December 19, 2011

Poets You Should Know -- MIRIAM GOODMAN

Miriam Goodman, poet, editor, photographer, and teacher, most recently studied in the Photography Atelier program of the Radcliffe and Lesley Seminars and in the evening workshop program of the New England School of Photography (NESOP).

She is the author of three books of poetry including “Commercial Traveler” 1996, Garden Street Press, “Signal: Noise” 1982, and “Permanent Wave”, 1977 Alice James Books. Her photographs have appeared, on book jackets, in literary magazines, CD packaging and on the web.

A great rememberance of her and her work can be found here.


I try on clothes with you and fifty other women in a mirrored room. Down to my panty hose and bra, I step into a dress and hold my breath. The moment I know my body fails to fit, an apparition of my mother comes and warns me not to get involved with you. You're fat and sad, my mother says, wearing her half-size navy crepe, a window of lace at her breast. She also shopped for bargains.

I'm seeking our reflection in the mirrors, heavy, unsexual, trying a skin for the world. You look for slacks they can't see through. I look for skirts that hide me, yet push forward to be noticed.The stockgirls in the center of the room rehang the garments we discard like piles of novels taken back to shelve. I don't know how to dress the role you'd have me play: a women who loves sex with women.It seems to me that I look bad in everything.

I ask if your grown daughters love you. "They'd better," you say, "since I don't love myself." We are alike in this as in less hidden things and yet we look for love to make us knew. So let's get out of
here and go pick up a turkey. We could slide our hands inside the carcass, roll them in the slippery juices, thinking of each other, of delight. "Look, there's the moon," I could tell you. And I could
write you from the future: "Remember when?" I have nostalgia for this chance, and for my mother. And though I can't make love to you, I could make a turkey with her watching

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