Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tuesday poem #291 : Nicole Steinberg : Gag Me

Under a grim mobile of teeth I play
a trick on the seeds. My gummiest parts

held together with royal icing & a prayer,
I trade dharma for diarrhea, every hole

tart to the taste & bleeding fog—foe-ridden,
I gag on the desolate princess bones life molts

& leaves behind. I abandon the smug party,
sober yet somehow not sobbing, hollowed

by a smooth coil of grief, some husky fucker’s
lustrous missile searching for egress via my chest.

How do I unfuck my habitat if I dwell inside
the crumbling curve of a large intestine?

In a place where nothing grows
I must always be kind to women.

Nicole Steinberg is the author of Glass Actress (Furniture Press Books, 2017), Getting Lucky (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2013), and several chapbooks, including Fat Dreams (Barrelhouse, 2018). Her work has been featured or reviewed in the New York Times, Newsweek, Flavorwire, Bitch, and Hyperallergic, and her poetry was selected by Penn State's Pennsylvania Center for the Book for the 2016 Public Poetry Project poster series. She's the founder of New York's EARSHOT reading series and she lives in Philadelphia. Find her at nicolesteinberg.net.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tuesday poem #290 : nina jane drystek : i am out here

like bleeding cry slowly
grass fills buds begin
breaking skin
how carefully
with other’s hands
how haltingly
wrote you a letter
dug you worms
washed my mouth out with gin
freak keep crawling
call midnight
fill the house with smoke
raise shadow arms
a half empty a quarter
rings rings our rings
bowls budding again
arms houring
you crack the screen
i crack the glass
like crying bleed slowly
what is out there

nina jane drystek is a poet, writer of miscellany and arts coordinator working in Ottawa. her poetry has appeared in Bywords, in/words, ottawater and Window Cat Press, as well as in self-published chapbooks and chapbooks by & co. collective, of which she is a member. she has studied poetry in Vilnus, Lithuania and Manchester England, and has a BA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. if you have ever lived in the same city as her you have likely seen her riding a red bicycle around town.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tuesday poem #289 : Jamie Townsend : SLIP

Open day with black lace as

per the morning ritual it seems

second nature that we begin with

shirt over the head

still so much to discard yet

at my barest I believe in

the subliminal why these lines begin

to overlap indistinct bits

and bobs below a stroke

of primary color passing over thin

pastel bleeds of cells wilting rose

after leaves and stand in for rose

illustrating holes in our skin

That’s where seduction ripens, bloom

blush and droplet, hard rubber

pistil, watery strings then sophoric dust

A floral rudder turning in the dark

dress fallen in a heap at the doorstep

concession to the pull of

the sun I guess impatient for

delicious shadow and sound

without locatable origin

I was hoping tomorrow would

never come and it didn’t yet

my nails chipped regardless I felt

a plastic blossom somewhat

delicate and mostly unnecessary

earnest wooden boy girl painted

and dragged towards the source

cotton, lipstick, Vaseline

The aesthetics of disappearance

Baby’s face mistaken for tattoo

Now it’s back to work to sleep

in a slip that hosts

this bouquet of silk forgeries

barest feeling where I curve into

its brace a velvet string

wedged between worlds

Jamie Townsend is a poet, publisher, and editor living in Oakland, California. They are half-responsible for Elderly, a publishing experiment and persistent hub of ebullience and disgust. They are the author of several chapbooks from Portable Press@YoYo Labs, Little Red Leaves Textile Editions, and Ixnay Press, among others, as well as a further chapbook forthcoming with above/ground press. Their first the full-length collection, Shade (Elis Press), was released in 2015. An essay on the history of the New Narrative magazine Soup was published in The Bigness of Things: New Narrative and Visual Culture (Wolfman Books, 2017) They are currently editing a forthcoming volume of Steve Abbott's writings (Nightboat, 2019).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Tuesday poem #288 : Liz Countryman : I PROMISE TO BE HONEST

about nature and stuff
the breezes blustering bits but
sounds like fun words
elephants of words
bushes blustering elephants

bits in the air hitting us
bees banging the storm doors
give me the feeling of falsehood
just a little like
winning at something fun

winning really kicking ass
bright faces and days kicked between
dark days weekdays winter days
separate faucets busy
with the toothbrush

or reusing my magnetic mirror
in the dark blue locker’s
stickered unclean
its lock stuck never exact
and I got no pictures to hang up

these houses belong
to these blocks where bushes
lean like this in the spring when
the weather leans like this
selling itself to new tenants

I feel a little silly around
these blustering houses
I feel fearless like
feeding you in the wind
with a pit in my pocket

Liz Countryman is the author of A Forest Almost (Subito, 2017) and coeditor of Oversound. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Tuesday poem #287 : Madeleine Stratford : UNDERSTANDING

To  under-
stand is to stand
not below

      Bodies touch

When I stand under
withstanding your weight
I grasp your ankles
and hold on

As you stand on my shoulders
neither of us falls or feels

But sometimes I can’t stand
I must         crouch
lie down


I need
to gather
my strength and stand
and lift you
over my shoulders
so I can stand
under and under-
stand you



Madeleine Stratford is a poet, literary translator and professor of Translation at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Her first poetry book, Des mots dans la neige (éditions anagrammes, 2009) was awarded the 2009 Orpheus Poetry Prize in France. Her poetry has also appeared in various journals, including Corresponding Voices, carte blanche, and Pøst. Her French translation of Ce qu’il faut dire a des fissures by Uruguayan poet Tatiana Oroño (Paris, L’Oreille du Loup, 2012) was awarded the 2013 John Glassco Prize by the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada. Elle nage (La Peuplade, 2016), her French version of the novel Swim, also by Marianne Apostolides, was shortlisted in 2016 for a Governor General award (Translation into French). In 2017, Me Tall You Small, her English translation of Lilli L’Arronge’s Ich groβ, du klein (OwlKids Books, 2017), was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan