Rebecca Seiferle

by Rebecca Seiferle

Fire in a Jar

Some plucked from flight by sweep of net
or grasp of hand, immediately darken
and flicker out. A drift of stars becomes
mere green beetles scraping the glass bottom
of a jar. Other kinds go on flashing, ardent
no matter how captive they are, lighting
up even the smallest heaven. And still
others make a haze of their own longing,
dispersing themselves into a diffuse haze,
becoming a drop of sexual sunlight falling
upon the transparent world. Glass eye,
glass heart, glass jar, in which we try and keep
our flickering selves, all the light in us is sexual,
a luminous persistence—a heaven or a hell.

Publisher’s Note:

Poet Rebecca Seiferle once said that “one should always read a poem as if it was a matter of life and death.” Seiferle’s fourth book of poems, Wild Tongue, suggests a similar belief about writing poems.

The tongue is both voice and body, and Wild Tongue rages against these global bits, bridles, and palliatives that attempt to calm and control. Combining shocking beauty and compelling directness, Seiferle counterbalances divorce and domestic violence with newfound love and cathartic wit. Her poems, like cave drawings, are inspired by urgency and concern, working into the cracks and contours of truth and wound. “The human voice on the edge of extinction,” she writes, “and on that edge, everything wild, unspoken, vital and living, begins to speak out.”

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