The Horseshoe’s Mouth-Shaped Reading

The ________-Shaped Reading Series returns to joyfully bring you the amazing poems of CONNIE DEANOVICH and MAUREEN SEATON. They happen at Avol’s Bookstore, 315 West Gorham in Madison, on Thursday, August 4th, at 7 p.m. An open mic will follow. Like a faithful dog. Or like sunshine follows rain. Or vice-versa. Or like conclusions follow premises. Sometimes. Oh, dear… this metaphor generator must be low on batteries.

Trust us. It’ll be amazing.

Connie Deanovich is a Whiting Writers Award winner and author of Zombie Jet and Watusi Titanic.  She lives in Madison WI.

Maureen Seaton is the author of fourteen poetry collections, both solo and collaborative—most recently, Cave of the Yellow Volkswagen (Carnegie Mellon, ’09); America Loves Carney (Sow’s Ear, ‘09); Stealth, with Sam Ace (Chax Press, ‘11); and Sinéad O’Connor and Her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds, with Neil de la Flor (Sentence Book Award, Firewheel, ‘11). A memoir, Sex Talks to Girls (University of Wisconsin Press, ’08), won the Lambda Literary Award, and her poetry has received many honors, including the Lammy, the Audre Lorde Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize, the NEA, and the Pushcart. You can find her at and and teaching poetry at the University of Miami, Florida.



Here’s your mistake back
you never made it

here’s the cushion
reshaping on the couch

your shadow slips under the threshold
you never crossed it

private paradise
is just another storm splitting in space

the sheets you never crumpled
fold up again

the words you spoke
were never spoken

when I walk into the library
I’m not thinking of you

when my heart drains like sand from a shoe
I’m not thinking of you

something was having trouble ending
think of energy’s mutations not of you

yesterday I devirginized
my own story

stuck my fingers in and out of my own future
until I broke its promise

today I’m not thinking of you
but of a souvenir tossed on the compost

a smelly time unpettaling
blackening rain and garbage

–Connie Deanovich


Lorraine Hansberry’s Grave

What is the name of the water in the bowl inside the sea, I once said to my lover, who took me to Hansberry’s grave on a winter evening—the name of the water contained within the larger water, I asked, rain in my mouth, rain in the boats of my shoes. All around us: deer shit and the dampened opinions of dead people. We walked past the graves with rain on our faces. Grass grew in sheets down the hills and rainwater glossed the marble. Is the body unclosed as the bowl in the ocean is unclosed, or is the enclosed body unclosed in the ocean of the soul, I persisted, the bowl in the sea, the body in the sea of the soul? My lover said: Droplet, Sea-bowl, Little Grave Seeker. They buried Hansberry on a hillside in Croton-on-Hudson beside white people and a river plunging south. We searched for her for an hour in the rain, my lover and I, wishing for slickers and luck and long lives to come. It was I who found her and shouted to my lover, who leapt to me from among the dead, her body aslosh with joy.

–Maureen Seaton


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