Tag Archives: poet

Poetry: Text by Carol Ann Duffy

I tend the mobile now
like an injured bird.

We text, text, text
our significant words.

I re-read your first,
your second, your third,

look for your small xx,
feeling absurd.

The codes we send
arrive with a broken chord.

I try to picture your hands,
their image is blurred.

Nothing my thumbs press
will ever be heard.

Quotidian: Atticus on Poetry

atticus poetry

Poetry: No One Goes to Paris in August

A Montparnasse August
with view of the Cimetière. A yard of bones.

We wake to it. Close curtains to it.
Wake to its lanes. Rows of coffin-stones in varying light.

Walking here. Late with shade low, low, long.
We’re passing through, just passing through
neat aisles of gray mausoleums.

(From Paris. Send this postcard. This one.
Calm water lilies. Water lilies.
Nothing colorless.)

It’s morning. Baudelaire’s tomb.
Tree limbs casting shadow west.

This, a lot of time under a looming sky.
Nobody has time like this.
(Time to go to Le Mandarin for coffee
every day. We’re not complaining.
They bring the milk separate.
Watch the passersby on Saint-Germain.)

Nothing to ponder. This is the plight.
Pause by Pigeon in bed with his wife —
both fully dressed.

Pink flowers, pink flowers,
just beneath de Beauvoir’s name.
When she lived she lived two doors down.
Went south in August.

All of us smell of heat all the time.
We are the living. Oh dear!
There are the dead ones there.
Their thoughts more familiar, though.
Lives finished, nearly clear.
And they make it possible for us to go on living
as we do in their blue shade.

-Clarence Major’s forthcoming Selected Poems

Caffeinated Links: Emma Watson and Miles Teller Costar, 10 Most Anticipated 2015 Poetry Books

Miles-Teller whiplash

Emma Watson and Miles Teller are almost certainly going to star together in Damian Chazelle’s next project, an oldschool MGM-style musical set in LA called La La Land. Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash, which was my favorite movie of 2014 along with Guardians of the Galaxy, just got five Oscar nominations. Emma Watson is one of my favorite people for her fierce, poised, intelligent self, and Miles Teller is my favorite 20-something actor after his knockout, charismatic, incredibly human performance as a drummer prodigy in Whiplash. THIS is a dream. RT

Flavorwire has the 10 Most Anticipated Poetry Books of 2015. “Although many books aren’t slated until later in the first quarter, 2015 is already shaping up to be a major year for American poetry, especially with the return of favorites like Mary Jo Bang, new collected works from masters like Jorie Garaham, and a book from perhaps our greatest living poet, John Ashbery. Add to this mix the rediscovery (or first translation) of forgotten yet undeniably major poets like Alejandra Pizarnik and the arrival of younger poets like Uljana Wolf, and it’s clear that poetry in America is firing on all cylinders.” RT

Flavorwire also killed it with a beautiful retrospective on T.S. Eliot’s quintessential “The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock.” “Thomas Stearns Eliot began writing “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in 1910, at the age of twenty-two. The poem was published five years later, when Ezra Pound, whom Eliot met and befriended as an expatriate in Europe, sent it to Poetry in Chicago, adding: “This is as good as anything I’ve ever seen.” This year, then, marks the 100 year anniversary of Prufrock’s imaginative journey into the half-deserted streets, the one-night cheap hotels, and the chambers of the sea.” RT

Blinkboxx Books created an infographic of the ages at which famous authors were first published and first hit it big, respectively, and it’s  both fascinating and highly encouraging for aspiring novelists. “Haruki Murakami hitting his stride at 34 with A Wild Sheep Chase and Gabriel Garcia Marquez penning One Hundred Years of Solitude at 41, so don’t give up hope yet—or ever.” RT

Benedict Cumberbatch talks baby names with Ellen Degeneres. RT

This Is the Poem That’s Going to Get Me Out of the Mines

This is one of my favorite prose poems of all time, a transcendentally self-mocking poetic creed that’s a delight from start to finish.

Jonathan did it. He teaches at a university in Washington now.
Or Oregon. I forget. But he said he gets fifty grand a year.
To teach creative writing. That’s like winning the lottery.
I make thirty grand and my lungs are turning into a collection
of twisted lies. I cough more than I think. I asked Jonathan
how he did it and he said he didn’t know. It was like God
napalmed him with luck. He got some award for a poem
about a goddamn lake and suddenly they pay him a thousand
dollars to read for fifty minutes in an auditorium filled
with students who don’t want to be there. I tell him to seriously
tell me how to do it and he said you have to make sure
there’s a lot of mist in the poem, that they can see the mist,
feel the mist, and then just go from there. He says that poets
love mist. They want so much mist in a poem that you can’t
see anything else other than mist and then from that mist
you have something really beautiful peek through and then
something really ugly peek through. But it can’t be too ugly,
he says, or you’re fucked. And he says don’t swear. He says
you want mist and beauty and a touch of ugly

read more

-Ron Riekki, Juked

Ten Years After My Mom Dies I Dance

This poem by Patrick Rosal absolutely knocked my socks off.

The second time I learned
I could take the pain
my six-year-old niece
—with five cavities
humming in her teeth—
led me by the finger
to the foyer and told her dad
to turn up the Pretenders
—Tattooed Love Boys—
so she could shimmy with me
to the same jam
eleven times in a row
in her princess pajamas.

When she’s old enough,
I’ll tell her how
I bargained once with God
because all I knew of grief
was to lean deep
into the gas pedal
to speed down a side road
not a quarter-mile long
after scouring my gut
and fogging my retinas
with half a bottle of cheap scotch.
To those dumb enough
to take the odds against
time, the infinite always says
You lose.

Read more at Four Way Review

Poetry: Kingston, Jamaica. 3am. Passa Passa Dance Party

One good thing about music / when it hits / you feel no pain
—Bob Marley, Trenchtown Rock

When her body is a compass
bearing South, and she is crouched
bare-toed and feckless above steaming pavement
poised to give birth to drum or bass,
Red Bull triggered at the wrist,
hips a bouquet of cackling fingers,
lips two hummingbirds aimed for flight,
the Glock-Nined baby brother
she nursed from croup
with lavender oil and Cat’s Claw bark,
for whom she turned a fist of nothing
into school fees and uniform,
and whom she will bury
in St. Andrew Parish Church Cemetery
once the sun fully rises,
feels more like a brilliant toothache
her tongue worries,
than a tumid and wild devastation.

-Idrissa Simmonds, Crab Creek Review

Poetry: Ithaka

Dear Penelope, do you now sleep among the catacombs?

Scarves of white drift over the Aegean – an altar of bottomless blue.

I have gone to the edge of the world and still cannot find you.

Even the olive trees raise their spangled limbs skyward in longing.

Mother Earth slides her abacus beads, conjures storms quick as curses.

When lightning struck, did the boat protect or beckon the bolt?

Island flowers shut their eyes only when the stars disrobe – hope and sorrow held
within the same root.

She imagines him bright-toothed & swarthy, but her husband is just sunburned & homesick.

So many suitors holding her skeins – she’s woven a trail for her waylaid mariner, long
as his beard and her undoing.

In twenty years she has never asked, What shall I wish for myself?

Odysseus wonders, Do I have the right to return?

Maids cast offerings to the sea: red rose petals and grape leaves, love and wine all that remain.


** The line What shall I wish for myself? is a reworking Mary Oliver’s line What shall I wish for, for myself ?

-Kelly Cressio-Moeller, just published in Thrush Poetry Journal

The Light Keeper

A night without ships. Foghorns called into walled cloud, and you

still alive, drawn to the light as if it were a fire kept by monks,

darkness once crusted with stars, but now death-dark as you sail inward.

Through wild gorse and sea wrack, through heather and torn wool

you ran, pulling me by the hand, so I might see this for once in my life:

the spin and spin of light, the whirring of it, light in search of the lost,

there since the era of fire, era of candles and hollow-wick lamps,

whale oil and solid wick, colza and lard, kerosene and carbide,

the signal fires lighted on this perilous coast in the Tower of Hook.

You say to me stay awake, be like the lensmaker who died with his

lungs full of glass, be the yew in blossom when bees swarm, be

their amber cathedral and even the ghosts of Cistercians will be kind to you.

In a certain light as after rain, in pearled clouds or the water beyond,

seen or sensed water, sea or lake, you would stop still and gaze out

for a long time. Also when fireflies opened and closed in the pines,

and a star appeared, our only heaven. You taught me to live like this.

That after death it would be as it was before we were born. Nothing

to be afraid. Nothing but happiness as unbearable as the dread

from which it comes. Go toward the light always, be without ships.

-Carolyn Forche, Santa Clara Review, also published in The New Yorker

Yes & No

Yes to the wooden giraffe airmailed from Arizona

with a note from your mother-in-law saying no more

excuses to sleep unprotected by your spirit animal,

but no to a new kind of insomnia. Yes to most -philias

not in the dictionary, like car washes in the rain

and bakeries on fire, but no no no to looking at old photos

with a bottle of Maker’s. Yes to your wife drinking

beer in the shower, but don’t hop in and join her,

let her have this moment beautifully wet and alone,

you’re here in the kitchen sautéing spinach and garlic

if she needs you. No to speed limit signs graffitied

but yes to climbing the overpass at night to tell the world

exactly the year that you loved her

Read the rest at H_NGN_M

This poem by Justin Bigos rocked my world and will rock yours.

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