Eugenie Juliet Theall
About the Writer
Eugenie Juliet Theall completed her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and currently teaches creative writing and English. Her poetry has been published in Carquinez Poetry Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Silk Road, among others. Miss Theall’s work also won first place in the Elizabeth McCormack/Inkwell contest.
OTHER THAN A PAPERWEIGHT
Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.
Perhaps it was a jewel flung from the belly dancer’s navel
whose hips shimmied so, she became a whirl of silk;
her nose and mouth covered, her eyes fixed.
Perhaps it was a hiccup under water, a belch no one heard
from the Bottom-Feeder, that hideous sea creature
who noses in the muck because his eyes are sealed shut.
Perhaps it was the pupil of the revered Egyptian cat,
the obsidian sculpture guarding the child’s tomb,
lifelike in the moonlight, ready to tackle.
Perhaps it was the last drop of truth serum in the pickle jar
whose lid was rammed into the incisors of a fallen angel
before he descended the cold, spiral staircase.
Perhaps it was the pocket of air I trapped when I flipped over
the rowboat, dogpaddled furiously to breathe
what was borrowed, forgot the oars were floating away.
Perhaps it belongs to Cyclops—the tragedy occurred on April 15th
many storytellers ago—he shouldn’t have been picking his nose
with a stick: everyone knows it’s slippery, when wet.
Maybe it was the million-dollar fossilized Brontosaurus tear
in the smudged encasement on loan at the museum,
around which all the school children pressed.
Maybe it was my brother’s prized possession: a balled-up spider web
he bravely stole with a broom handle, buffed with spit
and dad’s shoe polish—that he then lost, or traded.
Maybe it was my ovaries that went into overdrive, produced an egg
of ostrich proportion, shocking the medical world—
the press’s sound bite compared it to immaculate conception.
Maybe it is my mother’s doing—this planted spy device. This vigilant
evil-eye probably records my every move and yours too,
inverted and backward, reports back to her, gets it all wrong.
Maybe it is just a paperweight in the storefront window,
showcased in a ray of light. Or could it be the dark space
between my hands, cupped in prayer?
-- House Stuff
-- Heat Dream
Artwork and Photography
-- Mistry Trees
-- Let it Begin