Issue 35, Final Fringe

"Gown Forever" and one more poem

by Heidi Lynn Staples Issue 35 06.24.2013

Gown Forever

Dear nobody, I’m somebody,
who are you? You’re a bad cloth, a very,
very bad cloth. Are we all
            bad cloths, like the good book
            says? It goes like this: three bad cloths
            walk into a room . . . Bad cloths can’t walk, silly!
They can’t talk either. What would a bad cloth say?
Knot much. Ha! Bad cloth will leave you
in stitches; yet, she could fall apart at any second, bad cloth
            lost her fondest mammaries, misses the touch
            of nobody’s hands, draped across
            nobody’s lap, hidden in nobody’s closet, O
you’re a bad cloth, how could you forget so much?
Like in that dream, Grandmother—
why was she so nice, why no stringy pie, no clinks of scotch?
            So listen, Bad Cloth, that woman you knew,
            she is you, bad cloth over nobody’s face,
            soon both of you bead and gown, sew what?


The body sits in the chair between four walls;
first chore: Sit too the choir down for a talk.
“Your singing is puns mettling, dismember to crass
Your I’s like a goad girl, dote your tease.”
The choir tokes puns looks at her and locks

outlawed, “Can you even here your stealth? Alls
we’re saying is. Youse reeling gates a loot of
nerves—youse is sum sings else—for the of’s
of god!” The body sits in the chair . . .

A god’s din silence rose is a nose; the the
and all that’s jazz flew a slip, and so they god
dawn to work, settled din, played attentions
back fore when then took turns yearning the keys
playing like the body sits in the chair.

Heidi Lynn Staples

Heidi Lynn Staples

Read More

Heidi Lynn Staples’s debut collection Guess Can Gallop won the 2004 New Issues Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Dog Girl (Ahsahta Press 2006) and the forthcoming Noise Event (Ahsahta, 2013), drawn from the ecology of her native Gulf Coast. She has also published a nonfiction work, Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake (Caketrain 2012). Her poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry 2004Chicago Review, Denver QuarterlyGreen Mountains ReviewPloughsharesWomen’s Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere.

She is cofounder and coeditor with Amy King of Poets for Living Waters, an international poetry response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and founder of pressing on, a book-arts project utilizing “locally thrown” trash.  She has been assistant editor and poetry editor of Salt Hill, associate editor of Verse, and an editorial assistant at The Georgia Review.

An assistant professor of English and the Learning Center Director at Piedmont College, Heidi lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, daughter, cat, and front-yard veggie patch.