Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tuesday poem #534 : Matthew Owen Gwathmey : Mars Exploration: May 22, 1984



The planet Mars. One million years ago. Now move α degrees north. You see pyramid forms squatting in a large, depressed area. Yellowish, okra-colored. Severe clouds moving in, more like a dust storm. A geologic problem apparent. Towers of glassy surfaces and straight angles blown down. Shadows of steeples, tall and thin. Deep inside a canyon, sheer walls that go on forever in huge sections of sleek stone. The gusts stride on overhead. An obelisk at the end of a very long avenue. Ripped up and thrown like a javelin. Now move β degrees west. In the middle of a circular basin, you see a cluster of square shapes flush with the ground, radiating patterns of some kind, reflecting electric light, the gist of it. They etch channels, intersect aqueducts, carve roadbeds. Pointed corners misty, vague. Now move γ degrees north. A shelter from the gale. A chamber stripped of furnishings. People hibernating. In light silk, cut to fit. Ancient citizens, dying, past their epoch or age. Looking for a way to survive and they just can’t. So they’re waiting for a group who went to find someplace new. To escape their failing planet. Now move. All very cosmic, like kids’ pictures of space. Rockets with comet tails. Globes with facial expressions. You go with them on their journey. To a place with volcanos and gas pockets. A volatile plane, but with plants! Strange plants! Never seen such green. Emerald green. Sage green. Olive green. Pea green. Mint green. Fern green. Basil green. Moss green. Lime green. Pear green. Pickle green. Cactus green. Shamrock green. Pistachio green. Seaweed green. Seafoam green. Frog green. Alligator green. Crocodile green. Parakeet green. Juniper green. Pine green.





Matthew Gwathmey lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, on Wolastoqey Territory, with his partner Lily and their five children. He studied creative writing at the University of Virginia and recently completed his PhD at UNB. His second poetry collection, Tumbling for Amateurs, is forthcoming with Coach House Books.

The Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Tuesday poem #533 : Amanda Deutch : Flores, Azores 2007




In the Azores, on Flores, 
we raced snails and

millipedes on the 
heated floor. There

was no escape. Everything 
was damp pages curled,

paper warped, even young 
bodies ached. Barometric

pressure. The sky was grey 
in Azores, so even the lush

foliage and mosses 
appeared dull, cast in

shadows. The coast 
carved out of volcanic

rock. Grey and
 sharp onyx

like knives. Rocks’ 
edges always wet and

slippery from the torrential 
rains. One day while walking

on the rocks, I slipped 
and cut my leg.

I skirted along the rocks to a 
nearby restaurant, where I drank

white wine and ate grilled 
lulas with fresh lemon.

Telma drove uphill 
to show us the moss.

Shoulder high, if you leaned 
on it you could disappear.





Born and raised in New York City, Amanda Deutch is a poet and social practice artist. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks, most recently Bodega Night Pigeon Riot (above/ground press, 2020) and Surf Avenue and 29th Street Coney Island (Least Weasel, 2018). A new chapbook is forthcoming soon with above/ground. Her poetry has been published in The New York Times, Oversound, The Rumpus, Cimarron Review, Ping Pong and in many other journals and magazines.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan