Dara Wier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recent books include Remnants of Hannah and
Reverse Rapture (awarded the Poetry Center & American Poetry Archives Book Award). Her poems
can be found in Pushcart, Best American Poetry, Norton, Soft Skull and various other anthologies,
and in American Poetry Review, Conduit, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, slope,
Turnrow, New American Review, Volt. A limited edition, (X in Fix), is in RainTaxiís Brainstorm series.
The Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council
and the American Poetry Review have supported her work. She's a member of the poetry faculty
and director of the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
and co-director of the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. About Reverse Rapture
Stephen Rodefer writes "...a paratactic and sometime screened poetic narrative of thought, time,
room, face, secrets, address, body, relations, religion, casual philosophy, the domestic, demons
and the demotic, language and much else--in a steady unfolding of distanced but under your skin
mind-forms." With Guy Pettit and Emily Pettit, she edits and publishes chapbooks and broadsides
for Factory Hollow Press.
Purchase Reverse Rapture
Purchase Remnants of Hannah
Three poems by Dara Wier
Erasure Recovery Collaboration Operation Project
My hand fits in your hand so we'll do it that way, okay?
My head fits in your head so we'll drop it in carefully,
Your nose goes in my nose, your ass in mine, my feet in yours,
My eyes in yours, your vastly wider experience in years
Easily covers up mine, my understanding of rivers and tides
Quietly overcome yours, your mouth will cover my breasts,
Albeit one at a time, and here is where we shift gears,
Gears come in several different kinds, you know all about gears,
In the meantime rain comes down the way film credits roll up,
And a man never truly cares if he finds his son or not,
And a father is never a big enough fit for a son,
One tree covers up another, a shovel stores another one
Inside, a battle won, a beheaded king, soldiers fallen in the snow,
Disguised, neatly stacked up and down our hardware aisles,
One horse you've ridden, another you've stolen, strictly slow
Motion, a stream full of baskets full of raw babies, ribbons of clay,
Ribbons of seaweed, your hair is on fire, your bone snap buttons,
Air sawing our ribbons to shreds, we signal with shreds, we want to
Shred with you some pages you've hidden your secrets in in in
Between a snap clasp's snap on an alligator purse, whatever you do
Don't open it, now you've opened it, now don't put your nose in it,
But you've gone and done it and here we fall back into WWII,
In the meantime a large man lets another man walk into him
As if he were a dead man's closet and in it a few cowpokes stare
Into a fire that's covering up all of the ladies they've lassoed, oh
Let them, let each man and all of the women inside him, tell
Pretty stories and cinch up their saddles, it's sadder than switched
Identities, if ever stories of yours and mine fit inside, it's
Almost like paper that's been folded and folded until finally it tears
In all the right places, as in, did you see me see them see him,
Or it's strange the way a verdict in an envelope stays a while in
A pocket where my hand in yours stays a while to touch it.
Half of me lived through the war while the other half waited at home,
Most of the time I'm water letting myself be taken in by the moon.
Most of the lies I've told have truth hidden inside them, turns out
Truth is a shy black dog leaving a trail of its fur in our splinters.
When one of your fingers moves on its own to touch a button or
Turn off a switch, you'll think of me, I'm signaling you, I'm reading
The Braille on your hotel room's door, I'm bringing you a silver tray
Covered with linen, laden and lop-sided, a dagger, a comb, a bottle,
A jigger, an envelope you never should open in which an envelope
No one has opened contains secrets in secret whispers unopened,
A cracked pitcher of most of the time lies open by your foot
On the floor, you lower your head so your ear is all that there is.
On the note in the book in the box in the closet in the forest in the
Story in the tower in the tower in the clearing in a radiant eye.
[first published in The Laurel Review]
For a Dead Ant Preserved in the Middle of a Clear Straw
It looked as though I were inhabiting the thought the way a loon inhabits a lake. Most of the time I could follow my head and the neck to which my head was attached moving steadily through the waterís thought. And then, now and then Iíd be gone, pulled under the thoughtís surface, erased with ease, decreased in size, no where to be found. Thatís the kind of thought
this thought was. No words were where this thought went. No logic to improve its consequences. No solace, no brightness, no next thought. But it most certainly was not a first thought, perhaps it was no thought at all. Though I inhabited that thought the way matter inhabits a black hole.
When all of sudden, now and then, Iíd see my head and my neck once again
appear, they would be no where near where Iíd last seen them before. It was no empty thought, this still lake on purpose, it filled to the brim every inch it served.
I sensed I was doomed to feel as it were where it went where & whenever
it chose. Were I to escape, land would be to me what land is to a loon.
[first published in NOW CULTURE]
If I Were Police Perfect
They say thereís one on the other side of the great
Letís hear it for the 2000 year old seed.
We had embryos to spare.
Itís raining, the sun is shining, the devilís on top of his horse.
Perpetual silence was to be frowned upon.
No one on the highway. Lustering proved to be a decent vocation.
It appeared as if the person in question had embarked on some kind of prayer experiment which included the need to report how it was going.
It was a week in which dozens of photographs depicted men in various stages of attempting to be unembarrassed while offering up various impersonations of piety.
Baleful their pernicious souls.
Because every time the thought begins to collect it is too horrific to complete.
We stood under the cover of the Lincoln Monument watching a lightning storm.
Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?
It is not very difficult to uncover someoneís motherís maiden name.
Coaxing a seed to sprout.
Someone questioned me, isnít it always hot by a cookstove?
Someone said, I just want your fingerprint for a keepsake.
Because the current head of state chose to have himself photographed holding hands with a Saudi Arabian prince.
Rain must fall from various heights at various times, no?
It canít all be falling from the same distance always, can it?
To avoid the subject theyíd talk about anything other than the subject uppermost on their minds. Theyíd talk about prairie dogs.
Tonight we chose to talk about fog.
The date palm is revered in the Koran & the Bible.
Would that we were an unruly people.
[first published in Volt]