2019 Antioch-Frontier Fellowship Winner: Prophecy from the Oracle of Self-Harm by Cass Garison
All of Cass Garison’s submission to our 2019 Antioch-Frontier Fellowship blew us away—but this poem in particular stood out with its vivid and meaningful violence, its compact and dynamic lines, its emotional adventurousness. As the winner, Cass will be leaving to attend Antioch LA MFA’s Summer Residency tomorrow, where they will participate for the next 10 days as a full student in the workshops, lectures, readings and other activities. Congratulations to Cass and to Antioch for adding their voice to the newest cohort!
Prophecy from the Oracle of Self-Harm
My nails are bitten down
to a pulp, ten small berries
leaking red. I carve out
my own eyeball: a tiny planet
falling out of orbit, crystal
ball rolling between the paws
of a cat. I need no tools
to read the future. No knucklebones
or tea leaves, deck of yellowed cards
with tattered faces. The birds
no longer confide in me, so I turn
to my own body, study the curvature
of my spine as it ages. Life-lines
on my palms: threads tugged tight
between a pair of shears. When all else fails
I use my teeth. Uproot
them like radishes, arrange them
in a copper bowl near my feet.
Cass Garison currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin & Marshall College. They have work published or forthcoming in River Styx, Washington Square Review, Nimrod International, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art, and others and is currently a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. See more of their work at CassieGarison.com.