Dailies 7/26/17: a pond of alcohol, a daughter’s morning, original hope & a rooted bed



Grace Schulman – The Rooted Bed

When the medics lifted your lean body
that once loped over hot sand to the sea,
I wanted them to keep you on our bed

Read rest of poem 


Saddiq Dzukogi  – A Pond of Alcohol 


I am tired of what my love

is doing to your body


So many stitches later

two kids, each in your belly

Read rest of poem 


David Swanger – My Daughter’s Morning

My daughter’s morning streams
over me like a gang of butterflies
as I, sour-mouthed and not ready
for the accidents I expect

Read rest of poem 


Lauren Camp – Original Hope

One borrows time not to be left out.

Been in the pattern of sun—secure, re-creating.
One needs one thing.

Read rest of poem 


gross but beautiful bit of poetry news


Bacteria from 300-year-old Ovid poetry volume inspires ‘bio-artist’: Sarah Craske found the copy of Metamorphoses in a secondhand bookshop and used bacteria within its pages to create art with her own blood – Maev Kennedy – The Guardian – July 25, 2017

“The sweat and the droplets from an ancient sneeze that spattered one page were contributed by centuries of previous owners and readers of the book – but the blood was the artist’s own, donated by Sarah Craske as part of the medium for cultivating the organisms.

“Craske found the rare early English translation of Ovid’s epic Latin poem, published in London in 1735, in a junk shop in Margate.”

A cool poetry-video collaboration, + Broadsided Press!!!!


I’d been planning to post about what I’ve been learning in the class I’m taking on hybrids via The Poetry Barn, but, partly because I’ve been trying to give energy and time to the class itself, haven’t had the energy or time to post about it. Argh. Here, though, as I have a moment, is one of the interesting pieces we were assigned to check out in the class:

It’s by, as my teacher Brenda Mann Hammock writes in her online lesson,  “poet Nicelle Davis and motion graphic artist Cheryl Gross,” who “began working together when they were paired by Broadsided Press, a grass roots organization that brings artists and poets together to create and distribute PDF posters that are distributed electronically so that any participant can download and post them to promote the living arts in various localities.”


Read more about this month’s Broadsided Press broadside and download it for distribution here. 

And find more about Broadsided here. 

“Founded in 2005 with the mission of putting literature and art on the streets, Broadsided publishes monthly visual-literary collaborations as FREE posters for anyone to download and print. Special features punctuate the monthly publications.

“Writing is chosen from open submissions.  Art is created by a pool of artists invited to the project.  Distribution is managed by you, the grass-roots “Vectors” who print the letter-sized pdfs and post them in your neighborhoods.

“We want to help YOU put words and art on the streets of your communities.”

 Also check out upcoming online classes at the Poetry Barn.  The next one up, starting July 31, is on Ekphrastic Poetry. 

Dailies 7/25/17: a kiss, mousebirds, gravy & milkweed



Federico Garcia Lorca, translated by Sarah Arvio – [To find a kiss of yours]

To find a kiss of yours
what would I give
A kiss that strayed from your lips
dead to love

Read rest of poem



Stephen Derwent Partington – The Grey Mousebirds 

Sometimes, as you stand there-they are that much
unafraid—a flitting mousebird snaps a desert date’s
dry neck. You’ll hear it plummet to the rain-forsaken deck,
then stand like those who spy a crime yet freeze, inactive,

Read rest of poem 


Raymond Carver – Gravy

No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years

Read rest of poem 


Ange Mlinko – Milkweed

It’s August. Loosely we follow the arc
****of the monarch.
A pilgrimage north, a pivot, a retorno.
MONTREAL, where the earring on a bough
is genuine chrysalis. Bon courage!
The milkweed it’s fed on renders it
poison. In lieu of camouflage.

Read rest of poem 



On “samizdat – an underground method of publishing that sought to evade strict censorship in the Soviet Union:”

The writers who defied soviet censors  – Benjamin Ramm – BBC – July 24, 2017

“In anticipation of the poet’s arrest, his creations were concealed by inventive means – sewn into the insides of cushions and shoes, or hidden in mattresses and saucepans. The police confiscated most of his papers, but others were smuggled out, or hidden surreptitiously in obscure locations. The most important poems were inscribed where even the wiliest investigator could not find them – in the memory of a devoted reader, who would pass them on.”

Dailies 7/24/17: the dark sea, the cold tree; American Self-Portrait IV; Directions to Your College Dorm & Bare Metal Install



Emily Fragos – the dark tree, the cold sea

although I know you can never be found
although I know that from the highest height
you cannot be seen you are not hiding
from me or are you is it how you look now

Read rest of poem 



John Estes – Bare Metal Install

Someone somewhere sits alone in a house
Who would probably rather be someone or somewhere else
And considers the difference between alone and lonely
While brushing her hair or pouring another cup

Read rest of poem 


Faith Shearin – Directions to Your College Dorm

All hallways still lead to that room
with its ceiling so high it might have been

a sky, and your metal bed by the window,
and your crate of books. First,

Read rest of poem 


Dean Rader – American Self-Portrait IV


Here is the wind as it locks and reloads above
the waves. And there, the clatter of gulls scattershot

across the beach. Notice the couple caught in midlaugh
as the little dog of time tags along behind them, its leash

Read rest of poem 

NY Times photographs inspired by poems


How Poems Inspire Pictures – Kerri MacDonald and Morrigan McCarthy – New York Times – July 14, 2017

“Read a poem slowly. Let the words sink in. Then photograph what you feel.

“That is what we invited photographers to do this summer for a series of visual essays inspired by poetry. We selected poems by six contemporary American poets — Ada Limón, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello, Adrian Matejka, Jericho Brown, Katy Lederer and Jenny Johnson — and presented each one to a different photographer.

“We urged them to embark upon a somewhat intimate mission: to let the words inspire them. Poetry can mean different things to different readers. And over time, the meaning behind each line — each word, even — can change.”

Read the poems here

“It may take a while, but paper beats rock. At least we hope so.”


Can Poetry Change Your Life? Why we are so defensive about the art form’s value. – Louis Menand – New Yorker – July 31, 2017

“The funny thing about the resistance all these writers [Robbins, Lerner, and Zapruder] put up to the idea that poems can change people’s lives is that every one of them had his life changed by a poem….One day, almost inadvertently, they read a poem, and suddenly they knew that they had to become writers. They did, and it changed their lives. Later, they all wrote books about poetry. I read those books, and it changed my life. You read this piece about those books. Maybe it will change your life. If it does, the change will be very, very tiny, but most change comes in increments. Don’t expect too much out of any one thing. For although the world is hard, words matter. Rock beats scissors. It may take a while, but paper beats rock. At least we hope so.”

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