To enter into Mary-Alice Daniel’s Blood for the Blood God is to embrace a space where time can be suspended or simply conducted in the deeper regions of the imagination, where clocks have no business being. Here it is always night, the past is always present, and there is always a sense of hunger and affliction. We find in her poems a quiet and searing voice intent on reinterpreting the world to create from it a new logic, a logic that seeks, perhaps out of an ultimate desire for healing or redirection, to understand how well humanity has worked to feed the blood god.Matthew Shenoda, from the preface
“Nightmares,” by Mary-Alice Daniel
The first thing the dead might say
when they finally get a chance to respond
(Terrible singing—terrible songs.)
The dead may be controversial—they may liken us to birds.
Maybe birds should just go a little wild.
Sometimes the spirit-like quality is pleasing and slight—
but every once in a while I want a little muscle—you know?
I don’t yet feel the weight of these enormous birds,
because they’re only wings and wings are only light.
Parrots do have a presence.
They have the quality of bad visitants—a dire nature in
Parrots remember your face—(conspire)—can find you.
A two-inch feather emerges
from a baby girl’s neck:
the body internalizes
the flight-coded language of dreams.