ABOUT Holly Pettit:

A former U.S. Army Linguist, Holly Pettit studied contemplative traditions at Harvard Divinity School. She toured Romania as Alviogut Visiting Writer, and attended The Creative Center of New York’s Program for Art in Hospitals. She is a moderator at the Zeugma Poetry Workshop. Her poetry appears in Agni, Antietam Review, Borderlands, The Canary, Comstock Review, Drunken Boat, Exquisite Corpse, Many Mountains Moving, Mississippi Review Online, Potomac Review, Rattle, Texas Poetry Journal, Xavier Review and many other journals. A number of her articles on the contemporary novel-in-verse can be found at Suite101.


Pecan Grove Press

To One Who Lives on the Mainland
by Holly Pettit

ISBN: 978-1-931247-71-9 $15

To One Who Lives on the Mainland reads like a dark jewel, picking up reflections of WWII New Guinea in different people, circumstances, and times. Holly Pettit brings a new idea of form to her poetry – forms like a fragmented letter (a Colonel admitting his homosexual liaisons to his wife), a letter with numerous strike-throughs (her scathing reply), Morse code (a decoded copy is thoughtfully provided), and even a medical requisition form and dictionary which states what some of them really need after the invasion: People long from where they / come from measure time / in things they can’t have Pettit’s work reads like “found” poetry, but it is informed by her extensive research, which allows these people and places to sing of a nearly forgotten chapter of WWII. …let friends / In rain gear and boots come / Curious to this place where they heard / We shed our bags and field glasses, / Our compass and names."                          —Gary Smith


To One Who Lives on the Mainland

Pangaea,
I have recently gone blind

or if not blind
then only farsighted

which sounds mild I’m sure, but means
in truth I cannot read your letters

without posting them on the floor
and then standing up,

drawing out your precious stories
between my toes,

or else leave the pages on the table
then turn to walk far away.

Frightening, this,
and me with no resource for glasses

or even the magnifiers
old men buy in drugstores.

Would you mind terribly
if I found some beautiful youth

who might read to me?
I can act the prince,

add layers of convenience
between me and what I love—

bind my feet so to speak
to benefit my eyes—

and thus add to my handicap
power.


 

 

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