Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday poem #8 : Edward Smallfield : duet (Lorine & WCW)

jasmine              that smells so sweet
 As I                             paint the street
I melt                this delicacy—the marrow
            through              the window
        lavender &                          little-peet-tweet
pert girls         in the stifling          heat
of September       I need           a piano.
    lapis lazuli
the only one     the diphthong            ae
       that slepen all the nicht with open yë  
   without                               thought
of a sudden        lights             go out

Edward Smallfield is the author of The Pleasures of C, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (a book-length collaboration with Doug MacPherson), locate (a chapbook collaboration with Miriam Pirone), equinox, and, most recently, lirio (a chapbook collaboration Valerie Coulton). His poems have appeared in alice blue, Barcelona INK, bird dog, e-poema.eu, Five Fingers Review, New American Writing, Páginas Rojas, Parthenon West Review, 26, Wicked Alice, and many other magazines and websites. He has participated in poetry conferences in Delphi, Paou, Paros, and Sofia, and lives in Barcelona with his wife, the poet Valerie Coulton.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday poem #7 : David W. McFadden : THREE DUBIOUS SONNETS

Forgotten Prayers 

When he was a little bit of a fellow,
He regrets that he had never read deeply
And widely too, with a dictionary
At his side, so he'd be less tempted
To postulate the momentousness of words.
But when we're ten years old we're in a rush,
Aiming at reading sixty pages an hour.
And reading a book twice isn't an option.

Now he's old the days go faster than death,
Yet he reads more slowly than a Buddhist prayer.
It's as if he has all eternity to enjoy.
So now he looks up unfamiliar words,
Savoring them deliciously and deeply,
But, when they return, he's forgotten them.


Dear Mother

I don't know a thing about the dead.
Maybe they are still alive, who knows?
Mother has been dead for twenty years,
But maybe she inhabits another world.
Now and then I seem to feel her presence,
But she never lets me know what's going on.
If there is another happier world
Maybe she doesn't want to let me know.

You'll find out some day, I hear her say,
But that might only be my sad desire.
Perhaps she has completely forgotten me
And all the pain I caused her way back when.
I miss you, mother. It's sad to see father
Struggling along without your loveliness.


Little Kings

Out of the ambient semi-silence comes
Without the slightest warning a cry of joy
And perfect erotic pleasure and fulfilment.
It was always the Frenchman in the white cap
Who for months was the only one to visit.
But now he’s gone and now there is another.
And this one's quiet at any time of night
Or even day unless he’s working shifts.

But he makes her laugh. She laughs a lot.
I’d do the same if I were in his shoes.
Don’t you love to see your neighbors happy?
Of course you do. Don’t we all? Especially if
They’re so terribly happy the way we are,
For shouldn’t we all be happy as little kings?

David W. McFadden began writing poetry in 1956 and began publishing poetry in 1958. Why Are You So Sad? Selected Poems of David W. McFadden (Insomniac Press, 2007) was shortlisted for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize and Be Calm, Honey (Mansfield Press, 2008) was shortlisted for the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry (his third such nomination).
     What’s the Score? (Mansfield Press, 2012) was recently announced as part of the Canadian shortlist of the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize, the winner of which will be announced in Toronto on Thursday, June 13, 2013.
     McFadden is the author of about thirty-five books of poetry, fiction and travel writing. He lives in Toronto.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday poem #6 : j/j hastain : from between diaspora and diapason

There does not need to be an event that precedes wetness. To pull saline coins from a spinning or a wave is enough. This is being done because we refuse the sea being offered to us, with it already having been emptied. We refuse a blank sea.

In pursuit of native gists we obsessively etch shamanist chants onto the bones of shamans long past. We mate spectrally, somewhere between even and uneven. Sensory copula keeps us continual.

Is it possible that we are ever born into too much desire? With too much desire? Is it possible that in a moment there could ever be the sensory experience of too much desire in a virago’s body?

The virago’s body is vibrating biomass.

j/j hastain is the author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), anti-memoir a vigorous (Black Coffee Press/ Eight Ball Press) and The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance. j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in Caketrain, Trickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay Gin, Aufgabe and Tarpaulin Sky. j/j has been a guest lecturer at Naropa University, University of Colorado and University of Denver.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tuesday poem #5 : Stephen Collis : La Defence

Who knew a canoe?
Who found a forest?
Came around a cape
with a tanker
spilt it
“over my dead body”
promises we
we defend we
are ulterior
and avowed

we see and know
because we see and know
money from trees
and money from soil

And this little window
I found in your boat—
lighthouse eye—
from promontories
and running
or a pilot to show you
long teeth of jagged inlets


macaroni and glue
fibrous web—
test the edge of sincerity
I like you
and the sun comes up
one side of you
in small streams
just beyond suburbs

Come close
where we made you up, OK?
we’re ready
the gluing of shapes onto
though the kids are alright
and the world’s
sometimes a defensible idea


show me no solitary
show me no pathetic
meandering middle
show me no compromise
chemical economics—

there’s never quite enough
to encircle
or bridge
CEOs lisp
as they pump liquid assets


because Paleozoic flora and fauna
because rivers
because a spirit bear
watched my car pass
the ghost
in their machine

these waters
is a shell of

don’t get to purchase the
yet to be born
yet to breathe
yet to tumble

surrounded by people
who came up
knocking them down
where they once put them up

Stephen Collis is an award winning poet and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (New Star 2005), The Commons (Talon Books 2008), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (Talon Books 2007), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012), is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan