Sometimes your body is not a wonderland. Sometimes your body wants to be wrapped in clothing or bedsheets or not the arms of someone who will no longer know your name.
I have authored a devil in me to cull in meto lace these boots with rainbows and wade […]
There is not a right or wrong way. There is only advice. There is only a suggestion of what you might need – if you were here, and I was not alone.
Music provides a table of contents for life. It doesn’t always make sense, but it’s the order of things and it tries to present some pretty scenery.
When language and bodies and heritage and history don’t make sense, it’s not easy to find yourself within the world. When the words your family speak turn to those once spoken. When your parents silence your voice, and all you want to do is remember the sound of theirs.
What do you do when you have a sentence where the same 10 years acts as the minimum and maximum? When there is no light? A spoonful of food? Pepper sprayed and left without water for weeks? You pace in your cell.
It’s the wondering if we have purpose or if we are allowed to change, or if we are stuck with the who that we are even we are not who thought we could be.
Because at first we are skeletal; we crack, break, and hurt; we lose and win, and lose again until the only choice we have is to either heal, or heel.
“…the attitude and actions of horses have not changed. They live, love, falter, get dragged around, manipulated, fed, ridden, and eventually buried. Sound familiar?”
Sometimes we forget that when we say “I love you” to someone, it is life changing. It affirms and confirms what you feel and what will hopefully be reciprocated. But love can be two-faced and effacing.
“We are maps to the present and the past. An erasure poem of everything that has been a part of our life. It’s cloudy, dense, and filled with fog. And then everything repeats…”
“Postpartum depression is still surrounded by stigma and shame is often directed at mothers. Horan does not shy away from sharing this darker side of motherhood…”
“…he has taken all the pieces, the histories of hands, waterfalls, sanity hammers, shepherds, and suitors, and built the puzzle only to watch it fall to the floor, and have to put the pieces back in the box.”
I kept thinking to myself about the idea that nature is—and will always be—in charge, and we’re destined to bend to its will
Havens has a savage wit and open wound for you to see on every page. Their lyricism surpassed only by the abundant imagery, you can almost feel the poems being written for YOU.
Wars are waged. Bodies are born and bathed and dying. Language is lost. Friends and lovers, too. If we are “guardians of God’s words” then what is it exactly that we are guarding
We are stuck in age-old definitions of gender and personhood and parenting and life. Somewhere in between those definitions is the person we, ourselves, long to be, and who we should “just be.”
She’s taking understated moments from life and creating fantastic poems around them, bring a whole new meaning to day-to-day moments.
Kirby’s poem had to be read twice and three times and more because it grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go.
It’s an encyclopedia of the seedy, the attractive, the “I” of life within modern times and modern body. It’s sort of like the words many want to say, but then get caught up in the moment, and can’t remember what they were thinking anymore.
It’s the way the ants that crawl from skin become guides and senses. It’s the way that when you meet another splinter, the bugs are meant for each other – in sickness and in health.
Reading Lyd Haven’s work makes me want them to win. Makes my real world seem to fade away, replaced with someone I want to see succeed despite and because of their troubles.
It’s the mirror as a reflection of who you think they want – the makeup, the high heels – but really it’s the only way to be seen. No(Body) asks you to question the idea of being capable within the moment. It’s the attempt to be Beyonce, or not death.
Adam Sol’s How a Poem Moves: A Field Guide for Readers Afraid of Poetry, is a window into how poems move rather than what they state. It’s a personal approach to understanding how someone else’s words make you feel.
There is a misconception of place, time, and atmosphere of the Heartland. It’s not always calm. It’s not rolling hills and farmland and nice people who do nice things for other nice people, and continue their existence in a silo of that same nice feeling.
If life is lived, vicariously, through dreamscapes and if the moon hotel’s bellhop is “trolleying [the moon’s] baggage on a brass birdcage cart,” then we are destined to hold the weight of the universe on our backs.
It’s being told that “making love is for making babies / and gays are intrinsically disordered,” and realizing all the misguided beliefs behind that statement. Realizing that your love for another is in no way a disorder.
Elfie gives us a look at the daily struggle that can be experienced when fighting against these natures, and in the end, shows us the relief that comes with the recognition of our own personal truths.
If Death brings a flash of life before our eyes, and we see each detail of what and how we’ve lived, and everything that was once background became foreground, then Where the Road Runs Out, the new collection from Gaia Holmes is that flash.
