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qweyne wifthing

a living talking walking wifing
fucking birthing breathing speaking treaty
god is where he was     & we are both young
enough            for sake of clarity   not all
offspring are included in this tree
her complete education   included
a fair hand   hawking   being daughterthing
to kings & wedding kings & giving birth
naturally   to kings as well   she opens
the schedule for winter prayers with a thorn
her fair hands bound sweet posy of roses
mended turned new-bodied new-hemmed
a consort has only one body     she
makes her body by making other bodies













qweyne wifthing

margaret   when I fuck you I am fucking
all of anjou       all of england deep in france
one can hardly imagine a more
poorly behaved consort wed by proxy
primipara         the final medieval
conventional french royal virgin
a treaty that walks & talks & breathes &
þere she was worthely receyued this sound
stop is quite a muscular event
the text begins imperfectly    with blank
spaces where    her body betrays her
in a new way    or an old way that's
new to her        her body goes all soft &
medieval   all lapis lazuli           matrix













qweyne wifthing

since I am the french qweyne of england when
I take you welsh to myself I turn you
english & I transfigure my body
            the matrix of future kings       
owen tudor when we swive I think I
swink the future                       endlessly enacting
& reenacting our sons & daughterthings
one day when your head is upon a spike
one mad wifthing will comb your hair & wash
your face because you are beautiful & we
were lovers       two hundred & thirty two
years after childbed death pepys takes
my exhumed body in his hands & kisses
the queen's mouth & I did kiss her mouth













qweyne wifthing

like all mothers   she both over- & under-
estimates her own importance & or
influence          bird-startled awake       I swear
this to you upon a dish of herons
upon a nursery of sparrows
if there were towers of owls over water
& upside down in air were towers
& the ten thousand french words the norman
conquest drove into english      & then john
lost normandy in 1204 (I see
my undergraduate hand write it down)
his second isabella had fourteen children
all told      & all      survived to adulthood
a siren  a twelve year old messalina













qweyne wifthing

another primiparous margaret 
a twelve year old girl's body performing
her holding memory    her redy wytte
awake at 5 a.m. to hear four or
five masses on her knees                      margaret beaufort
takes a vow of chastity & a hairshirt
like all mothers      her influence is
impossible to over-state           by whom
she was made moder of the kinge by lynage
what by affinite she had .xxx. kinges
& quenes within the .iiii. degre of maryage
vnto her           thirteen year old's girl's body
giving birth to her only son but one
henry tudor      it turns out       is all she needs













qweyne wifthing

one effective way to pass messages
from the queen to her brother is to have
both her husband the king & her brother
share the same woman             the mistress'
body as tool of espionage   tradecraft
the mistress' body a beautiful dead drop
elizabeth's great grand multiparous
body is the most public of languages
by contrast       if one's mother is a witch
or even if one's mother has the stink
of accusation upon her   people will
say one bewitched the king of england into
bed & marriage               elizabeth wydeville's
three murdered sons     where was her witchcraft then













qweyne wifthing

when I woke in still dark there was a shape
something like a bishop     I thought        this will
be important someday     this bishop's shape
it tells me to marry my twelve year old
body to edmund tudor's twenty-four
year old body               one effective way to
justify fucking a twelve year old girl
is to have a vision        for her to have
a vision that gives you her body her
money her land her long family even
if she predeceases you     if she has a child
by right of courtesy of england    everything
hers is yours     but you will die first & she will
give birth         scared & small & thirteen        to the future









Pattie McCarthy

Pattie McCarthy is the author of six books: Quiet Book (forthcoming from Apogee Press), nulls, Marybones, Table Alphabetical of Hard Words, Verso, and bk of (h)rs. A former Pew Fellow in the Arts, she teaches at Temple University.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 15-JAN 16

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