TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Self-Portrait: As Harpy’, by Kate Angus

Bird-bodied, women-headed
and so hungry:
the food that spills
over pendulous breasts, the wine
that stains belly-fat, vulva.
The crease, the folds, the flesh of it.
The red of it too.
Who could love you, hideous?
Who could desire
claws that clutch
hair that seeps lank
breath rancid
And so noisy—always talking
shrieking singing if that’s what you call
such noise
claw feet
wings
that you do not use
enough to lift you
fly
rise up high enough
to gouge eyes
out pluck tongues
from mouths
that do not know enough
to know they should praise you

Kate Angus is the author of So Late to the Party (Negative Capability Press, 2016), the Creative Writing Advisor for the Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities at Sarah Lawrence College and a founding editor of Augury Books. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic online, The Washington Post, The Awl, Verse Daily, Best New Poets 2010, Best New Poets 2014, Gulf Coast, Subtropics, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem a Day” and Tin House’s “Open Bar.” More information about Kate can be found at www.kateangus.org.

featured image via Cushion Source.

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