One poem from the latest book, On The Badlands Of New Times


Source: One poem from the latest book, On The Badlands Of New Times

Endorsers have said Paul Bamberger’s book is “filled with powerful poetry . . . ” and, “Some of the most intelligent and challenging poems I have ever read . . . ”

Here is one poem from the beginning of the book:

Preludes To The Past

caught in the last improbable light of the pretty hour
nerve endings of paradox hum destiny’s long shot
tomorrow’s brilliant rational truth’s sharp tongue
swing of axe shadowing its own to and fro as desert
traveler crosses the slow red decay of dying sun and
small lie howls there is always something in it for
you but we who harvest wildflowers on the dark side
of the moon have our own brothers to keep
what studies we are slow steppers looking for caution
sign dreamers of lilies in shock time blind to
evening’s tomorrow no more than what meets the
eye no walk arm-in-arm dream lowered into the
dark what could have been
what are we thinking this no rags to riches story
no home sweet home let’s go home baby no sweet
dreams we got it made baby nonsense and the long
haul’s what brought us to this street multitudes
scavenging among the well-fed dogs old men pacing
cluttered rooms running out of time losing their
timing making no sense of it joyless hearts riding
their shadows down to where the rattled bones are
laughing door left ajar
and from the unlucky we steal long shots to pay off
the junkyard dog bone has its use

Advertisements

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.

New poetry from Deerbrook Editions


cover grab KIN S

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.

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 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 . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.

Poem videos by Martina


Martina’s husband makes decent videos of her reading from Never Completely Awake, her recent book from Deerbrook Editions. Here are two of them. Martina lives in LA.

 

 

All Men Are Mortal


Here is a favorite poem from Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin whose poems bring us “teetering between desire and fear” from a Mayan temple to San Francisco Bay.

 

 

All Men Are Mortal

 ∴

the

sign of

therefore,

of the cold logic

of why and what we

remember, what brought

us here: another war memorial,

another slant on death, the dead piled

into another pyramid, their names pressed

with salted fingers into granite. They were men;

all men are mortal. Did you think they’d live forever?

Between the why and therefore falls the shadow.

South and north of here,

on Southern courthouse lawns and Yankee greens,

black cannonballs kiss as much as need demands,

one

on three

three on six

six on ten & so on

death on death, as deliberate as a war’s careful explanation:

Reasons. Premises. Conclusion.

Washington’s smooth face expresses a way to remember,

a why to forget.

Once It Stops by Florence Fogelin

Cover features a photo by Ros Orford