Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday poem #228 : Christine Stoddard : Jaguar in the Cotton Field

One month after my mother’s mother was raped with a knife,
she crawled into the coffin that was her kitchen,
drenched herself in kerosene,
and lit her flesh on fire.

Like the man in the park where the saguaros grow,
the flames made my grandmother pray for death,
but death was the jaguar in the cotton field
that fate forbade her from catching.

Fate eventually exercised mercy
when she died in the hospital one week later,
with the spotted pelt in her hands at last.

Though I never knew her, I visit her grave every Sunday
to pay homage to a woman’s pain,
to the ever-shrinking smallness she felt in the world,
to the smallness I myself know.

Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. She also is the founding editor of Quail Bell Magazine, as well as the author of Hispanic & Latino Heritage in Virginia (The History Press, 2016), Ova (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), The Eating Game (Scars Publications, 2017), and two miniature books from the Poems-For-All series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Tuesday poem #227 : Aimee Herman : two strangers underneath a city

Found on the A train, two humans dress as love stains
crawl into each others laps to sop up the carnage of spit.

Mouths break their fasts on each other,
carelessly-shaped lips move back and forth like typewriter travel.

There are no letterpress invites for their tongues to RSVP.
Sometimes, mouths just know what other mouths are looking for.

Four minutes earlier they barely understood each other’s teeth,
yet here they are on plastic subway seats sending bits of forgotten food down throats.

The one in buttons dances fingers into the other’s hair, aftertaste of coconut milk.
The one with poison ivy hidden beneath shirt panics about last bath date.

Buttons begins to think of recent ex-girlfriend who could tie three cherry stems together using only her tongue.

During, molars and fillings are investigated.

After, both contemplate an exchange of phone numbers but silently decide against.

Before, they were just two strangers sitting on the same train toward differing parts of Brooklyn, high off the pungent smells of loneliness, looking to feel something other than that.

Aimee Herman [photo credit: Jun Liu] is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, poet, and writing/literature teacher at Bronx Community College. Aimee has been widely published in journals and anthologies including cream city review, BOMB, nerve lantern, Apogee and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books). In addition, several chapbooks including rooted (Dancing Girl Press) and carpus (Essay Press) and two full-length books: meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books). Aimee hosts a monthly series in NYC called Queer Art Organics, featuring LGBTQ writers and performers and plays ukulele in the poetry/band collective Hydrogen Junkbox. For more, go to aimeeherman.wordpress.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday poem #226 : Julia Polyck-O’Neill : I’m a rack of lamb.

I’m a rack of lamb.
I’m Eileen Myles on a date with a couple, but you’re just you.

I’m Eileen Myles working at Paragon,
and you’re Grace writing me a poem.

You like that reading Marx made me sad.
You like it that I worked somewhere like Marx describes.
You like that I’m bourgeois but can relate to the lumpenproletariat. You like that the chances of me running away are minimal.

I’m Eileen Myles giving you a handjob under the table
across from a dead-looking Belushi.

I’m Eileen Myles taking pills and you’re a couple
feeding me pills.

Julia Polyck-O’Neill is an artist, curator, critic, and writer. She is a doctoral candidate in Brock University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities program (Culture and Aesthetics), where she is completing a SSHRC-funded interdisciplinary and comparative critical study of contemporary conceptualist literature and art in Vancouver. She has taught in contemporary visual culture in the department of Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School. She also curates the award-winning Border Blur Reading Series in St Catharines. Her writing has been published in Feminist Spaces, Tripwire, The Lamp, Ottawater, Fermenting Feminisms (a project of the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology), and The Avant Canada Anthology, and her debut chapbook, femme, was published in 2016 by above/ground press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan