Very excited and honored this morning to say that I have two poems included in the winter issue of Melusine, a journal for women in the 21st century (but not just for women, and not just including women). Huge respect and thanks to editor Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, and I’m especially pleased because I love the work of two other poets in this issue – Mary Cresswell and Simon Perchik (I’ll link Mary’s poem below along with mine).
I came home tired from China.
You were a sudden warmth on a violet doorstep –
Present and tender, with a smudge of laughter.
Closer than calluses, you sway me and
Check out Mary’s “Spy Story” poem here.
In 2014 to celebrate Black History Month, NPR Books asked Afua Richardson, an award-winning illustrator who’s worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics, to illustrate something that inspired her. She created this extraordinary video – 50 seconds that perfectly melds the oral, visual, and textual traditions of storytelling into something of pure magic, resonant with historical echoes.
Blood & Water: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes from AfuaRichardson on Vimeo.
I try to understand the small outside I let in that year:
artichoke, orchid, what was beautifully composed. I admired
every sentence he spoke and the valleys of grape
Lauren Camp, Heron Tree
A door is alarming, left open. A leaving;
belief that the exited party will memorize
reasons to find you again. And then. When
it happens, what Saturdays. What planned
activities. What woman that rends your
days. What ways you insist that your hair
can be combed and your failings cannot
Wings rutting through dust like glittering,
hardened sky, I’m fool enough to believe
this bird’s dying, not sunning—body unfurling
like a gasoline stain, acrid iridescence rushing
asphalt that could fry an egg to savory silk.
I drop to my knees as he arches and lashes,
scapulars open as mantle feathers curl and lilt.
He’s a Japanese fan, throat tucked flush, tail
an untamed fractal spent as the heat striating
Sara Henning, Thrush
The Rosie Project
Such an unexpected delight, Graeme Simsion’s novel is a fast-paced, surprising read as unconventional as its narrator, the OCD, brilliant genetics professor Don Tillman. Keep pace with him as he hilariously – with vulnerability and flashes of self-awareness and humor – attempts to find the perfect wife, while also solving a mystery for the unconventional Rosie who keeps popping up in his life. The straightforward narrative and dialogue will draw in non-chic-lit readers while romance fans will be charmed by the ebb and flow of a romance told from a male perspective. So fun and cleverly written, I hugely enjoyed the side discourses on genetics, psychology, and cocktail mixing – a novel with a brain. This is being adapted into a film (Jennifer Lawrence was originally attached to play Rosie but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts) which I’m very excited to see it when it’s ultimately released.
Up from smolder, smoke sits knitting its braid in the dark.
Tuck the tip into your locket, curled and frayed in dark.
I took sad receipt of your last letter, a scratch of ink
and ash borne on the edge of a spade in the dark.
Bury the memory in your little black dress. One bite
of bourbon and dirge becomes serenade in the dark.
Sarah J Sloat, Citron Review
It sat downstairs on the air hockey table,
its shedding needled branches, its copper wire arms.
With care, our mother draped its false twigs in silver
garlands, two for a dollar on the clearance rack,
and the ornaments–her mother’s, long dead–
we cradled in our palms like baby Jesus might have
been held, our non-savior swathed in hay in the barn-crib, safe
Leila Chatti, Linebreak
I’ve spent a whole lifetime
trying to explain what homesickness feels like
inside my body, but when I open my mouth
I say your name.
Hannah Nahar , One Sentence Poems
This hit me right in the gut – it’s so rare as a third-culture kid to find someone who can put into words what you’ve been feeling your whole life..amazing.
I like the kind of rain
that upsets people
postpones the softball game
stops traffic and the radio
I am the man
Salvation Army shoes
straightening cigarette butts
in front of the laundry mat
personal Jesus t-shirt
Scott Nolan, Puritan Magazine