Subterranean Lyric #3 – Anne Babson

Subterranean Lyric #3

“O taste and see that the LORD is good….” – Psalm 34:8


I am nestled in the folds of filo dough,
Not the nuts, not the honey, that other thing,
The one you can’t identify  but that makes
Baklava not just saccharine, insipid.
You thought it might be cloves, but there is nothing
Cloven in me.  You thought the pastry might be
Turned and kneaded, but I am no yeast; beware
The yeast of the Pharisees.  I make it rise
Without a microbe, loftily unleavened.
Come taste.  Taste and see.  Taste and see me.  I am
The sweetened scroll, the coal to your cursing mouth
Purifying, and now when you wipe your lips
And speak the truth, your unknown tongues will tumble
Pin-pulled — grenades into enemy foxholes.


Anne Babson’s poetry collection Polite Occasions (Unsolicited Press, 2018) just came out. Her first poetry collection The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015) and her current chapbook, Poems Under Surveillance (Finishing Line Press, 2013) are currently available in independent bookstores and on Amazon. The opera for which Babson wrote the libretto, entitled Lotus Lives, has been performed in New York and Boston and Montreal. She has been anthologized in both the US and the UK multiple times, most recently in Nasty Women Poets: an Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2017). She has been nominated for the Pushcart four times. She has been featured on Poetry Daily. Her work has recently appeared in Iowa Review, Cider Press Review, Southampton Review, Bridges, Barrow Street, Connecticut Review, The Pikeville Review, Rio Grande Review, English Journal, New Song, The Penwood Review, Sow’s Ear, The Madison Review, Atlanta Review, Grasslands Review, WSQ, Global City Review, Comstock Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, The Red Rock Review, and many other publications.