Posts tagged ‘paperback’

Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Careful, I Just Won a Prize At the Fair

Don’t remind me
how insufficient
love is. You
threw quarters
into a bowl. We are bones
and need, all hair
and want: this fish won’t swim
in a plastic bag
forever. My makeshift
gown is a candle, my breasts
full of milk for our young—
whose flames
are these anyway?

— Susanna Childress, more Entering the House of Awe

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

Poetry. “Readers familiar with Susanna Childress’s Jagged with Love will recognize her distinctive voice in these poems: her nerve, her honest, quirky, irreverent, immediate and embodied yearning that rushes, wordy, right up to the ragged margins! In this second collection, new formal approaches bring breath and space to the lines, even delicacy sometimes, but these fine poems move with no less urgency because they are compelled by her signature quest for truthfulness. This search refuses perfectionism and mere aestheticism, yet admits beauty en route, as Childress claims, There needs to be no right word / There needs to be a wide hole / a whole mouth / where the right word / isn’t”—Julia Spicher Kasdorf.


Visit me at:

There Are Birds Here

There Are Birds Here

                                        for Detroit

There are birds here,
so many birds here
is what I was trying to say
when they said those birds were metaphors
for what is trapped
between buildings
and buildings. No.
The birds are here
to root around for bread
the girl’s hands tear
and toss like confetti. No,
I don’t mean the bread is torn like cotton,
I said confetti, and no
not the confetti
a tank can make of a building.
I mean the confetti
a boy can’t stop smiling about
and no his smile isn’t much
like a skeleton at all. And no
his neighborhood is not like a war zone.
I am trying to say
his neighborhood
is as tattered and feathered
as anything else,
as shadow pierced by sun
and light parted
by shadow-dance as anything else,
but they won’t stop saying
how lovely the ruins,
how ruined the lovely
children must be in that birdless city.

— Jamaal May, more Hum

T. S. Poetry
In May’s debut collection, poems buzz and purr like a well-oiled chassis. Grit, trial, and song thrum through tight syntax and deft prosody. From the resilient pulse of an abandoned machine to the sinuous lament of origami animals, here is the ever-changing hum that vibrates through us all, connecting one mind to the next.

“The elegant and laconic intelligence in these poems, their skepticism and bent humor and deliberately anti-Romantic stance toward experience are completely refreshing. After so much contemporary writing that seems all flash, no mind and no heart, these poems show how close observation of the world and a gift for plain-spoken, but eloquent speech, can give to poetry both dignity and largeness of purpose, and do it in an idiom that is pitch perfect to emotional nuance and fine intellectual distinctions. Hard-headed and tough-minded, Hum is the epitome of what Frost meant by ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen.'” –Tom Sleigh


Morning Glory

Morning Glory

 Ipomoea violacea

It is said
we’ve each got a god inside us; that
the trick is just to clear the noise
from your head
so you can hear what it’s telling you. But it enjoys
ventriloquy, this god, it’s a pyrostat
sounding for no fire at all but the one you make
in your mind. It’s a thief-god and who knows what it will

You are
a traveling arc. A voltage gap.
It’s said the link from one thought to
the next is kar-
ma, a trail of ionization. If you can wrap
your head around it, you can see, inside of you,
a Jacob’s Ladder, helix-twisted, climbing
your spine. It burst open at dawn, spirals shut in the
dusk. It’s all timing.

— Amy Glynn, author of A Modern Herbal

T. S. Poetry
Amy Glynn, in her debut collection A Modern Herbal, meditates on a menagerie of flora-the mythical, the medicinal, and the mundane-and fashions a lyric collection that resonates with incantatory power. The poems proliferate into a rich landscape of correspondences and metaphorical discovery: “You could see / whole worlds in nutshells,” she writes, and Glynn weaves in and out of an intense focus on the herbarium itself and the connections with everyday contemporary life she finds there. Whether it is in a poem about the olive or the nettle, the narcissus or the milkweed, Glynn’s vision of her subjects, and her voice, are both ancient and contemporary, combining a lush lyricism with modern rhythms of speech. In her hands, these specimens manifest our most human emotions as she conjures a world of perception from each. These are quick, wise poems that show us nature is no less beguiling than the heart.

Casey At the Bat (excerpt)

Casey At the Bat (excerpt)

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling
through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the
umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a
muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and
distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey
raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun
sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, “Strike

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo
answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience
was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his
muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are
clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets
it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere
hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere
children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has
struck out.

— Ernest Lawrence Thayer, from Casey At the Bat

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

“A home-run effort.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Patricia Polacco’s spirited illustrations capture all the fun and action-packed drama of Thayer’s immortal ballad.

“The poem is launched with bright, bold illustrations that milk all the humor from the situation…Fresh and funny, this rendition should attract a whole new audience to the poem.” —Booklist



Join me at:

Lacuna, Lacustrine

Lacuna, Lacustrine

The lake has a hold in it
is what the child says
The lake has a hold in it where the fish jump through
by which she means
when like a needle then a fish does jump
bite and dive
lake filling where the body was and closing in on its
just as the fish’s mouth had shut
round something that we could not see
(but faster, imperceptibly)
by which the child means
waving now
because the wind is up and cold
and we’ve turned back
and fog has muffled even the gull’s cries
hammered as they’ve been this while to sky above the
by which she means
the child
waving now
hold most emphatically and not goodbye
palm cupped in
the Italian way
in a gesture of possession
because the hand has not yet learned to turn outward

— Kathy Fagan, author of MOVING & ST RAGE

T. S. Poetry

Kathy Fagan’s long awaited second collection keeps revealing new strengths, new powers. Its words are of unsparing rigor; its intelligence and vision continually spring forward in changed ways. These are poems both revealing and resistant: deeply felt, deeply communicative, yet avoiding any easy lyricism. Again and again the reader pauses, astonished by some fresh turn of language, of insight, of terrain. Moving & ST Rage offers extraordinary pleasures, clarities, and depth.


Join me at:

Galway Moons

Galway Moons

Where there are fields by the lake
crazy men own them and won’t let
anyone buy in. If you want to partake
of Loughrea’s old stone upon stone, get
rich quick. There are no more deals.

If you can recall the street where you were born
pack the memory carefully in the fat suitcase
and take it home. Leave all scorn
right here or it will show up on your face
in Kinsella’s tonight amid the jigs and reels.

There is a hole in the ground with a poet in it
every time you turn around. The dance crowd
is waiting for you downstairs. Just a minute,
you tell them. The dearly departed are a cloud
over me, and I am lost in the house the cloud conceals.

— Terence Winch, author of This Way Out

T. S. Poetry

Poetry. Winch’s seventh collection is “imaginative, soulful, and funny…THIS WAY OUT gives us Terence Winch at the top of his game.”—Bob Hicok

“These are the poems you read to your friend at two in the morning.”—Sandra Beasley


Self-Portrait As a Slinky

Self-Portrait As a Slinky

It’s true I wanted
to be beautiful before
authentic. Say the word
exotic. Say minority—

a coiled, dark curl
a finger might wrap
itself in—the long
staircase, and I was

the momentum
of metal springs
descending down
and down—say tension.

The long staircase,
and I was a stacked series
of spheres fingertipped
again into motion—say

taut, like a child
who must please her
parents but doesn’t
know how—a curl pulled

thin—I wanted to be
a reckoning, to gather
into each day’s pale
hands—that helpless

lurching forward
in the dark—another
soaked black ringlet,
that sudden halting—

— Tarfia Faizullah, author of Seam

This poem is offered as part of our October theme: Games

T. S. Poetry

The poems in this captivating collection weave beauty with violence, the personal with the historic as they recount the harrowing experiences of the two hundred thousand female victims of rape and torture at the hands of the Pakistani army during the 1971 Liberation War. As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants, the poet in turn explores her own losses, as well as the complexities of bearing witness to the atrocities these war heroines endured.

Throughout the volume, the narrator endeavors to bridge generational and cultural gaps even as the victims recount the horror of grief and personal loss. As we read, we discover the profound yet fragile seam that unites the fields, rivers, and prisons of the 1971 war with the poet’s modern-day hotel, or the tragic death of a loved one with the holocaust of a nation.

Moving from West Texas to Dubai, from Virginia to remote villages in Bangladesh and back again, the narrator calls on the legacies of Willa Cather, César Vallejo, Tomas Tranströmer, and Paul Celan to give voice to the voiceless. Fierce yet loving, devastating and magical at once, Seam is a testament to the lingering potency of memory and the bravery of a nation’s victims.

Winner, Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, 2014

Winner, Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2015



%d bloggers like this: