Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday poem #382 : Jean Van Loon : Off-Season Sun

A tall steel wall blurs
the roar of transports
sear of sirens hustling
crushed bodies. Here
in shadow, south-sunk sun
spears through rusted holes
in the grey corrugation
blazes miniatures
of itself on tree, fence,
wall. Small suns
flash black
when a vehicle passes.


Leaves blind me
with their dying
in the dying light.
Even the hackberry
with its stubborn cling
of shrivelled brown
emits a coppery lustre
in the low sun
of the day’s
and the year’s


Drenched in gold, sun
moves south for winter
returns on occasion
for visits begrudged
and brief.

Jean Van Loon’s [photo credit: Pearl Pirie] first poetry collection Building on River (Cormorant Books, 2018) was a finalist for the Ottawa Book Prize. Her stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in literary magazines in the US and Canada and in Journey Prize Stories.  Facebook @Jean Van Loon; Twitter @JeanVanloon.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tuesday poem #381 : JoAnna Novak : Spikenard and Sprat

The beauty of the breast at two, at four, at seven, at ten, at two—small hand reining her hair—sharp nails scratching her throat—sure grip fisting her mouth—this chrism in the basement, dim over-seen by three eras of fish, plank-mounted—encaustic gills, razor fins, blessed maw and gaze—Quit, she said, 40xs, do something you love—story nested in every family, even the floundering nuclear—thank you for holding the baby—walking to a waterfall, they spoke—joy spread, so fleecy and dull—cul-de-sac, underpass, she got risky and rash on bridges—looking fondly at each other—breath hitched in gray—called it date, another day—when they returned bacon burned, Al Green, and their baby was so sated in his high chair.

JoAnna Novak is the author of the novel I Must Have You and two books of poetry: Noirmania and Abeyance, North America. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Fence, Guernica, AGNI, BOMB, and other publications. She is a co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook publisher, Tammy, and teaches in the MFA program at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday poem #380 : K.B. Thors : Usually Referring To Chicken

You dreamt again about snow
drifts in small doses and spoonfuls
of sugar, the collection of trolls,
toy-naked and pot-bellied,
we left in the sun too long.

I’m picking scabs in a city park,
tracing sun spots and picturing
the corral, our smaller selves
suckling tunnels of ice forts,
burning our tongues together.

Even from here, every time
someone confuses freeze with thaw,
I see fumes rise from the scruff of you—
the highest hackle I never tasted.

K.B. Thors [photo credit: Layla Billey Thordarson] is the author of Vulgar Mechanics (Coach House Books) and translator of Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir’s Stormwarning, nominated for the 2019 PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation and winner of the American Scandinavian Foundation’s Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize. She is also the Spanish-English translator of Soledad Marambio’s Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else. She currently serves as Translation Editor for Newfound: A Journal of Art & Place, and is the 2020 CBC/QWF Montréal Writer in Residence.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan