ISSUE 43FE Magazine Series #2 // Fonograf Editions collaboration
Off the Shoulder of Orion
Off the Shoulder of Orion is an elegy for my mother who passed away on the winter solstice in 2020. The last 25 years of her life were a degradation, and then a full-on plunge into dementia—though she battled her own brain her entire life—and she was legally blind when she passed. The poem was initially composed over the course of a couple nights of enduring insomnia in the week following. A line would come, I’d grab for my device then think now I’m going to rest and then there was another line. The recitation was filmed in the kitchen on a rainy Friday by my partner Kali Sullivan, in our house on the edge of Schorsch Village in Chicago. I love to cook, and this room has provided many small but necessary moments of delight during the pandemic.
Joel Craig is the author of Humanoid (2021) and The White House (2021), both from the Green Lantern Press. He co-founded and hosted the Danny’s Reading Series in Chicago from 2001-2015 and serves as an artistic associate for the Lit & Luz festival (litluz.org) and poetry editor for MAKE literary magazine.