Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday poem #108 : Jon Boisvert : DESCENDING

My first girlfriend shot an arrow straight up into the air & left. My second girlfriend came & kissed me on the cheek. I told her everything: my mango allergy,  the number of pets I accidentally killed as a child, the time I saw aliens descend from their pale green column in the sky. She threw her head back & laughed at that one. & that's when the arrow came back down, right through her open mouth. & even though I live with the memory of this image every day, I still love my first girlfriend most. She had the conviction to believe.

Jon Boisvert grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and now lives in Oregon. He has studied at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Oregon State University, & the Independent Publishing Resource Center. His first full-length manuscript, Black Balloons, has been rejected by many fine presses, and he is currently revising it. Other work of his can be read at jonboisvert.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday poem #107 : Rusty Morrison : Naming Fable

The simplest way to pose the problem of recognition is to call out a name.

I mistake adult crane flies for mosquitoes, ignoring that a crane fly’s stillness makes the sound of information gathering, the clue.

Clue is a name for the patience I lack, arriving a cappella—the highest note struck by a boy who knows his voice will crack, but nonetheless goes on polishing thinner and thinner its porcelain.

I’ve never called out my own names, all at once, the way a female insect will lay hundreds of eggs, which hatch together in their season, as larvae, and burrow.

The problem of recognition incubates in each of its egg sacs differently. These can be found hanging from named as well as unnamed branches, among the dense purposes that camouflage them.

Shadows on the eaves of my neighbor’s house are already digesting purpose as I watch evening become recognizable, and daylight come apart.

The female crane fly’s larvae burrow into the ground or into decaying wood, in no need of, nor under any obligation to the sanction of name or law.

Isolated within its call to immediacy, a name is an orientation-limit, presenting something that, either by rights or point of fact, is now inconsequent.

My hands reach out in their own directions, never complicit with the names I’ve given them.

The prefix “re-” in recognition means to know again, to reach back and forwards at once, directionality splayed.

A well-struck glass will ring with the sound of pure dispersal. How to say my name with that force and disappear as a vibration radiating, freed from solidity.

A crane fly is in my ceiling’s corner, too far from the open front door, too disinterested in my waving and prompting, my increasingly violent provocations, to be frightened outside.

The light from the open door has cast the fly’s wings in shadow, which is what naming does to the absences within a thing.

Difficult to distinguish those from the absences I make by trying to recognize it.

Rusty Morrison's letterpress, limited edition chapbook from speCt! is Reclamation Project. Her books include Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta 2014), Book of the Given (Noemi Press 2012), After Urgency (Tupelo 2012), which won The Dorset Prize, the true keeps calm biding its story (Ahsahta 2008), which won The Sawtooth Prize, the Academy of American Poet's James Laughlin Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the DiCastagnola Award from Poetry Society of America, and Whethering (The Center for Literary Publishing, 2004), which won the Colorado Prize for Poetry. She is the co-publisher of Omnidawn, www.omnidawn.com. Her website: www.rustymorrison.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday poem #106 : Jan Zwicky : Up at four a.m.

Not night, not morning: dead light,
the breath in you gone cold,
your third eye opening on everything
unloved. But your terror
shows you do not understand.
The housework of the universe
is done. Or not. An ember in the stovebox
faintly glows. Or not.

Jan Zwicky’s most recent collection is Forge, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Alkibiades’ Love, a collection of essays, was published by McGill-Queens last fall. Other recent titles include Lyric Philosophy and Wisdom & Metaphor, now available in revised editions from Brush Education.

Photo credit: George Sipos

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Tuesday poem #105 : William Hawkins : Untitled

There really is a secret success to life
Things live that are simply called poems
It appears that the whole thing
is just talking and listening
on a number of levels
I just now referred to them all as
and I cannot
comprehend it

*          *          *          *          *          *

I want to write the poem again
I want to hear the song in my ear
I don’t really think
I’ll ever get what I want, just yet,
But I can’t help stop my wanting

William Hawkins was born in Ottawa in 1940. After side trips to the West Coast and Mexico, he resides in the capital, pursuing enlightenment or a reasonable alternative thereto. Hawkins worked as a truck driver, cook, journalist and musician before settling on the taxi profession as a means of preserving integrity and ensuring near-poverty. He is now retired. His work appeared in the seminal anthology New Wave Canada: The New Explosion in Canadian Poetry (Toronto: Contact Press, 1966) edited by Raymond Souster and Modern Canadian Verse (Toronto: Oxford, 1967) edited by A.J.M. Smith. His books include Ottawa Poems (Kitchener: Weed/Flower Press, 1966) and The Madman’s War (Ottawa: S.A.W. Publications, 1974). Broken Jaw Press published his Dancing Alone: Selected Poems in 2005. Also an acclaimed songwriter, a tribute CD (Dancing Alone: The Songs of William Hawkins) was released in 2008. In 2013, he was inducted into the VerseOttawa Hall of Honour. The Collected Poems of William Hawkins is forthcoming in 2015 from Chaudiere Books (Ottawa).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan