Bruised Gospel | Sarah Escue
Sarah Escue is a poet, visual artist, and editor. She is an MFA candidate at The Jack Kerouac School, and she holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida. Her work has been published in DIAGRAM, Gulf Stream Magazine, Dialogist, Permafrost Magazine, Lullwater Review, Atticus Review, Wildness, So To Speak, The Nottingham Review, Rogue Agent, and elsewhere. Sarah is the Assistant Editor for The Adirondack Reviewand a contributing editor for BEATS. You can visit her website at www.sarahescue.com.
Praise for Bruised Gospel
“This is the poetry of pressure, uncontainable lyrics so tightly constructed they explode through a world injured and marked by its injuries, but healing and filled with the most wondrous light.” – Jay Hopler
“If, in this unfolding new year, I can find the faith to pray again, it will be a bruised prayer, and if I find the voice to share the good news, it will be a bruised gospel. Sarah Escue’s poems are a flame on my tongue, a hymn to unity.” – J’lyn Chapman
“In Bruised Gospel, Escue bridges the tender and the terrible, exploring and examining the sadnesses and slow glories that bind us together. Like Louise Gluck’s work, these delicate yet deliberate poems transform image into meaning, recording the moment of realization and leaving the reader more fully alive.” – Emma Bolden
“Through permutations of the elements into language, the generation of sentience submerged into matter, and the alchemy of decay, the incantatory lyrics of Bruised Gospel find "rebirth through refuge," taking up "again this body / occupied by many mouths," becoming "glass shattered," or dissolving, however transiently, ‘into this tilted hour.’” – Jonathan Simkins
“Bruised Gospel takes notes from Sylvia Plath, weaving baskets out of broken thatch, making a toy out of a misshapen chair, reclaiming identity through deconstruction. Escue writes the image at the edge: of birth and death, plain and forest, water and shore. Like stardust in the alpine dew, Bruised Gospel proclaims the reworking of potential into energy, picking up dead lines and branches to weave a wreath, a collage, a photograph, a poem.” – Robert Eric Shoemaker
"Bruised Gospel, a gorgeous meditation on the darkened landscape of the natural world, is filled with images and language so deft and ethereal it will be difficult to not hold your breath while reading. With luscious lyrical precision, Sarah Escue’s poems brand the arrival of a poet whose work will needle its way into your mind, demanding your complete attention." – Christina Mun-Lutz
Drape me in that palm’s shade,
I’m a flesh-sack
with no map to my organs.
Do you know where I left
the blood-pumping fist
that fits beneath my ribs?
I think I lost it in your apartment
last year, after I smashed
the television with your mother’s
The doctor says these pills
will sanitize my cerebrum,
untwist my tongue.
Is one pill per day enough
to remind me of the woman I was—
folded hands, pressed dress,
lips locked tight like a rosebud?
A cow carcass roadside is a shell.
I’m glass shattered.
Mosaic me into something
a droppèd nightgown on hardwood.
An afternoon’s ripe hue,
the apse of a child’s elbow.
dancing girl press, 2018