Hydra Endures


Here is a poem from the new book Where You Happen to Be by Leonore Hildebrandt.

In her new book Leonore Hildebrandt explores the power of place to inform, humble, and inspire our human experience. 

One author said this for the back cover: In Where You Happen to Be, Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery.  

Hydra Endures

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Alcatraz for Today


Here is the opening poem from a fine book- Francis Blessington’s book Poems from Underground.

page 9

Praise for Poems from Underground

Poems from Underground is an outstanding collection, well deserving a place on any adequate shelf of contemporary poetry. T he whole book gives pleasure and stimulation. Francis Blessington brings fresh insight to every subject he touches, with a rare mastery of imagery and metaphor. Great art can inspire him (Goya’s Prints), but so can the sordid (Cockfight). His control of free verse forms is admirable, as well as his handling of traditional meter and rhyme, so well displayed in his memorable translations from Baudelaire and Mistral.

—X. J. Kennedy

A stack of new and recent titles


DE titles spines

Lots of new books

 

Here we are in “a post-truth world” . . . a complicated world of media outlets, on the air and online, where rhetoric, jargon, imagined conspiracies, lies and deception permeate, leaving us to weed through with our educated mind and common sense, in search of bits of gnosis. 

Lovers of poetry and literature in general, weed no further. There is nothing pretentious about work that is made with a love of creativity, essential observation and experience, and full with imagination.

Deerbrook Editions has a pile of new and recent titles, some which might fit into your idea of “arts and entertainment.” Because we know that there are many generations and types of readers with varying tastes, we offer most titles in a quality preview form on issuu.com, and most of these are embedded on book pages on the press Website.

Then if you find something interesting, remember that shipping is free in the USA. 

Two new titles available


It’s Poetry Month all year long at Deerbrook, and now, new books out, and more in the works.

Go to this post post for I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems, and Where You Happen to Be. Click on the covers or use the menus to find their pages.

Poems by Leonore hildebrandt       9780999106235

Happy poetry month


And thank you to all visitors, likes and followers of this blog. Hoping to post some interesting poetry in the coming weeks.

SOON IT WILL BE SPRING

Soon it will be spring.
Do you know how strong spring is?
Do you know how strong it is to do what it does?
Of course you know.
You have seen spring before.
You have watched spring at work many times.
How it has to have the strength of a thousand winters
to wrestle winter to the ground,
then strangle winter with its bare hands,
then smother winter with whatever it finds at hand,
with snowdrops and crocus, to be certain,
then dig winter’s grave deep in the ground,
so deep in the ground that winter will not stir again
until next winter.
And it has only its bare hands, mind you, with which to do this.
Tell me, have you ever dug a hole with your bare hands?
I don’t mean a hole for a tulip.
I mean a hole big enough to bury winter in?
This is how strong spring has to be.
And spring does this all alone.
It gets no help, not from us.
No, not from us who merely stand around, cheering.

J.R. Solonche (110 Poems, forthcoming in the near future)

Forthcoming title from another Maine author


Available now, only on the site. Where You Happen To Be by Leonore Hildebrandt.

Check out the flip-thru preview and read a few poems.

Poems by Leonore hildebrandt

//e.issuu.com/embed.html#9201165/59785547

Praise for Where You Happen to Be from Dawn Potter:

In Where You Happen to Be , Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery. Gently, and with a great and detailed patience, she walks us through physical and emotional landscapes, narrating travels that feel both in and out of time. “The living,” Hildebrandt writes, “inherit the world’s blindness— / so much of it, they get blissfully drunk.” Yet as her poems celebrate and mourn our blindness, they also remind us, again and again, of the power of resilience: “Let one lake rest on another.”

—Dawn Potter

The cover features a painting by Susan Hammond

Descent & Other Poems receives 2017 Luschei Prize Honorable Mention


Source: Descent & Other Poems receives 2017 Luschei Prize Honorable Mention

Descent & Other Poems also was listed as a favorite on LitHub.

Recent titles from Deerbrook Editions


 

Deerbrook Editions new titles

Lots of new titles

Lots of recent titles of interest; check out the backlist post on the site.  Also many titles have previews of several pages on issuu.com which provides an excellent interactive catalog.

If you visit the site there are several menus for looking up titles, and most pages include reviews and endorsements about authors and titles, as well as embedded previews from issuu.com. The above link goes directly to all the currant previews.

When you order from the press Website in the USA you get free shipping. Usually sent media mail you get what amounts to a discount of about $2.60 off the price of a single title. Other presses often add shipping to the price of the book. It’s our way of saying thanks for ordering from the site. Also, please note that with PayPal you do not need an account with PayPal, you can use the card of your choice.

Upon Hearing that “Bread is the Way Sun Enters Our Body”


Upon Hearing that “Bread is the Way Sun Enters Our Body” by Dennis Camire

I feel this need to knead on my knees

    And praise the daily “tran-sun-stantiation”

Of sun into whole grain calories via

         T he Holy ghost of yeast. And kudos

To pepperoni pizza dough now morphing

              Into these acned teens of Helios

While the bread sticks become nothing-less

       T han batons of this God-force handed off

To hungry loved ones so, in mere contemplation

             Of a “single grain of whole wheat,”

T hey might finally cross the

              Finishing line into the divine!

Oh yes, bless the shamans of our bakers

          Keeping those stone oven temples’ fired

To coax golden Goddesses inside honey wheat

    To continue illumining the skyline of every slice!

And after we caffeinate conversations

         By singing how each sweet portly, pastry

“Is just sun made up in so much make-up”—

    Or by declaring “the solar flare of each éclair”—

                       

Or by shimmying in kind to “the northern lights’

           Cosmic cursive espied in the marbled rye”—

Consider, finally, the sourdough’s soul’s

               Own second rising when musing

How that same sun beams through

           T he doughy body’s own celestial abode

So our neurons feel the same heat

            As those distant rings of Neptune do—

And our membranes glow for the same reason

           As any of the solar system’s marvelous moons—

And sun, bread, and body s are now just one

              String-laden cosmos-in-expansion—

Heeding us, surely, to feel the vitamin d of delight

            As her hand, say, alights and tans your thigh—

Or to know the solar radiation of a soul

          So freely giving love over to your blue being—

Which fathoms, now, how that sacred moment

             Of silence before breaking open the loaf

Is heightened by looking into one another’s eyes

             And recognizing all the sunshine in disguise.

 

From Combed by Crows, poems by Dennis Camire

 

A favorite poem by Emily Dickinson, born 12/10/1830


Happy Birthday Emily


In Winter in my Room
I came upon a Worm—
Pink, lank and warm—
But as he was a worm
And worms presume
Not quite with him at home—
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring
And went along.

A Trifle afterward
A thing occurred
I’d not believe it if I heard
But state with creeping blood—
A snake with mottles rare
Surveyed my chamber floor
In feature as the worm before
But ringed with power—

The very string with which
I tied him—too
When he was mean and new
That string was there—

I shrank—”How fair you are”!
Propitiation’s claw—
“Afraid,” he hissed
“Of me”?
“No cordiality”—
He fathomed me—
Then to a Rhythm Slim
Secreted in his Form
As Patterns swim
Projected him.

That time I flew
Both eyes his way
Lest he pursue
Nor ever ceased to run
Till in a distant Town
Towns on from mine
I set me down
This was a dream.

Beautiful


from Never Completely Awake 

Poem videos can be seen on the book page above.

Beautiful               by Martina Reisz Newberry

for my Aunt Jan who is . . .

Beautiful isn’t it,
the way some beaches are sand
and some are small, smooth rocks and
Beautiful
the way the water bends like molten silver
when the weather is hot and
it’s late in the afternoon?
Beautiful
the way the sky tears down the middle
for lightning and mends again later on
Beautiful
how breath turns white in the cold and
how the world’s roads move across the land
no matter what
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the way love rhymes with glove and
silk rhymes with milk and
rage rhymes with cage?
Beautiful
the way the light stays on and on
during the Summer months and
a different kind of
Beautiful
when Fall makes it fade early
Beautiful
the cleanliness of bones in moonlight
when the desert is silent and without wind
Beautiful
the cool rind of a honeydew melon
and the perfume inside it inviting taste
Beautiful,
the way a woman hums to herself
while she gets dressed and
sighs one hundred sighs
when she undresses
Beautiful
the accident of passion,
the brush of hands, then mouths,
then bodies doing more than brushing—
flesh on flesh
to music older than the stars
Beautiful,
the smell of soap
and burning wood
and frying onions
and a diner far up the road
that you didn’t know was there
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the smooth red bark
of the manzanita plant and
a long teardrop earring
that touches a woman’s neck
and how Beautiful
a full cupboard
jars of delicious things
There is the Beautiful
ice sculpture
with perfect pink shrimp surrounding
and the Beauty of buttered potatoes
Beautiful the strange trailing roots
of water lilies and
the zippers on dark leather jackets
Beautiful
the figurine
of the two-headed saint and
the red satin lining
of the box it came in
Beautiful
a new book, a new shirt,
new sheets, a new pen.
Beautiful
the lover that used to matter,
the one that matters now,
and the ones that never mattered
Beautiful
a pain that stops,
a cut that heals,
a scar that was earned,
not inflicted
Beautiful
a hand sitting in for
your mother’s hand
a dance, a smile sitting in
for the ones your mother
could not give
Did I say how Beautiful
is the purity of a
man’s shaved head
or the long, dark hair,
a man might have—like
a river down his back
Beautiful
a drinking glass so clean
it looks like water
holding itself
Beautiful,
a runner, a cyclist,
Kabballah,
birthday cake
Beautiful
a childhood that might
never have been but was
Beautiful,
the way you read
or hear this poem—
your eyes wishing
for everything,
wanting this to be one thing
that will not be content,
one thing
that will not be captured.

What I would Give Up


What I Would Give Up

I would give up all the words in the world
but not words that open doors
to unknown rooms.
I would give up all the rooms in the world
but not this room
where I heard music for the first time.
I would give up all the music in the world
but not this music that holds all the light
I have ever seen and all the light I have not.
I would give up all the light in the world
but not this light that makes me reach
for a pencil to write words.

 

by Joan I. Siegel from Archaeology, Deerbrook Editions 2017

Lucid Dreaming; a poem from Never Completely Awake


LUCID DREAMING by Martina Newberry

for Kate

Sometimes my dream life
is a euphoric slumgullion
of rock and roll and Milky Way
candy bars and 5-dollar-99-cent champagne.
I can’t find a place to recover
or the right role to play.

You’re so cool
and I have so many questions to ask you,
starting with
“How did you get so cool?
I’m wrapped up in countless failures.
I’ve got Spanglish in my ears
and Ebonics in my nostrils—

shouldn’t something brilliant
and memorable come from that?
I’ve fallen in and out of love
with myself a trillion times,
bought the vitamins,
played the jukeboxes,
lost my keys, dumped my quarters

at the Laundromat and still…and still…
I have eaten scrambled eggs
and cotton candy
and desktop computers
and felt-tipped pens
and straw hats
and bath towels.

I know some lyrics to some songs,
a line or two from some movies, still…
In the old days, I dreamed myself new
every month or so. Oblivion was far off
and I could show substance and testament
so earnest, it would make your teeth ache.
I dreamed myself with wings and webs of silver,

dreamed myself diaphanous, icy.

 

From Never Completely Awake, Deerbrook Editions, 2017

View a video poem by the author from this book

New title forthcoming by Sarah White


Sarah White is also the author of Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2015) reviewed in American Book Review

Sarah's flier 2

Erasure poetry – KIN S FUR – & a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.


cover grab KIN S

Because readers may enjoy this for several reasons, the earlier page is here made a post. There are several things to investigate in this longer than usual post: the book preview; the erasure poem; the scholarly work in translation and process by the author.

ALL KINDS OF FURErasure poems and a new translation of a tale from the Brothers Grimm.

Available from the publisher

Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems. 

In ALL KINDOF FUR, the source text is shaded gray to reveal the poems in black.

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would All Kinds Of Fur say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Praise for ALL KINDS OF FUR

Open this book and enter a world of danger, transformation, and tactical survival—a multi-layered, multi-voiced telling of “Allerleirauh” / “All Kinds Of Fur,” a Brothers Grimm tale you most likely have not met, a “Cinderella” version with incest. In a new translation, Margaret Yocom first brings us this forgotten tale, stocked, as we’d expect, with kings, rings, beasts, and betrayals. She then, through erasure, lures out of its darkness another voice—the voice of All Kinds Of Fur herself, lying hidden within its words. In keeping with traditions of wonder tales, erasure practice poses riddles and embodies paradoxes—adding by subtracting, listening by looking, redrawing the boundaries of author and reader, teller and told. Enter this forest. Voice what you see. Is it sunlight in shadow, or a sudden shadow cutting through light? 

                                           —Susan Tichy

Some tales—the old ones, the magical ones—wander the borderlands between our inchoate unconscious and the day-lit logic of our lives, not to keep those realms separate, but to ensure something of our dark interiors leaks up into the measured day and, by the trespass, keeps the fathomless open. Margaret Yocom’s book gives us a new translation of one such tale, demonstrating beautifully how it is desire and fear, care and threat, humility and humiliation, love and grief, are entangled in such ways they might be the source of that knot we call the mind. But Yocom does more than give us a tale we’ve always known even if now we’re reading it for the first time. In her erasure of the tale, she shows us that a text, just like our own minds, has its own hidden inner life, and its own unconscious depths, a mind within the mind, a heart within the heart, a hearth within a hearth. It is a magical and necessary vision, one our culture now, in its incessant surfacing, deeply needs—this reminder, that beneath every depth, there is a deeper deep; and beneath every dark, a darker dark. It is in this dark that ALL KINDS OF FUR teaches us to see.     

                                          —Dan Beachy-Quick

These poems are haunted by what Yocom makes invisible by her erasures; what she makes visible has different bones. The incest in the fairy tale variously translated as “All Fur” or “Donkeyskin” shows through the skin without the “s”: kin. I have used these poems in my fairy tale course to introduce students to a tradition whose dark side has been erased, in other ways, by numerous editors and publishers—and which ALL KINDS OF FUR  restores. Are we not all, like these fairy tale beings, humanimals?   

                                          —Katharine Young

About ALL KINDS OF FUR, from the “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure”:

ALL KINDS OF FUR explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” and its many, international versions (see summary of the tale, below*):

. . . As a poet, folklorist, and storyteller long interested in “All Kinds Of Fur,” I wondered what happened to the tale in the hands of other editors and collectors, especially those who did not revise their texts as extensively as the Grimms did. So, I searched for the story in folktale collections throughout the world. In these tales, All Kinds Of Fur / Cat-Skin / Sack-cloth / Hanchi (Clay Pot) always dons an unattractive body covering, and she appears to others as male or female, human or spirit-world being, or a living entity whose characteristics cannot be discerned. In Palestine, she wraps herself in sackcloth and appears to be an old man or a jinn. In Sudan, she removes the skin from an old man and covers herself. In Japan, she wears frog’s skin; in Norway, crow’s skin; in Slavic countries, mouse skin. For Romanians living in the Balkans, she turns herself into sea foam. . . . What I learned, above all, through my research was that the young woman uses many creative strategies to save herself and craft a new life. . . .

ALL KINDS OF FUR underscores the importance of making one’s own translation of a source text:

. . . What might I learn if I looked, myself—poet, folklorist, feminist—at the Grimms’ words? Plenty, as it turned out. The several discoveries I made more than surprised me; they unsettled me. They changed forever my vision of the tale. For example, All Kinds Of Fur calls herself “Kind” (“child”) as she hides from men in the woods; yet almost all translators use the female-identified term “girl.” I use “child,” though, to point out how All Kinds Of Fur purposefully un-sexes—and protects—herself through her choice of words. For similar reasons, I use the pronoun “it” to refer to All Kinds Of Fur when the text calls for the neuter pronoun. (Read my 2012 book chapter, here, for more details on the tale and its translation). . . .

Philemon and Baucis


Here is one beautiful poem by David Sloan from his book, The Irresistible In-Between, (Deerbrook Editions, 2013).

David Sloan was at the MWPA Literary Awards ceremony and it is always a pleasure to see him. He has received a number of awards for poems in the Poetry Short Works category.

It being the solstice, I thought I’d pick this poem as, picking up his book yesterday, it opened to it. I was reminded how many good poems are in this book. Another deserving author with a good book.

 

Philemon and Baucis

The wonder isn’t the gods’ appearance,
nor their beggarly disguises. Zeus

and Hermes love the earth—olive oil,
gullible women, the substantiality of marble,

that peculiar human failing of caring
too much. It’s the old couple themselves,

the way they welcome the strangers,
give up their stools, offer them wine

and apricots, stoke the fire, how they touch
each other’s shoulders. They gasp

when the wineskins refill themselves.
In the sudden light they kneel

before their guests, gold peeking
from beneath the rags, feel the dizzying

closeness of divinity. When the gods
grant one wish to repay their hospitality,

the wonder is what the couple
passes up— a wooden floor, new cook

pot, lifetime supply of firewood,
fleece-lined cloaks, the child

they never conceived. Instead
they ask only not to outlive

one another. It’s the gods’ turn
to gape. When the time comes,

the couple feels the forest taking them.
Sap rises, fingers send out leaf shoots,

bark creeps up, closes over their mouths,
but not before Farewell love,

overheard by hushed birds and caught
in the cleaved air, linden and oak

now a single trunk, entwined.

Review of I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found poems


Review of I Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems

I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems, by J.R. Solonche, is an absolute delight. I have read it more than three times. To do it justice, I’d want to quote liberally from the many priceless jewels—entries found in books, newspapers, field guides, menus, things read in bathrooms, overheard in museums—but I’m certainly not going to do that.

Often the pleasure in the found poem lies in the ridicule it carries, the smug joy of the reader in the crazy obtuseness of the anonymous source. Here this is hardly the case. Even Donald Rumsfeld’s “Known knowns . . .” rises a bit above ridicule, it being probably the smartest thing he ever said.

The opening find is from the index of Dickinson’s collected poems (Johnson). It lists alphabetically the first lines of poems that begin with “I,” the first one being “I am afraid to own a body.” These entries are arranged in quatrains, ending with a couplet. One hundred and forty-two lines later we read, “I years had been from home.” This is more than a trick; it is something on the order of a portrait of Emily Dickinson.

The last entry in this wonderful collection lists vocabulary books on sale at Barnes & Noble, so the last line is “Word power made easy.” Perfect.

—Sally Fisher

                    Sally Fisher’s latest publication is Good Question, a book of poems from Bright Hill Press

The Differences


A poem from Won’t Be Long; poems short; poems shorter; poems shortest, by J.R. Solonche.

Michael Meyerhofer said about Won’t Be Long:  “Sweet Jesus, this is great stuff!”

The Differences