MxT, or “Memory x Time,” is one of the formulas acclaimed poet Sina Queyras posits as a way to measure grief. These poems mourn the dead by turning memories over and over in their hands, by invoking other poets, by appropriating science, by studying the history of elegy. Devastating, cheeky, allusive, hallucinatory: this is Queyras at her most powerful.
“Sina Queyras is a poet to read and reckon with.”—Lambda Literary Review
All the gods know is destinations. I have raised
A glass, my eye, your hook. Let’s face it the world
Is a shrinking place and hungry: too much grief
To feed. I float away from you on hard
Covers. I step out on the stacked hours. Words
If they were soil how I would throw them back into the
Compost pile and wait for spring. Those “this is how
It is,” speeches appear and later diamonds soft as bullets.
I went to the library looking to scaffold my thoughts.
Sure, now you say Lucretius. Intelligence is so often
Hindsight. Outside Holly Golightly’s townhouse
There are taxis. The end of me, or you, is of no concern.
Frederick Seidel anoints me with the head of his penis.
It is soft as a chamois and spreads like egg across my scalp.
Sina Queyras is the author of the Lambda Award–winningLemon Hound, Expressway (shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award), and the novel Autobiography of Childhood(shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award). She often writes for the Poetry Foundation and runs the online journal Lemon Hound (Lemonhound.com).