“I was once told by an editor that I “don’t write real poetry”. How is this any different from people saying that Bennett had a mediocre arm”? – Chris L. Butler
the poetry question
“Grown Ocean is a collection about love as much as it is a collection of disenchantment with the world”. – Chris L. Butler
“They wanted to say my life was a wrap
So I started to rap
I was the gift of many Christmases
Wish I could take my presence back”
– Reggie Johnson
“[The reader is left to] examine whether or not there really is a “better” existence; or if we are all destined to simply live the life we’ve been given, and nothing more”. – Chris Margolin
“[There is a] willingness to engage space as a living entity, something that is at once incomprehensible and animate”. – Ronnie K. Stephens
Butler uses a seamless combination of 90s pop culture and imagery with slick rhymes and beautiful sonic and tonal qualities. These are poems that demand to be performed on a stage and to be read studiously at your desk. The musicality he brings elevates the feeling of nostalgia into a full soundtrack; you can see the protagonist walking to their perfect theme song. – Alex Dang
Khalisa Rae sat down with Gabrielle Bates, poet, podcast host, educator, gorgeous-picture taker, and all-around good person.
What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another?
In each poem, readers can feel the undeniable aspect that, like nearly all mixtapes, this chapbook is for somebody (at the very least, the amalgamation of “you” that exists in all of our longings).
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
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…
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
#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
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.
That the light we see,
And radio waves we receive,
Are just us…
Trying to communicate,
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.
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: 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.
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…
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.
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?
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.
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.
#TPQ5: HALLE PRENETA
What will Halle Preneta include in today’s #TPQ5? Find out inside!
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. –