National Poetry Month Spotlight: Valerie Bandura

Welcome to National Poetry Month, 2016! We’re celebrating all month long. Each day we will bring you a poem we love–a selection from one of our published or forthcoming collections.

Today’s featured poet is Valerie Bandura, author of Freak Show.

Freak ShowJews for Jesus
I wish Jesus came to my sister on the electroshock table
as he had to Saul on the road to Damascus,
watched the wad of Vaseline ooze from the black
rubber nodes they strapped to her head
as they tried to shock her bad brain
into a good one, wish he’d been there
to watch her lip curl into a snarl
over the gag of the wooden bit,
the leather straps strain with restraint
as her back arched in the healing
of the electric pulse, a strobe
that blinded her into a three-second coma
from which she was to have risen converted
rather than fallen unconscious and stone stiff to the floor.
Val Photo
Prize-winning poet Valerie Bandura’s second book, Human Interest, will be published by Black Lawrence Press in 2017. Her first book, Freak Show (Black Lawrence Press, 2013) was a 2014 Patterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Her work is forthcoming and has appeared in American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, and many others. She teaches writing at Arizona State University.