Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tuesday poem #229 : Aaron Boothby : Sequoia

         Stone the flame cracked     minute    
grain emergent     fire-black     nestled
     in soil’s scorched arenas     Comes
         eruption of form     from implicit
potential of all flesh indefinite     an
     expectation     electric of greens
         varied nations     In divided dualities    
mute abilities     reign in matter’s assent
     without comprehension     Before names
         a kind of alchemy     antecedent
to shadows are the forms of needles
     limbs     pillars vaulting thrust up red
         A taunt of the idea     word’s shiver
violence of nature’s arts     eddies     gusts
     melodies of it making     unmaking
         scent’s pulse     wood’s circulation

What’s not limited by form     defined
     riddled     cursed by what code contains?
         Defiant material shapes itself     not
any I     no One     no accounting after all
     but sinews     utter responsibility
         bound to exhaustion     There’s
no resolution     only perpetuation    
     brushing off loam and needles caught
         while rain fell     bodies left shadows
burned into the damp     echoes of
         a kind of shattering     absence   

Aaron Boothby is a poet from California now living in Montréal. Work has been published in Vallum, Axolotl, Whiskey Island, and other journals while a chapbook titled Reperspirations, Exhalations, Wrapt Inflections was published in 2016 with Anstruther Press. Tweets appear @ellipticalnight and a website can be found at secret-interference.info.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday poem #228 : Christine Stoddard : Jaguar in the Cotton Field

One month after my mother’s mother was raped with a knife,
she crawled into the coffin that was her kitchen,
drenched herself in kerosene,
and lit her flesh on fire.

Like the man in the park where the saguaros grow,
the flames made my grandmother pray for death,
but death was the jaguar in the cotton field
that fate forbade her from catching.

Fate eventually exercised mercy
when she died in the hospital one week later,
with the spotted pelt in her hands at last.

Though I never knew her, I visit her grave every Sunday
to pay homage to a woman’s pain,
to the ever-shrinking smallness she felt in the world,
to the smallness I myself know.

Christine Stoddard is a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. She also is the founding editor of Quail Bell Magazine, as well as the author of Hispanic & Latino Heritage in Virginia (The History Press, 2016), Ova (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), The Eating Game (Scars Publications, 2017), and two miniature books from the Poems-For-All series.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Tuesday poem #227 : Aimee Herman : two strangers underneath a city

Found on the A train, two humans dress as love stains
crawl into each others laps to sop up the carnage of spit.

Mouths break their fasts on each other,
carelessly-shaped lips move back and forth like typewriter travel.

There are no letterpress invites for their tongues to RSVP.
Sometimes, mouths just know what other mouths are looking for.

Four minutes earlier they barely understood each other’s teeth,
yet here they are on plastic subway seats sending bits of forgotten food down throats.

The one in buttons dances fingers into the other’s hair, aftertaste of coconut milk.
The one with poison ivy hidden beneath shirt panics about last bath date.

Buttons begins to think of recent ex-girlfriend who could tie three cherry stems together using only her tongue.

During, molars and fillings are investigated.

After, both contemplate an exchange of phone numbers but silently decide against.

Before, they were just two strangers sitting on the same train toward differing parts of Brooklyn, high off the pungent smells of loneliness, looking to feel something other than that.

Aimee Herman [photo credit: Jun Liu] is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, poet, and writing/literature teacher at Bronx Community College. Aimee has been widely published in journals and anthologies including cream city review, BOMB, nerve lantern, Apogee and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books). In addition, several chapbooks including rooted (Dancing Girl Press) and carpus (Essay Press) and two full-length books: meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books). Aimee hosts a monthly series in NYC called Queer Art Organics, featuring LGBTQ writers and performers and plays ukulele in the poetry/band collective Hydrogen Junkbox. For more, go to aimeeherman.wordpress.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday poem #226 : Julia Polyck-O’Neill : I’m a rack of lamb.

I’m a rack of lamb.
I’m Eileen Myles on a date with a couple, but you’re just you.

I’m Eileen Myles working at Paragon,
and you’re Grace writing me a poem.

You like that reading Marx made me sad.
You like it that I worked somewhere like Marx describes.
You like that I’m bourgeois but can relate to the lumpenproletariat. You like that the chances of me running away are minimal.

I’m Eileen Myles giving you a handjob under the table
across from a dead-looking Belushi.

I’m Eileen Myles taking pills and you’re a couple
feeding me pills.

Julia Polyck-O’Neill is an artist, curator, critic, and writer. She is a doctoral candidate in Brock University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities program (Culture and Aesthetics), where she is completing a SSHRC-funded interdisciplinary and comparative critical study of contemporary conceptualist literature and art in Vancouver. She has taught in contemporary visual culture in the department of Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School. She also curates the award-winning Border Blur Reading Series in St Catharines. Her writing has been published in Feminist Spaces, Tripwire, The Lamp, Ottawater, Fermenting Feminisms (a project of the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology), and The Avant Canada Anthology, and her debut chapbook, femme, was published in 2016 by above/ground press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday poem #225 : Sarah Moses : My French is Rusted

My French is rusted, like a nail, holding together an old picture frame. The picture it frames shows myself, when I was a young child. I am one child, of four, in the picture. The four of us are playing in the mud. There is mud on one child, then on another child. Soon, all the children are covered in mud. The mud is dark, the children light, against the sky. In the sky there is a small plane. Behind the plane, a message: Où est Pierre? One of us is called Pierre. He is me. I am looking up, and out, at the sky. In the sky there is now a small cloud, then it is a big cloud, then a grey cloud. From the cloud falls a fat drop of rain. The sky claps, then turns black. From the black comes all the rain. It washes away the mud, rusts the nail, stains the picture frame.

Sarah Moses is a Canadian writer and translator who divides her time between Toronto and Buenos Aires. Her translations and interviews have appeared in Brick and Asymptote, and her poems in the chapbooks as they say (Socios Fundadores, Buenos Aires, 2016) and Those problems (Proper Tales Press, Cobourg, 2016). She is also the author of a recent above/ground press broadside.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan