Michelle Taransky

Michelle Taransky received a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book, Barn Burned, Then won the Omnidawn Poetry Prize in 2008 and was published in 2009. With her father, architect Richard Taransky, she is the coauthor of the chapbook The Plans Caution (QUEUE 2007). Her poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, VOLT, How2, New American Writing, and other publications. She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she works at Kelly Writers House and teaches poetry at Temple University.

After The Timber The

harm was caused
already–there also was
made up of neighbor who
is othering habits they
have no scars to trace
even looking in a mirror
no scars or scratch. I
turn to you now the you
a house where we are
holders that see but are not there
there the tree does not know us
and we are looking for her old house
we pictured like a black hawk
we don’t know how to call
differently than the wind
we cannot live on that
narrator thinking cause is caused
and no other way to consider
forests being said and
saying look, and looking, looking at the
forest now, what do you see now
isn’t it different now

How To Picture This Place Where

Ash is strong and looks
Like chestnut—A tree is like a steer.
There are many kinds of cuts. Gentle polishing
Exposing the figure of the wood.
You will be surprised when you place
Light wood in hot sand. Watch the wood
Slowly burn. Refinish a found chair
To appear new. If you wouldn’t strip
A fine painting to the canvas, why,
Then, with woods?

Blood Bank

where else would you expect
the collection to be connected to
the way the holder struggles with the
want to hold back explaining

one can only run back to the other
so many times before saying I see blind
sums instead of an empty account
where your memory is the same

as what is happening behind locked doors
that isn’t about what they would say
had they known you were the one
counting this deciding what to consider