Posts Tagged: Mary Jo Bang

A Poem By Mary Jo Bang

The Storm We Call Progress

Strum and concept, drum and bitterness, the dog of history keeps being blown into the present— her back to the future, her last supper simply becoming the bowels’ dissolving memory in a heap before her. A child pats her back and drones there-there while under her lifted skirt is a perfect today where a cult of ghost-lovers predicts a rapture but instead remains to inherit varicose veins, rubber knickers, douches with bulbs, douches with bags, girdles in a choice of pink, red or white, and in rubber, silk or twilled linen, enemas, clysters, oils balms, and other Benjamin etceteras burrowing like scabies into the [...]


Dante Alighieri, Translated By Mary Jo Bang

Inferno Canto XXVIII

Who could ever capture in words, Even using prose and retelling countless times, The bloodbath and carnage I was now seeing?

Every tongue would prove inadequate Because speech and intellect have strict limits And can only accommodate so much.

Even if you reassembled all those From the troubled land of Apulia Who cried over their blood

Shed by the Trojans; plus those who fell in the long war That ended in a heap of rings cut from corpses— As Livy, who was never wrong, writes;

Add in those who gasped in pain When wounded resisting Robert Guiscard; And those whose bones still cover [...]


Two New Poems by Mary Jo Bang

An Autopsy of an Era

That’s how it was then, a knife through cartilage, a body broken. Animal and animal as mineral ash. A window smashed. The collective howl as a general alarm followed by quiet.