Stone Soup Servings Presents: Teisha Dawn Twomey


 

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry now meets from 7-9 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 541 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square Cambridge, Massachusetts. The open mike sign-up at 6:30 p.m.

On October 31, we welcome Teisha Dawn Twomey as she reads many things, including a selection from her new collection How to Treat Pretty Things. Read a selection below, and be in attendance this Monday to purchase a copy.

 

A Triptych of Unhinging Certainties

Part I

Bird’s knees appear to bend backward.
You’re actually seeing long ankles

off the ground, roughly positioned
where one expects our own joints

to fold. Fallibility is everywhere.
Intelligence is a relative thing.

You don’t need to be that smart
or strong. You don’t have to be fast.

Just be smarter, or stronger, or faster
than your competition. What is happy?

Make an educated guess. Fashion a weapon
from rock and wood, control fire, conform.

Use complex language.
Who asked the first question?

Part II

The first time I asked a question
in a poem, I realized you were there

listening. Also, these words weren’t mine.
Am I still trying to respond to the original

enquiry? I assume it sounded like a cry
for milk—communicated basic need.

We can unearth new fossils everyday.
I derive all else from experience.

If you can’t rid yourself of the fossils in your closet,
you might as well teach those bones to dance.

Part III

Pick one, an emotion. Fact is, with animals, fear
is the easiest to determine. How can you really tell

whether rabbit or rat is happy? It’s much easier to test alarm.
A resonating tone warns an animal it’s to receive a shock.

The amygdalae—those two little lumps of grey
matter (one in each hemisphere of the brain) respond.

We’re not privy to everything we’ve “seen.”
This secret knowledge has us flinching at the unexpected.

With little to go on, we bend everything backwards, twisting
truth on it’s head. What’s beneath these lines?

A hollow bell, which won’t stop ringing for anything.
It communicates basic need— sounds like a cry for milk.

 

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