Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday poem #236 : Jennifer Zilm : Devotional

My icon-bearing wall, the paint lightfast,
refusing the sun’s sleazy degradation.
Egg tempera is preferable to watercolour
because the leftover white can be used to
tighten widening pores or as scramble
for brunch after matinal devotions.
We who eat our god prefer our worship
objects with an edible sheen.
Out of the church, away from my altar, I find myself
praying to electric lights, to nostalgia,
to steam, the gentled railway tracks,
feast of freighter colour, power of
placement, oh our sweet lady of basic
bitch variations. I drink coffee only
at cafes where beans are locally roasted,
like Joan of Arc. On a bus shelter
I saw a sign: Someone took my brother
I mean—my bicycle, I must learn how
to identify an emergency.

Jennifer Zilm is the author of Waiting Room (BookThug, 2016) and the chapbooks The whole and broken yellows (Frog Hollow, 2013) and October Notebook (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). A second collection The Missing Field is forthcoming from Guernica Editions in 2018. She lives in East Vancouver where she works in libraries, archives, social housing and harm reduction.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Tuesday poem #235 : Adam Clay : Lincoln Avenue in the Early Morning Hours

The morning sun smears the clouds
away from the color white

for the first time
like every time.

Think about anything and it won’t
make sense at first or think

so much that dust becomes

a heart beating
through the trance of existence,

through the long stretch of life
toward a single touch.

Fragments of metaphor
litter the mind, waiting for the color

of light they’ll be held up against:
blue void of bliss

or red smudged the blur of a fire truck

in the early hours
of life, forgotten over time.

Because memories need no color,
they so easily shed themselves of it.

Adam Clay is the author of Stranger (Milkweed Editions, 2016), A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World (Milkweed Editions, 2012), and The Wash (Parlor Press, 2006). A fourth book is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Boston Review, Iowa Review, The Pinch, and elsewhere.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday poem #234 : Melissa Eleftherion : alula

little bastard winglet
                                                you are the shoulder

connective tissue
            the one that calls the shots

thumb among the digits
                                                                                                                                                                                                leader among feathers
            even primaries follow you

                                    in foil of integument

            you lift & fold
                        lift & fold
                                                the furs no harm/ony

your flame so bright burning
your fire eliding, gathers
                        earth’s breathing

            a cochlear restore
                                                            how the conch travels
                                                            wing to wing enveloping

Melissa Eleftherion grew up in Brooklyn. She is the author of huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves the leaves, green glass asterisms, and several other chapbooks. Her first full-length collection, field guide to autobiography, is out from H_NGM_N Books in summer/fall 2017. Recent work is forthcoming in inter|rupture, Glass, Italian-Americana Review, & Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel. Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Mendocino County where she works as a Teen Librarian, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library. More of her work can be found @ www.apoetlibrarian.wordpress.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday poem #233 : natalie hanna : how meat

when your photograph is left i will remember how you banished living things from the house. waged battle with the robins. painted in pashmina, silk. how your stitch in every tapestry. how mary, virgin, first. how meat, my mouth, before in yours. my stubborn root. the peace of tea. how you held my hand.

natalie hanna is an Ottawa lawyer working with low income populations. Her writing focusses on feminist, political, and personal themes. She runs battleaxe press (small poetry press in Ottawa), is the Administrative Director of the Sawdust Reading Series, and e-newsletter editor and board member at Arc Poetry Magazine. For more information about her work, visit her site at: https://nhannawriting.wordpress.com.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday poem #232 : Steve Venright : Some Common and Not-So-Common Similarities

Weasels are like husbands: they wear tweed coats and pop out of nowhere in the night.

Zeitgeists are like pomegranates: no one knows where they come from, and it’s not always worth the effort to dissect them.

Houndstooth patterns are like abandoned symphonies: in most cases we’re better off without them.

Persimmons are like the Canary Islands: I always forget what they are.

Sex between, or among, consenting adults is like candy floss: a little bit will make you sick, but after a certain amount you hardly notice it and wonder why you didn’t try it sooner.

Sports scores are like afternoon séances: the level of abstraction is breathtaking.

A quiet drive in the country is like a shoehorn: if all goes right, you’ll be up and around again before you know it.

Studio musicians—even mediocre ones—are like eavestroughs: you spend all your time staring at them when you could be doing other things.

Reclining chairs are like skyscrapers: once they’re up, you might as well leave them like that.

Collecting Iron Age statuary is like keeping a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig as a pet: it’s great at first but then…time to move on!

The sands of the hourglass are like the dials on a computer: you know they’re there for a reason, you just can’t imagine what it might be.

Strangers encountered by chance are like the calm before the storm: no definition until after the fact.

Predilections for avocados are like two-faced liars: if you humour them but keep them under control, no one needs to know a thing.

Conventions for catapult enthusiasts are like dachshunds: if you haven’t read the manual, you might as well forget it.

The White Cliffs of Dover are like honey: best when hard!

Binoculars are like sheep: turn them the wrong way and you’ll get a surprise.

The lives of others are like dowsing rods: try getting by without either one, and you’ll see what I mean.

Syntax is like the memory of a terrible nightmare brought on by stress about the state of the world: you can think about it for as long as you want, but nothing will change until you look in the mirror and ask yourself, Why does it have to be this way?

Searching for answers is like a motor with no moving parts: it won’t put bread on the table, but what’s the harm?

Desire is like water: you can put it in a bottle and fly it around the world, but it still drives you up the wall.

Interplanetary travel is like finding something you didn’t pay for at the bottom of your grocery bag: just enjoy it for what it is and let others worry about the ramifications.

Maintaining consciousness is like a red wheelbarrow: if you ask the experts, everything depends on it.

Skydiving on an empty stomach is like amnesia: the moment you open your mouth, it’s already too late.

Toxic flowers are like good friends: if you bite them, no one will think twice about it.

Libraries are like melancholy children: they’re fine for what they are, but nothing will ever replace a good bowel movement.

Vanity is like a replica tortoise made out of porcelain: the one time you want to show somebody, it’s nowhere to be found.

Doppelgängers are like broken Jacuzzis: both have been the subject of novellas, and neither one reacts to thunderclaps.

A piece of cake is like a walk in the park: play your cards right and it won’t be your last.

Clean, wet Formica®™ is like a house on stilts: besides the obvious, it’s almost certain that both have been admired at some point or another by dragonflies.

A lunar eclipse is like the first time you see a dog drink from a toilet bowl: it’s kind of freaky, but everything returns to normal afterwards.

Butterflies are like enemas: if you make enough money, you can have all you want. 

Steve Venright [photo credit: Samuel Andreyev.] is a visual artist and author whose books include Floors of Enduring Beauty (Mansfield Press, 2007) and Straunge Wunder; or, The Metalirious Pleasures of Neuralchemy (Tortoiseshell & Black, 1996). Through his Torpor Vigil Records label, he has released such extraordinary recordings as The Tubular West by Samuel Andreyev and Dreaming Like Mad with Dion McGregor (Yet More Outrageous Recordings of the World’s Most Renowned Sleeptalker). His selected and new writings—The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent—will be published in the fall of 2017.

Inspired by René Magritte’s painting Sixteenth of September, Steve was (eventually) born on that date in 1961.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan