriend holding me

as I contemplated being alone with a dead body in a basement.
That was what freaked me out, not the prospect of watching

a white-coated man cut someone from breastbone to pubic mound.
One day, that someone was a man I knew, my father’s old boss, dead

of cancer while I was on call. I asked the pathologist if I could leave,
if it got to be too much, but learned a lesson about mortality that day.

The man I pulled onto that table, the body the doctor sliced wide open,
was no longer the man I’d known, the man whose grass I’d cut.

Whoever he had been at the core, whatever had animated
his gruff voice and green eyes, had simply departed. Seeing that

made it difficult for me, a budding atheist, not to believe 
in a soul. The body the doctor and I took apart that day was inert 

as the Visible Man model I’d disassembled as a boy, each organ
tucked neatly against the other as we removed them

one by one. A man is not just the sum of his parts. Something,
goes along for the ride, something that makes us who we are—

until it leaves us cold, ready for the knife and the grave.