Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday poem #138 : Beverly Dahlen : "The half-open eye of the moon"

  The half-open eye of the moon over Mission Street
  the scrim-colored sky         blazing shadows on the
  tarmac in the Safeway car park       trees lost in the
  slight breeze over Big Lots     & further up the hill
  lights bite night early now   January still and north
  is north & east of here the continent    to which we
  are thinly connected shifts imperceptibly into dark
  ness ahead of us             while the western heavens
  bloom rosy gray     a late bird gasps and flies away
  veiny branches of       buckeye & cherry at the foot
  of the garden now choked with weeds the emperor
  of which is sticky goosefoot    but little cymbalaria
  lives among mosses and leaves  tiny pinky flowers
  tendrils on the wall

A native of Portland, Oregon, Beverly Dahlen has lived and worked in San Francisco for many years.  Her first three books were republished by Little Red Leaves Editions in 2012; parts of her long open-ended work called A Reading have been published  over the years by various presses.  Beverly Dahlen was a recipient of a 2013 Grants to Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday poem #137 : Jake Kennedy : from Kobayashi the Will


One of the Transformers might rework itself from a giant robot down into a sleek car; the most intriguing part of the transition, says the samurai, is the middle-stage in which the Transformer is neither robot nor car but simply a becoming; Hanshiro as a ghost telling a story of ghosts: educating the clan about their already-happening dissolve into the realm of spirits; John knows how this works, too, and I have seen him sing “Coney Island Baby”—with a sneer— because the sonority of the music—its very romance—is in a battle with an army of two-bit friends; basically, the clan wants H. to resolve himself; when he arrives at the inner chamber, the ancestral armor is exposed as carapace—and it’s also the exquisite anticipation of his own hollowing; it’s as if H. hardly believes his own fury and part of his physical power is the delight at his own relentlessness; a man arrives at a gate and asks permission to tell his story—this is where H.’s narrative has brought them


Don’t explain or apologize, said Nadya to Slavoj, don’t flirt or pirouette, don’t balk or simper, don’t hesitate with me; I carry the bamboo blade, half in my gut: there never could be a story more sincere: in brief, our shit gets clogged in the prison’s pipes and we must take our own hands to unclog the works; it is embarrassing to talk with the hilt wanging like this at each syllable—and yet that is the truth! Tonight Hanshiro Tsugumo is replaced by Nadezhda Tolonnikova; 1630. 13th day of May. Fair skies. Extremely hot from early in the day. Clan journal… into 2013. January. Cloudy skies. Extremely cold—her blood all over the sewing machine; an early shot establishes the complexity of the court: a map; or this is how bodies become lost within the compound; ludicrous convolutions of power; [narrator] when she arrives before the warden it is shaming to be in the presence of her simplicity / resolve / such clouds / a greater hunger / not understanding it he… what role do women play in the film / in the cellblock / in the country? Miracles arrive, as she needs them, in the form of her own unwaveringness to remain “this complexity”; Slavoj cannot understand it / the Counselor cannot understand it / the warden certainly is at a loss; there is nothing to eat, smoke, or read—there is no work: merely ruin or slavery; the sewing machines are engines but they will not levitate the barracks; the fog lacks self-confidence, too, and can only keep them hidden for so long; H. and N. emerge through the air: doors for others

Jake is no stranger to the grass always being silver lining the golden parachute a bird in the hand. He is a proud Thug. These poems are from a longer poem entitled Kobayashi the Will which will be published soonish in a letter press edition by Greenboathouse Press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday poem #136 : Jenny Haysom : Scrapyard

A blue afternoon
and the gulls
patrol. No fish-heads
or dumpster grub
here, yet they angle
and circle, stirring
the firmament,
ready as angels
to salvage. Beneath,
forklifts and cranes
travail, and a giant claw
stacks wrecks
in polychrome
layers. Like mattresses
in a futurist
fairytale, piled high
for the shallow
sleep of automatons,
a strata in which one
white feather
––shrewdly inserted––
might awaken something
or someone.

