Marthe Reed: poem from After Swann



to desire
more placid
these autochthonous

how many times
more excruciating

the charm of
a woman

not strict
in her

“Two or three times”
a knife
a laugh

a disease
adjust themselves to

the panoply
almost a new sentence
the whole of that season

neutralised by his fear
her past
an obscene form

he dreaded
to learn
those vices

coloured, infected by
her very admissions
like corpses in a river

The text for these constraint-driven poems is collaged from the Moncrieff translation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way, accessed via Project Gutenberg.

Marthe-Reed-poetry-reading-250Marthe Reed is the author of three books: (em)bodied bliss (Moria Books 2013), Gaze (Black Radish Books 2010) and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer (Lavender Ink 2007). A fourth book, Pleth, a collaboration with j hastain, will appear September 2013 from Unlikely Books; a fifth will be published by Lavender Ink (2014). She has also published four chapbooks as part of the Dusie Kollektiv; a fifth forthcoming from above / ground press. Her poetry has appeared in New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, New Orleans Review, HOW2, MiPOesias, Fairy Tale Review, Exquisite Corpse, BlazeVOX, and The Offending Adam, among others. An essay on Claudia Rankine’s The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue appears in American Letters and Commentary. She is Co-Publisher of Black Radish Books.