Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tuesday poem #543 : Terri Witek : Hurricane Sons





12 hours to.  My dead son sighs as I empty him.   My live son drops chairs in the dark.  Arrived:  toxic squads  of AAAs.   A picture frame, floating.


Power poles.  0            o

Closeness to house (sequence of proportional circles)

0              camphor tree

00.           loquat--- loquat---- avocado

       .              fig



My generator son needs special mix. My strap son bangs bookcase to wall.  May the tattooing begin: a snake saves his garden, rounds from my sons’ shoulders down.   Later will lighten. 



       (      )        water oak (neighbor 1)

       (      )       water oak (neighbor 2)

       .                small live oak



Avocado?   40 feet from its stem.  Then opera: 1. chittering titmice.  2. cicadas. 3. silence   My heat stroke son asks if there’s room for his dog.  My adrenaline son buys weatherstripping with cash.  3 plants ask me not to drag them inside. 


Insurance asks: what else is green?   Thready spines.  French waterways, mapped: 1850-1862.  Circulation of goods on.  A cashier asks me to fetch her a loaf of bread.  Me alone with 2 boys in the dark, she explains.  Propane from a bait shop.  



boundary 1:             (     )               (    )
                                   water oak     water oak

boundary 2:            .              .               .                .              .



Ice.  Ice.     My neighbor asks if we’re religious, if trees weep when we cut them.  The avocado calls down its brothers. Everything matters, says my dead son’s phone.  An ant staggers past
as a neighbor’s windows depart, blanked by board.     Last garbage pick-up, last paper.     My live  son toasts: 1. blue skies. 2.  Clink. 

Closed eyes, dark rain.  Can’t take you in, I say to my dead son, furiously stalled.  Cats multiply, snake through the house.  I throw up channels.    I double-void.    What’s it take to get home, trees beg my roof.







Terri Witek is the author of 8 books of poetry: Something’s Missing in This Museum is the latest  (2023). Her work has  been featured in two  international anthologies: JUDITH: Women Making Visual Poetry (2021), and in the WAAVe Global Anthology of women’s asemic writing and visual poetry (2021).  Witek teaches Poetry in the Expanded Field with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes in Stetson University’s MFA of  the Americas, and their work together has been shown nationally and internationally, most recently at ARCO in Madrid.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tuesday poem #542 : Jason Heroux : Ghosts


Ghosts do nothing on their own. They are like memories that have forgotten where they belong. You remembered that when you came home and saw your brother. He asked who you were. You said you were your brother. The two of you sat on the damaged porch, a cool wind looked for a place to hide. If you’re your brother, then who am I? your brother asked. You told him he was his own brother. There was no cloud in the sky, no sky. If I’m my brother, then how come I’m not home? your brother asked. A local factory smoked. You tasted the air in the air, as if it was bad. He asked you again why he wasn’t home. You said it was because he moved. A piece of dirt lay dying in the grass. It felt alone. But why did I move? he asked. Where did I go?



Jason Heroux was the Poet Laureate for the City of Kingston from 2019 to 2022. He is the author of four books of poetry: Memoirs of an Alias (2004); Emergency Hallelujah (2008); Natural Capital (2012) and Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines (2016). His recent books include a short fiction collection Survivors of the Hive (Radiant Press) and two poetry chapbooks: New and Selected Days (Origami Poems Project) and Something or Other (above/ground press).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Tuesday poem #541 : Lynn McClory : Flammable Language



We used to say flammable fabric and now we say flammable

landscape:  The landscape fabric is flammable. The landscape

is burning—I am repeatedly thin writing, thinking smoke in the air,

eyes, ears, nose, mouth—Remember the reeling of sentient life,

eyes red watering, inflammable traffic between my singing ears,

thinking singeing. Hear it come out of my mouth without thinking,

out of my eyes, out of my ears. No one needs mouths mouthing

the words in silent singeing. Now I can write flammable language

sentient thinking: Fires are burning all the trees in breathing lands

vanishing forever in warming air smothering life on the brink, fires

heating floors on the seas. Remember the reeling of sentient life,

eyes red watering, is memory questioning thinking. No one heeds

flammable language singing smoke and fire into the burning trees.

Now we can say fires are lightening igniting flammable traffic into

the air, forecasts deliberate, accidental, incidental, insurmountable   

ranging, raging fires across straw-strewn, flat lands, climbing hills,

descent to valleys, clear-cut fires, clouds stone-grey, cashew skies.

Now we say: No one needs toxic fires, we need sacred fires in our

singing vocabulary, eyes red watering, remembering sentient lives.





Lynn McClory is a Toronto poet. Her poems are archived in ditch poetry, The Rusty Toque and The Puritan. Recent poems have been translated into Spanish in several issues of La Presa, a translation journal from Guanajuato City, Mexico. Her chapbook, Affective Influence, was published by Frog Hollow Press (2021). Currently, she is writing poems for her manuscript on losses in the environment.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan