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Magisterium, 1950: Double Negatives, Pathetic Fallacies and the Exercise of Power

While this so-called Cold War may never be declared, there is no doubt that the Blessed Mother, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.

To ex cathedra teachings must be added those that are non- infallible, which too require submission. Sisters are admonished to work without ceasing to harness the unruly self and keep the world at bay.

At some level the parallels begin to appear. Iron Curtain, iron lung; Fatima, pre-sliced cheese.


White Flight

 My mother lost her past in 1960; her mother never did.

In a prior century, St. Louis broke with the county, roping off a past that festered between Forest Park and the river like an encapsulated cyst.

Crossing the line between suburbs and city, the edge gray then black, the passengers lock the car door, they who had left in cloth coats now trolling for bebop in minks and plaid blazers.


Hit Parade

It began with Gunsmoke, with Straw Hat cologne and Perry Como, and the grandparents on tree-lined streets, dying one by one, all of them, then all the little girls on their way to church and all the presidents and all the colored men on the march into history, an incessant now glowing on small screens in every living room, dogs off the leash, flags in flames, murder bloating to slaughter as though a single bullet wanted us all, the coed bleeding into the grass of an Ohio hillside and the naked child on fire on the other side of the world, running toward the camera, our entire past melting into abstraction.



Holly Iglesias teaches at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and is the author of Angles of ApproachSouvenirs of a Shrunken World, and Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry. Her most recent work is the chapbook, Fruta Bomba. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Edward Albee Foundation. These poems are from “Sturdy Child of Terror,” a work in progress.