On Discovering Ann Townsend

I am enjoying reading poetry written by Ann Townsend. In her poem “The Coronary Garden” she describes a suicide attempt:

“from the brisk whiteness        a tulip unfolding from
each wrist.”

The entire story unfolds like a mystery novel. Often I think this is about romance but then I stop myself – maybe it isn’t…

“like a red manicure.
Now your arteries are like a garden,
bacteria thriving there and blooming.

Are you drunk yet

on the failure of the systems?
Can your lungs support the fluid
as it gathers and collects?

Can your heart percolate?”

It is the words she uses – manicure, bacteria, failure, percolate – the manner in which my mouth shapes when I say them out aloud. The fullness of manicure, the mouth closing in the end. In bacteria it opens again after closing. Stepping back, to closure, again with failure. The stillness, almost a seductive whisper of percolate. These tasty words and this devastating episode of hanging over death. Not of any death but a self-inflicted end to it all.

The nameless characters and their intimate bodily details. The voyeurism of Townsend’s poetry. A scene. A picture. Of bleeding into. The joy of this tulip.

This image has been stitched from several tile...
This image has been stitched from several tiles found on the source link. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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