She’s taking understated moments from life and creating fantastic poems around them, bring a whole new meaning to day-to-day moments.
It is how both can have their salvations split in two in a single process. I think it was Jericho Brown that said: “Poetry has its own language”. Nothing can be truer in my opinion.
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.
The whole time, I thought I was alone. But there were people just as pained and confused as I was. I found my community. I found my church. I kept returning every Sunday, sharing work I had written during the week.
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.
Yes, I’m a poet and proud of it, and I don’t think I’ll ever want to be anything else. It’s what I would have said in answer to that old chestnut, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Wow! How many people actually get to have their dreams come true?
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.
Some poems will remain within the confines of the therapist’s office. Some poems will never be known to anyone other than myself. Some poems I share with the world.
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.
REVIEW: MORNING WALK WITH DEAD POSSUM, BREAKFAST AND PARALLEL UNIVERSE – BETH GORDON (ANIMAL HEART PRESS)
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.
The power of poetry, then, is its ability to show us ordinary things in an extraordinary light.
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.
I believe the intensity of a poem, the dense nature of a line, the possibilities of syntax, and all aspects that make up a poem work together to become a fitting medium for tragedy.
“…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 whomever I’m speaking to, whether it’s the niece Lily or the Prime Minister of Britain. — from “When I am President of the United States” I remember the day that Kurt Cobain
Written masterfully, in prose form, quotations italicized, Walsh’s stories embed the past and the present, while questioning religion and the hetero-normative masculinity.
I don’t only want people to be entertained, but also for them to feel something. And the fastest way to do that is through poetry; you are framing a feeling and passing it on, even if it’s only for a brief moment.
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.
Poetry is the real game of exposure. Really great poetry shows holes, the smallness, the seeking. We seek a connection to others that comes often from exposing moments on a page that you might be most embarrassed to put down on paper.
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.
If done well, a poem can be far more powerful than a photograph, because you are capturing not just the image, but the emotional context and resonance of that thing.
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.
I saw poetry as much more complex and rewarding than I had originally thought it would be over the years. Poetry is the one form that can take the readers to another level of meaning and power.
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 that echo the other’s. There is a house, creepy yet somehow luminous. Stables. Treasure, possibly, among the muck. But should you be there? Who (or what) lurks in the dim? – JPC
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.
LEE ANN RORIPAUGH – SOUTH DAKOTA’S POET LAUREATE Poetry is the shape-shifting ouroboros of language, image, sound, form, and content held in infinite tension. It is the muscular pulse of sheened coil, forked tongue tasting the air. It is a voraciousness of language, hungry to apprehend and take in the
The Power of Poetry – Sara Henning I’d like to tell you a story about life’s untamable narrative that leaves us transformed. In other words, I’d like to tell you a story about my relationship to poetry. At 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning this past July, my mother
Two years ago, as part of my hometown’s annual literary festival, I competed in a teen poetry slam. For winning, I was given the opportunity to open for two of the headliners, Major Jackson and Robert Wrigley. It was a poem about my father dying. I read it from
THE POWER OF POETRY — A.M. O’Malley I first found poetry when I was nine years old in a beat up paperback copy of Alfred Tennyson’s collected poems that my father had. One Saturday, when no one was around, I stole the book away to my corner of the back
THE POWER OF POETRY #28: “Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving”” – Cal Freeman
Warrendale, a Chance Medley with Lines from “Brother of Leaving” The Warrendale neighborhood sits on the far west side of the city of Detroit. I describe my childhood home and the neighborhood in which it rests in my first collection of poems, Brother of Leaving. Historically it was a Polish
Poetry, like any art, is about connection, either to our inner-self or to another being. In the darkest or most joyous times of our life, everything is meaningless unless our thoughts, emotions, feelings, desires are shared and not simply reverberated back to us in an empty hall. Let’s say one
The Power of Poetry: Revenge of the NerdsBack in the day when I was still a fledgling emcee with the acronym FIRST-MC, I wanted to be KRS-ONE so much. I loved his music and his proclamations that he was a Teacher and a Poet with the skills of an Emcee.
I self-published a book of poems when I was 19. Print-on-demand websites like Lulu were just beginning to gain popularity. I’m one of those people who has been a writer her whole life. By 19 I had plenty of work to create a book and I figured, why not? I
Faith is found here, not in a destiny raiding and parceling out knowledge and the earth, but in a people who, person by person, believes itself. Do you accept your own gestures and symbols? Do you believe what you yourself say? When you act, do you believe what you
“The Power of Poetry: I Want to Keep Happening” Sarah Xerta I’m hesitant to write about the power of poetry because I don’t want to romanticize anything. Anne Sexton said “It’s the poetry that seems to be saving me” and she still eventually killed herself. I can’t forget this.
THE POWER OF POETRY – Ronnie K. Stephens There is no origin story, here. No single point on the broadside of this universe. For me, poetry has been a series of planets dotting up the sky when I’m not looking, and suddenly I’m thirty-two with a galaxy spread out around
Outside The Narrow Garden — Paulie Lipman On an episode of “The Green Room With Paul Provenza” (a comic’s roundtable of sorts), the comedian Franklin Ajaye made a statement that really hit me where I live: He said that the majority of modern comedians wouldn’t inspire him to
“BRAVE NEW VOICES” — KHARY JACKSON I am writing this while at the annual Brave New Voices poetry festival, in Atlanta, GA. Several hundred young poets ages 13 to 19 are gathered, after months of dedicated practice, fundraising and team building, to connect and share their work with each other
The Power of Poetry as Catharsis and Healing — SaraEve Fermin The brain is a muscle that can move the world.- Stephen King In 2003 My world shattered into a million pieces, rolling across a GAP outlet as my brain exploded under it’s first Tonic Clonic seizure. This was the beginning
The Poetry of a Perfect Cocktail – Sam Slaughter I’ve never been a poet. The closest I’ve come—“songs” about teen angst and the like—are in a few notebooks hidden in my childhood bedroom. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve opened those notebooks since I turned
Poems are magic spells written by witches. Ten years ago I had a dream that the Icelandic musician Björk appeared in the corner of my ceiling and sang to me about poetry and witchcraft. I think it took me this long to figure out what she, or at least the
Poetry Speaks For Itself (except it can’t actually speak at all) —- Taylor Mali Deconstructing the difference between the message and the messenger. I sat on a panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival recently called something like Poetry in Performance. Four poets were asked to perform a poem and then
Power of Grief – Kieran Collier I. My mother passed when I was 14. I say passed because it’s gentle in the same way she was. I could say she was taken from us, killed by ALS, but then the disease would be the subject instead of
The Super Powers of Poetry – Jessica Helen Lopez Listen here. When I write poetry I take on an extraordinary ability to warp, utterly break, and then mend again the rules of physics. Teacups may melt in the cabinets of my kitchen and my braided hair is able to drip
A Pond, a Stick I just finished grading final portfolios for two of my poetry courses, here at the tail end of the academic year when teachers feel foul, ragged, bone-tired, and heartbroken. I have found myself wondering if poetry is in a losing battle with Kim Kardashian’s ass
I am hesitant to include quotes from the book in this review. Not that it is a bad book, completely the opposite actually. I had such fun reading the book that I feel like any lines or poems I could use would be short changing the book as a
The Power of Poetry Tongo Eisen-Martin Poetry does as much as the reader is ready for. Does as much as the writer can walk through her or his walls. Therefore poetry is every stitch of an expanding universe; every stitch of an expanding universe speaking for itself. Or therefore
the truth was a mirror the church led me to believe I discovered the impossibility of finding my reflection in the pieces when it broke a single-parent household I ran my fingers through the shards of glass probing the edges for where they once fit together finding only the
REVIEW: I Want Love So Great it Makes Nicholas Sparks Cream in His Pants – Calvero (University of Hell Press)
If you are looking for soft, pillow talk love poetry, this is not the collection for you. If you are looking for honest, real, hilarious, disgusting, uncomfortable,and fun truths, look no further. The titles alone were a laugh out loud experience unto itself. “Get ready baby, ’cause I’m about to
“The Power of Poetry” by JENNY DRAI 1. I remember the poem that made me want to be a poet—it was Paul Celan’s “Night Ray” (“Nachtstrahl”) from Poppy and Memory. (I first encountered Celan as an undergraduate German major. Up to that point, I had written almost exclusively fiction
The first time I remember hearing the word “poetry” it came from a family member who was making fun of poets. How dumb they were for thinking their words mattered. How silly they talked. How lazy they must be to just sit around and write all day. “Why the
“She told me that she bought the ring in San Francisco at an outdoor market. I like to imagine she was watching the Pacific hold the coast the same way she would hold my father later that night. My father is a shore, my mother is an ocean; when
“The Bones of Us” is part poetry collection, part graphic novel, and all well done. J Bradley and Adam Scott Mazer have given us something we can appreciate from a few different angles. The poetry is moving and relatable… “We will kiss like passengers without floatation devices, Hang on to
from “Crown” In this photograph, I am a girl child. My thoughts come out in my hands and my hair. If only I could realize it. Be just the person I just am. With What is a Domicile, Joanna Penn Cooper has essentially written the ironic version of “Easy Like
from Petocha Virginity is $$$ in a vintage velvet pouch Touch her if you can for virginity is no real but she is wanting to be touched Not being a woman, and not having a daughter of my own, I think that I look at Monica McClure’s Mala (Poor Claudia)
I had the esteemed pleasure of getting to see Mighty Mike McGee twice in the last week – once at St. John’s Booksellers for Them’s Fighting Words, and at Slabtown for the Portland Poetry Slam – and when he performs, the audience listens. It’s no different with Harmony, his newest
There is something about C.D. Wright’s 40 Watts (Octopus Books) that tugs at my heart strings – strings that are often silent, often questioned. The romance inside these 40 pages reminds me so much of my grandparents, that I can’t help but watch the movie of their lives play on my eyelids
I had the opportunity to go to the book release – at the Independent Publishing Resource Center – for We Try to Touch Everything, a new chapbook from Portland, Oregon poets Alisha Bruton, and Noland Bo Chaliha, where each poem is titled “We Try to Touch Everything”. It was pretty incredible to
Eight years ago, in November of 2005, I shared the stage at the old Bowery Poetry Club with my mentor Billy Collins. Because of Billy’s busy schedule, the event had been scheduled well over 18 months in advance during which time Bob Holman, the owner of the club, suggested that
As my first contribution to this blog, I thought I should aim high and try to answer the biggest poetry question of all: What exactly is poetry? Haven’t people been asking that question and answering it—or trying to—for thousands of years? For as long as there has been poetry? Of