C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

Fox; On Crusade; Of Snakes in Glass Tanks

By: Naomi Edwards


Looked for the fox I saw

in the dark grass when I was 

drunk, between bouts of

cemetery sleep                           observing that the white stones are like

p                                                     shoulders, slumped in church, but what 

p                                                     is being buried if not 

p                                                     infinite church                among worms

this fox 

so differently formed than 

my own flat, loose

ballooning wallow

              amazingly sharp, things can be 

              in moonlight, when

              emboldened, we 

              scent metal in the soil, blood minerals

              in the low stone walls that 

              someone built

              with real human hands            I, too, have hands, if I 

                                                                     could find a thing to build, a real

                                                                     thing, anything worth


              now, at the end of time, which for me means

              end of the first dark stretch of night, start of the next

              unlimited limitless

it looked at me, where I hung just above 

the ground, a floating mirage 

from the bar, a drift

of flesh without purpose

adrift on a drizzling sky

unlike me, a fox could menace

could drive apart the parts of blood 

and make the hairs stand up                              of something small, and still

                                                                                   I, too, am small

am prey

              how my heart

              beats in my hands, my legs

              my heart                                               I, too, will be this real, not 

                                                                                        now, but later, soon.

On Crusade

Twice the ships were called back, and now the cars and trains shuttered

women standing in the sidewalks shifting

weight, nowhere to end up now but here

stuck in another mundane apocalypse                      oh what if the children are

orphaned?                                                  Too bored to care

ten plagues were tossed off, and we received them without anger, even-handed 

dealing to the poor as well as

the more handsome poor

               I handed scorpions by the barrel to a man 

               who talked of leaving:

               “it was that pathetic thing where all you see is

white thighs! Marching on, or spilling over

from the edge of chairs, this close to strength, but

the ugliness


                                             I cannot stand a lady's thighs, I cannot

                                             bear the thought of death that softness


Of Snakes in Glass Tanks

We all believe there are no teeth.  Surely

there is no more death now.

Green lawns abound between new

or remodeled responsible housing

that is basically affordable if 

you speak of things basically, in code.

There are very few serial poisoners, very 

few, and we don't know them 

very well.  Some folks became addicted

to the drugs; it's not their fault, they have

no teeth.  Their teeth fell out, because

of drugs, because we tried to pity them.  

Naomi Rhema Edwards completed her BFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives and works in Pittsburgh.

Interview with the Poet:

Cathexis Northwest Press: How long have you been writing poetry?

Naomi Edwards:

I couldn't read until I was eight or nine, so sometime after that.  But definitely I was a kid who wrote a lot.  I was very taken with the woods, with animals, with the big garden that we had growing up.  So I was always writing little comics, little stories, little poems about those things. CNP: Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?


Not specifically. Whatever they made us read in 8th grade English---probably something mopey and lyrical. John Keats, T. S. Eliot, Wilfred Owen.  I loved all of it.  CNP: Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?