Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday poem #125: Jennifer K Dick : CERN 59

I dreamt of little green Martians in Timbuktu, of Keplar’s mountains, of a Newtonian halo drawn over my skin using a pair of compasses[1]. I heard someone down the hall whisper “When we lean together our burning profiles shatter.” What I thought was that I had been slipped something by the R&D department, said “the black funerary urn between us” and toasted an imaginary Einstein. “Oh, nobody can work the negative spaces like you, kiddo.” Da Vinci was chained in a corner. Someone at CERN explained that otherwise he took off into the night. Many sightings had caused a kind of Templar-esque society to brew up in the villages nearby. “Can’t have that,” one of the secretaries by the front door buzzed. I squinted. I blinked. Da Vinci’s beard seemed to be growing longer by the second. I thought of embryos in the 8th week making 250,000 new neurons every minute. Far off, in Canada, a poet wrote “Embossing tools etch patterns onto gilt.” Fair enough. But I figured I should cut out while I was ahead, in a kind of cumulous nimbus. Turning out the gate, I spotted something not unlike a cheap neon sign. “God Awaits” or was it “Awakes”? I hit the gas soaring into a new night, CERN only a spot on the horizon behind me.

[1] Using some rearranged lines by Meira Cook, from the start and end of Wife of Saint Casaubon of the Long Silences at the Breakfast Table, online at: http://www.dusie.blogspot.ca/2014/04/tuesday-poem-56-meira-cook-wife-of.html

Jennifer K Dick resides in France but is from Iowa. She is the author of CIRCUITS (Corrupt, 2013), ENCLOSURES (BlazeVox eBook, 2007), FLUORESCENCE (University of GA Press, 2004), and 4 chapbooks: CONVERSION (Estepa editions, Paris, 2013) including art by Kate Van Houten, BETWIXT (Corrupt, 2012), Tracery (Dusie, 2012) and Retina/Rétine (Estepa, 2005). She is currently at work on a large prose poem project about the CERN. Jennifer also teaches at UHA in Mulhouse, France, curates the Ivy Writers reading series in Paris and the Ecrire l’Art mini-residency for French authors at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse. She is a poetry editor for VERSAL out of Amsterdam, writes book reviews for various places and a poetics column for Tears in the Fence (UK). For more, see her blog at: http://jenniferkdick.blogspot.fr/

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday poem #124 : Charles Bernstein : Song Dynasty

u can-
't sa-
y i-
t wa-
y any-
e or
but n-
by al-
l mea-
s b-
it's sti-
not th-
e sa-
e or
the s-
e o-

Charles Bernstein is a venture poet and operative specializing in founding and developing innovative new media platforms and non-media portals through his Panacea Holdings.  He is CFO of Poets Ludicrously Aimless Yearning (PLAY) and Director of Dsyraphic Studies at the Institute for Avant-Garde Comedy and Stand-up Poetry. His books include My Side of the Street Is Not on Your Map, Buddy; Elusive Allusions: Selected Koans; and the national best seller Stupid Men, Smart Choices.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday poem #123 : Victor Coleman : Jacques Derrida

A naked girl with long jade earrings trying to take a photograph with an empty camera

A small man with a tired face and a black bag came down the steps from the pier

In front of a faded stucco arch we skidded to a stop and I took my feet off the floor

When a guy out of the liquor traffic marries into a rich family

The same ash blonde in a suede-like black dress got up from behind it

Which means he's due to start getting stiff pretty quick now he's out in the air

Cars were parked on both sides of the highway with the usual ghouls of both sexes

Then he hits the pier hard and clean or he don't go through and land right side up

Seaward a few gulls wheeled and swooped over something in the surf

He fingered the head, peered at the bruise on the temple, moved it around with both hands

He opened his bag and took out a printed pad of D.O.A. forms and began to write

All she wanted was to kick a few high ones off the bar and have herself a party

Something that glistened in the morning sunlight was on its deck

He lifted a lax dead hand and stared at the fingernails

Victor Coleman lives and works in Toronto. His last four books were published by BookThug, including Miserable Singers (Book One) (2014). He has recently taught courses in modern and postmodern literature at Toronto New School of Writing, and leads an ongoing Writers Workshop at The Coach House Press that is open to anyone interested in “progressive” writing and thinking. He is currently working on a memoir, a history of small press publishing in English Canada (1940-1990), and a new volume of More Miserable Singers.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Tuesday poem #122 : Mary Austin Speaker : two cowboy poems


mountains steady
in the distanced blue

desert gold
with loden shrub

and snowdrift
filling out the sage

why is it heart
breaking to know

the places where
few humans go

are those
of little change

little rain
inured from wreck

or residence
by hosting only

what persists
despite everything

to grow, or go,
snowgeese, antelope,

the common vole,
spike pointed wild

chive furrowing
an acidic root

into sandstone
and the hook-

beaked crow,
but not the cow

trucked in from
a pastoral scene

to fatten
in feedlots, no,

not these, who turn
run lowing

from the approaching storm
so the cold stops them dead

in their tracks,
not these animals

whose fear rolls
and pitches so any

human who approaches
sends their heavy bodies

staggering back
not these massive bulls

whose balls
the cowboy ties

together and together
full of fright

and flight
they ride.


The cowboy wrote me,
The west is vanishing,

and I am, too. He wrote,
the sea was born of earth

from the Great Salt Lake.
He wrote, come and find me

under the sow-soft sky
where the sweet scented corn

ferments in the bellies
of cattle. You see them

plodding after dark,
black cows asleep

on asphalt big enough
to stop a dooly truck.

The cowboy tried sailing.
Tried exploration, war,

tried and tried.
Each one slipped

he said over the edge
of evening and was lost.

Except this doomed existence,
he wrote, filling orders

for American appetites.
Whitened figure

on the sun-warm crust.
The gods and men

would love it here,
the cowboy wrote me.

Men awake
in the midnight squall,

men eating fried lotus
in the clicking heat,

men running headlong
into the funnel’s swirling heart,

he told me, to see the gods
at war. They take their dogs

with them everywhere they go,
so when you see one chained

outside a shop, you know
this, too, is a house of worship.

Mary Austin Speaker is a poet and book designer. She is the author of Ceremony (Slope 2013) and The Bridge (forthcoming from Shearsman in 2016) as well as four chapbooks and a play, I Am You This Morning You Are Me Tonight (Bridge 2012) written with her husband, the poet Chris Martin. She has taught at the Iowa Young Writers program, Indiana University, Kirkwood Community College, and the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. She was recently a Bartos Fellow at the United World College and a writer in residence at the South Minneapolis Society Library. This summer she will be writer in residence at the Floating Library in Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband and son.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday poem #121 : Shannon Maguire : Incorrigible

Night off! borrowed frock peach berserk smoke thick as vaseline over tux-tails on dance floor. spontaneous combustion neckings in annex storefronts & roommates walk in while pinned under at knife point (fully clothed on living room carpet). they smile and creep up servants’ stairs assuming negotiated, but total surprise, actually & last of three dates with aspiring romance novelist. Night off! cherry beach blind date. idea for never-to- be-made-film starts with exterior night butch with pretty face stripped naked (but not shown in titillating way) and cuffed by group of cops cut to exterior sunrise she hobbles wearing only a shirt pulled down as far as it goes about fourteen blocks to brownstone where femme in 60s dress opens door registers shock ushers inside cut to exterior we’re walking all night different parts off city, stalling, cut to interior crack of pancakes at mel’s in annex close as we get. ever. Night off! cherry bomb at andy pool hall outside in line waiting in rain goosed by leather dyke, quickie in stall with different butch cabbing home: her dime my place chocolate martinis eight or nine between us turns into four months, ends in choking & bruises, so much for that. Night off! coffee with straight femme friend that other friends ridonculously think is perfect match, admit fear-flight thresholds screaming but soooo not border patrol! rush off to date four with bi femme met though dial-in service in free weekly, sex on date three outstanding but spend evening unintentionally recalling scraps of convo with straight friend and date knows it, long subway ride to work after part of night spent in 24-hour greasy spoon with severe case of the broods. Night off! after-shift close encounter with zombie walk, wanting to join but not quite dressed for horror success, instead meandering westward everyone away for not-holiday weekend. Night off! first day off fifteen day juice cleanse carefully timed to coincide with severe lack of funds, attend friend’s poetry launch skinny as grade 11, mutually flirting with scorching but much younger trans guy when combo of gifted intoxicants pile drives night. Night off! three months since last kiss & total mess so write “kiss stranger” as item three on to-do list as prank never guessing that out with friend that night would meet “The Voice” from cbc and kiss a tall stunning blond, saved from dying of boredom and loneliness, lake-locked, lost in own coils.

Shannon Maguire's [photo credit: Tanis MacDonald] first collection, fur(l) parachute (BookThug), was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Golden Crown Award for Lesbian Poetry and the Manitoba Magazine Awards in the category of Best Suite of Poems. She was a finalist for the bpNichol Chapbook Award for her chapbook Fruit Machine (Ferno House) and has a poem in The Best American Experimental Writing of 2014 (OmniDawn). Her second collection, Myrmurs, is forthcoming from BookThug in fall 2015.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday poem #120 : Elizabeth Treadwell : 3 from Penny Marvel & the book of the city of selfys

selfy as both anchorite and mermaids

the horizon’s vague, strict in my masquerade, my shy
passersby— famous anchorites, when we were
the bright imaginaries of the dawn—
awash in this, our softest lexicon—
piercing the lacy portals of an ancient remnant—
tiny beings as we glisten, curving

selfy as a painful exciting atlas

nurse junctures haven’tsea, hidden extremely songs:
very old folk motion, the animals, the plants, and stillness—
fashion geranium play, since jobby, but again, typical, decent, essay—
given jewellery, obsolete lucky outside
current expansion theory—
what kind, daily, there’sanew
able, library, sorts

selfy as the duchess of normcore

the gnostics give birth to him again and again,
forever normcore, in the sacred cave of
subjectivity and wifely splendor, whereby
doctrine cauldron
oak damsels magpie entrail—
the nymph echo
as the fish
and the rivers

Elizabeth Treadwell's latest book is Posy: a charm almanack & atlas and a career-spanning selection appears in the new anthology Out of Everywhere 2. The poems for today's Dusie are from a new manuscript, other materials toward which reside at pennymarvel.tumblr.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan