Tag Archives: elegy

Poetry: “Power Outage Elegy” by Nathan McClain

My daughter can’t understand
why, when I press the button,
the parking garage door doesn’t budge.

The car stuck. The park too far
for her small legs to walk. These things
happen, I say. It’s no one’s fault.

In the apartment courtyard, the tenants are gathered —
one complains he’s missing the Laker game,
one can’t charge her cell phone,

another’s laptop is dead.

The power,
of course, isn’t the problem — we’re each unprepared

for such sudden loss,

read more at Waxwing Mag

From “Porcelain: Poem on the Downfall of my City” by Durs Grünbein

“My little bird won’t come”
—Immanuel Kant, 1803

1

Why moan about it, Johnny-come-lately? My friend,
When you were born your city was long gone.
Misty eyes don’t turn hair grey and you,
Your name: too quick for it, too green.
Seventeen years, a childhood hardly, were plenty
To erase the past. They sealed the wounds all up
In strict and somber grey; enchantment ceded to bureaucracy.
The Saxon peacock wasn’t slaughtered out of need—
Lichens, inexorable, bloomed on sandstone flowers.
They come back like hiccups, elegies: why brood, why bother?

read more at Asymptote 

Poet Interview: Nathan McClain

My friend Nathan McClain was interviewed for Collagist, and while some of the information is outdated – he now lives in New York and has been widely published – it’s a good read.

Nathan McClain lives and works in Los Angeles. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Quarterly West, Nimrod, The Journal, Toad, Linebreak, and Best New Poets 2010. A recipient of scholarships from Vermont Studio Center and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, he is currently an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College.

His poem, “Love Elegy in the Chinese Garden, with Koi,” appeared in Issue Forty-Nine of The Collagist.

Here, he speaks with interviewer, Darby K. Price, about botanical gardens, hindsight, and Elegance vs. Beauty.

Can you tell me a little bit about the origins of “Love Elegy in the Chinese Garden, with Koi”?

Well, the cause of the poem (if we’re considering the poem itself as an effect) was an excursion to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, CA. I’d met an attractive woman, who also seemed attracted to me, and we took this trip together—as friends. As you might imagine, there was good amount of tension and anxiety between us as we moved through the gardens. As a result, my early drafts of this poem, originally a triptych, attempted to explore the sense of anxiety between two people who could potentially become lovers.

Read more at The Collagist

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