Monday, September 15, 2008

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Mary A. Turzillo

Age: Old enough to drink Guinness and Ruffino Chianti. Young enough to give you trouble.

Habitat: Berea

Range: Deep Cleveland, Mac's Backs, Confluence, Marcon (yes, they have poetry programming), many science fiction conventions, Insights, The Lit Cafe, events at the Lit, used to go to Marcus Bales readings at 324.

Diet: Our house is stacked two feet deep on all surfaces with reading materials. I won't even bother to mention Cleveland greats I like. Right now I'm reading Peter Hoeg and Wendy Cope. My favorite poet-of-the-moment is Wanda Coleman. We just saw Iron Man and liked it. I want Heroes to come back. My favorite magazine oh dear is it Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, or Science News? No: Analog! My favorite dead musician is Warren Zevon and I'm really angry that he's dead.

Distinguishing Markings:
An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl (serialized in Analog)
Your Cat & Other Space Aliens (vanZeno 2007)
Dragon Soup (collaboration with Marge Simon, vanZeno 2008)
Ewaipanoma (Sam's Dot 2008) (Elizabethan-age lesbians find happiness with beings from the stars)
Galileo's Blindness (Bacchae Press 1994)
Lots of poems on the web in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, New Verse News, etc.
Lots of poems in periodicals in Asimov's, Star*Line, ArtCrimes, Tributaries, etc.
Lots of short stories in SF Age, F&SF, Analog, etc. including Nebula winner "Mars Is no Place for Children" (1999) in SF Age.

Predators: Gods and angels and the magnetic gaze of calico kittens. Kisune Inari with her sweet wicked smile.

Prey: sashimi at Daishin or Shuhei or Ohashi or Big Eye. Aladdin's houmus. South Beach dessert with toasted pecans. Chocolate volcano from that hotel in Paris. A kaiseki meal we ate, slowly and with wonder, at the top of the Postal Tower in Kyoto. Rocamador cheese. Stolen blackberries from behind the Nature Center.


Vicious Trees

Not the kind that wave menacing branches
in Walpurgis Night winds,

nor the type that worm their roots
into your drainage system, flooding your house,

these trees anaesthetize you with their blossom's fragrance
then grow fast enough to wrap twigs around your neck
so in the morning your wife finds your corpse yoked and strangled

or they prick you with paralyzing sap
and grow thorns (overnight)
into your legs, arms, trunk, even eyes,

trees that moan, take pity, take pity,
then turn into dryads and quicken your daughter,
making her mother to chairs, tables, oak benches,

or they whisper, just whisper,
how you should leave the forest to them,
to them and the dark moon and sky,
how you should die, just die.

(appeared on Goblin Fruit, 2007)


Greg said...

nice poem!

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Should mentioned under "habitat" that she has a nest at the home page of /; and is frequently spotted at her blog,

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Greg.

John B. Burroughs said...

I first read Mary's work in Cleveland Poetry Scenes (Bottom Dog Press) and was most impressed. Then I saw her perform some of her work at Borders Books in Strongsville and was even more impressed. It would seem she proves it is possible after all to be more than most impressive. ;)

Thanks for featuring her here, Michael!


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