This is my heimat,
my deep map.
You grow old.
You love everybody.
You forgive everyone.
You think: we are all leaves
dragged along by the wind.
Then comes a splendid spotted
yellow one—ah, distinction!
And in that moment
you are dragged under.
-Mary Ruefle +
I now wander the earth, a ghost, with no intent to write, but carrying a spark in my fingertips, which keeps me in a state of constant fibrillation, neither dead nor alive, a will-o’-the-wisp of stress, art, and the hours.
— Mary Ruefle, “A Minor Personal Matter” (via invisiblestories)
I recognize the knock.
— Mary Ruefle, on writing poetry +
Here is my heron. He is waiting for fish.
They will never come.
-Mary Ruefle, excerpt from “Midsummer at Jefferson Slough” from Trances of the Blast
Q & A
We notice you use the word lonely
in many of your poems, why is that?
Because Siegfried’s difficult way to
Brunhild passes over eighty-nine pages
of rubble, of sticks, of stones, of
crushed glass, of minor boards, of
stinking creosote, of smashed skulls
and dead birds, of lost gloves, of
shards and turds and carpet remnants,
the whole way is paved with bottle caps
and flattened coins and the occasional
pair of broken spectacles, with tar
and rust and gravel and sand and brambles
and wire and old crumbly bricks and chunks
of mortar, with empty shotgun shells and
chewed-up pens and barfed-up bits of dinner
and cigar butts and snacks wrappers and
plastic bottles tossed from cars, with rhino
whiskers and the inevitable single shoe without
laces, not to mention thousands of hooves
with the fur still on them and the animal bones
that have been eroding here for years
though the path more or less runs straight
and many of these things glint in the morning
sun, weirdly, why do you ask?
-Mary Ruefle, from Trances of the Blast
I’ve read whole books standing up naked.
— Mary Ruefle, excerpt from “On Velvet Turf” from Trances of the Blast
My happiness is marred only
by my failure to obtain it.
Otherwise it would astonish and overwhelm.
-Mary Ruefle, Trances of the Blast
Poetry is an asylum to me.
— Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey