Sunday, November 30, 2008

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Mary Biddinger

Age: 34

Habitat: Akron

Range: Musica, Mac’s Backs, #1 Pho, Arnie’s SRO, Facebook

Diet: Zbigniew Herbert, The National, Twin Peaks

Distinguishing Markings: Author of Prairie Fever (Steel Toe Books, 2007) and poems in Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, among others. Editor of the Akron Series in Poetry.

Predators: Abstractions, inconsistent punctuation, small spaces

Prey: Sweater vests, clementines, the color blue



You tried to wear it like a beard
that didn’t fit. You ransacked the pastry

case, said you were picking out a new
whore, even if she was ringed in almonds

and drunker than a ladyfinger could be.
We were under unusual circumstances.

The floors were never quite strong enough
to hold us, but we used them anyway.

It sounded like you said, Put your harm
around me, baby. That was before

our pinstripes outgrew us, trailed off onto
the bedspread and out the window.

It’s nothing that either of us predicted.
I could count all the times it didn’t

happen, like retention ponds you speed
past on the highway, knowing you’ll never

dive in, or fill your thermos with the murk.
How can you count what isn’t in pieces?

You asked for the key to my pajamas
so you could lose it, and beg for another.

Contact info: mb at marybiddinger dot com and


Anonymous said...

I read Mary's blog faithfully (it's one of my favorites in NEO) and I haven't seen a poem of hers that's less that excellent.

marybid said...

*blush* Thanks, y'all! I look so feisty in that pic...

word verification:


(and my blog does!)

pottygok said...

We're looking for 2009 featured readers at the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour. I know it's a hike, but if you're interested, please e-mail me, Mary.

All the information you need is here:


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau