Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday poem #21 : Nicole Markotić : “zombies don’t bleed”

limping tip-toe evolves into how he hip-gyrates on the sidewalk to Berlin funk

film noir literally bent inside a postmodern split frame

capture the skinny / car tune this shiny P

hunker down, hunker in
hunka-hunka, eh Jacqueline?

what do zombies with Bavarian accents have in common with country music (sung on tape, long after the funeral)?

The Texas two-step.

But not being dead – there’s a diff between decay in the ground and decay that makes your skin shine, unbathed and unbedded.

wasn’t even 4 times that my nose flaked from the ridge down

he’s passive-oblivious                         at just the right minute
                                                                                    asks for a word freebie

she says that swinging a penis at Tuesday’s power lunch earns her a corporate time-out
she says that a lot.

Zombies don’t sleep

no chiseled wood pole
no greying bullet
no salted bones
no hand-carved talisman, or ornamental cross, or papal water decanting the TV

where do you take your body when you’re no longer heading in the direction of zero? When you’re getting further and farther from the final destination? When you identify more than one letter between rather and father. When skating might preserve handwriting. When you slip in (and so get away with slipping on) a banana peel. When funny isn’t die. When you do sleep, but only with your eyelids, not your whole body. When you expect a homoerotic amulet at the end.

Now a hope-line, dispensing lollipops, stretches past luck and up the escalator

in Mexico, I swim past first lap, second lap, third lapis lazuli
hold hands underwater, the sea-foam refuses to rinse twice

Zombies do breathe, but it’s more recycling than refreshing.

a history of troy – sh, don’t wake the dead

the pub set-up for beer
so not (yet) equipped
for girl-drink drunks

a trying tie a limp tie a torn limp a zip, torn from the lip of a B&W graveyard, cue the yellow balloons

I have mem on my mind, minus the mammory
scarab to meet you

oftentimes, Zombies had been committed to a vegetarian
– some even vegan –
diet in their former lives


is a boat-dock, plunged vertical into the earth, still phallic?

middle-age mayhem, perhaps. Or a sailor’s cravat, at half-mast,

half-baked, half-hearted, half-hour, half-lived

no has-been
no hassle-free
no halfway house
no hablo
n-a-b-l-a, in earnest

because of that tying off, trying out, tie-breaker, and this B-unsung beaker. A pupil, set in stone, in your gold orifice

more of a speckled cure for chrysoprase insomnia than an on-spec heartache for healing invisibility. You still don’t believe me, Jacqueline? Compassionate fertility invites vegan love. We looked him up in the book under “the Great-comma-Alexander”

we named the relapse a thief’s companion

Nicole Markotić is a novelist, critic, and poet. Her seven books include three of poetry: Connect the Dots and Minotaurs & Other Alphabets (Wolsak & Wynn), and Bent at the Spine (BookThug), two novels: Yellow Pages (Red Deer Press) and Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot (Arsenal Press), an edited collection of poetry by Dennis Cooley: By Word of Mouth (Wilfrid Laurier University Press), and a co-edited (with Sally Chivers) anthology of essays concerning representations of disability, The Problem Body: Projecting Disability on Film (Ohio State UP). As well, she has numerous publications in literary journals in Canada, the USA, Australia, and Europe. She edits the chapbook series, Wrinkle Press, and has worked as a book editor for various presses, recently joining the NeWest literary board as one of its fiction editors. Currently, Nicole Markotić is Professor of English Literature, Creative Writing, and Disability Studies at the University of Windsor.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday poem #20 : Rosmarie Waldrop : EARLY STUDIES IN RESPIRATION

           you sit you              
           stand fill               
           the room you             
           sound an opinion         
           violent you because              
           and you draw             
           attention tied under               
           your breasts
           you confidently you as in
           and don't you defend                   
           an absent-minded gesture 
           you wish you had         
           you had ideals but       
           if asked strangers you
           left you in fear and you wonder                   
           a pronoun stopped
           in the young day

Rosmarie Waldrop's recent poetry books are Driven to Abstraction, Curves to the Apple, Blindsight (New Directions), Splitting Images (Zasterle), and Love, Like Pronouns (Omnidawn). Her Collected Essays, Dissonance (if you are interested), was published by University of Alabama Press in 2005. A small chapbook of prose poems, OTHERWISE SMOOTH, appeared recently with above/ground press.
     Two novels, The Hanky of Pippin's Daughter and A Form/of Taking/It All are available in one paperback (Northwestern UP, 2001).   
     She has translated 14 volumes of Edmond Jabés's work (her memoir, Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabés, is out from Wesleyan UP) as well as books by Emmanuel Hocquard, Jacques Roubaud, and, from the German, Friederike Mayröcker, Elke Erb, Oskar Pastior, Gerhard Rühm, Ulf Stolterfoht.
     She lives in Providence, RI. where she co-edits Burning Deck books with Keith Waldrop.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday poem #19 : Stephen Brockwell : Silicon

O oven-mitts for Hell’s smoldering gates,
      help me grab the bars and throw them open.
            I don’t know if I’m in or out, but let me through
      when the fire spreads.  If the dust at my feet
                  is the ashes of heaven, I’m going to the other side.

O conduit for the ubiquitous flux of digital current,
            give me a signal. Let smart phones everywhere sing,
      that’s a fly circuit you’re crowdsourcing on,
             brother. We’ll identify the transit of a new exoplanet
                   and scan its spectrum for sand.

O false augmentation under the milk of human kindness,
                  how can the scar of your insertion improve
      the site of the body’s first food & mouth’s first kiss?
                  What mad man of materials science
            replaced flesh with a cold bag of gel?

O ceramic plate serving the Earth’s finest crust,
            out of the volcano with the stench of brimstone,
                  out of the kiln, shaped by hands and a wheel,
      from fine ash to pliable clay,
                        site of so many thousand meals.

O ornamental jug of hand-blown glass,
            we wonder at your prismatic museum colors
                  and, from your gas-fired industrial kin,
      we drink the finest scotch, the driest wine,
                        the purest water, the last dregs.

Stephen Brockwell is a small business owner and poet. His third book, Fruitlfly Geographic, won the Archibald Lampman Award in 2005. His Complete Surprising Fragments of Improbable Books will be published by Mansfield Press in 2013.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Tuesday poem #18 : Pattie McCarthy : sonnets 28, 29, & 30

from x y z & &

whirling their skirts about until they stand

out flat— they play at mass & house & scourge

('not a safe game')        & knucklebones & rock

paper scissors  they play at trucks & farm.

when the three children play Harry Potter

the girl gets to be Harry                        that's brother-love.

hexenmilch      (milch pleez     she says) this body.

they play at school       they play at basehit      they

play wug test.   two months weaned she still turns her

body as if to nurse when sleepy          she

still jams her hand down my shirt        because nursing

wasn't physically intimate enough

            she'd hook a finger in my ear & pull

            my face down to hers                          girl can be a verb

the blue of larkspur     the blur of larkspur

like wet wool like a rain soaked wool kilt drying

slowly over the course of the day by

occupying desks near warm radiators

until sixth or seventh period     

                        (trigonometry? bio two?) a kind

of animal smell the damp hair

sticks to the back of her neck the fever

breaks & makes this snow smell like this smell not

unpleasant but not conventionally

pleasant like puppy breath it must have

                                    an evolutionary purpose

like I love your morning breath I'll take

care of you forever      hold her unutterable

I believe in neither superman nor

virgin birth but I believe in you, Elżbieta

Jabłońska.        & though I spent over

four of the last six years nursing someone,

there are no photos of me doing so     

            except this one awkward selfie when she

            was around eighteen months old & in it

            she's got the corner of her eye on the iphone.

maybe in some weird corner I do believe

in the virgin birth the way an older

kid believes in santa just to be safe.

alas, I could never be a good

Quaker.                        self-immolation is a big

                        girl word but everyone's wearing it.

XXVIII. 1 - 2. William Carlos Williams, "Children's Games" from Pictures from Brueghel.
XXIX. 1. T.S. Eliot, "Ash-Wednesday."
14. Rachel Blau DuPlessis, "Draft 2: SHE."
XXX. 13 - 14. Laura Spagnoli, "Letters to My Niece," My Dazzledent Days.

Pattie McCarthy is the author of four books from Apogee Press: Marybones, Table Alphabetical of Hard Words, Verso, and bk of (h)rs. Her chapbook L&O was recently published by Little Red Leaves, and she has a chapbook forthcoming from Bloof Books this year. A former Pew Fellow in the Arts, she teaches at Temple University and lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan