Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday poem #173 : Rita Wong : parables of the polluted

ancestor light
brings futures closer from
            hedging            bets
  to cultivating             commons
from salish coast to treaty 8 territories
   yoked together by british colonial hydro lines
& indigenous responsibilities before during & after
the fracked forest’s sobs, site
c for crappy, criminal, crisis
 presage our own stupid demise
clearcutting the province’s future
 with your tax booty
galaxies within                    life the force
manifest trash & terrain, tenderness & terror
refuse to look away from the violence
as the massive pines & eagles’ nest shrivel
through the liberal looking glass
                                       a capitalist “externality”
colonial prism turned ideological prison
manufactures its own obsolescence, mass extinction
its relentless logic disavowing its own delusional state
opens a path to mass exodus
helps us to see
our lives as walking (prayer)
                               camping (prayer)
                                                last ditch prayer
for with the flick of a light switch
                we see
the Peace River’s fate
is ours

Rita Wong has written one graphic collaboration with Cindy Mochizuki entitled perpetual (Nightwood Editions, 2015) and four books of poetry: monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998), forage (Nightwood Editions, 2007), sybil unrest (Line Books, 2008, with Larissa Lai) and undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015). She lives and works on the unceded Coast Salish territories also known as Vancouver.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday poem #172 : Jennifer Baker : Usborne

                        slack-jawed blue grey
                                    sky &
jostle     pekoe-tinged             harvest moon               indigo quiet    

in the agape     night-blooming
children furrow
between high cornstalks

disappear deer-like       

                                                & just like that
                                                              relief sets off 
learning I could
die of exposure                   never taught me to shut up

a pair of tiny shoes      remains


when you stop working                       bad things can happen

dig out              ossified pitch              make marrow sing


wheat fallow corn fallow soy

I have never seen a fallow field
only hybrid sureties
standing thickly/seeds

scattered neon
Roundup ready
in the gravel yard

neo-nicotin-oid armies

not ours


learn first          changeable       weather         

harmless          silent

ropey               erratic              breathless            grey-green  stillness                        

then squealing chaos               will level a house        

nest a carton of eggs
among   high branches

cling to/impose
almanac surety:   no use


letters sealed               in ziplock bags            buried              graveside        

no right to appeal to the dead             still      they've sprouted


planting season           

meeting my grandpa
for the first time
family lore has it         he paused mid-field    peered at me                yep      
returned to work

blessed                        mythical         

one shoulder bent                    to the earth     


love     makes memory            holy


would not leave/give up          would not grow too old

I furrowed myself deep          below the hospital floor          the gurney
one small scratch the body                  goes limp                     evacuated

deep gashes through the empty field lingered for months
they left his boots on

said yesterday             if I felt any better it would be a sin

a pair of steel-toes
a set of handkerchiefs

Jennifer Baker comes from Alice Munro country. Her first chapbook, Abject Lessons, was published by above/ground press in 2014, and her poetry, interviews, and reviews have appeared in ottawater and The Journal of Canadian Poetry. She is currently completing her doctorate and teaching English part-time at the University of Ottawa.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday poem #171 : Carrie Hunter : Unlike

The best liars always tell the truth.

Massages make me tense.

Sorry I can’t stay with you while you go through all of this.

I just want a man who will wear dresses and not argue with me.

Don’t send strange men to my apartment with power tools.

He is your first love, and I intend to be your last.

He’s trying to believe the world.

Multilingual poetics of unknown languages.

Violence is not my m├ętier.

I imagine an amateur is no asset.

I look out the window and all I see are other roofs.

I’m trying to see the stoplight, but there is a building in the way.

Call me when it’s over.

If you cannot be honest with yourself, how can you get the truth out of anyone else?

Carrie Hunter received her MFA/MA in the Poetics program at New College of California, edits the chapbook press, ypolita press, is on the editorial board of Black Radish Books, and co-curated the Hearts Desire Reading Series. Her chapbook Vice/Versa recently came out with Dancing Girl Press, her full-length collection, The Incompossible, was published in 2011 by Black Radish Books, and another, Orphan Machines, came out in 2015. Her chapbook <Series out of Sequence> is forthcoming from above/ground press. She lives in San Francisco and teaches ESL.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Tuesday poem #170 : Kate Hargreaves : (practice)

push a little juiciness into your shoulders
relax your toenails
and sink your eyelashes into their roots
wiggle your shins almost like you were a ladybird
and press your collarbones firmly into the foundations of the building
spread your toes shoulder-width, best as you can
arch your forehead
and relax every little hair in your nose
as if they'd had a couple glasses of a good sangria
pull your teeth into your chest
letting go of any panic when you
open your knees wide and
backhand the person to your right
roll up up up one follicle at a time
and pause here
cultivating the blood in your ears
ankles swelling
take inventory of your itchy cheek
and if you must move, decide to scratch
pool your cracking bones
the roll escaping your exercise pants
the zipper boring through your lower back
the thong shifting too far left between your ass cheeks
the snot crusting in your left nostril
and fluttering with each out-breath
the eyelash sleep gunk gluing together on the outer corner
the sock fuzz under your baby toenail
the hairs pushing through the skin of your armpits
take stock of the weight of your scars
wriggle your lips
let go of your bowels
check in with your ribs
and thank yourself for this practice.

Kate Hargreaves is a writer, freelance book designer, cat lady, and roller derby skater living in Windsor, Ontario. Her most recent book is a collection of poetry, Leak (BookThug). Visit her at CorusKate.com or tweet her @PainEyre.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan