Tangential North

Beth Roberts


[Table of Contents]
[Editor's Note]

The most lascivious landscape I've seen—
a freezing highway of storm-dissembled vehicles
lapping the space
between freeway and field.

If I put my finger on it, in part it's violent.
Northern pike sweeping up to the duck.
Sunset, firearms, calls struck
out across the water, winter.

Across seven moving bodies of water
the only thing still is a hummingbird.

Still on the tile, a partridge breast plucked,
another nude of the heart,
traffic pulse, muscle to flex...buzz asleep,
sleep abuzz...
deep in the automaton chill.



The selection by Beth Roberts was reprinted by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose. Copyright (c) 2002 by Beth Roberts. www.wmich.edu/newissues


Although many of her major life events (birth, higher education, jobs) have taken place within a 250-mile radius of Chicago, Beth Roberts is from the U.P. The place most like home is a camp on Perch Lake with ceramic squirrels on the wall and a sauna near the dock. Her work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, Epoch, Another Chicago Magazine, and elsewhere. Her first book, Brief Moral History in Blue, was published by New Issues Press in 2001, and she is poetry editor for the literary magazine Buffalo Carp, based in the Quad Cities.