Since 1996 Volume XXII


Diane Glancy, Professor Emerita of English at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, is of Cherokee descent and portrays both Native American and non-Native American beliefs in her writing as she intersects new and old worlds. Her latest books include Fort Marion Prisoners and the Trauma of Native Education (nonfiction), Report to the Department of the Interior (poetry), No Word for the Sea (novel), The Collector of Bodies, Concern for Syria and the Middle East (poetry), and The Servitude of Love (short stories). Some of her many awards include the Willa Award for Poetry/Women Writers of the West, Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achieveent Award/Oklahoma Center for the Book, Lifetime Achievement Award/Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. More about Diane Glancy and her books can be found at her website: www.dianeglancy.com 

Five poems from It Was Over There by That Place (Atlas Review Chapbook Series, January, 2019):                                     

I was taken with them where they went.

The car in which we started was going and it was in the going we were going to the place we went.  

It was not the place at which we arrived, but the travel to get there was the going.

The father and mother and the going there and then a brother there we took with us to take him and us with them.

On the farm of the parents of my mother was a game of Chinese checkers and I knew playing was in another country far around the world or through it on the other side was China where they played checkers.  A bright star with holes for the marbles that moved on the board of the checkers of the Chinese which was an adjective though it was a country opposite the world. 

The particles of speech were chickens in the yard the clucking of them as they pondered the English language that limited their expressions and reportage of what was there was limited also.  As they always acted in one but now must be separated by the punctuation of their clucking.  

I went to school.

It is there I had to come forth from my way of thinking.  To learn.  Not of choice.  But to learn what I did not know.  As maybe horses learned.  Otherwise they had to sit there in their chair.  

Would trees leave if they could?  Would they move like horses?  If I learned.  Punctuation.  Up the hill in school.  

The thought that could with written words of their own write the world through punctuation of thought that connected with other thoughts in the places within place in the long run could not.

To break the context because it is all it can carry and in the breakage the other strife of what is strived for.

You can get at between other things.

It did not like to be thought about.

It came at night.  

An inversion of thought would be in the leaves of.

A school pencil the lead of which worn down to the wood.

Some of the walking in the night that wakes at times at night before returning to the stars.

In my plaid school-satchel with the broken strap the books and pencils of which trying to write in punctuation like horses between the words.  

The city where I lived— Kansas City, Missouri— with the name of another place of which it was not but bordered on part of it was.

Grammar is right.  

It is just and good.   Though we have none of it in our head. 

The ways of reporting thought by language going to and fro to say its words.  

A study of the construction of the sentence constructed.  

Though I could not hear punctuation in their speaking.  

In grade school, English composition interfered.  To empty pockets of other thought.   The associations.  Lapses.  To somewhat it did.  But they remained— if they stayed flat.  

Everyone there to read.  My father not.  Though he was briefly in school.  The English language was taught then.  The other language went away from.  The English language would not listen.  How the letters changed and took from the sound the way of its being.  How the letters replaced the being that was integral to the sound that caused the being to come to being.  

The sound of chewing.  In the plaid school-satchel the pencil shavings with serrated edges.  You’re pushing the pencil too hard in the paper.  In the writing of it was punctuation they were chewing.

The farm of the mother’s parents.  

The horses in the field behind the cows.  The darkness of night.  The bright of the kerosene lamp I stared at until lighted and could sleep with the light in my head.

As trees by the car on the road going.

Can we go there yet?

Lifting the hay bale his barn-pulley squeaked— the father of my mother on his farm.  

If the sky starting to come to light on the farm of the mother’s parents knowing another light would come.

There was hunting in that place.  

My father went hunting and we stayed at the house while he was gone.  She said words to catch her thoughts.  She was the network then.  He was away from the boundaries of the house.  He was used to being there.  I stayed between the words not letting them strike.  A look-out where animals had been.  They were not there then.  As if to know the whole of it had to be broken.  The rifle.  The box of shells.  The casings.  Pheasant were there then.  It was in the place where we lived.  A rise in the land up from our house



All poems are Copyright © Diane Glancy.

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