Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collections, Winter Sex (Verse Press, 2002) and The Heaven-Sent Leaf (BOA Editions, 2008) as well as the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers(Crown, 2003), which Publishers Weekly included on its list of the Best Nonfiction Books of 2003 and Esquire Magazine named one of its eight Best Books of the Year 2003.
In The Heaven-Sent Leaf, Katy Lederer draws on her experience as both acclaimed younger poet and brainworker at a hedge fund in midtown Manhattan to produce an uncannily prescient work of high lyric. Though on its surface The Heaven-Sent Leaf addresses that most taboo of subjectsmoneywhat it ultimately confronts is what it means to be, as Wallace Stevens put it, finally human.
The Heaven-Sent Leaf
The speculation of contemporary life.
The teeming green of utterance.
To feel this clean,
There is, in the heart, the hard-rendering profit.
As if we were plucking the leaves from the trees.
Let us think of the soft verdure of the spirit of this age as now inside
of us and swollen by spring rain.
To imagine oneself as a river.
To imagine oneself as a stretch of cool water,
Pouring into a basin or brain.
And if one knows one is not free?
One crawls from the back of the head to the river
And places one's pinkie oh so cautiously in.