Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tuesday poem #247 : James Meetze : CURTAILED

Ended as to en-dead 
to close a life.
What then opens after?

A supernova’s proof
loosed throughout 
the interstellar medium

like a spate of words
the comment thread

of one body politic
or another.


A mirrored door
conceals an unknown
organizational fold 
behind the known, or 
what we want to see.


In the space between
the road and the curb
in the space of memory

an arm of husky shadow
lifts off, up into the sun

as my father dispatches 
a rattlesnake’s head 
from the rivulet of its body
with a shovel.


Orpheus, too
lost his head
and went on
uncoiling a rope
of expletives

James Meetze [Metz] is the author of three books of poetry, including Phantom Hour and Dayglo, which was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize, both published by Ahsahta Press. He is also the editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (FSG, 2010). He lives in San Diego, where he teaches creative writing and film studies at Ashford University and, with Ken White, writes for film and television.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday poem #246 : Anna Gurton-Wachter : Spiral for Julian

I am standing in the river and, absent any structural changes, I will still be standing in the river. Absent any structural changes I am examining an inky pen I found in the river. This was how I first gained access to Gertrude Stein’s deathbed. Pull the curtain back and Gertrude Stein’s deathbed is there. “Deathbeds are a leisure product,” the voice from above calls out. The voice from above is a rescue pattern, the sincerely possessed dovetail center. I forgot that I had started weeping just for the compensatory elation. When did I get to be outside of being a woman? The woman without qualities. Around the deathbed are many objects and beside each object a moment of private translation. Communications are like whiskers jutting out sideways from the mouth, and we are drinking wine and talking about being born.

I pick up an object that surrounds the deathbed and I say to it, “I am looking for something to write with.” My devotion to the good-enough object holds supreme. How my bodysuit flows gently downstream. Once I stood over a facedown body and said the words, “I am looking for something to write with.” No response from the wrecked sprawl of limbs and I can’t believe I said, as if unaware of all that was happening, “I am looking for something to write with.”

What was happening was only forfeiture. All spaces that are evacuated are mourned while we pass through them. My fantasy is for none of this to resolve. “Let it not resolve,” said the woman face down burying herself. I was glad too about the silence. My attention stops in the soft moment of the deathbed. Deathbeds are slept in sometimes. And thrown out. Call up the image of the universe as a whole. I am sorting the good-enough objects from the objects which merely soothe.

Anna Gurton-Wachter is a writer, editor and archivist. Her chapbooks include The Abundance Chamber Works Alone (2017, Essay Press), Blank Blank Blues (2016, Horse Less Press) and CYRUS (2014, Portable Press @ Yo Yo Labs). Other writing has appeared in Elderly, 6x6, No Dear, The Organism for Poetic Research, The Brooklyn Rail and elsewhere. She also contributed to the Essay Press digital collection of post-election writings Radio 11.18.16. Anna edits and makes book with DoubleCross Press and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday poem #245 : Shane Book : Vaporwave

Started from the bottom.
Well guess what?
When it coats your face
everyone flees.

A mango ice cream mask for my skin,
that ass getting fatter
and I know it’s because of me.

Tell a story about how you’re old
and afraid to die boring, Conquistador.
Pour that bubbly.

My style’s the highest.
I tried to hire a stylist.
Spanish swords and European diseases
couldn't style me.

I’m so groovy. I got power.
You don’t want no war, oh no.
Blind your eye with my ring.

Come-on estate come down.
In Nairobi, I order a filet
of just-passed-its-prime rhino.
If it ain’t like gwop I’m gone.

Shane Book’s [photo credit: Grace Image/Jeni Fong] first collection, Ceiling of Sticks, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award and was a Poetry Society of America “New Poet” Selection. His second, Congotronic, was a University of Iowa Press Kuhl House Poets Selection, won the Archibald Lampman Award and was shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Award, Ottawa Book Award, and 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also a filmmaker whose award-winning work has screened in festivals and on television around the world. He was educated at New York University, where he was a New York Times Fellow; the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow; and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He was the 2016-2017 Writer in Residence at the University of Calgary and is now an associate professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Tuesday poem #244 : Ashleigh Lambert : Fracked

Because you can’t drain the basin
and expect the air in the bowl

to support the embarrassing
weight of your longing.

If it helps, you can think of its
magical properties: they pump

possibility into and
through what had been used up, dried out,

bereft of function. But the whole
procedure wastes a lot of clean water.

There is a rendering
and there is an after.

Displacement is not identical
with fault.

Ashleigh Lambert is the author of the chapbooks The Debt or the Crisis (DoubleCross Press) and Ambivalent Amphibians (Dancing Girl Press). Her poems and reviews can also be found in Bone Bouquet, Coldfront, Diagram, Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, Redivider, Rain Taxi, and The Rumpus. She lives in Minneapolis.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan