Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tuesday poem #530 : Isaac Pickell : two poems


I visit my parents’ house and all I see is evergreen

when we left the old
place, I unearthed
a spruce sapling
from the woods,

a naïve piece
of home to follow
me to bright white
clapboard siding and

shared backyards    for
years I kept it in
a modest pot
until it was

stunted by the act
of survival     now
it stands nothing
like tall, but still

stands, in too bright
light that crisps its
edges and turns
them brown



You visit your parents’ house and all you see is dust

they move sore
and sturdy, a slight
snag in their gait, a
token of heaving time

splayed out behind
them and littered
with unfinished
injury     the back

door is sealed with
shipping tape, like
money’s some
thing you can

trap with guile, but
there is still a draft
following the course
of their unpaid taxes

& settling between
the other pieces of
furniture that litter
the space     you know

they need a hand but
cannot afford one &
someday all this
will be yours




Isaac Pickell is a Black and Jewish poet and PhD student in Detroit, where he teaches and studies the borderlands of black literature. He is the author of everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and It’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, 2023), and his most recent work can be found in Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, and Passages North. Isaac’s taken a seat in all fifty states and has so much to look forward to.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Tuesday poem #529 : Michael Betancourt : Graphism Panorama in Grey

Michael Betancourt’s typographical asemic poetry has been published by Red Fox Press, Post–Asemic Press, and nOIR:Z, as well as in Die Lerre Mitte, To Call magazine, aurapoesiavisual, and Utsanga.it. More information is available online at michaelbetancourt.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Tuesday poem #528 : Kyla Houbolt : How to Live in a Cartoon



You're three dogs in a trench coat;
I'm seventeen cats in a pair of

skinny jeans. When we walk down

the avenue it becomes a boulevard.

The street lamps all bow as we pass

and some of them even get loose

and follow us. You pick up a piece

of litter from the street and it turns

out to be a hundred dollar bill.

I am unimpressed, because yesterday

I found three large gold nuggets

in the storm grate. We walk into

our favorite cafe and all the candles

light themselves. I lean over and

light my cigarette from the flame.

You pull out your tiny notebook

in which we are plotting our revenge.

Our whispers appear above our heads

as tiny dots inside thought bubbles.

I reach up and puncture the bubbles

as an extra precaution. Then

we turn the page.




Kyla Houbolt, relocated to an island in the PNW, is still writing weird stuff. You can find some of it on her linktree, here: https://linktr.ee/luaz_poet where you can also find ordering info for her two chapbooks, Dawn's Fool at Ice Floe Press, and Tuned at CCCP Chapbooks. The chapbooks, Surviving Death and But Then I Thought, are forthcoming from Broken Spine Arts and above/ground Press, respectively. She also has a full length manuscript currently seeking a publisher. Kyla is on Twitter @luaz_poet.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Tuesday poem #527 : Jessica Gigot : Joy


after Ross Gay


For me it’s the bouquet
of over-the top, dinner plate
dahlias versus tulips,
a flakey bite of thick apple pie,
not the canned sauce. The old plum
finally bears fruit again after
years of hack. Lovage
overwhelms the herb bed,
new strawberry plantlets
creep over the edge,
cling to the weed cloth,
find fresh terrain for their tiny roots.
The brazen rhubarb always
takes up more space than she
is allotted and I love,
in the early spring, how she
unfurls her grand green body
and simply does not care.




Jessica Gigot is a poet, farmer, and coach. She lives on a little sheep farm in the Skagit Valley. Her second book of poems, Feeding Hour (Wandering Aengus Press, 2020), won a Nautilus Award and was a finalist for the 2021 Washington State Book Award. Jessica’s writing and reviews appear in several publications, such as Orion, The New York Times, The Seattle Times, Ecotone, Terrain.org, Gastronomica, Crab Creek Review, and Poetry Northwest. She is currently a poetry editor for The Hopper. Her memoir, A Little Bit of Land, was published by Oregon State University Press in September 2022.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan