Katie Manning is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman (Wipf and Stock, 2013) and A Door with a Voice (Agape Editions, 2016). She has received The Nassau Review Author Award for Poetry, and her writing has been published in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, Poet Lore, So to Speak, Verse Daily, and many other journals and anthologies. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review, and she teaches writing and literature at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Find her online at www.katiemanningpoet.com.
In birthing a baby, Katie Manning has also brought a new book to birth, each poem a living cell growing to a full body of poetry. It is earthy, witty, and speaks out of authentic personal experience. Taut, yet vibrating with life, I love how it gathers momentum as it goes. –Luci Shaw, Author of Sea Glass: New & Selected Poems and The Thumbprint in the Clay.
Tasty Other is a stunning collection where the surreal feels terribly real—Manning’s dream poems about pregnancy and motherhood are funny, frightening, and absurd—which resembles parenthood perfectly. Manning’s voice invites us into her subconscious and makes us feel at home there. Tasty Other is a must read. —J. Bruce Fuller, Author of Flood
Tasty Other, Katie Manning’s first full-length book, confronts in vivid dream sequences, oblique and sometimes disruptive imagery, and persistent lyricism, the anticipation and the anxieties of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. “What to Expect,” declares Manning in a prose-poem nod to the abecedarian, listing the iterations of her experience of pregnancy: everything from “acne, additives, age, and airbags” to “warts and water, workouts and witch hazel.” Both playful and wary (“Expect x-rays. Expect yoga and zinc”), Manning has birthed a welcome new voice in this collection. —Carolyne Wright, author of A Change of Maps and Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire
Week by Week
a speck, the dream of seed and root.
Baby is a dime, quarter, increasing in value—
golf ball, gerbil, your own palm—then more sports equipment: soft ball, football,
By this point your baby is a train, a field, a city, an ocean. This week baby is the
sky. Now a hemisphere. Now a blurry world.
What to Expect
found in the index of What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Expect accidents. Expect acne, additives, age, and airbags. Expect alcohol, allergies, and altitude. Expect analgesics. Expect animals, ankles, and antidepressants. Expect autopsy findings. Expect bathing, bending, botanicals, and breaking news. Expect bruises. Expect cabbage leaves. Expect castor oil and cats. Expect cell phones, chemicals, Chlamydia, and clay. Expect cleaning products, cocaine, and cold weather. Expect computer monitors. Expect copper, costs, and coughing exercises. Expect dance workouts and death. Expect diving, Doppler, driving, and dromedary droop. Expect embarrassment. Expect electric blankets and equal employment. Expect eyes and facials. Expect failure, fantasies, fast food, and feet. Expect fig bars, fingernails, fish, flying, football, and freckles. Expect fruit juice. Expect gardening. Expect German measles, grains, grief, and guns. Expect hair. Expect heat lamps and hiccups. Expect hiking, horseback riding, hot tubs, and hot weather. Expect hypnosis. Expect ice skating, insect repellent, and itching. Expect jet lag and jogging. Expect kick-boxing. Expect K-Y jelly. Expect lacerations and laser eye surgery. Expect lead exposure and lovemaking. Expect manicures, marijuana, masks, and meat. Expect meditation, milk aversion, and moles. Expect mosquito bites and music. Expect nasal strips. Expect nicotine patches, noise, and NutraSweet. Expect on-line drug shopping. Expect optimism. Expect organ donation and organic produce. Expect outside influences. Expect paint fumes, pasteurization, peanuts, pesticides, and pets. Expect pins and needles. Expect raspberry leaf tea. Expect red palms, reduction, religious belief, and rest. Expect ribs, ripening, and risk. Expect rowing machines. Expect saddle block. Expect safety, saliva, and salt. Expect scalp stimulation and scuba diving. Expect seat belts, sex, and shoes. Expect skiing and skin sampling. Expect smells. Expect softball, stockings, and stomach bug. Expect sugar, sunblock and sushi. Expect tai chi, tears, teeth, and ticks. Expect toes, touching, train travel. Expect vaporizers, vegetables, and vision. Expect warts and water, workouts and witch hazel. Expect x-rays. Expect yoga and zinc.
The Minor Mutation
You know babies change in the womb—
to tiny human—
somehow yours kept changing.
Look at the screen: see
the lengthened neck,
Sometimes these things happen.
The good news is
the baby is healthy.
It won’t come out for an extra year
and three months,
so you can enjoy pregnancy even more.
The bad news is
your newborn will be at least
five feet tall.
When you go into labor, you will need
to stand on a high place
and let the baby ease its long way out,
fall hard to the floor,
leave your body
I sit in a conference room
with 20 other people.
There’s an emergency call
mid-interview. It’s you,
What will they think of me
if I take the call? What will they think
if I don’t?
The interview continues.
I have to ride a horse
around a muddy field. I wear a frilly white dress—
I want to look professional.
My left hand holds
the reins. My right
picks up the phone. You are crying.
I drop the reins and take up a sword.
I cut off
my breast to make room on my chest
for comforting you.