Marianne Boruch


Genius Light Running Through Us

The simple kind that comes through a window, Tom Edison
still doing his power naps to reproduce it,
a hobby the Dead are heir to, certain special Dead
who invented the modern world.

What’s so modern about it? asks the giant elm,
over a 100 years old, still moving sap
and regurgitated sunlight in spite of bite-ridden leaves,
plus its bad rep for disease, huge fragile branches
that fall to the street in July.

Thanks a lot, Wind. That’s the tree complaining.

Light = Rescue, World Peace, Forgiveness, the Flattening
of the Covid curve.

Sure, Mr. Edison.  Maybe if disguised as
chocolate for all, happiness at least 8 hours a day,
ubiquitous oxygen even at altitudes where
normally it’s replaced with
this shrug: you’ll get used to it up here, breathe deeper.
Just set your oven lower or higher, can’t
remember which.

That window again, genius light bestows best if you
sit right beside it in a so-so mood as if
you can forget the pandemic.

Maybe I just need a good nap.

The Dead cherish this part: if you lie down,
you stop and go somewhere at the same time!
Sleep!  A nap is clarity gone ambidextrous.

So much never noticed in life until curious moments
of now drop in.

Genius light running through them.


Marianne Boruch

Marianne Boruch has published ten books of poems, most recently The Anti-Grief (Copper Canyon, 2020), three essay collections including The Little Death of Self (Michigan, 2017), and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011). Her work appears in The New York Review of Books, Poetry, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review. Her honors include the Kingsley-Tufts Award, plus fellowships/residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, two national parks (Denali and Isle Royale). Boruch taught at Purdue University for 31 years, going rogue and emeritus in 2018. She continues to teach in the low-residency MFA Program at Warren Wilson College. In 2019, she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia to observe the astonishing wildlife to write her 11th collection of poems, a neo-ancient/medieval bestiary which is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.