Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday poem #81 : David McGimpsey : "You talk like we shouldn't be pelting you with wet sacks of garbage"

So far out in the Mohave Desert

there were only two radio stations:

Christian and Christian Pop,  I air guitar

the tune to "It's Chilltown, My Chill Saviour".

Choosing chili verde or colorado

would have destroyed Solomon. Should I die

because I couldn't choose between a mirror

and a better, more cost-effective, mirror?

If you put a massive lump of grey hair

on a potato you wouldn't be able

to distinguish it from me. Potato

do, potato re, potato so, fa.

Though the dust I hear of Bro Vegas

and that the ex is killing it at Keno;

a granite mountain gives up many stones,

"O Totes Cool Lord You're Terribly Awesome".

David McGimpsey is the author of five collections of poetry including Li'l Bastard (Coach House Books) which was nominated for Canada's Governor General's Award. He is also the author of the short fiction collection Certifiable and the award-winning critical study Imagining Baseball: America's Pastime and Popular Culture. David McGimpsey lives in Montreal and teaches at Concordia University.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday poem #80 : Joshua Marie Wilkinson : Poem for Laynie Browne

I guess conceptualism
woke up in the sad nets of yore
& you made another space
to counter it—not

in the armchair of the scoffer,
let alone corroborator but
as an act—more renewal
& recombinatory, quadrupling
the crazed space of
what the edge of making
might could look like if it did
some quality asking together
to gather.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of seven books, the editor of five anthologies, the director of a movie about Califone, and runs a site called The Volta and a press called Letter Machine. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday poem #79 : Johanna Skibsrud : The Real is That Which Always Comes Back to the Same Place

It is, perhaps, for the thought simply to exist—
singly, as for itself …

for distances as against that point to collapse,
be made arable,

assembled in rows … which, for short distances,
one might even

travel along, unhindered … and from which
perspective, one might

see, finally, and come to understand, the way
the farthest visible point

from the thought itself is not a limit, but only
the point at which

the thought, extending itself as if infinitely in
that direction

encounters itself: becomes what it already was:
a sudden violence,

a red ribbon of itself, unfurling. For it to scatter.
For it to become,

as it always was, numerous. A legion of scattered
forces, which,

against the singular, have already begun at a charge:
a final, continuous, attempt

to take the last line. Not to hold it, now, but to
destroy it utterly.

That final point where the horizon rises to meet itself,
and become the limit

of all things knowable, known.  For them to have
already plunged themselves—

their only weapons—into whatever of the words,
or the thought,
outside of themselves, which had, in the first place,
ordered them

to industry or war, can be made flesh: can, that is,
bear contact. For them to

have already turned and fled, tearing at their
clothes, their own skin …

at the wounds they themselves inflict there.  Until
there is nothing

to tear, and even the thought is gone. And will not now
rise, and had not then risen.

Johanna Skibsrud's most recent book is the novel Quartet for the End of Time (Hamish Hamilton 2014). She is also the author of two collections of poetry, a short story collection, and the 2010 Giller Prize winning novel, The Sentimentalists. She divides her time between Tucson, Arizona and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday poem #78 : Kate Schapira : UTTERANCES

who can even be bothered to remember
all the problems with talking
listening and understanding?
where edges between these are uneasy
there may be piercing changes
feeble imitations of bird noises
failing partly in their efforts
to carry very far
unless the edge is a made-up thing

Kate Schapira is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Soft Place (Horse Less Press). Her tenth chapbook, The Motions, her second chapbook with above/ground press, appeared but a week or so ago. She lives in Providence, RI, where she writes, teaches, and co-runs the Publicly Complex Reading Series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday poem #77 : Emily Carr : whosoever has let a minotaur enter them or a sonnet—

) a splitbrain grace note

imagine it: fleshlyness.
leapfrog slingshot see (like eve throwing apples sideways from the trees.
gravity curls fernstalk, a red wind licks
your elbows. in current downriver singing the ocean grows. smoke bellies the flagpole.
slimankled oaks dream in soil.
he goes ahead coatless lightsoaked. breathing in folds, like a fish. he deals all his selves (was it a rib or catgut

like the corollas of a dying sun how/ brilliant

the galaxies of cow parsley, canolacoloured corn…      sour cloudbanks, & tambourines of sun—.
gravity puckers like an open wound.
the orange trees are torched, intoxicated, howling.           from where he stands, observing
me as if I/                                            were grass or dead,

or a sonnet: foxlike, the young flesh of shoulders.

