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By Evie Shockley

       we make midnight a maquette of the year:

frostlight glinting off snow to solemnize

       the vows we offer to ourselves in near

silence: the competition shimmerwise


       of champagne and chandeliers to attract

laughter and cheers: the glow from the fireplace

       reflecting the burning intra-red pact

between beloveds: we cosset the space


       of a fey hour, anxious gods molding our

hoped-for adams with this temporal clay:

       each of us edacious for shining or

rash enough to think sacrifice will stay


       this fugacious time: while stillness suspends

vitality in balance, as passions

       struggle with passions for sway, the mind wends

towards what’s to come: a callithump of fashions,


       ersatz smiles, crowded days: a bloodless cut

that severs soul from bone: a long aching

       quiet in which we will hear nothing but

the clean crack of our promises breaking.

Evie Shockley, “on new year's eve” from the new black. Copyright © 2011 by Evie Shockley. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: the new black (Wesleyan University Press)

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Poet Bio

Evie Shockley
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, poet Evie Shockley earned a BA at Northwestern University, a JD at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in English literature at Duke University. Both spare and lyrical, Shockley’s poems often begin with an active interrogation of received poetic forms and practices, such as capitalization. But her work is also interested in subjectivity, the lyric tradition, and notions of place. Coeditor of the journal jubilat from 2004 to 2007, Shockley is a professor at Rutgers University. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. See More By This Poet

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