Literature 9-11-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Liz Minette

Liz Minette is the next poet in the series "What Light: This Week's Poem," a feature sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers that brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers.

Liz minette


an idea in
the well-weeded
garden its purple
exclamation points
leave my mouth
ajar the thistle
a hairy stem
w/a white flower
a fairy’s petticoat
flapping on
a green wire
red wing
blackbirds have
unbuttoned the
shirts of ripe
i harvest the
green ones &
the thistle
place it in a
jelly jar next
to the sink
green tomatoes
rowed on the shelf
above wait this
change doesn’t
please thistle &
it soon departs
slumped shoulders
in a brown paper coat
under green moons
turning blood


How this poem came about: “Thistle” was the result of images and notes on wanting to write a garden poem. I concentrated on harvest time, the image of the last tomatoes ripening on the windowsill as the throwaway of the garden, the weed or thistle sits there too but is dying. I really had a lot of fun with the ending – when the images of that finally came, I had fun putting it together. I really like the last two lines.

What I think about poetry: I think poetry is a great medium to express succinctly messages and/or images and that that is also the challenge. I love how images can be shaped through lines and stanzas, hopefully, into saying something meaningful.

What I read: I find I’m reading a lot of non-fiction. Stuff I’ve read recently: bell hooks’ autobiography “Wounds of Passion”; “Messengers of the Wind – Native American Women Tell Their Stories” edited by Jane Katz; and “Her Blue Body Everything We Know” – a collection of Alice Walker’s poetry, 1965 – 1990.


I live in Esko, Minnesota, 20 miles outside of Duluth. I have been writing poetry since the early 1990’s and published in magazines such as Main Channel Voices, blood & fire review and Earth’s Daughters. I work in Duluth at a community access television station.

Liz Minette

I am a poet and short/flash fiction writer.  I’ve been writing and publishing for about 20 years.  I live in Esko, Minnesota. In July 2014, I self-published a poetry chapbook ‘November – Poems’ Some recent publication credits include: The Great American Poetry Show, Vol. 3 Pressure Press anthology, edited by Ron Androla Nerve Cowboy Calyx – A Journal of Art & Literature by Women What Light – a anthology Migrations – Poetry & …   read more