Dominik Parisien’s poems embody chronic pain, elevating the traumas, and illuminating the act of breathing being the most essential part of living. He uses body parts, the act of breathing, religion, and science, to illustrate the struggle and the pain that the poetic voice endures.
This is a notice that life is genuinely what you make it, and that if you live it while looking at it, you might miss what is actually in front of you.
Alongside beautiful imagery there is stark loneliness, the desire to curl up apart from what we might naturally think of home, a metaphor perhaps for the isolation death might bring, or the boundaries that come with having an earthly body.
It’s a world where men paint women, and women have no say. It’s the world in which she knows “you wanted to fuck her unconscious / and have her wake to your fists.”
This is the tale of gutting it out until you think you want to tap out. It’s a glimmer of hope because, damnit, you’ve worked too hard for there to not at least be a glimmer.
This is a collection of survival in spite of all that happens in life. It’s the learning of “the sound liquid makes as it works through the body’s waterways.” The unrelenting feeling that while life is draining from one body, another is taking it back.
“…it’s the constant feeling that some person, some feeling, some moment is lurking in the shadows, waiting for the opportune time to make their move…”
Generally, I will take another sip of water (but it’s really vodka) and make deep eye contact with […]
Written masterfully, in prose form, quotations italicized, Walsh’s stories embed the past and the present, while questioning religion and the hetero-normative masculinity.
It’s the push-and-pull of one language and culture erasing the other; it’s the beauty and decay of both. It’s the changes that feel like too much change. The Sea that Beckoned is the tightrope walk between being ourselves and the self we may yet become.
In short, this book is a microcosm of identity politics, giving faces and names to those who must learn how to exist in various spaces simultaneously.
To them, she is not real. She is who they will fantasize about when home with their wives. She is the babysitter driven home by every father. She is the toy of their desire. She is within reach, but untouchable from above them.
One thing that distinguishes Kaminsky from many poets writing in English is that his poems are never just rage, never just fear, never just joy or whimsy or lust. Instead, Kaminsky’s lines are fraught with the full, messy truth of humanity.
Brumett walks through “butcher paper bed sheets” because sometimes that’s how it feels to evolve. Sometimes you have to discover the clitoris and learn about dolphin masturbation in order to get to the part where we can leave legacies and deal with cleaning out memories from closets.
But, body is language. Code talking is language. Coding is language. Even “math is poetic in nature;” It’s just that people aren’t too interested in listening to that which they don’t care to understand, let alone anything poetic.
These poems are moving, beautifully written, and fascinating, elaborating on the fears, the excitement, the trauma of pregnancy, and anything in between from the labor, and the everlasting relationship between Gruber and her daughter, Quintana.
all this can be yours is a patchwork quilt of what should have been said by all the dicks in the room.
You have to be ready for this collection. You have to prepare to feel. You have to be able to breathe. You have to know that War/Torn is a journey, and a metaphor that digs well beyond the surface.
Giantess is like an a cappella Americana album — it’d be nice to hear the picking of the strings, but they aren’t needed to dance with these words.
Directness is difficult. It’s not easy to be bluntly-gentle. But that is exactly what Whiteside has done in his newest collection of poems from Bull City Press.
REVIEW: UNMONSTROUS – JOHN ALLEN TAYLOR (YesYes Books):
It’s rare to read a piece that so beautifully captures the anger, emotions, beauty, and need for survival while trying to navigate all the evils of the child-to-adult journey.
REVIEW: Most of My Heroes Don’t Appear on No Stamps
Walker gives us our “Window Seat” to the world, as we consider why we are where we are – the good and the bad, the understood and ignorant, the anger and excitement, the love and passion of the way the world is today.
Over the course of your correspondence, you begin to discuss your dreams. Begin, in fact, to have dreams […]
The physicality of life and the ache that it can bring – through love, death, sex, and survival – makes Robbin’s writing visceral and emotive and painful and beautiful all at the same time.
