The Sunday Poem: Elizabeth Jacobson... Dissolve

The poet sits in an arroyo contemplating what it means to be alive and human.  How New Mexico is that!  This gorgeous poem explores that moment and is itself a revelation.

Elizabeth Jacobson will be reading this morning at Sunday Chatter.  This poem is from her book, Her Knees Pulled In (Tres Chicas Books, 2012).  She is the recipient of the Jim Sagel prize for poetry, and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.


In her many years on this land only once has she skated in the arroyo
a very cold early morning following an unusually ambitious winter rain
water frozen, its most passive form
she felt it give way to the sun after it was up only an hour
the air, too, became looser
her scent lifting upward, a pair of coyotes ran for their hole
hundreds of the bluest birds flew off and on and off and on and off
a densely green cedar
the sharp tips of her skates catching in the softening ice
propelling her forward
her thoughts changing from exuberant to austere
her elation shifting, but not dissolving
she does not leave the ice, but sits down on it
fingerfuls brought to her mouth
in this way the water moves into another form
as she remains the past, the present, the future
a body not meant for anything but the making of more bodies
a mind meant for less
the surprise being so much
so very much more

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

Views: 117

Comment by Don McIver on December 16, 2012 at 9:08am

Change of plans.   The weather in Santa Fe has prevented Elizabeth from coming down to Sunday Chatter.   We've added Jazz (WOWPS Champion from ABQ) so it'll rock, but kind of bummed I won't get to hear Elizabeth, especially after reading this lovely poem.


Comment by Margaret Randall on December 16, 2012 at 12:38pm

Reading this poem sent us down to Sunday Chatter to hear more from Elizabeth. Loved the poem. But also loved the music--fabulous this morning!--and Jazz was great as well. Dissolve is a poem that really forefronts a moment that could only happen in New Mexico. Excellent. Thank you.

Comment by Elizabeth Jacobson on December 16, 2012 at 1:48pm

thank you don and margaret for your comments, so sorry to have missed the chatter and music.  hope to reschedule in the spring!

Comment by Dee Cohen on December 17, 2012 at 5:08am

Lovely and haunting images. Thank you, Dee

Comment by Elizabeth Jacobson on December 17, 2012 at 11:16am

thanks dee!


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