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Oh no, it's one of those times

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 2, 2013
p. 150 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0052

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in which meaning slips on a banana peel, and what's worse, I am surrounded by people who not only believe in meaning but insist on enumerating all that is meaningful in terrible voices replete with mispronunciations and malapropisms, as in "it was so significant when daddy cut baby's biblical cord." The worst is when I realize how closely linked meaning is with the conventional mind, as when K made her way down the red church aisle wearing the requisite weighty gown, flanked by her parents, one of whom—the one K loved best—would die in her arms soon after, on a hospital bed they'd set up in her old bedroom where we used to pop the heads off of our Barbies, the other stowed away in a dementia unit in South Bend, Indiana, but on that day they led her down the church aisle like the solemn attendants of the emperor's bejeweled nightingale, for K was an opera singer before she got married and became an elementary school music teacher, and later she danced to "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" with her new husband, and at one point her parents and grandparents and siblings joined hands and spun in a near-hysterical circle at the hub of the reception hall, a train station where the trains no longer came and went which had been transformed into a fairyland, twinkle lights and a bottle of champagne on every table and sausages galore, but later the groom had to get her out of that dress, maybe cut it off with barber scissors, that's what I'd do, I'd cut right down to the bones that lurk beneath every bride, I'd sit there in the honeymoon suite and hold the skeleton of love in my arms.

Diane Seuss  

"Here's what I can say: (1) Three out of four of these poems are shaped like a coffin or a door. (2) As a child, I lured adults to my puppet show by offering free beer. We didn't have the money for beer or puppets. I wasn't lying; I was imagining, which is a form of hope. (3) I can't get K's wedding dress out of my mind. Catholicism, tradition, parents, love[mdash>her dress was heavy with it, armored by it. It seemed the only way to find her body again would be to take scissors to that dress, a dangerous operation for both bride and groom. (4) That dress: I wanted to wear it; I wanted to be released from it. Thus, I desired junkies who were addicted to delirium. Delirium and desire, the counterbalance to meaning achieved via the conventional mind. (5) A poem believes it can pull the dying back from the precipice, the sinner from the sin. Indeed, a poem believes it can love the sinner and raise the dead. (6) Free beer for all, and a sip of blood plum cordial, though there is no cordial, there is no beer." Diane Seuss's second collection, Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, received the Juniper Prize for Poetry and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. Her poems and essays have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Ecotone and Mid-American Review, among others. Diane received the Cultural Center of Cape Cod Poetry Prize in 2011 and the Summer Literary Seminars Poetry Prize. She received a Pushcart Prize in 2012. Diane was the MacLean Distinguished Visiting Writer at Colorado College in fall 2012. She is Writer in Residence at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

Project MUSE® - View Citation
Diane Seuss. "Oh no, it's one of those times, and: I snapped it over my knee like kindling, and: There's Some I Just Won't Let Die, and: Free Beer." The Missouri Review 36.2 (2013): 149-154. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Seuss, D.(2013). Oh no, it's one of those times, and: I snapped it over my knee like kindling, and: There's Some I Just Won't Let Die, and: Free Beer. The Missouri Review 36(2), 149-154. University of...



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