Literature 10-13-2008

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Sandy Beach

"Overhead in the Actual World" by Sandy Beach was selected to be a What Light winner by poet Patricia Kirkpatrick. ALSO: What Light is seeking more of your poems for a new round in this series! (Deadline: October 31)


Overheard in the Actual World

Between the pages so many
simple as milk
no allure

It’s amazing how fast we can become irrelevant

The poet is locked away
Rapunzel after a bad hair cut
no prince will climb that tower

The poet riled with wild weeping
yet dying does not occur to her

The sisters’ pact involves a quick wicked overdose

Her slight tragedies childhood trauma
over time become the stuff of comedy

He couldn’t say where the aliens are hidden

The father fears on her behalf the awful world

Books like wings
feathers forlorn alphabets
ancient as mother’s milk


I am grasping at the world while attempting the protection of aloofness. My work is, and is not about, the real and the imagined, contorts literal truth and confirms certain fantasies, wishes for perfection, yet only reaches that compromise with what can be managed. This poem’s genesis was in an IHOP off the interstate, somewhere between Dallas and Fort Worth, while eavesdropping on fellow diners. Vénus Khoury-Ghata, G.E. Patterson, Chandler Fritz, Brenda Hillman, an interactive Philip K. Dick Robot, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales all make enigmatic appearances. None of them actually ate at IHOP.


St. Louis Park poet Sandy Beach was granted a month’s graduate poetry residency at The Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy in 2005. She participated in the Loft Mentor program in 2004-05. Her MFA thesis was written about the lives and work of 19th and 20th century women artists and it was the Outstanding MFA Poetry Thesis at Hamline University in 2000. Her poetry appears in Farmhouse Magazine, Mental Contagion, Whistling Shade, a recent Minnesota Women’s Poetry anthology: To Sing Along the Way, Perigee: Publication for the Arts, Water~Stone Review, Sojourn Journal, and in The National Museum of Women in the Arts Archives in Washington D.C.