© 2018 by RI 

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POETRY

Rebecca Irene's work is published, or forthcoming, in Carve MagazineJuked, The Atlanta Review, Typehouse MagazineBurningword Literary Journal, *82 Review, Amaryllis, Dime Show Review, Balancing Act 2, and elsewhere. 

 

She received a 2018 fellowship from the Norton Island Artist Program, where she lived in a remote log cabin, and moved her first-book manuscript, Weigheth The Worth, close to completion. 2019 residencies were granted from SAFTA, and Hewnoaks. 

 

Selected Poems

"Stay," in Typehouse Magazine, Spring 2019


As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool
returneth to his folly.
– Proverbs 26:11 KJV
 

When I taught the Bible, I was in love
with Solomon – Poet. Ruler. Lover.
Until I discovered that he enjoyed
watching dogs scavenge the dead.
Caress
of carcass in the teeth of want.
                     *
I was well suited for conversion,
developed the face of a martyred
saint. I asked women to church
on street corners, buses, & subways.
Pleaded in cafes, pools, & bars.
Whenever I taught Solomon,

 

I disremembered his 700 wives,
& 300 concubines. I kept my doubts
to myself, shared Solomon’s verse
in strident tones. Taught with symbols:
fool as woman, folly as sin. As a dog
returneth to her vomit, so a woman
 
returneth to her sin.
I imagined Solomon,
freed from lusts, at long last, at the right
hand of our Lord & Savior, approved.
The thrill of saving souls was like no other.
Chosen. Redeemer of the lost. I forgave
each confessor, offered her repentance,

 

offered the sacred scriptures of Solomon
as solace, baptized with song, & gazed
into her eyes. As Solomon must have
after each new battle. Bathed, sated,
resplendent in royal righteousness,
with new flesh by his side. Some of those

 

I studied the Bible with remain faithful.
Zealous. They still call me their spiritual
mother, & pray for my lost soul. Sometimes,
I wish I could return to them, find faith’s
certainty again, but that was so long ago –
I was unable                               to stay.

 

"Dear Cicada (or Diatribe in a Favorite Childhood Tree)," in Juked Magazine, August 2019

 

"Customers Tonight," in *82 Review, Winter 2018

 

"The Walk to School," in Burningword Literary Journal, July 2018 

 

"Blindside," in Deep Water-Portland Press Herald, July 2018

"Dodo Show," in Amaryllis, June 2018

"It's All Good," in Eunoia Review, May 2018

 

"Side Work," in Dime Show Review, April 2018  

"You have come to the shore. There are no instructions."

—Denise levertov