Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday poem #207 : Brian Henderson : Words / How to perform the taste test

Everything swims upstream against the stickiness of vision
The street the house in the street the room in the house
The desk in the room the book on the desk the cut forest
The various chemistries the words in the book the desk
On which lies a book in the book and at which I am
Sitting everything is a door including the thumping
Helicopter of the grouse its wings pounding like a heart
You’ve stuck to my vision in the kitchen like the persistent
Brightness that remains once you close your eyes on the window’s
Gathering of the morning you don’t hear the helicopter you
Hear an unstartable motor one thing is always more than
One thing don’t you find words for instance a word is
A door a sound an etymology that is to say a continual
Transformation in time a reach is unique but also
Reusable for instance the word I’m thinking of bitcom
Telepathy autoimmunity chrysalis Lily Cup landfill
Tom-tom aubade ocean otter operand is probably being
Used in someone else’s sentence right now is a series
Of syllables or a single letter letter not yet mailed you
Put it in one fire and it burns green in another blue in
Another orange in another it’s knowledge that burns
To cinders when known and so forth in a secret
Solution and its invisibility rises to the surface and
Floats away though it’s addressed to you and you
Have to drink the solution that might be
Purple or teal or tea-coloured and has
A pleasantly sweet smoky finish

Brian Henderson is the author of 11 collections of poetry, including The Alphamiricon, a box of visual poetry (also on the web here), Nerve Language, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, Sharawadji, shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, and [OR]. He’s at work on word swarms of liminal spaces and is a once-upon-a-time director of WLUPress.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tuesday poem #206 : Cody-Rose Clevidence : from Poppycock & Assphodel


                         “an ordinary error placed me here”

in the serotonin corridors of my wilderness                           in the neural nets are caught                           in the mackerellight & ozone of my heart in the tense muscle of a crocus                                 olfactory bulb of my acre prime sublingual rib                                                      lost in the magnum opus of my heart                                                         independent of void most utterly devoid of song             tiny hummingbird         of my eyes violet quarrel deep in the forests verbage                         of my heart redundant of crocus               redundant of dogwood & redbud                  as petals fall triumphant              so too         I am at a loss                 & will blind the cathedrals of my knowing                with the overabundant scripture of my heart                                 will salivate copiously & with abandon in the blue gloaming      I mean groaning                               of my heart in the citadel        the sap salty in the flexed limbs        the mist dripping off each leaf           called to each                                 I call to each I say “leaf”     I say “violet”     I say “mist”     I say “dogtooth violet”      I say “how can I possibly bear whatever grief will inevitably come towards me through all the corridors of my life”         I say “I will blind the cathedrals of my knowing”     I say “I will douse the careless peony”   “I will vyy earnestly & with moderate valor”     “I will curse fervently & gesticulate also”     “I will try to not drink so much”         “I will strain the verb of my being into the dim groaning”     “as too I strain my sight there”                                “I succumb henceforth & wholeheartedly”             “eventually I will get up from wherever I have laid myself down”                                      the falcons too must eat in the endless neurobiology                                                   of the forest the delicate, the careless           lichen                                     of my eyes I swallow the great creek of dusk in me              it calls up a surge in me it goes along into the dark                               it goes along into the dark

Cody-Rose Clevidence’s 1st book, BEAST FEAST, was released by Ahsahta Press in 2014.  They live in the Arkansas Ozarks w their dog, Pearl. 

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Tuesday poem #205 : Nyla Matuk : Transference

In Hamlet, when Laertes said, “Upon my life, Lamound”
I thought of “Dis de big one, Lamont! Lamont! Lamont! Dis de big one!
uttered in despair on TV by Sanford, in Sanford and Son.

It’s not that I wanted to think Sanford and Son looked back
on Hamlet and considered the Prince’s problems with his father,
and that those problems were trickling 
down like a sinister leak of semantics
from a bothersome furnace appendage.

