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

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tuesday poem #75 : Norma Cole : Extended Play

“a day’s work or a basket of wheat”
Adam Frank, About Time

A promise, if only I knew. Money is not a balloon. I am not sure how to carry it. Let’s have a big hand. A big band. It looks like three hours. Measure drama department. Once you say it, guitar, bass & drums. Pieces of resistance as in rose madder. Someone calls out, “Lefty! Lefty!” The little triangle at the top, and keep it at the table.

Norma Cole’s most recent book of poetry is Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside. TO BE AT MUSIC: Essays & Talks made its appearance in 2010 from Omnidawn Press. Her translations from the French include Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France, and Jean Daive’s A Woman with Several Lives. Actualities, Cole’s collaboration with painter Marina Adams, is forthcoming from Litmus Press. Her paintings & drawings will be shown at the 2nd Floor Projects in Fall 2014.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tuesday poem #74 : lary timewell : the map looks nothing like the thicket

(for Peter Culley)

world down / stocks up, time to
thought walk thinks over

you can count on me not to be
the same in person as on paper


essence credo dwells as an
orphaned bird in autumn light

infinite cosmology of
detritus pond

boiling the phrases down to
the sparrow bone, down to

the personal opaque, the
what the hell ravens no



cloudburst over mirror puddle
& busted pay phones in the arbor

that other poet is the real me, see
him waving back from the daymoon

the meaningful wanders
as the afternoon (just ghostly)

turns a foot fall, suck of mud, sight
in siesta, myriad coastal echo oscura

writing present later in chlorophyll
sweat & the milk of fallen apples

always, each time, more than enough
sun to chamois pears,

the winks of cinders, tattoos
under dirt shirts, abandoned

bedframes, perfect &
inept affection

heart’s a hard breath now, all
pleasures evaporate, sing THE

techne    /   episteme

Heraclites of Wellington, Nihonmatsu,
Fukushima, the unbored because

each step exhales chord progressions
against the grain of cabana coffee tables

that hover low as the lowest Frisbee
skim over sleep-feigning wide-alert dog

thought being

of two minds to pounce on
the immaculate scraps,

lily pond to
lotus gunk.

lary timewell is a North Vancouver writer recently returned from 20 years in Fukushima. The co-founder and publisher of the late 1980s and early 90s Tsunami Editions, he has published a number of titles, including two chapbooks from Obvious Epiphanies and tones employed as loss (a section from molecular hyperbole) recently published by above/ground press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday poem #73 : Arielle Greenberg : Pastoral: Baking

You take all the goodliness:
            the flour from the flowering stalk
            the cocoa from the small dark bean
            the eggs from the laying hens
            the sugar cracked from the hard cane
            the salt and its licking

Put them in my bowl
and muddle

Afterward, I am shining with plant life
skin scratched to newness
flush with animal protein
in my throat
and hair
and os
and cheek
and cervix
and eyes

I am tilled and plowed and heated through
and I come out delicious

Three hours later, you muddle again, harder

That’s one of the things I like so much about you

Arielle Greenberg is co-author of Home/Birth: A Poemic; author of My Kafka Century and Given; and co-editor of three anthologies, including Gurlesque. She lives in Maine and teaches out of her home, in the Maine community, and in the Oregon State University-Cascades low residency MFA, and writes a column on contemporary poetics for the American Poetry Review.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan