juliaBook_TakeThisSpoonWhat goes down must come up. For a poet with a food disorder, controlling the line is sometimes an art, and sometimes a coping mechanism. Contributor Julia Wendell descends from a long line of psychological misfits which include Jane Austen, Radclyffe Hall, and Anne Sexton. She is above all a fantastic student of poetry, having survived two years under Helen Vendler, another year with Norman Dubie, and an MFA from Iowa. But even more, Wendell is a horse warriordarktrack_thumb in the vein of Jeanne d’Arc. Whether earning black-type morning workouts on racehorses at Pimlico, or jumping tables, coffins, and corners in the military sport of Eventing, Wendell transforms 1,300 pound monsters into airy, speedy sylphs. Her secret to life is a process of constantly sorting things out, finding the middle balance and leaning away from it just enough to feel something jerk inside. That is where the soul comes to life. Her eighth volume of poetry, Take This Spoon, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press.

To Know Thyself

You need two things:
an elevator and a stairway.
On bad days,
you must choose between the two.
On good days,
you must choose between the two.
On exceptional ones,
you try both, mixing them up,
bounding up flights in stocking feet,
out of breath, then holding it
as the glass elevator
shoots you down
and whisks you back up—
dizzy from the repeated
adrenalin rush—
hanging over the brightly lit
stairwell railing,
counting the spirals.
I wish I had a nickel
for every time
the same thing made me laugh and cry.