By turns quirky, startling, earthy, and hope-filled, Micheline Maylor’s poems slip effortlessly through topics ranging from what we give up as we age to regrets for love that has passed, the interplay between the animal world and human thought, and the myths we append to ourselves and others. An expansive, conversational voice underscores the poet’s technical mastery as her subjects turn from love to hope to fearlessness. Maylor asks readers to perceive how we inhabit our selves, how words construct us. Little Wildheart is rich with challenge and surprise. I check the box on the government forms: Caucasian. No box for colonized, for the 1/16th bred. Just the double helix of my DNA, my ability to sun-brown, and my own green-eyed children of the voyageur, river visions still caught in their irises. We’re born out of a long ago season. Everyone is sure of place and race. Blood and semen mixed in dirt and cervix, convex and enchanted by muskrat’s eerie smile, dark truth furred and matted, stroked by a river paddle. Let that long tooth bite now in the land of the race riots, negro, and redskin, the underground railroad, and the Indian village. Let the name Pontiac take new form and hit the road, the righteous mile where judgement and boundary blurs, especially on matters of composition blood, bone, and relations. —from “Detroit Zoo bathroom 1977”
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abyss afternoon asked Basma Birds blood blue boy’s party Burning all things Butlet’s go caffeine called chase Citizenship Cormorants dark day of feminist Dive doorstep and rang Douglas fir dream Drop of doom eyes father’s feel fingers Firewall forget frog Girodet hair hard-on hasn’t hope you realize hummingbird irises Irving Layton Janus fruit lake Let free light Little Wildheart lives lover meant when Isaid morning morph night nolitimere Ooh nom penis poems should rage pounded and pounded predator quintessence rabbits remember rock Scrabble seaweed’s trance secret seer’s inhuman stare She’s learning shift shirt twisting shore-line skull sleep somehow squirrel story Talisman pool tell There’s Thorn apples thought ticking tiny tonight trees twisting to flowers walk wanted a tattoo watch wings woke her mother woman won’t wonder than know word wrapping my dress wrapt flame yesterday you’ve Zeus