Today's poem "Astrocottage" comes to the Interwebs courtesy of Katherine Leyton (from All the Gold Hurts My Mouth). Leyton's collection explores the subtle effects of the media on our perceptions and interactions, including the pain of alienation and the threat of violence simmering just below the surface.
However, "Astrocottage" feels a bit lighter than that summary would indicate.
Reached via social media, Leyton has this to say on "Astrocottage":
When I wrote this poem I was spending a lot of time at a cottage filled with men who treated nature like a playground for their entertainment. The cottage was filled with deer heads and bear skins, and the men spent their time ATVing, wakeboarding, drinking, and talking about young women as objects and older women as discardable. I felt like I was in a beer commercial.
It made me think about the ways men (and women) commodify nature in these spaces, and how similar that is to how they commodify women, and how sad it is that they miss out on genuine engagement with the world — and the truly beautiful.
on the Jumbotron.
The animals are mascots
to your shotguns, to nature,
which is twenty-two here
and wearing a string bikini.
I saw a deer raising herself
from the meadow,
but it was a beer ad
about chugging cans
as cold as lakes,
it was a head
on the cabin wall,
it was the forest shuffling off.