Monday, April 5, 2010

Elly Herget to Read at Debut Chance Operations on April 12 at Duff's in the CWE

Elly Herget and Erin Wiles
Photo by John Moynihan

Elly Herget will be one of the featured readers at the debut Chance Operations reading on Monday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., at Duff's, 392 North Euclid Avenue, in the Central West End. Admission: $3.00.

Elly Herget is a poet from St. Louis, Missouri, who is Mary Poppins by day and hollers the blues all night. She is co-editor of Bad Shoe, a print forum for female poets in St. Louis published by JK Publishing. Elly has been published in the University of Missouri-St. Louis' Litmag and Bellerive, and in spring of 2009 released a chapbook with JKP called Thus Far.
Persephone (Winter 2009)

Dusk comes as a guest at supper
and there are no poems in me.
I blow shameful idle chatter
between spirit puffs
and can’t begin to tell the truth
anymore, even here amongst friends
and handsome drunks.
I sway half-lidded,
in this refracted light,
in these silly boots,
in this body that I couldn’t identify
in the street,
if I were sprawled right in front of me.
I have always hated the word lonely,
though I think on it often.

I was born of February;
I must dwell there half-year,
like Persephone.
It’s comfortable, the old
lack of smells,
lack of texture.
We pen ourselves inside
and shutter the windows with music.
We scritch and scratch at paper
like wee pepper-colored chickens
settling to roost.
And this is where
and when we pair--
to speak, to bed down
in the snow--
caves of ice are warmer
than bare air, these days.
But I see respite will be found
in empty spaces,
for these calloused fingers,
for this tangled hair.

Dear Winter,
I am ready.

I ate those seeds slowly,
with relish, and they planted
in my belly understanding of your cold.
They chipped my teeth
and soured my gut
but once begun there was nothing
to do but keep chewing.

I know your secret.
You were my best professor
in transience.
You will pass
and come to pass.
True, you wear at my bones
and skin like water over a rock.
True, you twist my sleep
into a foreign imposter
that offers no succor.
But we pink apes can wait
and dream and fight your claim.
The earth will warm
and call me to take my chances.
Until then, I’ll not apologize
for the crusted grey ditch I am in.
I was starving and naïve
and I have eaten my seeds.
-- Elly Herget

Readers' biographies:

Elly Herget and Erin Wiles, from Bad Shoe, St. Louis' only literary magazine featuring entirely women writers and artists.

Matthew Freeman, author of the recently published Darkness Never Far, his third collection of poems.

Chris Parr, performance poet who has read his work at art spaces, music venues, and poetry events, in his native New Zealand, as well as in Boston, New York and St. Louis.

Lauren Keefer, a veteran of both Get Born and River Styx' Hungry Young Poets series.

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