3D Analogy Anabiosis Press

Chapbook Contest Winner

Katharyn Howd Machan
Wise Woman


what drew her there first
were the apples
the kind of red that shouts
out words God’s own
tongue might deny

she was hungry
she’s always hungry
when frost sniggers into grass
that white and silver sneer
at naked skin

basket balanced
across muscled arm
hands already reaching
to grasp and twist and pull
she almost ate

but heard branches
stripped of coupled birds
smelled roots no snake would kiss
saw perfect happy Gardeners
count the last dead bees

Fuck it she chuckled
and went home grinning
her stomach empty
her basket filling
with star after star after star


Katharyn Howd Machan was born in Woodbury, CT, in 1952. She holds a B.A. in English from the College of Saint Rose, an M.A. in English literature from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. With her husband and fellow poet, Eric Machan Howd, and their two children, CoraRose and Benjamin, she makes a home in Ithaca, NY, where she is an Associate Professor of Writing and Women’s Studies at Ithaca College. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and in anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now, and Sound and Sense. She is the author of 20 published collections, most recently Dreaming How the House of Love Begins (Pudding House Publications, 2002), Skyros (Foothills Publishing, 2001), and Delilah’s Veils (Sometimes Y Publications, 1999). She serves as Director of the Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops and, as Zajal, is also a professional bellydancer who often combines poetry and dance in performance.

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last updated 8 February 2015