To tell our story, and to help tell other people, “Hey it’s okay if you’re fucked up for a long time after your dog dies.” Grief is such a wild journey, and it is different for all of us.
Didn’t know what depression felt like
Until I was nineteen
It took my crown and the jewels
And said it was fit to be king
At what point does language become meaningless? When does language actually lose its power?
I been doing this here since Wayne’s dedication
I been doing this here, hear the dedication
I’ve been doing this hair, na look at the transformation
Went bald on everyone
And look how things shaping up
If you ain’t growing with me
Then you had to be cut
Animals burn. Volcanos erupt. We aren’t told the story necessarily as it is; we are told how it feels to live and remember it.
I used discarded camera and computer parts to print into clay tablets. I bleached chicken bones, spray-painted various objects, drew large-scale oil pastel scenery, and cut up old books all for art installations.
I can be your new edition
Can you stand the rain
And when the grey clouds roll away
Does the sun reveal your pain
But as the moments move forward, nothing breaking through the quiet, we are met with the release of breath the speaker has been holding for far too long
This week’s #REPLAYS takes on “Love Line,” the newest track from British producer Shift K3Y, featuring Tinashe.
If this is what it means to be godly, why would anyone stay? And if you are already considered to be straying, why not have some fun with it?
“Home-Going Celebration” is a sly poem that bubbles with contradictions. An elegy rooted in mourning, the language pops with the dizzy rush of one sip too many.
I’m inspired a lot by stand-up comedians, so a lot of my work is me pretending I’m on stage telling a joke, trying to draw the audience in. – Shawn Berman
If I wanted someone to switch up on me, I’d take my talents to Nintendo
Opened up to you just to be shut out like a window
The price I paid for your love as you sent it to others like Venmo
See What Life is Like, is dark and brutal, unsparing in ugly detail. But during a first aid course last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about how smart and accurate her writing is.
Because so many false narratives are being told about Black bodies, it is so crucial to tell the truth about what happens to us and the crimes that are committed against us. I think the true art is sharing the horror in a way that isn’t just trauma porn, but it’s art for a purpose.
REPLAYS: MET HIM LAST NIGHT – DEMI LOVATO & ARIANA GRANDE
Bogeyman in my mind
Trying to creep into reality
Defeated him in the past
So right now he mad at me
We are taught,
Are for other people,
As they navigate the course
And direct the scene of our love.
Why is that?
REPLAYS: PinkPantheress – Pain
And I 99.9% mean when I say
I’m glad I washed my hands of any
And everything surrounding the pain
REVIEW: HOW OFTEN I HAVE CHOSEN LOVE – XIAO YUE SHAN (FRONTIER POETRY)
Shan’s natural metaphors connect the experiences in this collection to a deep relationship with the physical world, grounding these stories into the earth.
REVIEW: PERHAPS THERE IS A SKY WE DON’T KNOW: A REIMAGINING OF SAPPHO – ANNE PEDONE
Pedone’s poems are more demure than a cleverly placed erection joke, however. She unironically uses words like nectar, taste, and swollen…
CHAPBOOK CONTEST: SUBMISSIONS OPEN!
Submit your chapbook manuscripts to The Poetry Question! Guest Judges: Sofia Fey & Chris L. Butler.
I’ll understand my journey
But if need be,
Or if you need me,
May resilience resound my words,
Remember these things I say:
I still miss you
And I’d kiss you
If I could…
“CONFUSION, DESPAIR, OR HOPE” – TALK TO ME: JIYE LEE
I hope to get the same emotions across whether that be confusion, despair, or hope to the readers and to enforce that in such a way it leaves them thinking about the poems for a while.
Because in order to
Serve and Protect,
We took advantage of someone else…
And because they haven’t noticed,
We just don’t see it yet.
REPLAYS – Sip It by Iggy Azalea
The journey of an artist can be filled with highs and lows. Some meet roadblocks trying maintain success. One factor is the record label. Because of this, many artists, choose to go Independent. One of these is Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea.
THE MEDICATED MIC W/ C. CIMMONE
Mental health awareness has increased with the help of the pandemic, but we still treat it like politics and religion: Don’t bring it up at a dinner party
REVIEW: DUNCE – MARY RUEFLE (WAVE POETRY)
The poem claims to forbid but finds that grief is not powerful enough to truly erase the names of things.
