Natalie Young is my kind of poet, art director by day, wordsmith by night, a leftie, a mixed blood, a fan of Tom Selleck, purple pototoes and Oscar the Grouch. She also happens to be the founding editor of Sugar House Review, a poetry gem. And although I question her taste for green olives and swiss cheese, I find her poems always absolutely delectable.
On more of a down-note, as the terrible fly-over footage of Puerto Rico’s devastation from Hurricane Maria rolls on, I keep thinking about her monster poems from one of the 2015(?) issues of Rock And Sling. Yes, they are about the personified Great Salt Lake, but the lonely orphan “island” felt like PR.
Anyway, I can only give you one of the monster poems (from her own website), but I’m throwing in three more on other “alien” subjects from their various online homes.
THE GREAT SALT LAKE HAS BEEN SHRINKING SINCE THE ROUNDING OF THE LAST ICE AGE
The monster has lasted centuries
with little light, in one place.
This lake once spanned hundreds of monsters,
millions of gallons to roam.
Now he has a small city, a village
deep enough to safely travel. He doesn’t mind much,
but wonders about humans and sun.
What will be done when the many things collected
are uncovered? Bones and rings and rocks.
What was lost. Cast off.
The trash of time. He and his house release
only what breathes oxygen or is…
notes on earth life
A child in a pink coat leaves her music lesson. Her cheeks match her coat. Her father sells
insurance based on how long an equation expects a person to stay alive.
The old man died. Sometimes humans just die. And you cannot save them.
Sometimes humans do not die, and you cannot save them.
There is a television program about a real human family doing normal earth things—there are
many programs with real people doing what people always do. Humans stop doing what they do
When humans determine an animal is too ill, they…
the mums are always dying
We’re gonna do it easy, but then we’re gonna do the finish rough.
—Tina Turner’s intro to “Proud Mary”
Holding out a bundle of mums
from the grocery store
to offset a bad day,
She tells the alien how hard it is
to remember everything, every day to do
every thing, how proud she feels
to have shopped and gathered
so much, saved
dollars with coupons and…
bird of war
Today let’s talk about the bird who wages his own war.
He flutters shades of late summer: cloudless sky, cornfields,
early-morning sun, asphalt.
He clangs his black beak against his cage in rapid fire, hurls
steel bowl to ground, a landmine of fruity pellets. His head full
of mischief juts to the hum of vacuum erasing siege.
Tomorrow he will…