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3 poems by Molly Raynor

1 essay by Amorak Huey,
on the poems of Molly Raynor


Nice to meet you, three poems by someone I don’t know. I am Amorak, maybe the reader you were looking for, or maybe not, but a reader nonetheless. Poems, you have my full attention from the start — from your first line: “now cutflowers have become hard,” the immediacy of beginning a poem with “now,” the singlewordness of “cutflowers,” the wink of that first line break, the way it says, “Wake up, you’re going to want to pay attention here.” I’m awake, poems. Take me / where you will. In this way we have been introduced. 



You know the body, don’t you, poems? The body from which flowers grow. The body in need of meds. The body “pale & pink & / trembling,” as fearless as fragile. The body blooming. The body at risk. The body surviving. The body scarred. The body held, aching to be held. The body’s blood at the surface of the body. The body, not enough. You know what I’m talking about. 



Pinsky says the medium of the poem is the body of the reader. Someone else (how delightful it will be to learn their name!) wrote you, poems, but you live in me now. Perhaps I should apologize for this: such an imperfect host for your artfulness, poems. I like to think this is the point, though, and besides I am too selfish to give you up. I am too hungry to stop eating now, poems. You say, “sometimes we risk / our breath for our blood / to run clean in another’s veins,” poems, and you are in my veins now.



I’m just going to say it: “You Are My Sunshine, My Only” is hot. Sizzles to the touch. You say, “bring me a gardener, i’m done with poets and professors. i just want to love someone who loves the land.” I’m not going to take that one personally, poems, though I am poet and professor and I want to insist that I, too, love the land. But I know what you mean. I do not love it enough. I think I love you now and for now, poems, though we were introduced just a few short paragraphs ago, and maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s all we can ask for. 


One of the things I want from poems, poems, is that they write away from certainty and into confusion, away from platitude and into the fog of being alive. Away from wisdom, away from epiphany, away from conclusion — into wilderness/wildness. And here we are, poems, at the end of this essay, and oh, poems, we’re just getting started. Oh, poems, it’s getting w    i     l    d.


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