The Peace of Wild Things by Ariana D. Den Bleyker (cover: Jonathan Rountree & Nicci Mechler)
There’s a primal peel and pull to this chap, a hungry animal ripping strips of reluctant flesh from its meal. It might read like a loss to some, burying, re-burying, and unearthing again, but in this litany of exposed bone and steaming viscera, there’s a resonant note of hopefulness, a fire kindling finally, finally, on a cold night deep in the wood, wolves huffing in the brush. It feels, for all the violence and mourning, like a recovery. Even in the frenzy of a carcass stripped, someone is fed. | available from our shop
The chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. Its cover is printed via inkjet on Epson matte photo paper. Each book is handbound & trimmed.
An excerpt from the opening poem “The Future is an Animal:”
I dream I am wolf, dream larger things until,
no face remaining, hair grows through floor-
boards, teeth in concrete and claws from brick,
what is proper only in bone. My coat rips away
from closed eyes, hunger, open hand: touch.
And an excerpt from a later in the collection, “The Heart Expands in Black Soil:”
I dreamed of hunting wild boars, burying
two beating hearts. You called out, pointed
toward the sky. We stretched substance
into shadow, imagined ourselves yoked,
hooves torn & bloody, knowing we used
to say too much until it wasn’t enough.
We listened intently, heard the hearts
beat together, rip apart in silence. It was
more than quiet & wrong to call it peaceful.
I’ll make my own bones of this,
About the poet:
Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in Upstate New York, a wife, mother of two, a writer and an editor. When she’s not editing or writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks and collections, including Wayward Lines, Strangest Sea and Beautiful Wreckage, the novelette, Finger : Knuckle : Palm and the experimental memoir, prosthesis. She is the founder and publisher of ELJ Publications, home of Emerge Literary Journal, scissors & spackle, Amethyst Arsenic and other fine journals. She can be found at http://www.arianaddenbleyker.com.
About the cover artists:
Nicci Mechler & Jonathan Rountree have been making art together for years, ever since they met in an undergraduate ceramics class at Northern Kentucky University, and learned the hard lesson that in raku firing as in life, measure twice, transport red-hot ceramics via wiggly tongs once. That story is available over drinks. Tweet us. @porkbellypress
What others are saying about this book:
There’s something of the grit of fairytales in The Peace of Wild Things. Something enchanting, old-timey, strung together with words that punch a rhythm out while deftly navigating the sounds of the written word. These poems dare you to touch the feathers and the bones of discomfort. To lay there on the forest floor and discover your own wild things, to embrace them, elegant or bloody—or both.
—E. Kristin Anderson, author of A Guide for the Practical Abductee and Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night.
Poems from this chapbook first appeared in such mags as: White Stag, Rust + Moth, and Gargoyle.