in & out of the trees dark margin—in the green light my saltstripped hair.
where trout lilies used to be the roots of haunted dead.

like an ocean of surface becoming/                                          no surface he would create all white matter from the dark &

unpetal. violet drizzle; wet buttocks; heapedup jewelweed. the delicate fin of a bewildered fish.
where the fireworks leave off: mosquitoes
resume. a mutt tethered to a leafless trunk. Christ is turned back remains/            turned.
a cock crows. cicadas churn cemetery flowers.
a god with too many arms & then one without any has his way with a girl.

on your white chair deciding if tomorrow
will start on the left/                 or the right hand
of god: green fire makes a parabola, licks the cat velvet sky. wellwater pours from a stone dolphin.
the birds & their little psalms scatter
in their saintcoloured clothes, sunflowers choke statues. flower music inside burnt rubber. a catjoy clawsharpening. cornfield testaments
of the unwrapped dead. listen. even this will be taken from you finally,

Emily Carr directs the Low-Residency MFA at OSU-Cascades. She is passionate about the rediscovery of Mississippi poet besmilr brigham, the sexual politics of meat, the limits of Achilles’ honesty and the problem of Chaucer’s spring, unposted love letters, cannibal chickens and a ship too late to save the drowning witch. Emily has been a finalist in seven national poetry competitions, most recently the National Poetry Series. Her second book of poetry, 13 Ways of Happily: Books 1 & 2, was the winner of the 2009 New Measures Poetry Prize. Another book of poetry, directions for flying, was the winner of the 2009 Furniture Press poetry prize. whosoever has let a minotaur enter them or a sonnet—, prose poem fairy tales, is forthcoming from McSweeney’s in August 2015. For more information about Emily and her work or to read excerpts & link to videos, visit www.ifshedrawsadoor.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday poem #76 : Paul Hoover : The Darkness of the Subjunctive

            If it hadn’t rained, we would’ve gone to the beach (Phuc Tran)

If we were in infinity, we would be everywhere,
even inside ourselves, as taste resides in the walnut,
and the walnut resides in the shell.
Then we would thrive inside the subjunctive,
where nothing happens but dreams of being,
as paradise dreams of its inferno,
the inferno of cotton candy.
If only the world had ripened, like a pear,
it might have melted the mirror in me,
delivering its softness to the hard road of the mind,
sixty miles from town.
            And if our grammar were even our heat,
comma, conditional phrase, comma,
we’d be addicted to the sentence,
sentenced to an exile that sees, hears, and thinks,
and is often mistaken for love.
            Trees are chronologies;
every leaf shines, and in turning over it winks an eye: 
if, if, and then.  The world is possible meaning;
the world is possible, meaning:
I might have been an elf, had I been elfin.
But I am not an elf.  I am a giant with tiny hands: 
would, could, and should.
Had I been winged, I might have flown
from industrial field to pastoral alley
on great woolen wings, with the blue face of a bee.
Then it would have been said, “He is repairing to his persona”
or “He is retiring to his future.”  
I’ll copy this by way of the stars, reflective.
Get back to me by facsimile or dream of climbing a night ladder
to the place of ideal size, near a town of simple affection.
But the size of midnight is always the same,
enormous yet conceivable.
If we had been born, lived our lives, and died,
we might have existed.  On the side of darkness, infinity;
on the other, a sixty watt bulb.
What the mirror roars is you.

Paul Hoover is the author of fifteen poetry books including Desolation: Souvenir (2012), Sonnet 56 (2009), Edge and Fold (2006), Poems in Spanish (2005), and two full-length volumes translated into Spanish by María Baranda:  En el idioma y en la tierra (Conaculta, Mexico City, 2012) and La intención y su materia (Monte Avila, Caracas, 2012).  He has also published Fables of Representation (2004), a collection of literary essays.  With Maxine Chernoff, he edited and translated Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin, which won the PEN-USA Translation Award.  He has received the Frederick Bock Award of Poetry and the Jerome J. Shestack Award of American Poetry Review.  Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, he is editor of the anthology, Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton, 1994/2013) and co-editor, with Maxine Chernoff, of the literary magazine, New American Writing.  

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan