Urban Helicon

by M.B. McLatchey Issue: Spring 2016
It starts like this: the clamps around my wrists.
The little Saturn ring around my head,
the wooden chair, the arms still warm, though dead;
then the electric thrill, the arch, the twist.

The expiation just before the twist,
the quick reform of madam in her bed,
the spasm, the welcome-wagon for something newly-wed;
or the ambulance, the sirens, the sudden lisp.

It makes me so serene.
It ties me to a rock
and sends me swimming.

It causes quite a scene
to feel the wood and stone become a dock;
to hear the pastoral in stillness singing.


M.B. McLatchey

M.B. McLatchey is the author of two books of poems, The Lame God, for which she won the 2013 May Swenson Award (Utah State UP) and Advantages of Believing (Finishing Line Press). She is also the author of a recently-completed memoir, Beginner’s Mind, excerpts of which have won The Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award and appeared in MEMOIR(and), Slippery Elm, Chautauqua and the Carolina Quarterly.  She is a recipient of the American Poet Prize from the American Poetry Journal and the Annie Finch Prize from the National Poetry Review. Recently elected as Florida’s Poet Laureate for Volusia County, she is Associate Professor of Humanities at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Visit her at www.mbmclatchey.com.