Pushcart Prize Nominee: Margot Schilpp

the minnesota review is pleased to feature each of our nominees for the 2012 Pushcart Prize.  This week we are excited to bring you our final nominee, Margot Schilpp‘s “Casualties.” Please join us in congratulating all of our nominees!


The thistle butterflies near the glass collapse
their weight collectively: they

close their wings

and it’s night again. It’s night with a scarlet flash
of light sparking through

the window’s bones.

It only seems like summer here. Go softly
into the sparse grasses

and ailing trees —

sumac, timothy, cocksfoot, oak — the stems
and trunks camouflaging India

ink and eiderdown.

Then here again: to be. A simple verb
for a complex state,

all bidden

in the aftermath of doubt and crutch and die.
We are, we are: the sudden

crisis undeterred.

Be sorry once in a while, even when the jet’s
contrails fall to vapor and quit

opposing what has been

and then what is. No one can follow you out
of childhood where the butterflies

land, pigments

cloaking the wings, the bright cells caustic
to the gray reflections, heavy doses

doubled in the glass.
Casualties” was first published in issue 79 (Fall 2012) of the minnesota review. Margot Schilpp’s most recent book is Civil Twilight, just published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, wich has also brought out her two previous books of poems: The World’s Last Night (2001) and Laws of My Nature (2005). Her work has appeared widely in literary magazines, including The Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, Hotel Amerika, The Gettysburg Reviewand American Poetry ReviewShe lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and will have a poetry reading Valentine’s Day in Hartford, Connecticut at 7:00 pm as part of the Riverwood Poetry Series, along with her husband, Jeff Mock, who is also a poet. You can read more about Schilpp’s work on her website, and you can read “Casualties” or any of our other Pushcart nominees by accessing our online archive at Duke University Press, available here.


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