Something Here Will Grow / Janette Schafer


Product Description

Something Here Will Grow

poems by

Janette Schafer

ISBN: 978-1-59948-821-9, 40 pages, $12 (+ shipping)

Release Date: August 18, 2020


About The Author

Janette Schafer is a freelance writer, nature photographer, part-time rock singer, and full-time banker living in Pittsburgh, PA. Her writing and photographs have appeared in numerous publications. She holds an MFA in Writing from Chatham University. She was the winner of the 2019 Laurie Mansell Reich Academy of American Poets prize, and the 2018 winner of the Pittsburgh Original Short Play Series. She is the founder and artistic director of Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh.


Janette Schafer’s poems are built of robust, unforgettable sensuous imagery. Whether exploring moments from childhood and family, or the precise feeling of shooting up heroin (one of the most powerful poems in the collection), these poems will sink into your skin and enter your bones. ~Sheryl St. Germain, Author of The Small Door of Your Death


“The ruffles are frayed and delicate unravelings,/ much like Venezuela herself, / much more like my heart,” writes Janette Schafer. Following the footsteps of Orpheus, she demonstrates that however new, the lyric will always be erotic and laden with loss. Yes, she looks back, and there finds the source of her migrant songs, which come salty, sweet, and raw all at once. ~Julia Spicher Kasdorf, author Poetry in America


Looking Down


As a child I haunted the Green House—
our first home in America—dreaming
of flying through space, stars so close
my stomach lurched towards heaven,
towards Jesus in a bed full of children
like me. They said if I believed—

believed so hard—He would help me.
I told Him my father was missing, asked
which star he lived on and if I could fly there.
I made sure He knew how sad was my mother,
that I missed Abuela’s pink basin
where she bathed me on hot days, that Detroit
had no Carnaval like Maracay. On the way back

to Earth, a Yaruro warrior with
red face paint let me wrap
my chubby limbs around his tree-trunk finger.
He told me I had strong tohé, lowered me
down a silver cord into the room of my body,
in the house where my father once lived.



Poems that take you 20 years to write


That time she drank too much
and was not sure if she fucked him

Sharp intake of breath and pain when
the needle no longer found its mark

Inhalation, dig of fingernails, that
first post-rape coital penetration

Strain and snap of metatarsals as a tired
steel worker dozed off, ran over her foot

How she came so close to kissing Jessica
she could smell the salt of her sweat

When there were so many stories and
she couldn’t remember which were real

The rush of fireflies and meadowlarks
when the junk first hit her veins,

His scrotum pressed on the back of her thighs
as his knees pushed her legs apart

When she peed on her lover and walked away
because they both had wanted it.



Where we once lived


There are stories buried
in Rose Cemetery, spun
in dirt and ash, in the charred remains
of those left behind. In this fable,

we find ourselves in the tall tales
of our ancestors, hair coiffed like
spun cotton candy, cookies so tender
they strike children dumb,
parents who anticipate everything,
red checkerboard tablecloths, meals
where not a crumb is burned.

Instead, dirt clings to knees and elbows,
stains clothes with mud and tears.
Pain clings to our joints and ligaments.
We plant a fern, light a candle,

move along our way.





The sweetness of fruit is almost unbearable,
relief melts and penetrates her mouth,
cleanses the palate from the tang of semen.
Watermelon seeds fly from between her teeth.

On the porch, she waits for the thunder. Her feet dangle,
reach towards the coming water. She wipes
the juice with a shred of cloth and spits
another seed. Maybe something here will grow.


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