Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Tuesday poem #149 : Ashley-Elizabeth Best : Vieux Carré, New Orleans

It's Spring and the Mississippi writhes like a snake
in a sack, the wind tucking itself into the curves
of my body. I burn alive under the gulf sun, the glacial
swell of my northern thighs melting in the brutal early
morning light.

And I would have wings to practice memorizing every 
street, this city has music nipping at my heels, cocktails-
to-go signs leave me disastered, trying to play sober, to
not touch the art hung around the church yard of St. Louis
Cathedral on Royal St.

A city that sits inside itself and waits. Could I have stemmed
from its ribs? I'm living here in exile of release.

If you want a report of how I've changed, I can't deliver.
I've held the head of an alligator, long dead, teeth still intact
enough to scrape a deep cut like a kiss to the underside
of my wrist. I try to tell it just as it is.

I've gotten away with too much.
Leave nothing untold.

Ashley-Elizabeth Best is from Cobourg, ON. Her work has been published in Fjords, CV2, Berfrois, Grist and Ambit Magazine, among other publications. Recently she was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and published the chapbook Now You Have Many Legs To Stand On with above/ground press. Her first collection of poems, Slow States of Collapse, was published with ECW Press. She lives and writes in Kingston.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tuesday poem #148 : Bronwen Tate : Six Small Poems

I found a sprig of thyme
lodged back in the corner
of your mouth, gummed
            and pungent,
hazards everywhere you crawl.


Macaw, he chirps
to resonate the banjo.
Jams the keys, bites the jam spoon
                Soon flips
and claws when he’s the smallest spoon.


Clapped delighted hands
when he saw the carrousel,
rode the retriever, caroused.
            Parasol or varnish.
Doubt the sound. Intention mulls it.


Angry baby wants
the onion I’m peeling,
says “apple,” reaches.
        Each names
an object round as moons.


Two years old,
he thinks mirrors
are pictures
        face flickers
to grimace.


Watching baby bathe,
bruised lip
from his hard crown.
         Lean down,
small palm along my cheek
repeating “gentle,”
hurts a little.

Bronwen Tate is the author of the chapbooks Souvenirs (Dusie 2007), Like the Native Tongue the Vanquished (Cannibal Books 2008), Scaffolding (Dusie 2009), if a thermometer (dancing girl press 2011), and the loss letters (Dusie 2011). She received an MFA in Literary Arts (Poetry) from Brown University in 2006 and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 2014. She has taught courses in literature, aesthetics, creative writing, and composition at Brown University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Stanford University, where she is currently a lecturer and fellow in the Thinking Matters Program.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday poem #147 : Phinder Dulai: n.e. 209236

product profile – a fine piece of real estate for silent investors


this would be entered into the guiness book of infinite records

the surface
peer underneath
to seek
a one-time
leave a hole
as a

could colonize
the surface
with an s.a.

a great walled city
an intricate
of efficiency

covering each livable and lived surface mile

with a terrible beauty
a ornamental cell
sus stay nd
ready for
and before this

each livable and lived mile

pathways imagined
coated with asphalt, concrete, cement
heavy with intent

as dense
as old growth
from haida gwaii

civic splendor
an inter-connected slab of dominance
will burden the ground
at this centre
of a benign smile

another s.a.

will deliver a party justice
feed an election
source out new income
from time elsewhere
house the
of e-transfers
and keep a worthy and high value transfer list

beyond the horizon
beyond the nine spheres
beyond the line of sight
beyond the light of sound
beyond the observable moment
in a farther place
where distance is silence
where no one might look
for these deeds
to be done

Phinder Dulai is a BC-based author of the poetry collection dream / arteries (Talonbooks) and two previous books of poetry: Ragas from the Periphery (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1995) and Basmati Brown (Nightwood Editions, 2000). His most recent work has been published in Canada and Beyond, Canadian Literature and Cue Books Anthology. He has also  recently collaborated on a sound installation called The Grove – A Spatial Narrative, with artists Carmen Papalia and Andrew Lee, and installed at the Surrey Art Gallery, British Columbia, Canada. He has presented on his work in Canada, USA, and in other parts of the world. His work has appeared in Ankur, Matrix, Memewar Magazine, Rungh, The Capilano Review, Canadian Ethnic Studies, Toronto South Asian Review, subTerrain, and West Coast LINE. Dulai is a co-founder of the Surrey-based interdisciplinary contemporary arts group The South of Fraser Inter Arts Collective (SOFIA/c).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday poem #146 : Buck Downs : by the time I reach las vegas

I didn’t have any interest
in knowing even when
      I thought I knew –

                  know-how. the way
                              it crumbles.
                              hours of time
                        just to jam you up –
            and jokes about
      the velocity – meme
      ain’t even the word for it –

I don’t have to demonstrate
      these spooky prophetic
powers of mine – you just watch out

                  wouldn’t you rather
be demolished by love
                        than divided
                        against yourself

even the shortest day of the year
      can get pretty fucking long

A native of Jones County Miss., Buck Downs' latest book is TACHYCARDIA, available now from Edge Books. Buck is the poetry editor of Boog City, and works at Bridge Street Books in Washington, DC.

photo credit: Michael Geffner/Inspired Word NYC

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan