Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday poem #439 : Christopher Patton : A MOTH


                     Picasso, The Blind Man’s Meal

of left
ward light on
a clay

born in oil

water on
a table

but for oil
bread and an oil

as if it
were built out
of sight



Christopher Patton’s newest book of poetry, Dumuzi, was published in Spring 2020 by Gaspereau Press. His recent book of translations from Old English, Unlikeness is Us, also with Gaspereau, won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. His visual poetry has appeared in Asymptote, DIAGRAM, and Ancient Exchanges and in exhibitions at the Whatcom Museum and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Tuesday poem #438 : Alina Pleskova : THIS DAY IS A WASH


for Rachel Milligan

when    I'm too candid for abstractions
            absence isn't lack, but inadequacy thrown into relief
            it's my turn to say, I'm not comfortable with the arrangement
            morning is a hook piercing the jowls
            delays between our answers lengthen

when    I keep a lavish sample spritzer for when & only when
            the when is catatonic at the clinic for I lost track of how long, but at
            least I smelled elegant
            the rain turns torrential, as if cued
            the magic 8 ball gets stuck edges-up, rejecting its own limited
            wonder is coming back for us, but not yet
            you try to leave your body, but the severance doesn’t take

when    the news dares us to stay brave
            the news gives us the spins
            the news becomes vomit in a pristine hotel toilet
            this is no time for grace

I cave first & call from the stairwell, where things are allowed to get

when    I petitioned the patron saint of all things prurient, I forgot to be
            the city shrinks to fit my palm
            I leave, the sun will be wedged between treetops
            we live & breathe our customer-focused culture
            I log my absence in the absence management program

when    our bodies carry on with secret dealings during sleep
            you look at me just-so & I go what? to diminish it
            friends kiss on the sidewalk wearing uncertain spring haircuts
            aberrant weather lets us feel okay longer, though not without guilt
overs along the tolerability continuum are known as situations

when   her voice trails tenderness around the bedroom

           someone says, This is going to get weird, there’s a sure sign it won't
           checking whether I've forgotten already means I haven't
           you snore within minutes after finishing, I hallucinate concepts
           like husband
           Frank wrote, Heterosexuality! you are inexorably approaching, it was
           a warning

when   I gained agency because I learned how to aim

            a fist uncurls inside my throat & I’m rapturous, emptied of all

            I mean shock to the system, the overtone is sex

            our appetites meet in a subhuman state, that’s called a miracle

           a siren call needs retuning, where do you take it?

when   I understood how a touch can be both game & wholly indifferent

            my body is returned in working order, it’s both comfort &

            even the withered succulents outlasted all this, where's the lesson
            about neglect?

            you about-face at the corner, but my pulse holds steady
            the rousing spell has run its course—




Alina Pleskova is a poet, editor, and Russian immigrant turned proud Philadelphian. Her work has been featured in American Poetry Review, Thrush, Entropy, Cosmonauts Avenue, Peach Mag, the Poetry Project, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, What Urge Will Save Us, was published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in 2017. With Jackee Sadicario, she co-edits bedfellows magazine and is a 2020 Leeway Foundation Art & Change awardee. She's trying to finish a full-length poetry collection about glitchy desire.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Tuesday poem #437 : Alexander Joseph : "I wake to another broken morning"



I wake to another broken morning
in the second shattered year
this time ten dead
where I used to buy deodorant 
and shampoo
and cheap candy 
and all the other plastic bottles
the health food store didn’t carry

there are so many poems lamenting
this sort of sickness
there is almost nothing left to say 

other than that I’m sorry
about all the young men
just a little unluckier than me
those with nothing left to lose
those who never had anything anyway

I’m sorry that we are all so close
to lancing the infection of our lives
of our hate
of this tainted inheritance
of all these empires of dry and poisoned dirt
onto whomever we happen to find

I’m sorry that it has come to this
and that it will come to this again
that there will be so many more mornings that start with bad news
under a sun hidden by clouds
and gun smoke
and forest fires 
and all the other ugly bright we hold in our hands





It's said in the Talmud that there are three ways to be a good Jew: study, prayer and acts of loving kindness– Alexander Shalom Joseph think of his writing and work as a teacher as a mix of all three. Alexander's poetry chapbook, Buttons and Boneswas published by above/ground press in 2021. His Novels and Short Stories have been short listed/finalist/ or semi-finalist in the 2021 Autumn House Rising Writer Prize in Fiction, the 2020 Orison Fiction prize, the 2020 Paper Nautilus Chapbook Prize, and the 2020, 2019 and 2018 Faulkner Awards for a “Novel in Progress," have been published by Tulip Tree Press, The Wall, Zodiac Magazine, Lotus Eater Magazine, Bombay Gin and in Clover: A Literary Rag, and have received four honorable mentions in New Writer Competitions for Glimmer Train Magazine. Alexander is the host of the podcast American Wasteland, and writes a weekly prose poetry column in The Mountain Ear Newspaper in Nederland, Colorado. Alexander has an MFA from The Jack Kerouac School, and lives in cabin in the woods of Colorado with his girlfriend and hundreds of books.

the Tuesday poem series is curated by rob mclennan