The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Amy Ash’s “The Open Mouth of the Vase”

Amy Ash author photo for Cider Press Review

Question and Answer

If you understood
the difference between physics
and movie scripts
the answer would be
intuitively obvious.
I mean, of course,
how objects on film
have no weight
in freeze-frame,
how a baseball in mid-air
will remain there, like that,
once you’ve pushed pause—
frozen behind the snowy lines
of tracking.
Throw a baseball at my head,
and it will break open
at the seams, the little bird inside
already knowing
how to fly.
There is no need to take notes
because all of this
will be on the test.
A student in the second row
stops me, mid-sentence,
to ask a question,
her raised arm hooked
like a boomerang.
I am all talk and chalk dust
though I remember
when I used to know
the meaning of answer.
When I tell her
there will be no extra credit,
Tracy drops her jaw,
beak-like,
in disgust.
As the bell rings
the whole flock of them
flaps their returned essays
in a flurry of exit.
Squawk and waddle.
An apple falls off the desk
and breaks open at my feet.


This selection comes from Amy Ash’s collection The Open Mouth of the Vase, available from Cider Press Review. Purchase your copy here!

Amy Ash has an MFA from New Mexico State University and PhD in literature and creative
writing from the University of Kansas. A Pushcart nominee and the recipient of an Academy of
American Poets prize, her work has been published in various journals and anthologies,
including Mid-American Review, Harpur Palate, Salamander, Prick of the Spindle, 100 Word
Story, and The Best of Kore Press 2012. The Open Mouth of the Vase, selected by Charles
Harper Webb for the Cider Press Review Book Award, is her first full-length collection. She
teaches creative writing and literature at Indiana State University.

Melanie Jordan‘s chapbook, Ghost Season, is available from Ropewalk Press; her work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia. Her debut collection, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, was published by Sundress in 2015.

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