Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesday poem #280 : John Phillips : NO PREFERENCE

for Jasper Johns 

Sometimes I think it, and then write it.
Sometimes I write it, then think it.
Sometimes it writes itself, then thinks me.
Sometimes it thinks itself, then writes me.
Sometimes neither it or me thinks or writes.

Each of these situations is impure.

John Phillips is the author Shape of Faith (Shearsman Books, 2017), Heretic (Longhouse, 2016), What Shape Sound (Skysill Press, 2011) and Language Is (Sardines Press, 2005), along with several chapbooks.  He presently lives in St. Ives, Cornwall.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Tuesday poem #279 : Jenna Lyn Albert : Clairvoyance

The fairgrounds smell of woodchip and whey, the petting zoo’s dank tincture blending with popcorn kernels pressed deep into shoe treads. The carnival rides are touch-and-go wash your hands, flashing LEDs obscuring August’s airglow with kaleidoscopic colours. The Zipper’s down, the Tilt-a-Whirl too, undigested corndogs yet to be squeegeed down the honeycomb metal grating. The fortune teller’s tent is plain-Jane, not the gaudy purple velvet I’d come to expect, only half-burnt out Christmas lights for decoration, hardly enough to glitter the gloam. A black cat bristles at a couple of toddlers trying to touch its coat, fingers cotton candy resined. I chase the kids off, the cat weaving between summer-slick calves, nuzzling my left palm and I wonder if it’s been treated for fleas, rabies. The psychic hisses at me through canvas drapes, bodiless voice harsh as a smoker, a joker, a midnight toker playing over loud speakers and I’ve watched enough Final Destination films to avoid the attractions, to avoid going into her tent. “You know the future,” she says, and I’m not so sure that I don’t, I just don’t want to. All the MASH games and paper cootie catchers in grade school augured little other than my love life, how many children I’d have, where I’d live; I’ve yet to marry Justin Timberlake, but I always landed on zero kids, an apartment, the life of an academic or artist. The moon’s eclipsed by the Ferris wheel and we’re all shadow shapes now, stuck in the flux and flow of an “Ever-Expanding Universe” like cosmic dust bunnies, and I could take up fortune telling myself if I know as much as the psychic claims, a bunch of hullabaloo, but I’ve got a bad feeling about the Strawberry ride, that it’s time to leave, and sure enough, a little girl’s been scalped, hair caught in the machinery and gears, ripped off from the eyelids up, I feel my confections coming up the way they went down. Nothing’s coincidental.

Jenna Lyn Albert is a recent graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s creative writing program and an editorial assistant at The Fiddlehead. Her poetry has appeared in The Malahat Review, The Puritan, Riddle Fence, The Antigonish Review, and CV2. Her debut collection of poetry, Bec & Call, appears with Nightwood Editions this fall.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday poem #278 : Annick MacAskill : Great Black-Backed Gull

We think we saw it—you were in the waves,
your torso pressed to the board, letting go
as they formed, their underbellies unrolling  
from the glint of post-dusk sky to frosted glass,
bits of froth casting fish phantoms over the ocean floor.
After a brief dip, I never left the towel,
the tan pages of a library book sticking
to my fingers.

You yelled out from the water, pointing—
like any other gull, ordinary, its calls
swallowed by the distance, remarkable
only for its size. We second-guessed;
the binoculars still under the passenger seat
of your car, no nomenclature
ready for our lips. We tried later
in the bookstore, heads bent
over the species guide
unfolded like a take-out menu
in our hands—the bird at once
singular and improbable
because of how clearly it appeared to us.

Annick MacAskill is the author of No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in publications including the Literary Review of CanadaGrainPrismVersalRoom, and The Fiddlehead. Other writing has been longlisted for the CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize, longlisted for The Fiddlehead's Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Originally from Ontario, she currently lives and write in Halifax. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday poem #277 : beni xiao : MODERN ART: a twitter poem & ode to pasta (disclaimer: drinking in public is illegal! And i do not condone it!!!)

beni xiao is 22 and chronically ill. they have a capricorn moon and rising so u will never see them emote a single emotion. their chapbook bad egg was published by rahilas ghost press in 2017. u can find them online @verysmallbear.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday poem #276 : Laressa Dickey : (Bolsena 1969)

—after Cy Twombly

John ran hard through the door and busted it open.
The bulb was easy to smash with his little hands.
Icarus on Tuesday or the Lord himself come for breakfast.
Bacon, eggs. The smell of wool and aftershave.
Eighteen feet of bailing twine. Plot
Measurements for caskets; for seed beds;
And the devil with it all. The name
Of David. Jump.

Laressa Dickey [photo credit: Dina Debbas] is a writer based in Berlin. She’s the author of several chapbooks including A Piece of Information About His Invisibility (MIEL) as well as three poetry books: Bottomland, ROAM and Twang.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan