I would like to thank Heather McHugh and the editors at Minerva Rising journal for selecting my collection of poems, The Revolution Will Have its Sky, which will be published this year:
Thoughts on The Revolution Will Have Its Sky by Heather McHugh
The personal is political, and politics are everywhere: the courtroom, the throne room, the confessional (real or fake), the brothel, the gallows, and the street corners. Here in The Revolution Will Have Its Sky, Maria Garcia Teutsch presents a manifesto for an ageless cause. By turning her poetic tricks, she conflates image and casts aspersions--we see shadow and reflection, we see queen as whore and judge as prophet as well as thief.
As Heather McHugh asked, in her Judge’s Citation for this year’s winner, The revolution will have its sky--where else might its banner wave, aloft, esteemed--and still be widely legible? Teutsch sets this poetic stage against the clear backdrop of sky, complete with cast of characters--Madame, General, Executioner, Pimp. There is a bishop, but is he fake? There is a judge, but is he fair? “the judge wants/ screaming”, and in the naked truth that the poet lays bare, isn’t that what we all want? To punish others, to absolve ourselves of sins? We want to confess, to be given permission to keep sinning, to make our whores criminals and queens so that they pay the price for our transgressions and also lead us into the next Tiananmen, the next Tahrir.
In the titular poem, “The Revolution Will Have Its Sky” we hear the “eternal song” advancing like a battle march. “If you fasten a collection/ of decorations to a uniform/ you can give last orders to last men. The eternal song/ can prolong the funeral trick/ but for a moment.”
The sexual, political, religious and historical, revolutionary every one, are layered here in bull-horned overtones and covert whispers. Weaving them together, somewhat violently in places, deftly and provocatively throughout, and flying its banner high, this chapbook raises a small yet mighty fist, crying “War, rebellion,/ showers of shrapnel,/ nothing stops them/ coming.”
Tricks of the oldest profession on earth are not tricks played while lying down, they are the tricks of the poet, who in this case is the Executionee. When she “empties her pockets, / words fall --/ iambs,/ quatrains/ couplets./ Nothing to save her.” Let this poetry, this poet be saved, let the language of her tricks and her tactics be more than a Revolution of One. Let them be an eternal song.
--Emily Shearer, poetry editor, Minerva Rising Journal