The speaker of this poetry folio by Rose DeMaris featured in this issue of Tupelo Quarterly evokes the awesome power of nature and human industry by defamiliarizing them to us. In “Lachrymal Madrigal,” for instance, “molten glass drops” withstand a “kiss from the hydraulic press,” which parallels our fall from Eden through our lust for the “purple bruises” from the fig trees of Santa Ana in “You Were Never Sure What Color Eyes.” DeMaris’ ode to the human mother as she “dug a belly-sized hole in beach sand,” “scooped out a seaside vacancy” and “made an opening to the hem of the sea” reminds us that what is immortal lies in the “rare capaciousness” of the sea. We open to that sea through the female body, as in a splendorous “Marilyn print” at “Grauman’s Chinese Theater,” as we yearn to be saturated with the love of the immortals by attuning ourselves to pay close attention.
Rose DeMaris is a poet and teacher. Her poems appear in New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, The Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Narrative, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of Orison Books’ 2022 Best Spiritual Literature Award in Poetry, and her work has been selected for inclusion in two anthologies. She holds advanced degrees in English and Native American Studies, as well as an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University, where she was awarded a Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship. Born and raised in Southern California, she went on to spend many years in Montana, and now lives in Brooklyn.