From Julie Dill, editor of LOCUSPOINT: St Louis

Stefene Russel’s “Equinox” is still one of my favorite poems of all time.

St. Louis is getting pretty beat up lately with the economy making everyone miserable and violent and losing our favorite anarchist artist/businessman to a bulldozer accident.

And yet, Stefene and I just read with three other people in the sculpture park, perched on installation pieces commissioned for the sole purpose of serving as platforms for our poems. And most of the things I’ve always found amazing about St. Louis are still as great today as they were five years ago.

Things are always looking up if you know where to look.”

Here’s “Equinox” by Stefene Russel:

Equinox

This is the part where I drive through Dutchtown in the springtime,
trying to lose a chunk of coal in the sock of my heart.

I looked for a blue marble Pieta,
and found a church called The Melvin that used to be a theater.

I was looking for an Indian mound with a diamond at its center.
I found a gleam that fell from a Mississippian’s eye,
lying on the road, a lost black sequin.

I looked for a hat trick to blind me with fist fighting stars.
I found a demolition man and his pile of yellow bricks.

I looked for Our Lady of Jupiter, embroidered with purple scars,
and found a toy ballerina in a grease-trap jail.

Factory that manufactures springtime, please pick me
to be the next U-turn or figure eight or just glaze me senseless.

Give me a cherub to keep in my glovebox and the choice
between chlorophyll and ozone.
I can’t stop driving, looking for the spot to dig
up the spring of thirteen going on fourteen,

standing on the edge of the river, coughing car fires out of my voice,

searching my wallet for a number
for some smart he or she to gunpowder me into a permanent magnolia.

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