The Sunday Poem: Elizabeth Jacobson... Lyre Snake

Lyre Snakes are a mildly poisonous snake found throughout the southwest.  Named for the V-shaped marking on their head, they are not easily observed--being primarily nocturnal and living deep in rock crevices and canyon walls.  They are said to eat lizards, rodents, and even bats.

New Mexico poet Elizabeth Jacobson received the Jim Sagel prize for poetry, and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.  Lyre Snake is from her well-received first book Her Knees Pulled In.




Lyre Snake



A lyre snake

its back of petroglyphs

designed to cloak

his detective life

of eating things still alive     

his prey

under light black

fingernail sliver

of new moon sky

quivers in his body

the way the body of a man

quivers in hers    

under the same

fingernail sliver of sky     

clouds they can’t see at night

above the canyon

a harp at the top

of a venomous head

she receives sound






Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email theditchrider@gmail.com.

Views: 107

Comment by Margaret Randall on February 24, 2013 at 4:58pm

Nice poem. I like the way the animal and ancient art worlds come together.

Comment by Dee Cohen on February 25, 2013 at 6:56am

Love the petroglyph comparison and the resonating harp. Thanks for sharing this. Dee

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