Emari DiGiorgio


Emari DiGiorgio makes a mean arugula quesadilla and has split-boarded the Tasman Glacier. She is Associate Professor of Writing at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a NJ State Poet-in-the-School. She was named a Distinguished Teaching Artist by the NJ State Council on the Arts for 2012 and received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anderbo.com, Conte, DIAGRAM, and Poetry International. She also was featured on the Dodge Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Friday Blog: http://blog.grdodge.org/2012/07/13/poetry-friday-emari-digiorgio-2012-festival-poet/.

Understanding Dear Alice’s Dilemma

There was no looking glass to step inside myself,
just a small tear in the fluorescent green piling
at the bottom of the concrete stairs: the damp

gullet of a pilot whale, the kind of dark I might
be willing to wear a helmet for. If my mother
and grandmother had called or looked for me,

I’d not heard them. Though my body nested
between cool grit of cement and rug’s weave,
I’d teleported, not to a garden party, but to Amritsar:

watched an elephant heft ten-ton sacks of rice.
Beyond the hums of the house, the dirt beneath it,
the center of the earth asked for its turn.

I’d emerge, sepia-toned, a she-peacock,
spread my hands, lined, as if with charcoal,
as if I’d been in some deep mine. A bird in me

had hatched. They’d ask what I’d seen. A spider,
spinning the spool between her legs, a web
holding her and the righteous sac of offspring.

In trying to imagine the childhood journeys I took without leaving the house, this poem emerged.