Brenna Manuel, Contributors

Brenna Manuel

Brenna Manuel’s childhood education began with reading Dick, Jane and Sally and ended with watching riots in Detroit. In 1971, she packed a large box and headed to the Northwest to see the Noguchi sculpture on the college campus. Her focus on academics waned, and she began visiting Indian reservations and canning beets. Nine years later, she received her B.F.A. in painting and moved to Brooklyn. She put up sheet rock and fought legal battles, and eventually got her M.F.A. in Sculpture from the City University of New York. She occasionally writes stories and poems in New Hampshire now, and she teaches college kids.

Read Brenna’s poem in New England Memories:

Brenna Manuel, Featured, Poetry

Lake Host

by Brenna Manuel

“You know bass fishermen…,”
he goes on. He cranes
his angled cheek up to look
one eye closed my way.

His torso bends
forward straight to make
perfect “L” to outboard motor
with blades that glisten
sharply in the sun.

He pauses, sputters,
“Best engines…,” he goes on.

My brows go up-
confused, I pull
my empty archives
on bass fishing boats and gear.

I am here to look beneath the boat
for crawling, alien species from Asian Seas.
I inspect for hardened mussels, sea flora
shaped like Christmas wreaths,
or single strands of seaweed lost
that make the ocean voyage,
desperately grasping hulls.

I don’t know why a clam would travel far
or a man would cast and haul all day
for pounds of fish to weigh and toss away.