Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday poem #125: Jennifer K Dick : CERN 59

I dreamt of little green Martians in Timbuktu, of Keplar’s mountains, of a Newtonian halo drawn over my skin using a pair of compasses[1]. I heard someone down the hall whisper “When we lean together our burning profiles shatter.” What I thought was that I had been slipped something by the R&D department, said “the black funerary urn between us” and toasted an imaginary Einstein. “Oh, nobody can work the negative spaces like you, kiddo.” Da Vinci was chained in a corner. Someone at CERN explained that otherwise he took off into the night. Many sightings had caused a kind of Templar-esque society to brew up in the villages nearby. “Can’t have that,” one of the secretaries by the front door buzzed. I squinted. I blinked. Da Vinci’s beard seemed to be growing longer by the second. I thought of embryos in the 8th week making 250,000 new neurons every minute. Far off, in Canada, a poet wrote “Embossing tools etch patterns onto gilt.” Fair enough. But I figured I should cut out while I was ahead, in a kind of cumulous nimbus. Turning out the gate, I spotted something not unlike a cheap neon sign. “God Awaits” or was it “Awakes”? I hit the gas soaring into a new night, CERN only a spot on the horizon behind me.

[1] Using some rearranged lines by Meira Cook, from the start and end of Wife of Saint Casaubon of the Long Silences at the Breakfast Table, online at: http://www.dusie.blogspot.ca/2014/04/tuesday-poem-56-meira-cook-wife-of.html

Jennifer K Dick resides in France but is from Iowa. She is the author of CIRCUITS (Corrupt, 2013), ENCLOSURES (BlazeVox eBook, 2007), FLUORESCENCE (University of GA Press, 2004), and 4 chapbooks: CONVERSION (Estepa editions, Paris, 2013) including art by Kate Van Houten, BETWIXT (Corrupt, 2012), Tracery (Dusie, 2012) and Retina/Rétine (Estepa, 2005). She is currently at work on a large prose poem project about the CERN. Jennifer also teaches at UHA in Mulhouse, France, curates the Ivy Writers reading series in Paris and the Ecrire l’Art mini-residency for French authors at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse. She is a poetry editor for VERSAL out of Amsterdam, writes book reviews for various places and a poetics column for Tears in the Fence (UK). For more, see her blog at: http://jenniferkdick.blogspot.fr/

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday poem #124 : Charles Bernstein : Song Dynasty

u can-
't sa-
y i-
t wa-
y any-
e or
but n-
by al-
l mea-
s b-
it's sti-
not th-
e sa-
e or
the s-
e o-

Charles Bernstein is a venture poet and operative specializing in founding and developing innovative new media platforms and non-media portals through his Panacea Holdings.  He is CFO of Poets Ludicrously Aimless Yearning (PLAY) and Director of Dsyraphic Studies at the Institute for Avant-Garde Comedy and Stand-up Poetry. His books include My Side of the Street Is Not on Your Map, Buddy; Elusive Allusions: Selected Koans; and the national best seller Stupid Men, Smart Choices.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tuesday poem #123 : Victor Coleman : Jacques Derrida

A naked girl with long jade earrings trying to take a photograph with an empty camera

A small man with a tired face and a black bag came down the steps from the pier

In front of a faded stucco arch we skidded to a stop and I took my feet off the floor

When a guy out of the liquor traffic marries into a rich family

The same ash blonde in a suede-like black dress got up from behind it

Which means he's due to start getting stiff pretty quick now he's out in the air

Cars were parked on both sides of the highway with the usual ghouls of both sexes

Then he hits the pier hard and clean or he don't go through and land right side up

Seaward a few gulls wheeled and swooped over something in the surf

He fingered the head, peered at the bruise on the temple, moved it around with both hands

He opened his bag and took out a printed pad of D.O.A. forms and began to write

All she wanted was to kick a few high ones off the bar and have herself a party

Something that glistened in the morning sunlight was on its deck

He lifted a lax dead hand and stared at the fingernails

Victor Coleman lives and works in Toronto. His last four books were published by BookThug, including Miserable Singers (Book One) (2014). He has recently taught courses in modern and postmodern literature at Toronto New School of Writing, and leads an ongoing Writers Workshop at The Coach House Press that is open to anyone interested in “progressive” writing and thinking. He is currently working on a memoir, a history of small press publishing in English Canada (1940-1990), and a new volume of More Miserable Singers.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Tuesday poem #122 : Mary Austin Speaker : two cowboy poems


mountains steady
in the distanced blue

desert gold
with loden shrub

and snowdrift
filling out the sage

why is it heart
breaking to know

the places where
few humans go

are those
of little change

little rain
inured from wreck

or residence
by hosting only

what persists
despite everything

to grow, or go,
snowgeese, antelope,

the common vole,
spike pointed wild

chive furrowing
an acidic root

into sandstone
and the hook-

beaked crow,
but not the cow

trucked in from
a pastoral scene

to fatten
in feedlots, no,

not these, who turn
run lowing

from the approaching storm
so the cold stops them dead

in their tracks,
not these animals

whose fear rolls
and pitches so any

human who approaches
sends their heavy bodies

staggering back
not these massive bulls

whose balls
the cowboy ties

together and together
full of fright

and flight
they ride.


The cowboy wrote me,
The west is vanishing,

and I am, too. He wrote,
the sea was born of earth

from the Great Salt Lake.
He wrote, come and find me

under the sow-soft sky
where the sweet scented corn

ferments in the bellies
of cattle. You see them

plodding after dark,
black cows asleep

on asphalt big enough
to stop a dooly truck.

The cowboy tried sailing.
Tried exploration, war,

tried and tried.
Each one slipped

he said over the edge
of evening and was lost.

Except this doomed existence,
he wrote, filling orders

for American appetites.
Whitened figure

on the sun-warm crust.
The gods and men

would love it here,
the cowboy wrote me.

Men awake
in the midnight squall,

men eating fried lotus
in the clicking heat,

men running headlong
into the funnel’s swirling heart,

he told me, to see the gods
at war. They take their dogs

with them everywhere they go,
so when you see one chained

outside a shop, you know
this, too, is a house of worship.

Mary Austin Speaker is a poet and book designer. She is the author of Ceremony (Slope 2013) and The Bridge (forthcoming from Shearsman in 2016) as well as four chapbooks and a play, I Am You This Morning You Are Me Tonight (Bridge 2012) written with her husband, the poet Chris Martin. She has taught at the Iowa Young Writers program, Indiana University, Kirkwood Community College, and the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. She was recently a Bartos Fellow at the United World College and a writer in residence at the South Minneapolis Society Library. This summer she will be writer in residence at the Floating Library in Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband and son.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan