Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Tuesday poem #487 : Vivian Vavassis : Elegy for SH, Pascha

For Steven Heighton


Your words, pollen
blooming encounters with displaced
thoughts, persons, a dissipation

of the right to apathy.

Lesvos, an island of (my) sapphic desire
stone goddesses forever slink in pale peach frocks
noctambulant in the dark

intermingled now with leaky rafts un-
seaworthy, and you, rushing to meet

bobbing bodies, bring them sobbing
with relief fright flashes memory trauma home.

Leading them half-lost in your mother’s
land, moonsilvered grass, branches gouging, stiffening

spine, resolve, wilting hardness, kicks aplomb
with soccer balls later, kids giggling, helios on their backs.

I meet you somewhere
in the scaffolding of honeycomb mind
mnemonic wax of conversations, emails

perfumed with your poems.
Do you remember reading in the nave

(hairs perking up in the conch of Zeus’s ear)
full moon of my belly between us?

Your kindness, concern when I left early.
For weeks, you sent me stories about raising

small humans, snippets of haiku laced
with lyre gut.

I learned you had been sick
during the holy week.
Smacked me broadside

stomach a fistclenched clam.
A makeshift altar on my bookcase

is small: bamboo cross and purple kandili.
any toast today bittersweet

wine and bog water
embalming our encounters.

Travel well.
I still owe you a homecooked meal

and olives.

Ottawa, Greek Easter Sunday, 2022


Vivian Vavassis is a MontrĂ©al ex-pat who lives in Ottawa and calls both cities home. Her poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Fire, Arc, ottawater, Paris Lit Up, Peter F. Yacht Club, Glosas for P.K. Page, phafours press publications, and Studies in Canadian Literature, among others. Her chapbook XII was published by Textualis Press. She has been shortlisted for the Diana Brebner Prize twice, and her work was featured in the Parliamentary Poet Laureate's Poem of the Month program. Once upon a time, she ran a bunch of little ‘zines, and she currently sits on the board of VERSeFest.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tuesday poem #486 : Andrew Gorin : SKUNKS EAT LEAVES




Skunks eat leaves, peaceably in our garden
As if this sibilance mattered to them
Ferns confirm a photorealistic atmosphere

Friends go in a hose to drink

When you expect it, there it is
The cup knows the hand like a question
Creases time in the static, turning air

Into vacuoles of discomfiture
Do not adjust your lawn protocol

Skunks eat leaves, mean art hogs
Hogs mean art, art eats
Capital. I have used up all

Of my words for accumulation




Andrew Gorin is a poet and scholar based in Brooklyn. His creative and critical writings appear in Chicago Review, Urban Omnibus, The Boston Review, and Criticism, among other publications. He’s currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU and an editor for the Organism for Poetic Research (organismforpoeticresearch.org) and The Distance Plan (thedistanceplan.org).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Tuesday poem #485 : Rose Maloukis : in winter


     after Fred Moten


thin miles north free air
escalator escalated escalation

barbet dartling
deleaves     sing sing

strew me 

crimson condition contrition
crib me a name

hey Mac ya fella

wild  wild     tuk…tuk…
hammer hammer 

yur domain
domorrow extinction   org you

in Singapore no song

in winter 




Note: The bird is a coppersmith barbet which, as of 2017, had lost 68% of its range of habitat and shifted upslope to 1100m (3608 feet) in response to warming temperatures.



Rose Maloukis is a poet and visual artist, with a BFA from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI., who in 2015 found that her painted lines were turning more and more into written ones.  Since then, her poetry has been shortlisted for an international award, won prizes from both Geist and ARC, and been published in The Fiddlehead. Her chapbook, Cloud Game with Plums was published in 2020 by above/ground press. Two poems have been included in The New Quarterly’s Winter 2022 edition. Several poems are part of chapbooks from Turret House Press. Most recently her ekphrastic poem, Love Poem for a Portrait of a Poem is published in longconmagazine.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan