Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday poem #273 : Janet Kaplan : Good Living

who are born ice

The living and working rooms must be well ventilated. A window in the bedroom should be opened a foot both at the top and bottom in winter, twice as much when the weather is not cold.  Good food Business solutions About our ads

air melting them like thoughts
leaking space
& leaky time

The older boys shove her and the boy she likes between the vestibule door and wall—a Bronx side-street, late afternoon, 1965. They make them kiss, say they’ll pull her shorts down if she doesn’t. I have asthma, says the little boy, red-faced and wheezing. Later she goes upstairs: shame’s home and invisibility. Its permanence.

Light, she sees—
it licks
the bright yolk
the mind
the drip

To live now: aware of permanence and its access to irony. Take plastic, waste it into an ocean—light breaks it to its molecular soul. Invisible, it enters the plastic body.

Exercise, especially such as calls into action the chest muscles and fills the lungs with air Some results have been removed Richmond Air Show “Watch, now he’s getting ready!” There he goes! Gee whiz! Wasn’t that swell?”

Alvin Davidson, The Human Body and Health, Revised
American Book Company, 1909

Woolner Calisch, “Richmond Air Show of 1909”
Richmond-Times Dispatch, 1939

Janet Kaplan’s [photo credit: Silvia Sanza] full-length poetry books are Ecotones (forthcoming from Eyewear Ltd. in 2019), Dreamlife of a Philanthropist: Prose Poems & Prose Sonnets (winner of the 2011 Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry from University of Notre Dame Press), The Glazier’s Country (winner of the 2003 Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press) and The Groundnote (Alice James Books, 1998). Her honors include grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Bronx Council on the Arts, fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ucross Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. Her poems have appeared in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Cross Currents, Denver Quarterly, Interim, The Paris Review, Pool, The Prose Poem Project, Sentence, The Southampton Review, Tupelo Quarterly and many others, as well as in the anthologies An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions, 2007) and Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James (Alice James Books, 2012). She’s served as Poet-in-Residence at Fordham University and is currently a member of the creative writing faculty at Hofstra University, where she edits the digital literary magazine AMP.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday poem #272 : Christian Schlegel : When the Springtime Comes Again

after Jennifer Moxley


At last I saw the center of my way—
I-5 in Orland, solo to Bellingham,
thin sundown rays re-routed by the visor.
“The count’s 3-1. It’s Alvarez the closer,
Scott warming up, the stretch, foul ball, Brigham
almost had that ... motions for time ... and why
Little’s going with Alvarez, right-hander
here in the eighth, facing the fat of the order ...
Martinez—broken bat—hoofs it to first,
Hunt stays at third, we’re at three all, two out,
Fletcher on deck ...” Guava striplings, blue clods
and two-by-fours between the rows, soy past
the ridge. “First-pitch blooper to the left-field corner—
error by the cut-off man—throw’s late—Hunt’s under—”


I loved your room, and you when you were there.
Light through the buckthorns, your furnishings “Eugene”:
day-bed, door-curtains, quilt with embroidered bees.
Its smell you called “the spirit of the place”
and a mouse came in and out, just as it pleased.
Ought I divide my life into its phases?
Generic boy—corduroy overalls—
a lazy eye—the Quartier Latin—
it blends together. Lying about cocaine.
May and September snow in the Corvair,
static, then utter white between the bands.
A year or so of gumption (20), gall
and TV (21), and others’ faces ....
My soul, such that it was, could not be pleased.


My Schwinn banana-seat cruiser, fire-truck-
red, with a broken bell and dragging fender,
a basket for two six-packs and my keys—
party at Jake’s to celebrate ... the end.
A cigarette reduced to pin-prick ember,
the punk in a bolo tie, about whose band
I’d heard it said—“they fuck you forty ways,
they’re loud. They smell.” I slid off the pedals
and walked through the dandelions. Inside was Jake
laughing with Tim (back from his “stay” in Boulder)
who gave Sally his smooth soft palm, on the shoulder.
Bill G., a solid cube of musk cologne,
switched off “When the Levee Breaks” and put on Beck.
“With your front teeth? Surely it isn’t done—”


“Hel called on acid, she was up in Maine,
crawling among the lichens ... so she said.”
Sally, who’d cut her hair, flicked back her head
and nearly spilled what Schlitz of mine remained ...
11:30, 2, and Vertigo,
summer way back in a warehouse in the Mission,
the suede couch on the porch lost in the snow,
“a broadside misprint—look at the bottom—‘connexion,’
she never knew.” Two chords seduce the creek,
a G and a D, the first a soft enclosure
like a nylon tent, the latter the couple inside.
Shannon lies down in her robe and stays awake,
having seen the brook through which the boy will wade,
asleep. And a pick-up stalls in the windless pasture.

Christian Schlegel is writing a dissertation on the poet Donald Justice. His first book, Honest James, was published by The Song Cave in 2015. Born and raised in Berks County, Pennsylvania, he lives in Providence.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesday poem #271 : Eléna Rivera : ANATOMIES

“Every book imposes its own method.
Every book may finally be only the
reflection of its method.”  —Edmond Jabès

Absorb the materials
along this day’s
obstructions of composition

Open a word, a sentence ascends,

Temple of textures
harbinger of the recollected
Every shadow its book

Being a honeycomb process
of catching
ore     wind     words

Eléna Rivera's third full-length collection of poetry Scaffolding (2017) is available from Princeton University Press. Recent chapbooks include LE SOUCI FORMEL/​ the formal concern from Belladonna* (2016) and her bilingual artist book Disturbances in an Ocean of Air (Estepa Editions, France, 2016). She lives in New York City.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan