Jan Bottiglieri lives and writes in Schaumburg, Illinois. She earned her MFA in poetry from Pacific University and is a managing editor with the poetry annual RHINO. Her poems have appeared in journals including Rattle, Court Green, Sugar House Review, and Best Poetry of the Midwest. She is the author of two chapbooks and the full-length collection, Alloy, from Mayapple Press.
Editor’s note: The following poem is from Ms. Bottiglieri’s current manuscript, titled Everything Seems Significant, which is a chapter-by-chapter ekphrastic response to the Final Cut Blu-ray of Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film, Blade Runner.
[You’re talking about memories.]
Memories—you’re talking about memories
I’d said. Then he spread hers out: memories.
Shot after shot, my black-banded bottles:
boneshape to blur to blackout memories.
My photographs, my artifacts. Collect
and re-collect: what place without memories?
Daydream of hoofbeat, pulsepound in white.
So much sound and light make me doubt memories.
Snake-scale shaped like a tear, a drop, a seed.
What could I plant that would sprout memories?
What was becomes what is. The little veils,
the listen, Pal. Fashions rout/e memories.
Do you love them? Do you trust them? What can
we ever rely on that won’t flout memories?
Asked my name, I blurt B263-54,
then blank. What’s that say about memories?
Missile Hymnal Amulet
Poems by G. F. Boyer
These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”