Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday poem #130 : Lillian Necakov : Heliotropic

Snowflakes fat as bread
are informing us that spring
is a chance encounter
a vestibule to an unbalanced mind

no one is mowing the lawn
jolliness has been obviated from the narrative
no one is sitting on the porch
nothing is more than a machine

if the moon kisses me one more time
I will scream
hearts are pounding
there is no room for metaphor

close the curtains
dream of your extravagant desert
filled with sunflowers
breaking their necks
to eat the sun.

Lillian Necakov is the author of 5 full-length poetry books as well as numerous chapbooks. Her work has appeared in many print and online publications all around this fine globe. She lives in Toronto, where she runs the Boneshaker Reading Series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday poem #129 : Hugh Behm-Steinberg : Eastern Warbling Vireos

Their eggs are white, dotted sparingly with reddish, brown, or blackish specks.
Drab bodies, distinctive calls, they eat insects they subdue

larger prey like caterpillars bashing them against their perches, one calls down to me
you don’t dream in my language anymore, but that’s not true, when I think I sing

and the treasures I hid remain buried in the snowy field; I think about blue mosses to lay my
head upon, thermals to rest in and be lifted by without having to try so fucking hard all the time.

I’ll winter in Chiapas, and I’ll remember where I was born, and unthinking I’ll do all the labor,
I’ll produce a reliable translation, a dappled understanding, a Vireo-English concordance,

a rough and slightly rounded hanging cup, suspended from forks of horizontal twigs.
My castles will consist of plant matter, cobwebs, lichen, animal hair, and rarely feathers.

But our kings in Plains Cree reply there are no kings, only a book which all of us memorized,
an intersection of roads and birds.

You worry the past obliterates, and our bed won’t undo the past, and our milk will pour out,
but wherever we dwell is a place of joy, we don’t carry burdens, we make delightful the forests.

And of all these birds that circle, are you not more than one of these?

Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as three Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery, Good Morning! and The Sound of Music. With Matt Davignon, he performs experimental improvised music constructed out of pre-recorded vocal samples under the bandname Oa. Their first CD is out on Edgetone Records. He teaches writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday poem #128 : Paige Taggart : Opposite of Out of Body Experience (OBE)

Last knowledge of dusty cloud inverted yes to an automatic no. It was the weather; a drag, a beanpole, things left clean hid in the shade and in between the ledges we bent back our brains. We tried to relief anger, tired to pledge home, worries of losing set principals, following no guidelines, and husky in the flack of yielding nada, for a moment to bend the image out, and contort into the shape of a yes, I'll drive you home, yes, I'll pick you up, yes, I'll carry you over the harbor with my trapeze heart and sickly nomenclature. I feel so ill to tie up the past. The ends are little frayed strings and winding through the course of life they become gruesomely familiar. Fill me with hostile plentitudes. Particularly sharp licks of the tongue, scratching, bruising and bashing but weary for the ledges to stand. I will the wall closer to home and pull the outside shape around me, punishment, for building stable shapes can also will collapse into existence. I am the broken lip of your nose, the fractured bone in your arm, that splint for straightening out the crooked aftermath of haymakers and prosthetic teeth. Your dent of head is shiny with purple lashes. You tossed infrastructure in the way and water has always been more powerful than any human.

Paige Taggart is a poet and jeweler living in Brooklyn. She's the author of two collections, Or Replica (Dec.2014, Brooklyn Arts Press) and Want for Lion (Mar. 2014, Trembling Pillow Press.) Check out her website: mactaggartjewelry.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Tuesday poem #127 : Kayla Czaga : Gulag

On Anzersky Island, we share
a sheetless yellow bunk. 
You mumble and unhook

your skirt.  Men are yelling.
I hold your hand.  Then we
are sisters.  Slowly our shoulders

bend; slowly they ascend
skin.  Men polish belt buckles
in your hair.  I ask

the Island’s strange insects
to blanket you.  With their red
wings, cover you—then we

are laughing—your body
a sacred place on which
they bury their dead.

            tell me about the war.
a bird’s nest     woven inside a man’s
ribcage                         your mother?
yes, out of her sadness I built
many closets.

The son who couldn’t aim a gun
races the electric fence. 
We carry the island to the other
side of the island.  Scots Pine wind-whittled
into the horizon’s red toothpicks.  The handles
of our wheelbarrows have erased
our hands.  Without skin, you could wash
yourself off completely; or forget
yourself, ankles first, in the bogs.  The mud
eats almost anything—including the stars—
night is now so much darker.
            what do you carry?    
the wind in a shoebox. 

            what else?
but it is inside me.

We could only
be this close
in love or mass-graves,

your body
like two hundred
grams of good bread, your body

tucked in
my tin locket.  My skin
undone, you are under it, you are
mixed with it,
while your hair grows
daisies.  The things people do

to each other
in the dark—I could eat
your pretty little heart. 

The heart is a bird’s nest.
It troubles the orchardist. 

Once, you loved music. Once, I sold flowers.
You conducted your orchestra to play
Shostakovitch’s eighth until the whole

string section wept, why was it banned?  The police
burnt your organ; they broke your left hand.

You aim a snowball at me, but miss.
Then we are laughing.  Then it is so cold
we feel only our laughter.  I say, how tiny

the petal tips were
where they connected to the centres—

they seem an almost implausible
construction. It is difficult to believe
they’re dead:  seconds after you close

your eyes, their colours are still
fading into your eyelids.

Kayla Czaga is the author of For Your Safety Please Hold On (Nightwood Editions, 2014), which was recently nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She lives in Vancouver.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Tuesday poem #126 : Eric Schmaltz : untitled

Eric Schmaltz’s work has been featured online and in print across Canada and internationally including Lemon Hound, The Capilano Review, Rampike,  CTRL+ALT+DEL, Open Letter, and Poetry is Dead among other places. He has chapbooks out with above/ground press (2014) and Gauss PDF (2014) as well as a leaflet by No Press. His visual work has been featured across Canada including Havana Gallery (Vancouver), Rodman Hall (St. Catharines), and Niagara Artist Centre (St. Catharines). You can listen to his soundings here.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan