Allyson Paty (b. 1987) is a New York-based poet born in San Francisco, CA. Her publications include In Medias Res, Monster House Press (2016) and Score Poems, Present Tense Pamphlets, 2016. Her articles have been published in Boston Review (2016); The Brooklyn Rail, (2016); and Kenyon Review Online (2015). She is a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Poetry. Paty holds an MFA from New York University.

 

Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of the artist

Effigy” adapts its first line from Randall Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” and was originally published in Salt Hill, Issue 32.

EFFIGY

From my mother’s body, a stranger’s hands lifted me, yes,

into the state.

I assembled a vocabulary.
Grew breasts. Moved calendrically

through empty time.

In the junkyard I unearthed a cash register & pried

its busted case. I reached in & lifted the interior.

In my hands, the levers like ribs.

Home, I lather & rinse the moving parts

so they smell of well-kept men, the chemical idea of pine.

Any object is a statue-machine, shapes pointing toward body.

They charge the space by making me

a target or weapon.