We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
Dark Matter, and: February Nocturne, and: The Old Nerve, and: Rural Especial Scene, and: After

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 2, 2013
pp. 93-98 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0038

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Dark Matter, and: February Nocturne, and: The Old Nerve, and: Rural Especial Scene, and: After
Dark Matter

We say the heart is sick, meaning something else.But when we say the body is broken, and it is, the poem,like a great engine long given up to the weather,begins to move. Outside, fireweed among the ruins.We've known the seed of failure in action,how the worm turns on the root, the foredetermineduncoiling of the double arms into an electric fizzand last black sputter of cosmic flatulence. Dark matter:you take the air. I kick the walls, answer the accusationsto an empty room, then sit down to sob amidst the bones.It starts to rain. You're elsewhere. Curse god and die.We grow artful when evil, and broken, takeon the utmost of our powers. The garden witherswith such August, but its energy flows inward and flowers. [End Page 94]

Aaron Baker

inline graphic "My first collection dealt fairly directly with my experiences as a child of missionaries, but my newer work—while it does revisit some of those earlier subjects and themes[mdash>has more to do with my thoughts, feelings, attitudes, etc., about things besides my own childhood. Many of the new poems in the book in progress (titled Posthumous Noon) deal with my father's death. These are elegies and so difficult to write for a number of reasons. One thing I've found myself doing, and I think that some of the poems in this batch reflect that, is to write about my father by writing about the physical environments I mostly strongly associate with him—the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest." Aaron Baker's first collection of poems, Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin 2008), won the Bakeless Prize in Poetry and the 2009 Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia. He has been awarded fellowships by the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Sewanee Writers' Conference and has published work in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review and Post Road. He is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Loyola University, Chicago.

February Nocturne

One light burns in a window of the buried house.Snow-heavy cedars, coyote tracks on the shore.Our history is not the history of our kind,or not completely. And nothing is as dull as dying.I was careless to think that we might be transformedby one remarkable thing, however small. A mapleleaf, rich red, revolves like a planet beneath the ice.The heron in last light stands stiff as a spruceon the bank. Art's failure differs from religion'sin that failure is necessary for it to be itself.My grandmother used to say, "First I was afraid I'd die,and then I was afraid I wouldn't." Sitka. Marbled Murrelet.Light fails in the western forest at the foot of the houseof election. What use the madrigals, the maypoles?Elegy fails unless it ends in resurrection. [End Page 95]

Aaron Baker

inline graphic "My first collection dealt fairly directly with my experiences as a child of missionaries, but my newer work—while it does revisit some of those earlier subjects and themes[mdash>has more to do with my thoughts, feelings, attitudes, etc., about things besides my own childhood. Many of the new poems in the book in progress (titled Posthumous Noon) deal with my father's death. These are elegies and so difficult to write for a number of reasons. One thing I've found myself doing, and I think that some of the poems in this batch reflect that, is to write about my father by writing about the physical environments I mostly strongly associate with him—the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest." Aaron Baker's first collection of poems, Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin 2008), won the Bakeless Prize in Poetry and the 2009 Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he...