Simply, I want to find out Lamound’s identity.
Did Shakespeare imagine Lamound with
a big handlebar moustache like the philosopher Nietzsche’s

twirling paternalistic member, and an overripe heart
ready to explode all over a son?
Was it not to make Lamound anxious
with an influence or a transference?
To give him his explosive heart, and then die?

Nyla Matuk is the author of Sumptuary Laws (2012), and Stranger, which appeared with VĂ©hicule Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared in Canadian, American and U.K. journals including The New Yorker, PN Review, Ladowich, Prelude, The Walrus, and The Fiddlehead. www.nylamatuk.ca

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday poem #204 : Sarah Fox : You’d Better Harness the Horse

It’s true, that to be better I did, I do, have to harness the horse. Rein in my grieving. The fruits of my trauma, rake them. Jar them. Why are emotional regulation idioms related to horses? Horses, when let to, run-fly to their muscles’ limits. What do they run from, in their imaginations? “I do” such a trigger I wish to fly past the limits of it.

Sarah Fox lives in NE Minneapolis, and is the author of Because Why and The First Flag, both published by Coffee House Press. She is a teacher, astrologer, worker, writer, placenta encapsulator, artist, resister, and a grandmother. Her chapbook INVISIBLE WIFE is newly out from above/ground press.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday poem #203 : Sara Renee Marshall : As Flight or Equinox

Barely alive (or standing) in the low grass of updates

Fort-nine deaths, feeding a future baby with my present breast

I’m told this is common; I am quiet, smudged grey amid racket

between neighborhood birds and the full tilt of quickening

What is the feeling of a trap without its trappings

The scale of sadness shrinks small as a sentence

Let us now leave tragedy and move to foolishness

where we can better file ourselves

on the planet of passion, bullet-red and apologizing after

Metaphorical light strikes. The mythical warrior can kill or rescue

The horn can gore or the laborer shoulders a wheel

And where in the sky is the mother disguised

as animal or brutalist, as flight or equinox or map


In this sequence, I am rooted in the land

Here, a distributor of gold pastures, here, inspector

of ponds. The harvest lover, a guardian of granaries

Still, TV shudders. A faint stream of dust and gas

spiraled arms and a glowing middle. Observed

by radio waves, sloughing solid memory at dawdling speed—

the black scowl of night seemed to rebuke me

My family is a pulse that can quit

Yet where should I go?

I can promise the full melt

of my golden fleece into a song to keep alive by

or lend us to a good wind

The word is a place to wander but never

be abandoned. In the word, not lucky

but sprawled on planks of an actual boat

From the moss, I think this is Washington


Note how little I periled

though my real arms tangle before you

Poor Penelope, too witnessed

Poor Jocasta

Yet I planned nothing, and considered nothing

I wake up sick about the beauty of Medea

whose bad fate will never breed a namesake

Blood: does it curdle? Can it spoil before birth?—

a candle guttering to waste in the socket

So often the child is the event, his mother, simple

in her limit, just breathing, just attending graves like a ghost


If I’m honest, the main mode of

communication is memory or maybe telepathy

networked with chicken wire

an electric and uneven ground

I speak to the city as a density or lush current

I can visit, step in and step out

If it’s beautiful, I’ve made it so

though I’ve often married a monolithic building

to my imagination, to its gilded cornice and inimitable difference

Something as common as a dwelling goes up while we sleep

We could use a great deal more frankness. For example:

it is both miraculous and mundane to build a person—

I departed on the strength of this outline

I sip a glance at the plants on the sill

and in these final days feel proud like an unglamorous emperor

Sara Renee Marshall comes from the Arizona desert and Colorado's high plains. She holds a degree in Political Science and an MFA in Poetry, both from University of Colorado. She is the author of a chapbook, Affectionately We Call This The House (Brave Men Press). Her writing has appeared in Interrupture, Octopus, jubilat, OmniVerse, Everyday Genius, Colorado Review, and elsewhere. Sara is pursuing a PhD at University of Georgia. With Thomas and Rosa Bernadette, Sara lives, teaches, and writes in Athens, Ga.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan