Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Tuesday poem #427 : Emily Brandt : I still live t\here

 

 

 

I live for a decade
near the six-unit building
where my antecessors
(bisnonna, bisnonno) live
upon arrival    at the turn
of the 20th century.
Sicilian cafe nearby
perpetually empty   evidence
of some Italian    in what’s now
the 83rd Precinct  (note:
English)   is once
the 18th Ward    of Brooklyn,
is earlier     little town
in the woods 
  or   heavy woods
depending on your source
is before land of the Lenape
and before, glacial.
Do my antecessors know   
that the 83rd Precinct
grants them whiteness within
one generation? Can they even
imagine, when they leave Regalbuto?
The great wooden horse
becomes flesh in the new world.

 

 

 

 

Emily Brandt is the author of the poetry collection Falsehood (After Hours Editions), as well as three chapbooks. She's a co-founding editor of No, Dear, curator of the LINEAGE reading series at Wendy’s Subway, and visionary at landscape.fm. She’s of Sicilian, Polish & Ukrainian descent, and lives in Brooklyn.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

 

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Tuesday poem #426 : Natalie Rice : from How the Bones Listen

 

 

I.

There is no stopping
this kind of devotion.

A bar-tailed godwit just flew
12,000km without stopping to rest.

In the middle of a storm,
I open my mouth for water.

How do the sun and stars
look to a bird’s eyes?

What are the spells
to ward off longing?

 

II.

Thank you for drinking
the medicinal bitters:

dried angelica,
dandelion root, and ginger.

This poem doesn’t follow
the recipe.

I pat the back of your heart.
This must be where the spirit enters.

Early morning, a spider crawls out
of Rumi’s ghazals.

 

III.

What are lungs, but sacs to carry
a risk of drowning.

With water wrung out,
coat pockets are deep enough

to hold a face or a myth.
Meanwhile, a woman jumps

into the river, becomes a siren
on the rocks. I am dancing,

wearing songs like different coats,
a tassel dangles at the end of every nerve.

 

IV.

These wings are a soft blow.
How we speak to one another

is smooth and rubbed.
Sometimes, I weep while speaking.

A stone
holds a mayfly fossil.

Everything I’ve ever pined for is here:
watermark of abdomen, stamp of carbon. 

When I die, will anyone notice
my tiny spirit?

  

 

Natalie Rice has been published by Gaspereau Press/Devil's Whim Chapbook Series as well as in several Canadian literary magazines such as: The Dalhousie Review, Event Magazine, The Malahat Review, Contemporary Verse 2, and Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment. She is currently in the MFA program at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan. She lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Tuesday poem #425 : Nate Logan : Any Major Dude Will Tell You

 

The crossover episode is never a bad idea. Meredith got sent to jail for lopping off Dave’s head. I don’t think that word properly denotes the severity of the action. Lop. I’ve got a bar of silver at home collecting dust. After the first day, I knew a philosophy major wasn’t for me (the ethics of revenge). 3-D is overrated and everyone loves it. Believing in nonsense is the same as believing in a car bomb. A workout headband says a lot about a person. Lawnmowers are properly rated. Clu Gulager invented the backflip and demolition derby. This ham is too salty.

 

 

 

Nate Logan is the author of Inside the Golden Days of Missing You (Magic Helicopter Press, 2019). He teaches at Franklin College and Marian University.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tuesday poem #424 : Jack Jung : A Wave

 

 

I had to go see a flowering tree.
Hanging on one of its branches
Was a fruit with a flower on it upside down.

If fruits only come after flowers,
Or if flowers only come after fruits, then

A flower blossoming on a fruit
Like a fabric breaking out of a shell

Is not in the same flow of Time
In which I decided to go out

Before the end of a season and found
A fruit that could not have waited

For petals to wither first,
The flower that could not let the fruit bend

Branch’s arc alone. Lowering to be possible
For me to catch with one hand

That I may push my other in as a flower
Flowers while a fruit forms, or

A fruit forms a flower before it’s full,
Until arriving with an open palm

At the warm rotting core.

 

 

 

Jack Jung is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow. He was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States. He received his BA in English from Harvard, and an MA in Korean Language and Literature from Seoul National University. His translations of Korean poet Yi Sang’s poetry and prose are published in Yi Sang: Selected Works by Wave Books. He is the American Literary Translation Association’s 2021 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program Mentor for Korean poetry. He currently teaches Korean poetry translation at Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday poem #423 : Helen Robertson : Amphibian

 

I lack the vestigial hips                                     to claim

            I belong

                                         only                                                 to the sea.

 

I spend too much time parched                       astride the shoreline

looking to land                                                 believing

                         it could love me back.

 

And every time I venture                                 I find my skin ruptured

by the heat of this assumption,

 

that I am built for that environment.

 

But I’m terrified of drowning;

                                                                        find myself

                                                                                          overwhelmed

by the apparent peace                                      of water —

                                                                                           aware

that its depth

                       can be as dangerous.

 

                   Yet —                                           the whales knew this too

          so,

   at least for now                                             I’ll turn my back to the earth.

 

 

 

Possible witch, definite bitch, and full time disaster Helen Robertson is a genderqueer trans woman moving through the lifelong process of accepting how lucky they've been; using poetry to excise their ire and sorrow — hopefully turning it into something worthwhile.

Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, The /tƐmz/ Review, and others.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan