Inheritance Cistern Sweet Dominion by Gabrielle Calvocoressi - Poems | poets.org

I subscribe to the Poets.org “poem-a-day” email newsletter and often enjoy the poems. Every once in a while, one jumps out at me, like this one.

This is a poem as attentive to its language as to its situation. I like:

  • lightening thrones
  • lamb pens and lamb ties
  • my (little) skin sack
  • I was handed the chain
  • Dominion
  • gold Honda
  • the Coliseum
  • useful to think like an animal
  • heart refusing to harden
  • the annals of my light scroll
  • lamb sack… and battered it. And battered it.
  • exile from every realm

The poet stands on both sides of the poem’s violence. They are one and many, victim and perpetrator. The poem is at once mythological and intensely personal. As a reader, I am left with an uneasy perception of an inner drama. The smashing of images (“Salisbury steak / toilet… girls restroom”) stuns and perturbs the mind, leaves as ghost image a burned-in thought-form. Dark, traumatic, pain-radiating sources in personal experience are transmuted into light. The subject is a kind of deeply flawed hero who receives release, yet no safe salvation.

It is a matter of taste, perhaps. Does this speak to anybody else?

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