Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tuesday poem #338 : Arisa White : Spent the whole day around people

In a house with nice people I just met

A dog and a cat that reminded me of my ex-pets

A shuttle on the way to the airport

The curb, the security

Taking off my shoes in front of people

People who tell me to put up my arms

See people in my business

My socks on a carpet trafficked by people

Their touch, their breath, their there

The sense they do not belong to people

At the gate, sitting delayed with performing people

Stroking their belt buckle, their Mac crow’s feet

I don’t like to be with people for unnecessary hours

Plug in my cell and read about British and Irish poets

Women of a New Confessionalism

Turn the page to get rid of people

In the waft of waste is seat 28C

I sit there to my rowmate’s surprise

I read to escape the bull of people

Minus fog that kept us en retard, the sun falls on people

The attendant tells me I have San Francisco glasses

She is mean, I know

She masturbates with bunnies

Goes from tail to front

Chortles to come

Caricature is a new feminism

Silly is deconstructive

I have apple when she tells me her juices

The landing’s smooth as a good pressing

People take out phones to alert other people

Grab their luggage, exit with no hiccups

They get it for that moment—

Listen, people giving thanks

BART has no people and I put my feet up

Watch passengers grow

His face looks like a racer

She transitions to her sex

Her fanny pack is practical

The child’s cries are spoiled

Go to the station for Westfield Mall

Lunch in its ground floor

Spicy beef ramen, seaweed salad, and these bothersome tomato slices too

Not a people take the seat next to me

Young people wear shorts with their maximus out

Too much pubic for public

The mother wipes baby’s lips

Father waxes noodles

Now a compost receptacle is offered

Why must people be charged for big brown bags?

I navigate the touristy vein of Powell Street

His Jansport shields his chest

Two sisters both have rattails

One man begs for change

Another gives a weekly

My luggage has 360-wheels to maneuver with people

Working my forearms on hillish blocks

I arrive an hour early to the dentist

I read “Interculturalism . . .” from the essay’s title

Dr. Duffala will see me now

My commute will avoid the rush

Duffala has stories of 15 people

My gums are good and barely bleeding

Duffala says, Are you hearing the people?

This cleaning is a longer protest

I add fare to my Clipper

I queue

Lean against the station map and people stare

Her freckles and ugly thumbs

She stands like her cock's in pendulum

Montgomery made us uncomfortable

Dublin/ comes out of the Bay, and picture the sun

Obama on a wall, yellow petals in a People’s Garden

She types really fast

He’s been bit by man-o-war

Polish grits when I clench

I sometimes wake with hurt temples

People don’t know how to move out the way.

Cave Canem graduate fellow Arisa White is the author of Perfect on Accident, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, Black Pearl, Post Pardon, A Penny Saved, and Hurrah's Nest. Her poetry has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, NAACP Image Award, California Book Award, and Wheatley Book Award. The chapbook Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. She's the co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice series for young readers. Arisa is an assistant professor of creative writing at Colby College. arisawhite.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday poem #337 : Ariel Dawn : All Day the Rain

All day the rain, listening to it and his heart and the ancestors as they arrive, make tea, whisper over papers, knock down walls. A merry chaos when Lawrence opens his grey eyes, seeing only what was there last night: the dark oak floor, sea of books and clothes, table of bottles, glasses, candles. He rises in the rainlight and hunts for his clothes, the socks the gentry hid. Fancy a little breakfast? he asks, stumbling to my dreary wall of a kitchen: bread, port wine jam. The attic turns twice the size and fills with shadows. I clear the table, and in the centre, place a bowl of blood, gold, rose apples. My mouth is too small, my jaw cracks. The spell may break. I tear the toast. Lawrence, look at the rain; divine! I push the plate away, away, for I am half light, between worlds. Silver threads across the ceilings of new rooms, ancestors applaud for the gentry dancing on tightropes to Debussy.

Ariel Dawn [photo credit: Sara Hembree] lives in Victoria, British Columbia with her son and daughter. She spends her time writing, reading, studying Tarot, and working on her first collection of prose poems. Recent work appears in Guest, Train, and Litro.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tuesday poem #336 : Samuel Strathman : Vestiges

i possess a few
sacred handfuls

vestiges of what
once was

afternoons and evenings
spent in bed with our
arms linked and pushed skyward
to the sun or the stars

whatever was
there to greet us
up above
we were there ages ago

Samuel Strathman is a Jewish/Canadian poet, author, and educator.  Some of his work has appeared in Half a Grapefruit Magazine, Montreal Writes, Peeking Cat Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, as well as other publications.  His book The Radical Dreams became available on Amazon back in April of 2018.  He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Tuesday poem #335 : Shelly Harder : untitled

once there was a man who didn't like a single thing about his appearance but he stared in the mirror for weeks and one day he realised he had a coy flirtatious mole on his left temple and then he was happy

I never know why I am sad the philosophers say birds do things merely of instinct but think of the daffodils that wilt or the carrots in the fridge memory is a vegetable force that digs and digs and cannot fly

yet they call machine intelligence artificial as though ours sprouted genuine and inevitable as though ours were an untampered whole grain fibrous and good for the gut

at night the apocalypse happens in my dreams the world is drowning mouldy attics the only place left and I swim floating rubble humid, weltering, dull

& there’s not much to say three bushes on a pinprick hill and fields of yellowed grass, the train stopped under a filthy sky the reek of fire, a translucent bag stabbed on a branchand the insistent promise of rain

when loss has lost its loss, there’s nothing much to remember

Shelly Harder hails from rural Ontario and recently has lived in Ireland and the UK.  A first chapbook, remnants, was published by Baseline Press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan