This round up is coming a smidge late, due to some logistical factors outside of my control. But that doesn’t mean the poems won’t be delicious!
Thank you to Jennifer Basye Sander, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Barb Barnes, Dawn (and Carly) Wessale, Ellen Johnson, Pat Nichol and Raquel Ruiz for generously donating to Tupelo Press on behalf of my month-long poetry writing “marathon”! These are the folks who have donated since the last round-up.
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, including the below one-of-a-kind gratitude poems and also the below limited edition broadsides !
Here’s to poetry!
One-of-a-kind Gratitude Poems~Kate’s gift to donors!
Would you like to receive, or to commission for a loved one, a new poem, written especially for you? Inquire to Kate directly at asche(dot)kate(at)gmail(dot)com to get the ball rolling for this donor gift! Here’s a sample:
Hands / by Kate Asche
(a poem in gratitude to Kathy, who supports Tupelo Press)
her hands work the dirt behind the house
into it her hands travel tomato seeds & squash
seeds for basil & Italian parsley
her hands mound soil neatly & carry water
her hands pull weeds, tender ones & cutting ones
her hands move in the chaos of shadows
her fingers twist & grasp red worlds, striped green worlds
galaxies of flowering thyme
she tastes what her hands have given her
she feels the tickle of juice on her lip
in its mineral sweetness: the flavor of her own blood
someday, too, her bones
Limited Edition Broadsides~Kate’s gift to donors!
Choose from these three designs! These low-res previews, for web viewing only, don’t show the lusciousness of these limited edition prints, produced using archival inks on sustainably manufactured bamboo fiber papers. Additional poems and/or alternate designs are available. Inquire to Kate directly at asche(dot)kate(at)gmail(dot)com!
Now, for my favorite selections from this week’s poems! Enjoy~
these little girls smash / by Ryder Collins
these little girls say, we know a way to tell if you have cancer
these little girls say, hold your hand in front of your face
these little girls say, your fate is marshmallows; your fate is chubby bunny
these little girls say, we get you, Gothel
these little girls climb into my hair
& when i go to sleep, bits of me fall off
small bits like skin cells & eyelashes, corneas & nosehairs
thumbs & pinky fingers
when i wake up
i cannot button my buttons
i see double sometimes
sometimes my ear is pointed
sometimes my knees are janky creaking
like someone stole my ligaments or stretched them across the ceiling
& this little girl says, do you know you’re in a fairy tale
my hands are rampions; my tongue’s a rose thorn
this little girl says, look
this little girl holds her hand to my face
this little girl says, look again
Leaving Ken / by Patty Joslyn
Does anyone remember burning
their Barbie doll’s hair for the kink
While Ken Carson lounged about
in his Bermuda shorts
skin tan and unblemished
all the while eyeballing the younger sister
Skipper innocently watching every move
the two of them made until Jazzie the cousin
arrived on the scene
a pink sports car
a palace of her own
I sawed off the heels of Barbie’s
shoes with a metal nail file (ruining it in the process)
allowing her to run
not walk into the arms of another
leaving Ken so he no longer have to worry
about messing up his hair or getting his white slacks dirty
The problems with me and Barbie
were plentiful and fanciful
and being her hair never did grow back
I gave her to my younger sister
who used the hard plastic body
to hit me on the head more than once
until our mother said enough that’s the end of that
as she took Barbie out with the other trash
That night I slept with a hairless Midge
hidden under my down pillow
and fell asleep with a smirk on my face
Dear Carole, Today I learned / by Sarah A. Chavez
that like humans, birds have
Can you imagine? In those tiny,
frail-boned bodies with feathers that float
right off in a healthy breeze.
That’s me as a bird, you’d said
one day on our drive home
from Food Maxx when I almost hit
a fat, slow, low-flying pigeon that ignored
the two thousand pounds of sun-hot, black metal
careening across the parking lot
as it focused in on a shiny
bag of Ruffles.
Stupid bird, I’d said. Get the fuck
outta the way before I hit you.
You’d hit me if I was a bird, you said.
You’re not a bird, I said, adjusting
the rearview mirror, checking
the bags in the back hadn’t tipped.
But if I was? you pushed. I’m fat and slow
and you’d just hit the fucking gas
and my fat bird body would splat
across your windshield. Dead.
Your fat bird body would probably
crack the windshield, I said, looking
right and left to merge
into Shaw Ave.’s midday traffic.
At least your bird death
cost me two hundred dollars.
You didn’t laugh.
Look it’s just Darwinism.
The slow get hit. But the smart?
They don’t. So what,
if you’re a fat, slow bird? You are
also a smart bird
who’d reason out waiting
till the death machine passed.
That’s when – when the only thing moving
across the parking lot is a dry wind
meandering through the Valley –
you’d tottle that round bird body
on its toothpick pegs
over to that shiny chip bag.
As a bird, you would have had it all.
Ode to Shoulders / by Carlene Kucharczyk
I love them. Two tall tents
side by side. A fire in between
and a little north. The fire
is your mouth. It burns,
it smolders, I kiss you,
pour water on it. It is easy
to love a man from the back,
the shoulders representative
of the body. My own, thin,
even when I am not (praise).
Not so obviously sexual
as the cunt, the cock.
Leading the body or held
back in repose. Shoulders,
lend me your grace, let you
stand for the whole.
Ghost / by Carol Willette Bachofner
1. inhabits my house like wallpaper, just underneath the new paint 2. no chain-dragger, she is elegant on the back stairs, holding her daughter’s hand for fear she may trip, make unnecessary noise to disturb us 3. she waits in the window of the front parlor, worries still about her husband, lost at sea 4. is this how it works, ghosts unable to find each other? 5. she wears black on holidays, her daughter too, though there is that red ribbon in her hair always 6. she warms to my smile, knows I am not afraid, knows I welcome them here 7. as if I had the right to decide who comes and goes 8. Last night she seemed unusually sad, crossing the room from the hallway with a slower step, a pinched look on her face 9. I decide to reach out to her, take her foggy arm to steady her gait 10. she fades at my touch and is gone until just before dawn 11. when I wake to a certain presence near my bed 12. it is her daughter who stirs me with a sigh 13. mother standing behind with a look that says to me 14. it’s fine that you are here in my house.