Three Poems by Patricia Waters

Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman Weekly Hubris Banner 2017

“The novel I finished reading/last night/in my system like a drug,/a hangover, numbing, dulling,/but for something dark, unseen,/some residue, some fated turn./I have outlived myself,/what now?”—Patricia Waters

Speculative Friction

By Claire Bateman

Patricia Waters.

Patricia Waters.

Claire Bateman

GREENVILLE South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—June 2018—Patricia Waters was born and reared in Nashville, Tennessee, took her undergraduate degree at what was then Memphis State, and her MA and PhD at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She is on the English Department faculty of Troy University, where she oversees the English Language Arts program for secondary certification. She lives in Athens, Tennessee. She has two books of poetry published by Anhinga Press, The Ordinary Sublime and Fallen Attitudes.

By Patricia Waters

Sunday down South
25 January
warm enough
the door open about a foot
light in a long acute angle
lies across the floor,
screen door locked
train blast
great horn, long warnings
into Sunday quiet
no road noise, too early—
wind shift, light glinting
a great magnolia sparkles
and except for the evergreens,
tree branches throw their bare
spikes against the bright pale blue
winter light, winter clear,
two months to go—
the novel I finished reading
last night
in my system like a drug,
a hangover, numbing, dulling,
but for something dark, unseen,
some residue, some fated turn.
I have outlived myself,
what now?

Old earth, old dead.

Old earth, old dead.

“Bunhill Fields”

By Patricia Waters

I went to Bunhill Fields
a raw day in late winter
daffs nod in a hurting wind
worn stone pavers string paths,
the most direct between the pub
and Wesley’s Chapel,
a hard ground this
for the non-conforming heart,
old earth,
old dead—
dissenter, pauper, poet—
who refused to bend the knee,
bow the head,
their long lost controversies
scattered like bones in this cold ground,
who lived in hope
the lion will lie down with lamb,
no matter the thorns and thistles
confounding the pilgrim’s way,
the shipwreck’s long, lone contest,
all lead to the light—
burning, even as it shone.

“Lost Bread: a Marxist Reading”

By Patricia Waters

I take the half piece of French toast,
neither French nor toast,
but pain perdu
lost bread
if you want to be literal about it
right from the skillet,
no, not a frying pan,
pour a drizzle of molasses
just enough
and pop it into my mouth.
I’m thinking about what that feels like—
an alternative history
not sugar
not the Indies
not slavers
not capitalism
not now.

Note: The photos of Bunhill Fields and author photo are by Patricia Waters.

To order copies of Claire Bateman’s books Scape or Coronolgy from Amazon, click on the book covers below.

Bateman Scape

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Claire Bateman

About Claire Bateman

Claire Bateman’s books include Scape (New Issues Poetry & Prose); Locals (Serving House Books), The Bicycle Slow Race (Wesleyan University Press), Friction (Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize), At The Funeral Of The Ether (Ninety-Six Press, Furman University), Clumsy (New Issues Poetry & Prose), Leap (New Issues), and Coronolgy (Etruscan Press). She has been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Surdna Foundation, as well as two Pushcart Prizes and the New Millennium Writings 40th Anniversary Poetry Prize. She has taught at Clemson University, the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and various workshops and conferences such as Bread Loaf and Mount Holyoke. She lives in Greenville, SC. (Please see Bateman's Author's Page for links to all her publications.)
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2 Responses to Three Poems by Patricia Waters

  1. Avatar Jean says:

    Claire, I want to curl up on your sofa and have you teach me poetry. As always, thanks for the introduction to another poet of detail.

  2. Avatar claire bateman says:

    Thank you, Jean—coming from you, a consummate and accurate writer, that means so much!

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