Sandra Beasley, “Making the Crane”


Preparation is the art of leaving lines in:
before you can make that crane you must
invert the valley, low right to high left.
Then you must base the bird, pulling
inside out, outside to middle, and up.
Flip. Repeat. Crease those legs.
Reverse the fold. Define her neck,
define her tail, run the bone knife flat.
Dip each wing down and pull them
apart, flattening her back. If she means
to stay by your dinner plate, press your
mouth to that belly and push the air in.
If she means to fly, grip her head and tail,
pull so she flaps in the sky of your palm.
If she’s good luck, thread a sharp needle
and hang her with her thousand sisters.
When she laughs it is only a crab scuttling
the length of that gullet. When she cries
it is only the weeping of rice against stone.

I Was the Jukebox is the second collection from Sandra Beasley, who also runs the blog Chicks Dig Poetry. Washington, D.C., residents can meet her this Saturday at “Writing the Future,” a one-day conference at Bethesda’s Writers Center on “the transitions and innovations taking place in the literary and publishing worlds.” (I sort of wish I was in on that action, but I guess I can’t go to every future of publishing conference in America!)

Three more poems from this collection appeared in Agni: “I Don’t Fear Death,” “Love Poem for Wednesday,” and “My God.” Poetry published “Unit of Measure” last summer. Oh, speaking of “I Don’t Fear Death,” Beasley has created a video for it:

Beasley has also made videos for “The Story” and “Vocation.”

23 March 2010 | poetry |