I find the time to write poetry by getting up before dawn. I began writing poems with “matins” (morning prayer) in the title after reading Lousie Glück’s The Wild Iris. At first, these were quiet, grief-stricken prayers. Yet, over time, I have opened up to increasing experimentation, playing with forms more wildly, allowing myself to venture into political and ideological irreverence in search of greater truths.
This poem represents one such adventure. The final imagery comes from a brief vacation in Burgundy with Val. The car rental place upgraded us, at no extra cost, from a sensible Fiat to a nippy Alfa Romeo, and we found ourselves whizzing through the Yonne, stuffing pieces of fresh almond croissant into each other’s mouths. When we came upon the church at Saint-Père-Sous-Vèzelay, we were greeted by decapitated statuary. The implied violence struck me. Sometime later, the icons returned to me in this poem.
See also: “Three Poems in Sugar Mule Online“