Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tuesday poem #352 : Erin Lyndal Martin : the on and on whatever

I’ve been a miner for a heart of cardiac muscle.
The love songs I write are about charcoal and sulfur,
the difference between temperature and energy.
Static is a kind of energy, and it’s the glitchy
houndstooth we see on tv screens when channels
don’t exist. They say one percent of tv static
is from the Big Bang—the ultimate in making
the most of what you’ve got—
The Big Bang is more popular than the
Steady State Theory. I think I believe
in the Big Bang and I believe the Bible is real
insofar as the letters on the cover are embossed
in gold and the words of Jesus are printed in red
and there are four accounts of the same events.
Static is another word for standing still,
and how many times have I done that?
Panning for minerals at the adventure park,
I held my tray in the water and sieved
shards too small to identify. Static is another word
for standing still, but I get motion sickness,
and there’s a theory that happens because our
bodies are always swaying, even if just a little bit.
My body sways a lot. I twitch. I have longed
to be a living statue in the French Quarter,
have hidden by the park at Jackson Square
where they put on their costumes
and paint their faces. I’d wear a wig of silver ringlets
and stand on a crate, blinking to acknowledge each dollar.
I’d have a silver pail of real crabapples right there at my feet.
But I can’t because of the twitch,
the tremble, the shudder. I’ll never stand still. 
And yet. 

Erin Lyndal Martin is a creative writer, music journalist, and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Gigantic Sequins, Cosmonauts Avenue, Rhino, and others. Find her at http://www.erinlyndalmartin.com or @erinlyndal.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday poem #351 : Paul Perry : Night-Shift

my breath reaches his neck –

but the heart is cold
he cannot see me
though he searches 
through the streets
in the dark
in the mirrors
all the late sour hours
his custom
by the quays
by the river
over the bridge
this way and that
the metre ticking 
over like a count-down
I want to reach out
I want to say something
I want to say – 
not sorry 
sorry is such a pointless
and stupid word
it can’t carry the weight
the range of what I need
to say
to you
old man
you know how it was
and fucked
the last I know
it was a room
like any other
a score like any other
like all others
did the sun ever 
touch me
if you could see me
you would see 
through me
it was always thus
autumn in my soul
not your say
not yours
look at all these leaves
in my hands
in my arms
look at you throw
them into the air
and it looks 
like laughter
but I can’t hear nothing
but the bubble
of speech bursting
like a pocket
of blood
charged with the smack
of all austere
ok daddio
forgive me
for all the light
it floods this cab
like the sun
in winter
for some of us 
that’s all we need
its gentle bright
its annihilation
ice cracks 
walk with me
go on 
get out of this black car
I say so
but when I move
there’s nothing
a movement
the gesture of movement
I step out of myself
to nowhere
I’m not there
and if you know
I’m not
why then 
keep speaking to me 
why daddio
telling me
love will save me 
when it never did

Paul Perry is the author of 5 full length collections of poetry including Gunpowder Valentine: New and Selected Poems, and two pamphlets of poetry. A recent recipient of the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship, and co-author to 4 Karen Perry best-sellers, including the Penguin published The Innocent Sleep. The Ghosts of Barnacullia appears from above/ground press, 2019. He directs the Creative Writing Programme at UCD.  

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tuesday poem #350 : aja moore : venus conjoins uranus

After work i snap necks and marvel

at the leaves in my hands

Dark green sometimes


It’s incredible

Every night I take what I need

Nothing else

aja moore is the author of hotwheel. (2018, Metatron Press) Their work has appeared in Lemonhound, Poetry is Dead, Sad Mag, Hobart Pulp, Peach Mag, and Bad Nudes.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday poem #349 : Tom Snarsky : STARLAKE

Liking tweets like finding a path through birdsong
Letting the algorithm tell me what music

To listen to, feeding it “Silver Dagger”
By Joan Baez and even though she says “Sing

No songs”* they come anyway, forever, the
Knife in the song’s mother’s palm notwithstanding

I boarded a raft bound for the edge of the
World but never made it, only found water

Roiling until even the gulls flew inland
To get away from it, its simple rhythm

Too calm and lasting too long for us to keep
Up with, despite counting beats on the riptide

Being sometimes our only way to survive
*Sorry it’s “Don’t sing love songs” with “don’t” and “love”

Almost unstressed, the music the crucial part
Of the line, over against the omitted

Command (“Don’t [..] love”) that “Silver Dagger”’s speaker

Ends up following by the song’s envoi, a
Pushing away of the moon and stars of love

Back into the dark lake of the heart from which
They arose in her lover’s chest, not yet song

But getting close enough to earn a warning
Who among us isn’t terrified to think

Of one person we love killing another
The blood on the knife dripping predictably

Another metronome of salt in this poem
Already so heavily disfavoring


Tom Snarsky is a special education math teacher at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA. He is the author of Threshold, a chapbook of poems from Another New Calligraphy, and Recent Starred Trash, which is forthcoming from marlskarx. He lives in Chelsea, MA with his wife Kristi and their two cats, Niles and Daphne.

The Tuesday poem is curated
by rob mclennan