Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tuesday poem #323 : Brenda Brooks : Ebb

The thrill is gone, she said.  
Life’s not one long jubilee anymore:

Left last night — won’t be back.

But to be fair she put it kinder
(she was always very polite)

and clarified the situation over many hand-
written pages of textured linen warm as rum,

or the dune-colored chapters from
an old book about shipwrecks.

To and fro rolled her indigo waves —
a lonely mariner’s log recording miles

& miles of overboard losses:

Eight pages.

Eight abandoned beaches
of late September.

As for flotsam:

a single strand of her hair.

Brenda Brooks has published two poetry collections and a novel, Gotta Find Me an Angel, a finalist for the Amazon.ca/Books In Canada First Novel Award. Her work has been included in anthologies in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. Her new novel, HONEY, a passionate, dangerous, noirish tale about, well, two women, will be published by ECW Press in Fall of 2019.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Tuesday poem #322 : Lindsay Turner : FORMS OF DISPLEASURE

the hawks are a-nesting
storms in the evenings
no the hawks are re-nesting
the forest is gone

they clearcut the forest
the smell of black plastic
the forms of displeasure
circling the lot

prescient bright winged things
big iridescent bubbles
the forms of displeasure
blow over like storms

what you need to understand is
it's systems not people
the bright formal nothings
go rising up the hill

it’s systems not people
it’s braided with pleasure
phthalates and parabens
circling like drones

what goes in the new space
are you the new girl
like rotted out rope strands
the rope hollow at the core

Lindsay Turner is the author of Songs & Ballads (Prelude, 2018). Her translations from the French include Ryoko Sekiguchi's adagio ma non troppo (Les Figues, 2018), and St├ęphane Bouquet's The Next Loves (Nightboat, 2019). She lives in Greenville, South Carolina, where she teaches English and Creative Writing at Furman University.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Tuesday poem #321 : Ruth Daniell : Corpse Flower

In July 2018, a specimen nicknamed Uncle Fester at Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver became the first Amorphophallus titanium plant to publicly bloom in BC.

Vancouver is giddy tonight; in the botanical conservatory
the corpse flower is finally blooming. The deep green exterior

of the spathe is opening to reveal its dark red interior
and its spadix of flowers: the largest flower in the world.

I’ve been following the story for days. It makes me happy
that so many people have been waiting for a flower,

I think it’s funny that the flower has been named Uncle Fester
and is sure to smell terribly once it’s bloomed.

Many things make me happy these days. My baby daughter
most of all. Before I put her to bed I held her and remembered,

as I often do, how badly I wanted her. How I waited
for a baby and now she is here and she is, just a little bit,

only here because I waited. Tonight I kissed her nose
and I remembered, too, the corpse flower in the city

where I used to live, all the people waiting for it
to bloom, and I thought about all the crazy things

that flora and fauna do to be more than themselves.
The Amorphophallus titanium is not a self-pollinator;

it can only reproduce if
beetles and other insects help.
It needs someone else to shuttle pollen between plants,

to trick flesh flies, or small nocturnal carrion beetles
searching for freshly-dead meat to lay their eggs in.

In order to reproduce the plant must mimic death:
the chemistry of the bloom raises its temperature

to over 36C, human body temperature. Its colour
is vibrant and red. And, of course, there’s its odour:

decomposing flesh. I guess reproduction is always
a little bit gross, life is always closer to death

than we first imagine. The doctors rubbed my daughter’s
tiny body to encourage her to take her first breath:

first she was a grey colour and then she brightened into
a newborn pink, and cried, and they gave her back to me.

It wasn’t ever an emergency: it’s just how things go,
sometimes, and it’s okay. They gave her back to me.

Ruth Daniell is an award-winning writer whose poems have appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Grain, Room magazine, Qwerty, The Antigonish Review and Event. The recipient of the 2013 Young Buck Poetry Prize with CV2 and the winner of the 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest with The New Quarterly, Daniell is also the editor of Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts (Caitlin Press, 2016) and the author of The Brightest Thing (Caitlin Press, 2019). She holds a bachelor of arts degree (honours) in English literature and writing from the University of Victoria and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives with her family in Kelowna, BC.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday poem #320 : Emma Bolden : AMERICAN BEATITUDES

In the city in which I works best
there is no you. Understand that

understanding means an opening
where there should be a wall. If you build

a bridge it’ll just be broken
once a foot becomes steps. The signal

we saw in faraway smoke said
the need for help is a warning

that the helper will soon become
the one in need. Gold is gold

because we put a limit on the number
of hands that can hold it. How could you

disgrace this nation built on the backs bent under
the weight of the forest that felled them?

If a thousand tulips insist on their colors,
the field of green will still be green. Still,

out of the many, one is the only pronoun
we can find room for. The point of every

dollar we’ve earned is to prove to ourselves
our own favor. And God is the green who favors

our greens. O, say. We light by our own gun
the scope from which we’ll never escape.

Emma Bolden is the author of three full-length collections of poetry House Is An Enigma (Southeast Missouri State University Press), medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013) – and four chapbooks. The recipient of a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA, her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best Small Fictions, and such journals as theMississippi Review, The Rumpus, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, New Madrid, TriQuarterly, the Indiana ReviewShenandoah, the Greensboro Review, andThe Journal. She currently serves as Associate Editor-in-Chief for Tupelo Quarterly. You can find out more at EmmaBolden.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tuesday poem #319 : Kirby : Sunday School

There is no half-measure
to praise

or grief

speaking tongues
at the tip of your cock,


KIRBY’s earlier chapbooks include Simple Enough, Cock & Soul, Bob’s boy, The world is fucked and sometimes beautiful, and most recently, SHE'S HAVING A DORIS DAY (knife | fork | book, 2017). They also appear in Matrix Magazine, National Poetry Month.ca and The Rusty Toque (Pushcart Nominee). Their full-length debut, THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF is newly out from Permanent Sleep Press. Kirby is the owner/publisher of knife | fork | book

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan