About this poet

Catherine Staples is the author of two poetry collections: The Rattling Window (Ashland Poetry Press, 2013) and Never a Note Forfeit (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011). She is the recipient of the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varjouan Award and Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Prize. Staples teaches at Villanova University and lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Vert

As in green, vert, a royal demesne     
stocked with deer. Invert as in tipped
as a snow globe, going nowhere in circles
but not lost, not bereft as the wood
without deer, waiting for the white antlered
buck, or his does, or any slim yearling
to step along the berm, return. Vertigo
as in whirling round, swimming in the head,
unanchored by the long spring,
the horse cantering, the meadow dropping
like an elevator into the earth, falling
like Persephone through a crevice, a swiveling
crack, a loose screw, a lost way. Disordered
as in death lasts, my brother’s not coming back.
The spin of it continuous as in looking down
from height, and then it stops, the spinning
just slows, a chariot wheel stilled in grass.
The world is the same, but it isn’t. The tipped
views of trees when hanging from your knees.
The deer in twos and threes watching.

Copyright © 2015 Catherine Staples. “Vert” originally appeared in Poetry. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 Catherine Staples. “Vert” originally appeared in Poetry. Used with permission of the author.

Catherine Staples

Catherine Staples

Catherine Staples is the author of two poetry collections: The Rattling Window (Ashland Poetry Press, 2013) and Never a Note Forfeit (Seven Kitchens Press, 2011). She is the recipient of the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varjouan Award and Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Prize. Staples teaches at Villanova University and lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

by this poet

poem

                        After Andrew Wyeth’s “Groundhog Day”

The painter who wanders your house night and day,
sketches his way in and out your back door,
kitchen, barn, and milking room, he’s erased all trace
of you. Look, your favorite tea cup, the one
that’s snug to the curl of

poem

The Old Manse, Concord, MA

Would anyone hear it—
the hearth mouthing the language
of flames in summer, small

 

rips of wind in still air? Would anyone
passing through these rooms--
wheel on their heels, return

 

to the slim something in air

poem
Henry Thoreau who has been at his fathers since the death of his brother was ill & threatened with lockjaw! his brothers disease.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
 
Like Achilles smearing his face with soot,
shearing his hair at the