Jenny Haysom lives with her family in Old Ottawa South. In 2011, her poem "Minnowing" won the Diana Brebner award, and in 2013 her work was long-listed for both the CBC and Gwendolyn MacEwen poetry prizes. Her writing has been published in a variety of periodicals, and she is currently the prose editor for Arc Poetry Magazine.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Tuesday poem #135 : a rawlings : from DUMP

a rawlings [photo credit: Matt Ceolin] is a writer and interdisciplinary artist specializing in acoustic ecology, vocal improvisation, and ecopoetics. She has collaborated with numerous international artists and organizations, including Maja Jantar, the Logos Foundation, and Valgeir Sigurðsson. rawlings' poetry publications include Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006) and Gibber (a digital publication, 2012). Her libretti include Bodiless (for composer Gabrielle Herbst, 2014) and Longitude (for composer Davíð Brynjar Franzson, 2014). In 2013, her work Áfall / Trauma was shortlisted for the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Playwrights. rawlings holds a BA in Creative Writing from York University, where she received the bpNichol Award for Distinction in Writing. She also holds an MS in Environmental Ethics and Natural Resource Management from the University of Iceland. She resides in Reykjavík.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday poem #134 : Rachel Loden : At the Grave of Pigpen

        September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973
              —Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto, CA 

Who gives this woman
to be buried

with this man? I do.
I lie in the green grass

next to you, Pigpen,
without flowers,

not to be star-crossed
but to be forgotten.

Rachel Loden is the author of Dick of the Dead (Ahsahta), which was shortlisted for both the PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry and the California Book Award. Loden’s first book, Hotel Imperium (Georgia), won the Contemporary Poetry Series competition and was selected as one of the ten best poetry books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, which called it “quirky and beguiling.” Her new book, Kulchur Girl: Notes from Berkeley 1965 is just out from Vagabond Press in the ‘deciBels’ series, edited by Pam Brown. She is working on an investigative memoir, Finding Krupskaya. Three new poems are in the current Journal of Poetics Research.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tuesday poem #133 : Jennifer Londry : Hitchcock’s flock

At night they hide in cupboards. Red and white
tins fall down.
They eat God.
He tastes like vanilla.
He goes down slow like the snake that eats the toad, the girl-moth drawn to cinder.  

In the neighbour’s basement
boy dance
a condom in his pocket to shame
her blond sugar.

Burnt sweets, virgin cigarette,
morning paralysis
pin in the eye, his purple song between her legs.

In the morning
she aborts through a window.

All the pretty boys she knows are ugly.
All the ugly boys she knows want to be pretty.          

Jennifer Londry is the author of three books of poetry: Life and Death in Cheap Motels, which was adapted for stage, After the Words, which was nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award, and Tatterdemalion, newly published by Chaudiere Books. A featured reader at the 2009 Kingston Writers’ Festival and at the 2011 Sweetwater 905 in Northern BC, she has also facilitated and organized a literary event for Alzheimer’s Awareness. Jen has taught creative writing and recently was a judge for Words from the Street, a creative writing competition, which gives a voice to the downtrodden, in association with The Toronto Writers’ Collective. She is also a contributor to the anthologies: A Crystal through which Love Passes, Glosas for P.K. Page (Buschek Books, 2013), Where the nights Are twice As long, Love Letters of Canadian Poets (Goose Lane Editions, 2015), and has work forthcoming in the Alzheimer’s anthology, A Rewording Life, editor Diane Schoemperlen, creator Sheryl Gordon. Currently Jen is collaborating with the documentary filmmaker Sarah Turnbull at the Carleton School of Journalism and Communications to produce a mental health video.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tuesday poem #132 : Jamie Reid : FAKE POEM 21 / WHERE I’VE FOUND GRACE

Under the kitchen table with the flour and the cat dish,
in the kitchen sink with the supper dishes and the bubbles of soap.
Behind half-closed eyelids in the sunlight.
Round About Midnight in the moonlit garden.

Two steps down into the Qu'appelle Valley in April sunshine.
Called by name on the street by an unfamiliar voice on any uncertain gray day,
no-one there but strangers when you turn.
Wherever women are talking and laughing, watching their children at play.

The water that falls from the sky is always a grace.
Equally graceful, evaporation in sunlight.
The fact that the very same water is always falling again somewhere else,
and is taken up again, again condensing and falling, again taken up.
Only to know about this, to be able to think about it: impossible grace.

Surrounded by grace, inescapably, always.

Like the ordinary rain
of any ordinary day.

Jamie Reid (April 10, 1941 - June 25, 2015) was a veteran Vancouver poet who first published in 1961. He took a nearly twenty year sabbatical from poetry pursuing anti-imperialist politics. He published four poetry books, and edited a poetry zine called DaDaBaBy in the 1990s. His most recent collection from Talonbooks is called I. Another. The Space Between. One of his last projects was a manuscript called Fake Poems.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan