It’s been a manic week of poetry writing over here in my world! Thank you to Kathy Les and R.J. McComish & Peter Brown for breaking the ice and being the first to donate to Tupelo Press on behalf of my month-long poetry writing “marathon”!
I want to share with you a favorite poem from each of us on the March “running” team this week. Enjoy!
And, if reading this poetry moves you, head over to the 30/30 Project website to read all of our daily poems, our bios, and to *donate*! Want a gift in thanks for your donation? Check out my special 30/30 project webpage and view what I have on offer.
Here’s to poetry!
I Knew it Would Be Back / by Patty Joslyn
the feather I found
alongside the crashing ocean
was as black as my mood
I held it close to my face to remind me
of things familiar and lost
my own darkness complete
as was the feather
I slipped the silken barb into my trouser pocket
then turned to scare off the lone vulture
who turned its beaked face sideways to stare at me
I knew it would be back
for the eyes of the gray-white-gray gull
who can resist this shine
woke me to the sound coming from my own throat
the ragged grief that had escaped
I knew the feather wasn’t mine to keep
my empty pocket
was what I’d be carrying home
At the End, a glosa variation / by Carol Willette Bachofner
— for Robin Williams, with 4 lines from Whitman
It’s hard to know who’s watching
so I stay in character until the weight
of the mask starts killing me, sucking my marrow.
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me.
I watch the others, the hawks in the audience
or on the streets, where brass stars
in the sidewalk make false promises about us
He complains of my gab and my loitering,
this one hawk, the one with poison
on his beak. He swoops to peck
at my neck, but today I manage to hide.
I too am untamed, I too am untranslatable
I tell him. We are alike, we are dark
and prone to loneliness, have pierced
hearts, exist on our own carrion. I sound
my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.
But he persists, circling day after day, waiting
just waiting for me to relax, to let go
a little. His yellow eye sees everything I am.
His blood-tipped beak opens and closes for me.
Miscarriage, December 2001 / by Sarah A. Chavez
The wind penetrates,
grips my ovaries,
purls the animal tissue
around in its spiny fingers
like winter husks
in the hands
of young boys.
when I open
of frail bark will scatter
to the earth.
I Could Go On Singing / by Carlene Kucharczyk
The dogs with wavering eyes
walk through the mud and past
the tamaracks. What song will be sung
tonight by all of us here on earth
in one surprising chorus—soft
or biting—voices all in lift?
The sound. It is enough to ruin.
Earth with only its songs. Tough.
Important. Sharp and cool. Left
with only night and wanting
to stay open. It is late, there is
no time for talking. Nothing to hear
but cruel music. We have known:
nothing stays open. The frogs
go on chirping. The swings go creaking.
The clouds swim past and give a hiss.
A wolf howls and you think:
I could go on, I could go on singing.
in the basement pipes tube the floors/in the basement no one knows / by Ryder Collins
the sex that becomes the cigarettes that becomes Bette Davis that becomes Now Voyager that becomes now voyeur
your spectacle looks like a hat
your spectator becomes you miss
your big hat mint julep spectacle-spectator kentuckies you & there were never supposed to be horses & there are no pearls to clutch
the mens are watching. the mens subdued. the mens form a basement. the mens imperiled. the wolves they gone. in the woods. the mens are alone & the little girls have hoods. the little girls have baskets
the baskets hide things from basements. pokey things. like mangled wire hangers, curtain rods, pick axes, barbed wire
this park you take them to is like woods bereft of wolves. again. the wolves are gone. these men
stagger; these men chloroform. it is in them to gas mask;
it is always in them to laughing gas
& then pull teeth.
welter / by Mackenzie Carignan
she will have been
scroll of fractal cloud, wisp
tossed from glitter-skin folds
to the softest cusp of arms
how we couldn’t go there anymore
the smallest explosions imaginable
slate blue like the corners of ocean
alive and strings and bare and open
she is the slightest form of day
the cleanest version of immersion
she will fall into you
the space you didn’t know you had between your thoughts