Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday poem #212 : Collier Nogues : The Bomb

The bomb itself, rather than we who made it, largely invented the characteristics of being softened by abrasion, being wounded, flayed, our eyes melted; and from this what came to be beloved was the gloss and fear of children in general.

Fear itself, rather than the flayed concrete which banked it, comprised all our houses; and from this surprise what came to be a shelter was cruelty toward our enemy.

The moon itself, its greens, the water casting back and forth for its owner, these largely absorbed our fears of being cruel and inhuman; and from this sanction we came to wave our children forward through the glossy bomb-soft grasses.

The war itself, rather than the children who loved it, largely weathered the white flags, and we ourselves weathered the war; and from this window into our power we came at last to see our flags as white with triumph, in a greenlit glossy childless night.


[This poem riffs on syntax borrowed from John Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII.]

Collier Nogues is the author of The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground, selected by Forrest Gander as winner of the 2014 Drunken Boat Poetry Book Contest, and On the Other Side, Blue (Four Way, 2011). Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Fishtrap. She is the 2016 Writer-in-Residence at Lingnan University and a PhD Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, where she studies contemporary poetry’s response to US militarization, particularly in the Pacific. She also she co-edits poetry for Juked and curates Hong Kong’s English-medium poetry craft talk series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday poem #211 : Jessica Popeski : Seven by Three



Pigeons upholster a wire. The sky diffuses, apricot to
coffee-ground black. I pick off my nail polish like it's
my job, don't— quietly— don’t, don’t eat exactly sixteen

grapes (every night.) Amalgamate skittering thoughts;
midges in a net. Me step-grandad sold cigarettes from
a dispenser on’t kitchen wall, smoked most ov ‘em

‘is’sen, lungs congested wi’ cancer, treacle-like tar.
I backspace a comma, consider a semicolon. Below,
a streetcar bells. Its Tristan chord stacks an augmented

fourth, sixth, and ninth above the bass, elicits a wince,
like chewing lime when expecting tangerine, segments
riddled with pips, maggot-white. My maine coon

rearranges his coat on the arm of the settee, spine turned.
Cats don't worry about being seen as antisocial, walk
away when they've had enough human, will stalk a wiggle

of string, suspend disbelief, imagine a vole. My shoulders
are up to my earlobes, the stiffness of over-pumped tyers.
You visit, undisclosed. There’s a better way to cook.

You are glassy. You are lavender in my pillowcase. Later,
water stutters, kneads me. My voice will never be more
radiant than in the bathroom with the shower on full.




Jessica Popeski is a Classical Voice and Creative Writing graduate from Brandon University, where she was awarded the Silver Medal in Creative Arts for her thesis, Big Sky. Sickle Moon. Her poetry has been published internationally in Acta Victoriana, The Cadaverine, carte blanche, The Irish Literary Review, Canvas Magazine, Boston Poetry, Room, Leaf Press, The Nervous Breakdown, Hart House Review, The Windsor Review, Harbinger Assylum, and more. A recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, she is in the thick of an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and an English tutor at Humber College. She published two chapbooks with Anstruther Press in 2015: Oratorio and The Wrong Place, which made the syllabus of an undergraduate Creative Writing program. She was raised, for the most part, in Moscow, Russia, and Sheffield, England, by her mother and grandmother, and writes poetry in Toronto.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday poem #210 : Laura Walker : psalmody



psalm 84





we fade and lean                                  flesh
                                   


      boxy with yearning



                        sparrows a tumult




                                                                      the rain comes down



                  and a thousand cards lying on the floor              


                                                                                       a thousand cards




psalm 2



we are imagined.

light bounces from the mirror
graying pools across our face         

and all our stories erupt in the same place :

if we look for what’s not repeated

rhizome letters, slant caterpillar’s eye, the
standard tablecloth ashy around the edges


we look and become seen : we are seen and do not know it :


i ask, you are silent, i ask, you are silent, i ask

the others wind their way up the hill




psalm 1


would you choose
to sift away
like a table-book disease



would you bloom
along a street
dust and nooks



what choice you have
sits above the skyline
in a pale blue chair




psalm 8




             a braided moon


             animals under our feet :




psalm 12


i am thinking of faithful
of frail and unanointed

your name a broken door

you are silver     
boiled seven times
a pure thing hung round your neck

like an antidote to fever :




Laura Walker is the author of five books of poetry: story (Apogee Press, 2016), Follow–Haswed (Apogee Press, 2012), bird book (Shearsman Books, 2011), rimertown/ an atlas (UC Press, 2008), and swarm lure (Battery Press, 2004). She lives in Berkeley, California, where she teaches creative writing, battles the varroa mite, and tries to grow tomatoes inappropriate to the climate. More info at laura-walker.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tuesday poem #209 : bp sutton : from [addendum]



production a paean or cant
icle will be the need
pulled bring
ing each sense
a contradiction calls
in lieu of sky
ground to rope
&
within anything must
an end
standing each place revealed
into and is they
sung the empty shine undressed



bp sutton currently lives in Illinois. This poem comes from a series of aleatoric rewrites / chance operations of past manuscripts as a means of writing through the text.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday poem #208 : Adrienne Gruber : Dämmerschlaf



birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

                                                William Wordsworth


Twilight come
find me
in the bathtub
breathing drowning
writhing trapezist
steam vultures
my head there
but not really
there
everywhere
suckled pig
naked branded
flailing blanketed
peeled cored
alone alone
window ajar
keep sweating
can’t stop
wetting
in piss vomit
oh god
my poor pussy

I don’t believe
in survival
for all women
die this babe
is mine
or monster
every inch of
my fat lacerates
iron sear
smolder
between fetal pulse
somehow I sleep
the deep of pure
loathing
my satiety spun
stomach cistern
of bile

Twilight we are high
tripping off each
other’s vibe
the way you move
your fingers
through my hair
so rad
I once sucked back
by the river
a bunny cat
hopped by
afraid I’d retch
instead spun circles
now shank cramps
thick absorption
perhaps she atrophies
canal crushed
skull dissolved
bread crumbs for
birds
I forget her
cranium when I
come to
just wrap that
old doll
in a blanket
put it to my tit
that’ll do

We don’t need drugs
to join each
other the cosmos
that terrestrial
fear is a net
catches
drunk limbs
ocean sputter
fever swallows
my climax
you tricked me
my request
don’t forget
during your rounds
don’t pass me by
every dream I have
is for you
for us
I lost control
it doesn’t matter
you never came



Adrienne Gruber is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Buoyancy Control (BookThug) and This is the Nightmare (Thistledown Press), and three chapbooks, Mimic (Leaf Press), Everything Water (Cactus Press) and Intertidal Zones (Jack Pine Press). She has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Awards, Descant’s Winston Collins Best Canadian Poem Contest and twice for ARC’s Poem of the Year Contest. Her poem Gestational Trail was awarded first prize in the Antigonish Review’s Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest in 2015 and she won the bpNichol Chapbook Award for Mimic in 2012. Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her family.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan