Two Poems from Niagara Transnational
by Sarah Heady
The following poems are excerpted from Sarah Heady’s book Niagara Transnational (2013, Fourteen Hills), which won the 2013 Michael Rubin Book Award in poetry. Poet Stephanie Young describes the book as “a sprawling miniature theme park of that very American 20th century, party dress covered in the same ‘algal bloom [that] overtakes concrete,’ the past as it appears in the future, singing of a smoldering ballroom, ‘funnel cake dust for the fucked,’ singing of cities that stand like rides, rusted…”
FARMERS MARKET, LOS ANGELES, CA
April 18, 1979
When I shop for pineapple I like to wear my scarlet hot pants.
It’s a choice. It’s my choice. One day
I’ll no longer be concerned with the taste of pineapple,
only its touch. Pain begets pain
and my heels are wondering why I’m still hunting
men. There is the forest. There the striped
green and white awning, a flipped gibberellin switch.
The cellophane noise created by breast touching
breast. A stall owner told me I needed to keep it down.
But this is LA, I screamed, and he clocked me with a papaya.
SPLIT ROCK, LAKE HARMONY, POCONOS
Three women spit down the crack
of a hewn rock and promise
to group-fuck at the edge.
Women are open and empty in the middle,
cocky, made for crowds.
They’ve got weathervane minds.
Because of them,
before I travel I empty
the glovebox of signs
that I was ever anywhere,
that something I saw
entered me for good.
Poet and essayist Sarah Heady writes on human geography, American history, and the built environment. She is the author of Niagara Transnational (Fourteen Hills, 2013), winner of the 2013 Michael Rubin Book Award in poetry. Her manuscript “Corduroy Road” was a finalist for the 2013 Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Prize. Sarah is a founding member of the New Philadelphia Poets, a writing and performance collective whose work was featured at the Philly Fringe Festival, the Bowery Poetry Club, and the Kelly Writers House. In 2013 she was a writer-in-residence at Art Farm in Marquette, Nebraska. A native of New York’s Hudson Valley, Sarah currently makes her home in San Francisco.