Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday poem #212 : Collier Nogues : The Bomb

The bomb itself, rather than we who made it, largely invented the characteristics of being softened by abrasion, being wounded, flayed, our eyes melted; and from this what came to be beloved was the gloss and fear of children in general.

Fear itself, rather than the flayed concrete which banked it, comprised all our houses; and from this surprise what came to be a shelter was cruelty toward our enemy.

The moon itself, its greens, the water casting back and forth for its owner, these largely absorbed our fears of being cruel and inhuman; and from this sanction we came to wave our children forward through the glossy bomb-soft grasses.

The war itself, rather than the children who loved it, largely weathered the white flags, and we ourselves weathered the war; and from this window into our power we came at last to see our flags as white with triumph, in a greenlit glossy childless night.

[This poem riffs on syntax borrowed from John Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII.]

Collier Nogues is the author of The Ground I Stand on Is Not My Ground, selected by Forrest Gander as winner of the 2014 Drunken Boat Poetry Book Contest, and On the Other Side, Blue (Four Way, 2011). Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Fishtrap. She is the 2016 Writer-in-Residence at Lingnan University and a PhD Fellow at the University of Hong Kong, where she studies contemporary poetry’s response to US militarization, particularly in the Pacific. She also she co-edits poetry for Juked and curates Hong Kong’s English-medium poetry craft talk series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday poem #211 : Jessica Popeski : Seven by Three

Pigeons upholster a wire. The sky diffuses, apricot to
coffee-ground black. I pick off my nail polish like it's
my job, don't— quietly— don’t, don’t eat exactly sixteen

grapes (every night.) Amalgamate skittering thoughts;
midges in a net. Me step-grandad sold cigarettes from
a dispenser on’t kitchen wall, smoked most ov ‘em

‘is’sen, lungs congested wi’ cancer, treacle-like tar.
I backspace a comma, consider a semicolon. Below,
a streetcar bells. Its Tristan chord stacks an augmented

fourth, sixth, and ninth above the bass, elicits a wince,
like chewing lime when expecting tangerine, segments
riddled with pips, maggot-white. My maine coon

rearranges his coat on the arm of the settee, spine turned.
Cats don't worry about being seen as antisocial, walk
away when they've had enough human, will stalk a wiggle

of string, suspend disbelief, imagine a vole. My shoulders
are up to my earlobes, the stiffness of over-pumped tyers.
You visit, undisclosed. There’s a better way to cook.

You are glassy. You are lavender in my pillowcase. Later,
water stutters, kneads me. My voice will never be more
radiant than in the bathroom with the shower on full.

Jessica Popeski is a Classical Voice and Creative Writing graduate from Brandon University, where she was awarded the Silver Medal in Creative Arts for her thesis, Big Sky. Sickle Moon. Her poetry has been published internationally in Acta Victoriana, The Cadaverine, carte blanche, The Irish Literary Review, Canvas Magazine, Boston Poetry, Room, Leaf Press, The Nervous Breakdown, Hart House Review, The Windsor Review, Harbinger Assylum, and more. A recipient of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, she is in the thick of an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and an English tutor at Humber College. She published two chapbooks with Anstruther Press in 2015: Oratorio and The Wrong Place, which made the syllabus of an undergraduate Creative Writing program. She was raised, for the most part, in Moscow, Russia, and Sheffield, England, by her mother and grandmother, and writes poetry in Toronto.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday poem #210 : Laura Walker : psalmody

psalm 84

we fade and lean                                  flesh

      boxy with yearning

                        sparrows a tumult

                                                                      the rain comes down

                  and a thousand cards lying on the floor              

                                                                                       a thousand cards

psalm 2

we are imagined.

light bounces from the mirror
graying pools across our face         

and all our stories erupt in the same place :

if we look for what’s not repeated

rhizome letters, slant caterpillar’s eye, the
standard tablecloth ashy around the edges

we look and become seen : we are seen and do not know it :

i ask, you are silent, i ask, you are silent, i ask

the others wind their way up the hill

psalm 1

would you choose
to sift away
like a table-book disease

would you bloom
along a street
dust and nooks

what choice you have
sits above the skyline
in a pale blue chair

psalm 8

             a braided moon

             animals under our feet :

psalm 12

i am thinking of faithful
of frail and unanointed

your name a broken door

you are silver     
boiled seven times
a pure thing hung round your neck

like an antidote to fever :

Laura Walker is the author of five books of poetry: story (Apogee Press, 2016), Follow–Haswed (Apogee Press, 2012), bird book (Shearsman Books, 2011), rimertown/ an atlas (UC Press, 2008), and swarm lure (Battery Press, 2004). She lives in Berkeley, California, where she teaches creative writing, battles the varroa mite, and tries to grow tomatoes inappropriate to the climate. More info at laura-walker.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tuesday poem #209 : bp sutton : from [addendum]

production a paean or cant
icle will be the need
pulled bring
ing each sense
a contradiction calls
in lieu of sky
ground to rope
within anything must
an end
standing each place revealed
into and is they
sung the empty shine undressed

bp sutton currently lives in Illinois. This poem comes from a series of aleatoric rewrites / chance operations of past manuscripts as a means of writing through the text.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan