Tag Archives: Mary McMyne

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Mary McMyne’s “The Bzou”

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This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin.

The Bzou

Three times, he comes after me on the back porch. Three times.
The first I’m just a child, pigtailed, six years old. My favorite show
is Thundercats; my mother still tells stories about the Big Bad Wolf.
I sit on the steps with a friend, eating popsicles. When he stands to go,
I’m happy to stay behind and lick my popsicle, to feel the hot summer
sun on my toes. Then he comes around the side of the house, the bzou,
a hybrid of Liono and Big Bad, sharp-toothed, red-eyed, half-man,
half-beast. I scream for my mother, but no sound
will come out of my throat.

 

The second time my friend stands to go, I sit up straight, ignore my popsicle.
My skin prickles when the door slams. I stand, the boots I wore in eighth grade
pinching my toes. When the bzou comes around the side of the house, this time,
he has become the American Werewolf in London, wild-eyed, long-nosed.
He moves quickly, legs swiveling from great shoulders, his jaws opening
in a bloody-toothed snarl. I run to the back door, cursing the knob
that won’t turn, screaming for the mother who does not answer
as he lopes, red-eyed, toward me on the porch.

 

The third, it is strange to be sitting on the steps at all. I’m wearing
a blazer and dress shoes, bifocals I won’t need until my thirties. I set down
my sticky popsicle to gaze, puzzled, at the yard I haven’t seen since my mother’s
house sold. There’s the fig tree, the birdfeeder, the scarecrow she stood in the garden
each fall, despite the fact that its arms were always covered in crows. Looking back
at the screen door, behind me, I know that the knob will not turn, that my mother
will not answer. When the bzou comes, this time, I will be on my own.
But when he does come around the side of the house, he is smaller
than I remembered, more man than beast. He walks slowly to the porch,
apparently nursing a wound. He doesn’t want to meet my eyes.
Look at me, I tell him. His are bloodshot.
He winces when I say, I don’t believe in you.

 

This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

Mary McMyne is the author of Wolf Skina chapbook (dancing girl press, 2014). She grew up in south Louisiana, studying English and creative writing at Louisiana State University before moving to the east coast to study fiction. Since earning her MFA from New York University, her poems and stories have appeared in Word Riot, Pedestal Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, and many other publications. Her criticism has appeared in American Book Review. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel-in-Progress and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award. Since 2011, she has lived in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing and an assistant professor at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at marymcmyne.com.

Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Mary McMyne’s “Love”

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This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin.

Love

is an insect taking wing from corkboard,
sloughing off formaldehyde, the ping
of pin, the flutter of label to floor. Love
is shattered glass, the hammer I found
in the shed, the seven nights of stars
above the old mound where grass
has just begun to worm up through snow.
Love is the luna moth I spotted on the back porch
last night, fluttering in the old light trap.
Love is seeing her face in the glow
of lime-green wings behind the transparence.
Love is divining what has returned
to you, when it does, and letting go.

This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

Mary McMyne is the author of Wolf Skina chapbook (dancing girl press, 2014). She grew up in south Louisiana, studying English and creative writing at Louisiana State University before moving to the east coast to study fiction. Since earning her MFA from New York University, her poems and stories have appeared in Word Riot, Pedestal Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, and many other publications. Her criticism has appeared in American Book Review. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel-in-Progress and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award. Since 2011, she has lived in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing and an assistant professor at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at marymcmyne.com.

Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Mary McMyne’s “The Woodcutter’s Wife”

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This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin.


The Woodcutter’s Wife 

“Lead them into the middle of the thickest part of the woods,
make a fire for them, and leave them there, for we can
no longer feed them.”

– from “Hansel and Gretel” (Grimm tr. Ashliman, 1812)

 

 

It rained all that summer. The blight
took the carrots first, then the potatoes;
a mosaic of black laced the turnip leaves.

 

By winter, none of us had eaten anything
but dandelion soup and warmed water,
dirt and thimbles of grain in weeks.

 

The boy scrambled in the cupboard, stealing
precious seeds. The girl went looking for berries
but found only husks, a hive of dreaming bees.

 

The beast that slept at the bottom
of my belly woke; thin-tailed, wild-eyed
wreck of saliva and tiny-fanged teeth,

 

it danced in its hollow den – howled,
stamped, and clawed the walls – until
I knew nothing else but its desire to feed.

 

Make a fire for them, I told my husband.
It was kindness. Let them find their own way,
far away from us, among the trees.

This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

Mary McMyne is the author of Wolf Skina chapbook (dancing girl press, 2014). She grew up in south Louisiana, studying English and creative writing at Louisiana State University before moving to the east coast to study fiction. Since earning her MFA from New York University, her poems and stories have appeared in Word Riot, Pedestal Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, and many other publications. Her criticism has appeared in American Book Review. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel-in-Progress and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award. Since 2011, she has lived in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing and an assistant professor at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at marymcmyne.com.

Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Mary McMyne’s “Estate Sale”

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This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin.

Estate Sale

 

Her clothes do not fit me.
She was wire thin, a mannequin.
I have no brothers and sisters.
Seven black coats sway in the wind.

 

I’ll keep the spectacles she died in,
her favorite nightgown. But everything else,
I tell the husband I married late in life, has to go.

 

On the card table, brooches, necklaces,
faux pearls, an antique pin.
The cold clear clatter of nickels.
My breath puffs cold in the November air.

 

Sell it all, I tell the husband I married late in life
after I’ve forgotten everything she ever told me.
Seven black coats sway in the end, then fly away.

This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

Mary McMyne is the author of Wolf Skina chapbook (dancing girl press, 2014). She grew up in south Louisiana, studying English and creative writing at Louisiana State University before moving to the east coast to study fiction. Since earning her MFA from New York University, her poems and stories have appeared in Word Riot, Pedestal Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, and many other publications. Her criticism has appeared in American Book Review. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel-in-Progress and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award. Since 2011, she has lived in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing and an assistant professor at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at marymcmyne.com.

Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Mary McMyne’s “Wolfskin”

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This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin.

Wolfskin

“A huntsman was just passing by. He thought it strange that the old woman
was snoring so loudly, so he decided to take a look.”

 —Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (tr. Ashliman)

 

Inside, the shadows shape a riddle, a story. The half-burnt candle in the kitchen,
the unwashed dishes. The cloth-covered basket by the door. From the hook on the wall,
neatly hung, the red ripple of fabric. The crackling fire. The light flickering in the hall.
In the bedroom someone is sleeping. At the foot of the bed, two well-worn slippers.
On the side table, one book. One pair of spectacles.
Night fills the room like cradlesong.

 

There it is again, that strange buzzing sound. There it is again, from the bed. Such
a little old woman could not make this noise. When the log falls into the fire, and
the light hits the shape under the blankets, when the log falls into the fire, and
you see the claw dragging the floor, you have already begun to rush at the bed
with your scissors, you have already resolved to slit the beast open, the word hero
stinging your tongue –

 

In the story you tell your friends, you’ll say you took home the wolf skin as a trophy.
You’ll say the old woman thanked you, and the girl went on about how frightened
she was. But the truth is the girl spoke only three words that day: Who are you?
The truth is the grandmother only whispered, white with shock, as she drank the wine:
We were dead. It was dark when you left the grandmother’s house, and cold.
When you tried on the wolf skin, the stars laughed. Dead leaves crackled
under your feet like fire.

This selection is from Mary McMyne’s chapbook, Wolf Skin, available from dancing girl press! Purchase your copy here!

Mary McMyne is the author of Wolf Skina chapbook (dancing girl press, 2014). She grew up in south Louisiana, studying English and creative writing at Louisiana State University before moving to the east coast to study fiction. Since earning her MFA from New York University, her poems and stories have appeared in Word Riot, Pedestal Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, New Delta Review, and many other publications. Her criticism has appeared in American Book Review. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award, and her fiction has won the Faulkner Prize for a Novel-in-Progress and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Promise Award. Since 2011, she has lived in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing and an assistant professor at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at marymcmyne.com.

Meagan Cass is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she teaches courses in creative writing, independent publishing, and composition, curates the Shelterbelt reading series, and advises the campus literary journal, the Alchemist Review. Her fiction has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Hobart Web, PANK, and Puerto del Sol, among other journals. Magic Helicopter Press will publish her first fiction chapbook, Range of Motion, in January 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana Lafayette and an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College.

 

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