Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday poem #151 : Laura Sims : A bomb

like that could go on
forever—even into the
hideous night
of your letter. Olga,
I’ve told you: don’t talk
when I’m shoving
my Cornish hen into your
pan-fried duck. When my
braces its back on a pillar
                                  the ceiling
into ruin I’m ruined I’m
kneeling in ruins. Don’t bend
at the waist to retrieve me, ding-
bat: use your

Laura Sims' fourth collection of poetry, Staying Alive, is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2016. She is the author of three previous poetry books: My god is this a man, Stranger, and Practice, Restraint (Fence Books). Sims has been a co-editor of Instance Press since 2009. She teaches literature and creative writing at NYU-SCPS and lives in Brooklyn.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday poem #150 : Nelson Ball : A King Kong Of A Weed

            For William Hawkins, chronicler of King Kong

A King Kong of a weed has arrived in Bruce County
along the banks of Catfish Creek

looks like Queen Anne's lace
but taller, its common names

giant hogweed
giant cow parsley

native to the Caucasus and central Asia
spread in giant leaps into western Europe

imported as an ornamental
to northern United States

into southern Ontario, flourishing
along roadsides and streams

in bush and wasteland,
perennial, living several years

it forms a leafy canopy five feet tall
flowers once in its lifetime

the flower-bearing stems commonly ten feet tall
up to sixteen feet in Ontario Weeds

the juice of this plant brings
skin blisters and blindness

township workers encircle clusters
with rope, cautionary tape, and warning signs.

Nelson Ball’s most recent poetry book is Some Mornings (Mansfield Press, 2014). An online chapbook of his poems, A Rattle of Spring Frogs, appears on the website of Hamilton Arts & Letters. Chapbooks in 2015 include Small Waterways (Apt. 9 Press), All and Everything (Laurel Reed Books) and This Close to Being a Tree (Stone The Crows! Press). Nelson and his late wife and soulmate, artist and writer Barbara Caruso, are the subjects of Nelson Ball & Barbara Caruso / Home Project / A Photo Documentary, a video created by Catherine Stevenson. The video can be viewed on YouTube.

photo credit: Catherine Stevenson

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Tuesday poem #149 : Ashley-Elizabeth Best : Vieux Carré, New Orleans

It's Spring and the Mississippi writhes like a snake
in a sack, the wind tucking itself into the curves
of my body. I burn alive under the gulf sun, the glacial
swell of my northern thighs melting in the brutal early
morning light.

And I would have wings to practice memorizing every 
street, this city has music nipping at my heels, cocktails-
to-go signs leave me disastered, trying to play sober, to
not touch the art hung around the church yard of St. Louis
Cathedral on Royal St.

A city that sits inside itself and waits. Could I have stemmed
from its ribs? I'm living here in exile of release.

If you want a report of how I've changed, I can't deliver.
I've held the head of an alligator, long dead, teeth still intact
enough to scrape a deep cut like a kiss to the underside
of my wrist. I try to tell it just as it is.

I've gotten away with too much.
Leave nothing untold.

Ashley-Elizabeth Best is from Cobourg, ON. Her work has been published in Fjords, CV2, Berfrois, Grist and Ambit Magazine, among other publications. Recently she was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and published the chapbook Now You Have Many Legs To Stand On with above/ground press. Her first collection of poems, Slow States of Collapse, was published with ECW Press. She lives and writes in Kingston.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tuesday poem #148 : Bronwen Tate : Six Small Poems

I found a sprig of thyme
lodged back in the corner
of your mouth, gummed
            and pungent,
hazards everywhere you crawl.


Macaw, he chirps
to resonate the banjo.
Jams the keys, bites the jam spoon
                Soon flips
and claws when he’s the smallest spoon.


Clapped delighted hands
when he saw the carrousel,
rode the retriever, caroused.
            Parasol or varnish.
Doubt the sound. Intention mulls it.


Angry baby wants
the onion I’m peeling,
says “apple,” reaches.
        Each names
an object round as moons.


Two years old,
he thinks mirrors
are pictures
        face flickers
to grimace.


Watching baby bathe,
bruised lip
from his hard crown.
         Lean down,
small palm along my cheek
repeating “gentle,”
hurts a little.

Bronwen Tate is the author of the chapbooks Souvenirs (Dusie 2007), Like the Native Tongue the Vanquished (Cannibal Books 2008), Scaffolding (Dusie 2009), if a thermometer (dancing girl press 2011), and the loss letters (Dusie 2011). She received an MFA in Literary Arts (Poetry) from Brown University in 2006 and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 2014. She has taught courses in literature, aesthetics, creative writing, and composition at Brown University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Stanford University, where she is currently a lecturer and fellow in the Thinking Matters Program.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan