The Way

Another beautiful poem from Rajani Radhakrishnan. Her lyricism and imagery are outstanding.

THOTPURGE

And the monk sat, like a cloud, at peace, the way you can
unfurl at a safe distance from people, speaking softly, the

way spring rain writes on leaves, about life and illusion and
the journey of souls that leaves us behind, the way a snake

trades one skin for another. I wanted to ask if I could shed
this skin you touched, memories etched on it like scars that

would never heal. I wanted to ask if I could be washed and
anointed in a sunshine unguent, the way a bride is bathed

before her wedding, healing turmeric running down her
face and neck, the way the old sky is made to masquerade

as a new one each morning. But I am just the moulted life
of a writhing soul, holding on for a flutter, the way a name

is carried in the fist of the wind, for a…

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Flotilla by Steve Deutsch

One of my favorite poets on one of my favorite sites. This poem is outstanding.

Autumn Sky Poetry Daily

Flotilla

You left behind.
one half a jelly donut,
stale as last Wednesday;
some clothing, moth-eaten,
mildewed; two shoes,
one black, one brown,
with newsprint for the soles.
You left behind a paper sack
of winter warmth, and poetry
by Whitman, Poe and Crane,
well-fingered and browned in age.

You walked into the river
and left behind four dollars
and eighteen cents, which I
have spent on coffee
and a banana nut muffin,
that crumbled in its freshness.

Your poetry; penned
in your perfect prep school hand,
was stuffed inside two newish socks
atop the brown and laceless shoe.
It is unnervingly good,
but I can use the socks.
I crumpled your words in their freshness,
and set them to sail upon the river,
page by remarkable page.

by Steve Deutsch, first published in Weatherings.

Editor’s Note: The title in this poem serves up multiple meanings to…

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While Reading Billy Collins at Bandera’s Best Restaurant, Words Come to Me

The irony of race and entitlement dining together from Robert Okaji.

O at the Edges

 

While Reading Billy Collins at Bandera’s Best Restaurant, Words Come to Me

And having no other paper at hand,
I scrawl on a dollar bill, “I want to speak
the language of smoke.” My invisible friend
interrupts. That is a white man’s dilemma.

 At least you have a dollar and a pen.
“But I’m only half-white,” I reply, “with half
the privilege.” Then you must bear double
the burden,
he says. This version of math

twists my intestines into a Gordian knot,
as does the concept of half equals twice,
or in terms I might better comprehend,
one beer equals four when divided by color

or accent and multiplied by projection.
The unsmiling waitress delivers my rib-eye
as I’m dressing the salad, and the check appears
just after the first bites of medium-rare beef

hit my palate, certainly before I can answer the
never-voiced question “would you like…

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Recording of “How to Write a Poem”

Wonderful advice from Robert Okaji. The link to the rest of Robert’s poem doesn’t seem to work at the end of the reblogged poem. So for a direct link to his site to read this wonderful poem, click here.

O at the Edges

How to Write a Poem

Learn to curse in three languages. When midday
yawns stack high and your eyelids flutter, fire up

the chain saw; there’s always something to dismember.
Make it new. Fear no bridges. Accelerate through

curves, and look twice before leaping over fires,
much less into them. Read bones, read leaves, read

the dust on shelves and commit to memory a thousand
discarded lines. Next, torch them. Take more than you

need, buy books, scratch notes in the dirt and watch
them scatter down nameless alleys at the evening’s first

gusts. Gather words and courtesies. Guard them carefully.
Play with others, observe birds, insects and neighbors,

but covet your minutes alone and handle with bare hands
only those snakes you know. Mourn the kindling you create

and toast each new moon as if it might be the last one
to tug your personal tides. When driving, sing…

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The Walk

A poignant poem this morning from my friend Ryan Stone, along with a spectacular photo of a walk in the Dandenong’s.

days of stone

I wake a full hour early
for the rare gift
of a walk in the woods
with my father.

He is a silent giant
among misty ghost gums.
I tell him, Watch!
See how fast I can run.

He doesn’t yell when I trip
and fall, but lifts me
with unfamiliar,
calloused hands.

At the end of the trail
I study my grazes—jagged
and bloody. He tells me
he’s leaving my mum.

On the walk home
I gaze at the gum trees
and fragmented clouds, thinking
they should look different somehow.

Ryan Stone

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Even For Winter

Strength and sadness and anger in Rajani Radhakrishnan‘s words.

THOTPURGE

they sat there in the evening light, cups of tea
and hot bhajiyas on the plastic table, people calling
out from the street as they passed, asking about their
children, their mothers, even as their wives waited
in their kitchens and bedrooms, they sat there and
thought about a pink cheeked girl, how they could
steal her, keep her, break her, destroy her, and they
smiled at the people passing and asked for more tea
and took calls from uncles and brothers and the birds
sang as they came back to their nests and they talked
of a child and how they would kidnap her and sedate
her and who would rape her and who would kill her
even as their wives waited in their kitchens and
bedrooms and their mothers prayed in temples so
their sons would live longer and they asked for more
tea and smoked cigarettes till…

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Stevieslaw: My poem “Breakdown” just appeared in Nixes Mate Review

This fine poem by my friend Steve Deutsch was published today by Nixes Mate Review.

Stevie's Law

New in Issue 7 of Nixes Mate http://nixesmate.pub/issue-7-spring-2018/Review

Breakdown

On that endless day in February –
when I found out
you wouldn’t be coming home,
I hitched a ride to Lewistown
in a car so beat up
it might have been lifted
from a junkyard on Route 220.
The delinquents that drove it
were thoroughly stoned
and moved in fractal time –
abruptly, like mechanical dolls
wound for infinity.
We took the grade
down Seven Mountains sideways
laughing at fuck knows what.

They tossed me out
at the train station
just over the river –
a place so desolate and cold
the vegetation that grew there
could not be found
anywhere else on earth
I sat on the icy asphalt
and cradled my backpack,
as if the contents –
some ludes and librium,
two nickel bags,
rolled sweat socks,
and a stuffed dog named Lucky,
could save me from the…

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