Spotlight series #34 : Lindsay Turner

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

I grew up in the American southeast, in Appalachia, and then I left, but now I’m back, and lately I’ve been trying to write more directly about this place. I’m also interested in poems that are spells or charms. I like being able to repeat words and to make a sonic space or texture to hang out in for a while. Also, I’m drawn to the poetic spell or charm because I know that these are basically concretely useless: there’s something about this spiky uselessness, or whatever affect it is — a very ragey version of wistfulness — that corresponds to how I feel often these days. A person has to keep hating things or wanting things, for example, even if hating doesn’t do any good and wanting doesn’t end in having.

NEW CITY

just at the moment when it was for sale
I wanted to cast a textural spell on it
not because it was so good
but to protect it from becoming what they advertised

just at the moment of coming soon
poised in the posture of being for sale
silver grass, maiden grass, red ground beneath
pretty blond planks then some days for the walls

welcome the new store selling you plants
mosquitoes and pipelines, conversational din
at the moment of tipping or not tipping
planted the birds are thousands these days

at the moment of unexpected peak growth
the phone takes any voice and turns it to pieces
next spring, ten more minutes, it’s almost done
a pile of bricks and grass growing from sod

Lindsay Turner is the author of Songs & Ballads (Prelude, 2018). Her translations from the French include Ryoko Sekiguchi’s adagio ma non troppo (Les Figues, 2018), and Stéphane Bouquet’s The Next Loves (Nightboat, forthcoming 2019). She lives in Greenville, South Carolina, where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Furman University.