Tuesday Poem: ‘Bringing to Boil’ by Sam Rasnake

Bringing to Boil

This morning, mid-September,
the rooms of my house asleep,
I’m reading Ecstatic Occasions,
Expedient Forms, drinking coffee
from the mug Mary gave me –
a perfect heavy to my hand –
glancing out my door, looking
for something hidden, maybe,
something careless. I spoon
jelly over a halved piece of toast
left from last night’s supper.
The sweetness of the grape
in my mouth – but there’s an edge
of sour, and that’s the beauty
of my Mother coming through –
in the swill of her kitchen,
in the heat of her stove,
such a clash of disparate things,
such a rumble of the smooth.

copyright Sam Rasnake. Posted with permission from the poet.

This poem is Part 3 of a larger work, Appalachian Silence among the Dark Selves, first published in Necessary Fiction.  I post it with permission by my friend and colleague, Sam Rasnake, and I share it as a tribute to his mother, who passed away earlier this month.

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More about Sam Rasnake:

Sam guitarRasnake’s works, receiving five nominations for the Pushcart Prize, have appeared in The Southern Poetry AnthologyMiPOesias Companion 2012, Best of the Web 2009LUMMOX 2012, BOXCAR Poetry Review Anthology 2 and Dogzplot Flash Fiction 2011. He is the author of Necessary Motions (Sow’s Ear Press) and Lessons in Morphology (GOSS183). He is at work on a six-part poetry series – Tales of Brave Ulysses, which include so far: Religions of the Blood (Pudding House Press), Inside a Broken Clock (Finishing Line Press), and Cinéma Vérité (A-Minor Press).

 

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Thank you, Sam, for sharing your words.

 

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Tuesday Poem is a collective of poets who share poetry on a weekly basis across borders and time zones. Please check out the other poets and the main poem at the TP hub this week — by poet Joan Fleming, brought to us by Hub Editor Helen Rickerby.

Tuesday Poem For more Tuesday Poems, go here.

 

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4 Responses to Tuesday Poem: ‘Bringing to Boil’ by Sam Rasnake

  1. Oh, Sam. Your poem – like Mary’s mug – the ‘perfect heavy to my hand.’

    And this beckoning, this recollection –

    “. . . The sweetness of the grape
    in my mouth – but there’s an edge
    of sour, and that’s the beauty
    of my Mother coming through –
    in the swill of her kitchen,
    in the heat of her stove,
    such a clash of disparate things,
    such a rumble of the smooth.”

    Tender. Vivid. The way it is.
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    And, Michelle, thank you. x

  2. Sam Rasnake says:

    Thanks for your comment about the poem’s closing imagery, Claire. Glad you enjoyed the piece. And thanks, Michelle, for giving the poem new life.

  3. Helen Lowe says:

    “The sweetness of the grape
    in my mouth – but there’s an edge
    of sour, and that’s the beauty”

    Yes to all this–a wonderful poem, although I am sorry to hear of Sam’s loss.

  4. Yes, Claire and Helen — beautiful in the vivid and simple observations. I find Sam’s poetry so honest, and true. Thank you for being here.

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