Literature 8-13-2007

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Jen March

"What Light: This Week's Poem,” sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers, brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers. Look for our anthology, “What Light,” at Magers and Quinn in Uptown or on line.

Jen Marsh


wringing hands
for worry or thought
light slipping in between the palms
maybe this is what i can give you
small shady touch
what is held in the bones
of flying birds
air and life
dark and hidden
under meat
and wing

i want to give you something
i have been wringing my hands over this
letting light in and out

life in the dark air

no one wants to be lonely
we offer each other what we believe we can spare.


As a poet, I am constantly asking questions about life and death. I am concerned with love, loss, and grief, and with the struggle to find reason in living. In Alice Fulton’s essay Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse, she talks about creating a form for the poem that is born out of the work itself, and shaped in part by certain repeated words or images. I think about this when considering how my poem will sit on the page as a reflection of living—what pattern exists in uncertainty; what dichotomy creates the whole?


Jen March is a poet in the MFA program at Hamline University. She is a founding member of the Graduate Liberal Studies student group, West Egg Literati, which sets up readings in the Twin Cities, and publishes rock, paper, scissors, a literary magazine of GLS student work. She was on the editorial board for the 2006 issue of Water~Stone Review, and has interned with Lit 6 Project, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of a 2006 Artist’s Grant from Mizna: A Forum for Arab American Art. Her work has appeared in Freshwater and The Northridge Review.