KWH Pick of the Week: “Other Ways to Say Heart” by Paula Cisewski, Chosen by MC Hyland

Posted on September 3, 2012


Knox Writers’ House Contributor’s Pick of the Week 9/3/2012

Other Ways to Say Heart by Paula Cisewski in the Twin Cities, MN

Chosen by MC Hyland in the Twin Cities, MN who says:

Paula Cisewski writes lyric poems that bristle, pick, and rattle against the idea of feelings (perhaps the word should be italicized, or placed in quotation marks?) with skepticism and gentle wit. “Other ways to Say Heart” is a perfect example, with its juxtaposition of the grandiose (“to kingdom the human”), the sly (“the real midwest of the person”), and the terribly specific (“canopy covering a lost house key”). Of course, “heart” is itself a metaphor–or metonym–for the inexplicable chemical reactions that make us happy or sad, that make us love or hate or envy or betray those around us. In this little poem, read in her wonderfully wry voice, Cisewski captures all of it: “cause of yawning,” “answering machine,” “a book of matches goes off in her shirt.”

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