Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Tuesday poem #433 : Ken Norris : EARLY MORNING WAVES



I took the Wallace Stevens franchise to another shoreline.
Now I'm staring at the early morning waves.
They roll in, blue and unafraid, white-capped and peaceful.

This ocean and I go back a long way.

You can't expect everyone to write at the Ontario cottage
and come up with something different. I travel--
to places where the white birds swoop and soar.

There's a tin roof waiting for me, there's a tropical heart
waiting to be born.

                               When she sang beside the genius of the sea
he was there to hear it, and to take it further.
The waves are our brave counsellors,

breaking here, in the lush greenery, at our feet.




Born in New York City in 1951, Ken Norris came to Canada in the early 1970s. One of Canada's most prolific poets, Norris is the author of more than 30 books. His work has been widely anthologized in Canada and throughout the English-speaking world, as well as published in translation in France, Belgium, Israel and China. He divides his time between Canada, the U.S., and Asia. His latest book is South China Sea (Guernica Editions, 2021), and his latest chapbook is HAWAIIAN SUNRISE (above/ground press).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Tuesday poem #432 : Katie Jean Shinkle : Figure No 1.



The gold-plated hour
casts the trees, yet

pine continues to ask
where have you been?

Tops touch
in a system of knowing

so ancient a brain of spindle finger,
each swirl

a life pattern,
each bristle

a precarious reckoning.
In-between branches light shifts,

and then over your face
in transcendence,

and I wonder when language left me,
when I forgot how to spell your name,

had to remind myself the curves
of an -a versus -y, an ending of -la

so feminine, how dare you.
The pine says, flex and you shall receive,

so on my knees I open my mouth
and my tongue reacts.

Every attempt to retrieve
a failure.

Oh holy,

when the pines shake
awake the empty bedroom

and shadow tongues the walls,
there it is: the way day calls to you.




Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of four novellas and six chapbooks, most recently None of This is an Invitation (w/Jessica Alexander, Astrophil Press, forthcoming) and Will You Kiss Me Goodnight? (The Offending Adam, forthcoming). She is a 2021 poetry fellow at Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices, serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM and creative nonfiction editor of the Texas Review, and is an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University where she teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing program.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Tuesday poem #431 : Benjamin Niespodziany : Horses

a triptych


[1] Townsfolk make an announcement: it's the town’s anniversary of flurries. One year since the snow curled the hill and stopped. A fusion of human and sky. Now townsfolk own coats. Pack gravel. Deny the insides of homes. They wardrobe through the clues. They wait outside where the snow, they know, is a promise, and they proceed to need more fur.


[2] Townsfolk make an announcement: it's the town’s anniversary of nerves. They want to speak on her arrival. Her furniture, her skirt. Her furious skull they buried mid-lake. Her belts of melted metals, sewn together with bird. The stolen animal they found in her hut. The family that follows behind.


[3] Townsfolk in apple, townsfolk in smoke. Grass and snake shape the appendix. An organ of honest bird. Bird of melted mirror. An association for the rattling of wings. To feed the hunted hundreds, meantimes sewn like cloaks. To feed the hospital a hospital. To see teeth beneath the arms. The coffin walks past the grasshouse. The trough is enough. The farmer is almost dead.




Benjamin Niespodziany is a Pushcart Prize nominee and Best Microfiction nominee. He has had work in Fence, Wigleaf, Hobart, Fairy Tale Review, and various others. He works nights in a library in Chicago.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Tuesday poem #430 : Ellen Chang-Richardson : bathing beans




Ellen Chang-Richardson is an award-winning poet of Taiwanese and Cambodian-Chinese descent who currently lives/works on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg. The author of three poetry chapbooks including snap, pop, performance (Gap Riot Press), her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, Room, Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis, and Parentheses, among others. She is the co-founder of Riverbed Reading Series, the founder of Little Birds Poetry, and a member of the poetry collective VII. https://ehjchang.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan