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Examining Earth’s Forces Through Poetry

Cover Image for On the Bevel.
Janice Fuller


When poet Janice Fuller sits down to write, she chooses three random words and uses them to jump start her creativity. 

Her latest collection, On the Bevel (Cinnamon Press/ 2014,) is comprised of poems she wrote while adapting William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying as a stage production for Catawba College. Each time Fuller began to write, she found herself thinking about the Bundren Family and themes of burial, death, and the weight of our bodies. The collection explores the tension between light and gravity, as well as the deaths of figures like Andy Griffith and Matthew Shepherd, a former student at Catawba College. 

Fuller wrote one of the poems in this collection for Matthew Shepherd's partner, Lewis, who is one of her former students and longtime friends. 

Relics of the Martyr

1. Barbed Wire in Wyoming

You sleep with your arms around
Mickey, the mouse, your back to the wall
so nothing can creep from behind.
Only the boy you loved can come
to you--young but bludgeoned.
His laugh still clear, a shock
of blonde shielding his eye.

2. First Person Expansion

Watch out for pronouns. Strangers
colonize with we. On the tv,
we have occupied your grief,
leaving you nothing
but scraps in a book,
a cup of rocky soil,
a cigar box full of bones.

3. Spring

The fingers of the dead stop growing.
Only hair and nails still reach.
When you cut the grass low, look for them,
sprouting like crocuses from the earth.

Fuller will be reading from On the Bevel  this Friday at Atherton Mill and Market in Charlotte at 7 p.m.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.