Because I did not die in the log cabin where I was born I shoulder the Green […]
I have been competing at the National Poetry Slam for almost ten years. During that time there are […]
Funny, chaotic, spilling over with breathy exuberance, centered in the imagination but anchored in the relational points […]
What is a house? And what does a house hold? Nikki Wallschlaeger both builds and dismantles, props up […]
And when they ask me what happened to you, I will tell them without hesitation that one day […]
A short while ago there was a video making the rounds on the Internet, as videos do. In […]
Ideal Machine by Ashley Toliver in future rites I lay down on the operating table glassy and overdue […]
I untouch you and move headfirst into the couches of this unholy season I read. A lot. There […]
24 Hours by Matthew Dickman I went to my mother and asked her to stop talking. I went […]
Nothing To Do With Me by Sarah Xerta “Poets are some of the emptiest people I know […]
Sam said the gas tank could go on for thirty miles after the gas light came on so […]
Sprinkle my ashes across the north side of Chicago & the surrounding suburbs. the south side has […]
I am hesitant to include quotes from the book in this review. Not that it is a […]
To say I hate you would imply a world in which I kissed more than your […]
“How do you make a person / stop living inside you,” may very well be the central question […]
the truth was a mirror the church led me to believe I discovered the impossibility of finding […]
If you are looking for soft, pillow talk love poetry, this is not the collection for you. If […]
“She told me that she bought the ring in San Francisco at an outdoor market. I like […]
“The Bones of Us” is part poetry collection, part graphic novel, and all well done. J Bradley and […]
If I string the night between two fence posts, one side heaven and one side hell, […]
I am baby-faced – I am baby-boned – I am the miracle of every death around me. […]
From “A Letter From My Well-Adjusted Adult Self (Whenever That Will Be) To My Current Mid-Twenties Self” To […]
My body wants to meet your body in a dark alley and say things in Braille. When […]
We are made and unmade by those we love: expectant white backdrop against which shots are […]
From “Stadium” ….I am not diminished but rearranging how I see. In my head, I’m humming Foo Fighters’ […]
from “Fairy Tale” She was just beginning to get her wings back when she hit a rock and crashed […]
from “Crown” In this photograph, I am a girl child. My thoughts come out in my hands […]
“An awful silence reigned throughout those subterraneous regions,” Just be yourself is not such good advice. In […]
[Facebook] splits at seams : instructions to reduce your look Avoid: just : these : five : food : […]
from Petocha Virginity is $$$ in a vintage velvet pouch Touch her if you can for virginity […]
DISASTER Men kept smiling at you today, but you felt like a disaster. You were an influenza epidemic, […]
See me taxidermied – a prom date after four wine coolers. Ooh la la! Such romance. You see […]
It’s Just So Strange He used to love me, and now he’s just a stranger who happens […]
How does something become magnificent? One regular girl and her canine assistant work together to answer this […]
Confession time. I hate the blank page. As a writer, this poses a bit of a problem. […]
Far away in the Northern Piney Woods there lives a storyteller named Maynard Moose. Every full moon in […]
Lately, I’ve been reading some poetry collections that feel as if they were written solely for the doctoral […]
The summer before Sara Wharton’s senior year was supposed to be filled with friends and parties. Instead, […]
I had the esteemed pleasure of getting to see Mighty Mike McGee twice in the last week […]
There is something about C.D. Wright’s 40 Watts (Octopus Books) that tugs at my heart strings – strings that are […]
I had the opportunity to go to the book release – at the Independent Publishing Resource Center […]
I want to look at myself in five years and be gratified. Now you know the perversity of […]
Jesse Parent looks like he would hurt you, and then hug you, and probably sit you down to […]
I was first introduced to Sharon Creech as a student teacher. Her ability to weave together story lines […]
Annelyse Gelman is a woman I’d love to get to know over a glass or, let’s be honest, a […]
When I showed Hieu Nguyen’s “Buffet Etiquette” to my high school juniors, one of my students stood up, […]
Let’s get real for a moment: we have all had dark thoughts. Sometimes those dark thoughts overtake us […]
I met Ross Robbins in Portland, Oregon at Powell’s Books. We were both sifting through the shelves […]
Enchanting. Honest. Humble. Uplifting. Delightful. Courageous. Finding just one word to encapsulate that which Sarah Kay brings to […]
I’ve seen Robert Duncan Gray in his underwear, screaming poetry from the top of his lungs, and […]
Leah Noble Davidson tells you exactly what she wants you to hear. It’s stark. It’s creative. In […]
Review by Courtney Myers As I looked at piles of chapbooks spread across the coffee table, […]
Living just over the bridge from Portland, Oregon, I’ve had the esteemed pleasure of watching Alex Dang […]