As I ride the subway,
I look out into windows
Of parallel lives and trains,
Wondering how much of myself
Is looking back…
Wondering if he will see himself
BROWN STUDY: “SELF PORTRAIT AS A MERMAID OR DEAD GIRL” – GAIA RAJAN
I started thinking about who owns grief, how memory and grief affect the body, and soon enough, the poem turned into an elegy for someone I’ve lost.
REVIEW: STRANGERS – ROB TAYLOR (BIBLIOASIS)
Even if it can be painful, love will not settle down into abstraction. It reaches its fingers into the world, pinches and pulls.
REPLAYS: MY TIME IS NOW – TONE
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately hear that the time is now.
REVIEW: COMB – SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI (SABLE BOOKS)
Migration challenges us to examine the “essence” of what makes us, us, and Hashmi duly documents the details.
GETTING THE GURLZ W/ SOFIA FEY & KHALISA RAE: AIREA D. MATTHEWS
“…in America, the plight of black womxn is fraught with neglect and abuse, where some who behold both our intellect and beauty can’t seem to assert us as either”.
REVIEW: WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY WRITTEN BY STREET CHILDREN GLOBALLY (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
These are the voices and verses of street children. Their stories of hardship and trauma, their dreams and hopes.
#LENNY – S2/EP7(Ω): Ever So Lately
A hot comb straightens my new growth.
The edges of my existence.
Though I trim the dead ends,
My mane still feels unhealthy.
Still it seeks nourishment.
Something is missing and broken.
Broke and in pain
In that place,
Will I kneel?
Speak and sing praise to a God
I’ve felt in the past has forsaken me?
Thank them for my experience?
Tell them I now realize
I didn’t get the short end of the deal?
Had a better hand.
REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)
Hazen has an acute ability to make a reader feel many unwanted things. Like recollection. Like commiseration. Like retroactive fear.
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: AMERICAN CAVEWALL SONNETS – C. T. SALAZAR (BULL CITY PRESS)
At what point does poetry transcend to testimony? What are the requirements? Is it the intersectionality of varying experience or moving tales of perseverance?
REPLAYS: PEACHES – JUSTIN BIEBER
We’ll be the one Justin sang about
saying love was until the end of time.
REVIEW: NEON HOLLYWOOD COWBOY – MATT MITCHELL (BIG LUCKS)
Made to look like a vinyl, the Neon Hollywood Cowboy fails not to be a soundtrack fit for queering what we know as the cowboy, the body, the wild west as depicted in hollywood.
The fabric of time is interwoven.
Interweaves our lives,
Through what succeeds
As it becomes entangled
With what proceeds…
The stories of our lives,
And variations of versions of me…
That the light we see,
And radio waves we receive,
Are just us…
Trying to communicate,
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: BLACK WICK: SELECTED ELEGIES – SHARON KENNEDY-NOLLE (VARIANT LIT)
“Utilizing heavy subject matter, vivid descriptions of the experience of losing a child are expressed. This collection of poems carries stories many of us hope never to know, but in those of us who have, seek sorely to truly discuss.”
REPLAYS: HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY – GIVEON
I love the emotion as his baritone voice accentuates the rawness and sincerity in its lyrics. The relatability of the song draws people in and you cannot help but sing along.
HUSTLE & BUSINESS OF POETRY – KHALISA RAE AND SOFIA FEY
Ranging from tips & tricks, to gripes, to gratitude, we have a lot to say! Welcome to the Hustle & Business of Poetry.
The weight of divorce,
Still wafts in the room sometimes.
Hangs on my shoulders,
It stains my new shirt with tears,
After I got dressed up just for him…
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: LET GO OF THE HANDS YOU HOLD – MARISSA GLOVER (MERCER UNIVERSITY PRESS)
When I open this collection, I approach it differently than I would most. I flip pages and find connections in what could be disjointed and unconnected things.
REVIEW: GHOST IN A BLACK GIRL’S THROAT – KHALISA RAE (RED HEN PRESS)
This is a rally cry for self-hood. For respect. For dreams once had that can be had again. This is written to give voice to the timid, a path to the promise of never again escaping the you who you always thought you could be.
REVIEW: THE MATRIX – N.H. PRITCHARD (PRIMARY INFORMATION and UGLY DUCKLING PRESS)
The collection is ultra-visual, a singing arrangement of offerings that has eyes of its own, old eyes that gaze at us from source, unblinking, revealing nothing (and everything).
REPLAYS: BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE – MAROON 5 & MEGAN THEE STALLION
Beautiful Mistakes has just thrown its hat in the ring for Song of the Summer. As the weather warms up, I can bet we will hear this song blast all over the airwaves soon.
REVIEW: BY BUS – ERICA VAN HORN (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)
You find yourself next to the man licking the eczema on his arm, or next to the singing bus driver. Some of the people you meet on the bus will be lovely; others will be objectionable.
REVIEW: MUCH LEFT UNSAID – FINOLA SCOTT (RED SQUIRREL PRESS)
Again and again, the poems invite us to follow them into landscapes familiar and foreign, present and past, and observe their colours, textures, atmosphere
“LETTING THE POEMS SAY MORE THAN I WAS AWARE THEY WANTED TO SAY” – TALK TO ME: KATE FOX
I think the rewards of communicating through neurodivergence are not using up energy on masking and hiding. Plus then embodying the fact that humans think/feel/experience the world differently.
I remove myself,
Like a missing citation.
I carry the weight of thoughts,
But not the words
To reference the feelings,
I exist in narratives and stories
That I fear few will understand,
And even fewer will ever read.
I find comfort,
In who we are.
Like undesired pieces
On pages in a bin,
Soon to be deleted,
Immediately waiting to be erased,
From Random(ly) Accessed…
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PROFIT | PROPHET – PATRICK BLAGRAVE (RECENTER PRESS)
While this review differs from my traditional approach, I welcome this variation without question. We must face the reality in which we stand in terms (and conditions) of the captor we simply label as debt.
REPLAYS: BRYSON TILLER – LIKE CLOCKWORK
In an industry where the price of fame can change a person for better or worse, Bryson Tiller has remained himself through it all.
REVIEW: MEDUSA RETOLD – SARAH WALLIS (FLY ON THE WALL PRESS)
The epic sets apart internal and external narratives through the usage of italic sections, but these lines start to blur as the story unfolds, reinforcing that our internal lives are inseparable from the outside world.
What will KDK include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
white people, do not recognize the need for succor in Black women, as early as ZERO years old. Their screams (voiced concerns or cries for help) appear no more urgent or fearsome than the twinkling of Christmas lights
My life is falling apart.
Slipping from my grasp,
While I hold it together,
I can’t understand
The reason for my circumstance.
I moved in slowly.
Circled my situation intently.
Vulture picking the carcass,
Of who I was and used to be.
My past became nourishment…
“IT’S RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET THE WHOLE TIME” – TALK TO ME: JENI DE LA O
there are thousands of Amanda Gormans submitting poems right now, being read and rejected right now, by readers and editors who simply haven’t the refined palate to discern a truffle from button mushroom.
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PALM LINES – JONATHAN KOVEN (TOHO PUBLISHING)
Since completing its pages, I daydream of skies raining amethyst and words of wisdom yelled from random apartments windows.
REPLAYS: Russ – Misunderstood
I admire his appreciation for the craft. His consistency and his ability to have people relate to him through his songs is why his fanbase goes hard for the rapper.
#TPQ5: TYLER PENNOCK
What will Tyler Pennock include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: DAMIAN WARD
What will Damian Ward include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: POETIC JUSTICE
It is Angelou’s poetry we hear in Justice’s voice, how she is trying to make good choices in a world where bad choices are sometimes the only choice. – Jessica Mookherjee
REVIEW: THE WORLD ISN’T THE SIZE OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ANYMORE – AUSTIN DAVIS (WEASEL PRESS)
It’s an age of transition, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, on the blurry path to independence.
#TPQ5: MAGGS VIBO
What’s Maggs Vibo included in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REVIEW: LESBIAN FASHION STRUGGLES – CAROLINE EARLEYWINE (SIBLING RIVALRY PRESS)
What does it mean to live within a body that has been projected upon and harmed? What does it mean to want to be seen anyway?
It was only a matter of time.
Our existence would only exist
In this chapter of my life.
The length was still undefined.
And with words
Lost in translation,
We exist on borrowed time.
Moments stolen from my dreams…
“MUCH OF POP CULTURE STEMS FROM MY CULTURE” – TALK TO ME: CHRIS L. BUTLER
I think you have to be a bit selfish if you’re going to employ this style as a writer. When I say selfish I don’t mean greedy, but rather authentic.
But I had to accept that
We were no longer
I took days of distance,
Contemplated all my exes,
Reflected & Reminisced,
Made a few decisions
On how to measure…
The depths of this experience
REVIEW: TRICKS OF LIGHT – THADDEUS RUTKOWSKI (GREAT WEATHER FOR MEDIA)
He seems to consider care to be of utmost concern, not just for family, but also for strangers.
#TPQ5: ALICE CURLEY
What will Alice Curley include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: EVAN WILLIAMS
What will Evan Williams include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
REPLAYS – What It Feels Like by Nipsey Hussle & Jay Z
In times where open dialogue surrounding different political issues have come to the forefront, the fact the discussion is happening is evident we are witnessing our own revolution in this lifetime.
REVIEW: BREEZE BLOCK – JAKE HAWKEY (LUMPEN/THE CLASS PROJECT)
There’s the story — love, relationships — and the reader follows the dots Hawkey has so carefully placed. In the same poem, the dots are connected between pop culture and the reader
#TPQ5: WALE AYINLA
What will Wale Ayinla include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: YOU DESERVE MUCH BETTER IN YOUR LIFE
Animal ‘imprinting’ is hard wired, mechanical almost, just like Lorenz’s ducks, humans attach to anything in that critical period of childhood– whatever its shortcomings.
POWER OF POETRY #128: JANE ROSENBERG LAFORGE
Our classmates were the children of rock stars, writers, critics,visual artists, film editors and movie executives. But everyone in the neighborhood seemed famous to us, just for having been there.
REVIEW: LOOK LOOK LOOK – CALLISTA BUCHEN (BLACK LAWRENCE PRESS)
There’s a sense of absence in this first section as the mother’s body becomes a singular state once again, but there’s also a slip from autonomy.
#TPQ5: MIKE HICKMAN
What will Mike Hickman include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
#TPQ5: HALLE PRENETA
What will Halle Preneta include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
“We all know poems about the emotional atmosphere, mental health, pets, etc. Where are the poems about getting an email during sex that adds a warm laughter to a humid room?”
– Bradley Galimore
REVIEW: WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP – JESSIE LYNN McMAINS (BONE & INK PRESS)
They are unafraid to show the awfulness and bitterness, old beliefs and traditions, terrible acts inflicted by the people who inhabit the snowy state.
Random analogies and metaphors,
Simple words and phrases,
Popular for mass consumption.
I desire none of that.
REVIEW: SELF-PORTRAIT AS A SINKING SHIP – ERICA ABBOTT (TOHO PUBLISHING)
At times, certain stanzas feel like diary entries not meant for us to read– intimate glimpses into tormenting experiences: the illness of a parent, the paralysis of true friendship, the lure of self-harm, the temptation of suicide. –
#TPQ5: KATRINA LIPPOLIS
What will Katrina Lippolis include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
DISINTEGRATION – PAUL ROBERT MULLEN (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)
Very often I felt as though the poem depicted a moment I was forgetting; frantically trying to remember the details to, as to savor some beautiful moment.
#TPQ5: JADE HURTER
What will Jade Hurter include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
Review of Worn by Adrienne Christian (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2020)
And when she writes of family, it’s of more exclusion – the striking disconnect from those with whom we are supposed to be connected.
#TPQ5: ERICA ABBOTT
What will Erica Abbott include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
POETRY IN CINEMA: DON’T FORGET YOU ARE STARDUST
The poem uses the image of glaciers and deserts merging through time, and as the poem moves the lovers disappear. The land will still continue after the lovers have gone.
REVIEW: YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE A FRIEND – ASHLEY ELIZABETH (NIGHTINGALE & SPARROW PRESS)
…Dear John letter, ending with the words, “you are hurting me. i am letting you. i do not want to.” There it is, cut and dry: a breakup. Except it’s not.
“AN EXERCISE IN LEARNING TO SURRENDER.” TALK TO ME: JONATHAN KOVEN
I think there’s a level of trusting that people will empathize with my story, and if not my story, then the music of my words.
WORKING ANIMALS – LIAM BATES (BROKEN SLEEP BOOKS)
After reading this body of work, I discuss its topics and subject matter with a respect that I did not expect to have when starting it.
REPLAYS: Streets by Doja Cat
Whether it’s released during an album’s rollout, planned or unplanned, music listeners ultimately choose the success as we see in Doja Cat’s single, ‘Streets’.