SARAH LINDSAY QUOTES

American poet (1958- )

Perhaps the apparent favor of the universe
is no more than the crocodile grin of a Doberman
breathing hard and about to be hungry?

SARAH LINDSAY, "Honey", Primate Behavior

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The only fresh meat is the future.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Circus Merk's Queen of Siberia", Primate Behavior

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But supposing senility
takes the brain in its soft retriever's mouth
and carries it to be gutted, supposing all
the recent layers plucked away and memory's microscope doors flung wide
for the oldest to come forth: Would third-grade Ruth be missing
and unmissed, or Mary or Brenda, with random trivial comrades,
or would the whole host stagger out, one missing legs, another clothes,
with synthetic pearls for eyes or carrot noses?
Or would each corridor dead-end on a scaly tinfoil mirror
showing nothing but the scowling smear
of some old unfamiliar woman's face?

SARAH LINDSAY, "Aluminum Chlorohydrate", Primate Behavior

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This love is a lichen....
etching on the unmoved rock
the only rune it knows.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Stubbornly", Twigs and Knucklebones

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Even dead,
we bony creatures do our best
to leave a mark--
if not a mask of beaten gold
or a casket engraved with feathers, perhaps
a richer concentration of fungus,
a patch where grass is younger and thicker,
a sunken place in a field.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Ritual Sandwich", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

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We are the white-eyed, the red-eyed, the eyeless,
with full wings, with crumpled vestigial wings.
We perceive the buzz of fluorescence you call quiet,
its flicker you call light.
The chemical stream of your midafternoon banana
sings behind our mouthparts.
We are the tested.

SARAH LINDSAY, "The Common Fruit Fly", Mount Clutter

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Ecological concerns are daily news now (alas). And poets have been writing all along about stars and roses; it's not such a stretch now to bring in the Hubble telescope or dark matter or genetics.

SARAH LINDSAY, interview, "Five Questions for Sarah Lindsay", Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, June 2010

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One day when the planet was idly
pressing stegosaurs in her scrapbook,
she threw out a whole plateau
of souvenirs from the Ordivician, on impulse.
She'd long since run out of places to put things.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Mount Clutter", Mount Clutter

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Did he make you scream?
In the middle of ripping shoulder meat
from a dead mound did you rock back weak on your haunches,
yellow eyes puddling cataract blue,
a pulse parting your messy lips?

SARAH LINDSAY, "Tyrannosaurus Sex", Primate Behavior: Poems

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This moment's chord of earthly commotion
will never be struck exactly so again--
though love does love to repeat its favorite lines.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Zucchini Shofar", Twigs and Knucklebones

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If I'm meant to love people, I should love everyone.
What kind of tide can an ocean bestow
if it picks and chooses the rocks it's willing to touch?

SARAH LINDSAY, "Aunt Lydia Practices Loving Komodo Dragons", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

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This love is not a melting of self,
a softened apprehension of the other.
The loved one need not meet my gaze,
acknowledge my presence,
approve or know of me.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Aunt Lydia Practices Loving Komodo Dragons", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

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Go on rummaging,
brushing off dust, though you may find later
that it was the dust you wanted.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Mount Clutter", Mount Clutter

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When a peculiar fact or well-stated bit of information triggers a poem, most of what I'll need is there where I stumbled on it. If questions arise later (moons of Jupiter, a three-syllable squid), Google is awfully handy of course.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Five Questions for Sarah Lindsay", Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, June 2010

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Tags: writing


She's slicing ripe white peaches
into the Tony the Tiger bowl
and dropping slivers for the dog
poised vibrating by her foot to stop their fall
when she spots it, camouflaged,
a glimmer and then full-on--
happiness, plashing blunt soft wings
inside her as if it wants
to escape again.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Small Moth", Twigs and Knucklebones

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When bones and flesh have finished their business together,
we lay them carefully, in positions they're willing to keep,
and cover them over.
Their eyes and ours won't meet anymore. We hope.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Shanidar, Now Iraq", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

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Our general was elsewhere, but we drowned.
While he rested, he shipped us home
with the bulk of? his spoils
that had weighed his army down.
The thrashing storm
that caught us cracked the hulls
and made us offerings to the sea floor?--
a rain of statues, gold, and men.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Rain of Statues", Poetry Magazine, April 2014

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I couldn't picture myself as a good teacher and didn't want to be a bad one. Meanwhile I fell into proofreading, which led to copy editing, which has proved satisfying and educational. Pity about the summer vacations, though.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Five Questions for Sarah Lindsay", Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, June 2010

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They have long grown accustomed to the hum
of passion at work in the walls,
the bees crawling over swollen combs
to cram every inch with cells,
till the sheer weight of honey unconsumed
shows with the ceiling's fall.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Side by Side", Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower

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Archaeology and memory are two ways of trying to retrieve and keep the past, both of them fallible, fascinating and doomed to be incomplete.

SARAH LINDSAY, "Five Questions for Sarah Lindsay", Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, June 2010

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Tags: past