Posts tagged ‘2018’

Saturday, 11 July 2020

American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes

It was discovered the best way to combat
Sadness was to make your sadness a door.
Or make it an envelope of wireless chatter
Or wires pulled from the radio tape recorder
Your mother bought you for Christmas in 1984.
If you think a hammer is the only way to hammer
A nail, you ain’t thought of the nail correctly.
My problem was I’d decided to make myself
A poem.  It made me sweat in private selfishly.
It made me bleed, bleep & weep for health.
As a poem I could show my children the man
I dreamed I was, my mother & fathers, my half
Brothers, the lovers I lost. Just morning, as a poem,
I asked myself if I was going to weep today.


Date: 2018

By: Terrance Hayes (1971- )

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Diaspora Sonnet 11 by Oliver de la Paz

In absence of blackbirds I give you
a diamond-studded sky.

In absence of heat, let there be
a window. Let it be lacquered

with the slow dust of our bodies
settling the sill. In absence of

our bodies, let there be a skein
of geese arrowing past. I give

you the veins of dead vines
festooning the frame. I give

placidity in certain places,
holy with our breath. Let me

smell the once clover-rich field
where we once dwelt, sugared and thick.


Date: 2018

By: Oliver de la Paz (1972- )

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

The Bridge of Paper by Lothar Quinkenstein

we are waiting,
tell us.
(Itzik Manger)

Who carries the longing carries the burden
carries the genisah of burned names

who carries the unlived life
across the bridge of paper?


Date: 2017 (original in German); 2018 (translation in English)

By: Lothar Quinkenstein (1967- )

Translated by: Yanara Friedland (19??- )

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Same Old Story by Jean Follain

A crow spends the night
on a column
the earth
bedecks itself in primroses
someone delicately breaks
the shell of an egg
without even thinking of death.
It all comes to the same thing
a woman hears herself say in a dream
her head on the hem of the sheet.


Date: 1967 (original in French); 2018 (translation in English)

By: Jean Follain (1903-1971)

Translated by: Ciaran Carson (1948-2019)

Thursday, 2 April 2020

A Fourteen-Line Poem On the Idea of Freedom by Julie Carr

1. The spirit of
2. Malice survives
3. The direct exertion
4. Of malice. Give up
5. The desire to be female
6. The whatever being
7. Defined not by what it is
8. And not by what it belongs to
9. But by belonging
10. Itself. The spirit of
11. Maleness survives the walking
12. Body. Give it
13. Over to be fucked
14. Into the non-state of being in common.


Date: 2018

By: Julie Carr (19??- )

Friday, 28 February 2020

Mind the Gap by Abol Froushan

My deeds are in a dance
with how the worlds occur to me
Mind the gap in which the word occurs

Why when tongues kiss
words keep its memory?
Does water wipe the look like tears?

Bare naked trees hit the rain
like no leaves
Finding the face you know in the crowd
Means passing among the leaves

Mind the gap between you and you
Yes-eyes kiss eyes without No
That delights with or without

Is the goodness of rains for the trees
because of the tears that leave the leaves
Or when it rains?

Mind the gap
where it rains.


Date: 2018

By: Abol Froushan (1957- )

Friday, 7 February 2020

If You Wish by Abdulla Pashew/Ebdulla Peşêw

If you wish
your children’s pillows
to bloom pinks,
if you wish to surround cradles
in silky dreams white as snow,
if you wish their swaddling clothes
made of rainbows and
that they might play doll with
the heart of the messiah,
if you wish
your vineyards full of fruit,
if you wish the sun to drink
from the floods of your joy,
if you wish the heavy clouds
to send messages of green to your fields
and to raise the drowsy eyelids of springs,
then liberate—
the bird that nests
on my tongue.



Date: 1972 (original in Kurdish); 2018 (translation in English)

From: Abdulla Pashew/Ebdulla Peşêw (1946- )

Translated by: Alana Maria Levinson-LaBrosse (1974- )

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Transnational by Josephine Clarke

airport sweet airport
how far can Ariadne stretch this optic fibre?

we no longer have use for hearth
it’s screen that draws us close

your dinner on Instagram hash tag family
Lear wandering the globe ranting on WhatsApp

your bisnonna had a handful of blue aerogrammes
in twelve silent winters

I have their fontanelle in my hand-held device
And what of the word home?

what if I take ill? who will come back /
come home / come through

and hold my hand     my real hand
where the creases run labyrinthine across my palm

—my palm where your newborn head once rested
and was safe.

From: Clarke, Josephine, “Transnational” in Southerly, Vol. 78, No. 3, December 2018, p. 100.

Date: 2018

By: Josephine Clarke (19??- )

Friday, 22 November 2019

Home by Alison Hicks

is the place the wasps come in.
You have no choice but to let them.
Buzzing the ceiling, flying high
when they need to fly low. Guide

them out the screen if you can,
goose them with a paper when they land.
Home is the earring with the missing stone,
the hole you probe, wondering what will fit

in the space and where the lost piece is.
The dog who went over the fence
not by plan but chance, paws on top
and feeling it give, giving in to it.

Mice who find their way in
to live through the winter—
and who doesn’t have
to live through a winter

of some sort or another?
It is the lover who left
and then came back,
unable to decide which is best.

The chipped glass marble buried in the dirt,
it catches your eye as you wait
on the corner with the runaway dog,


Date: 2018

By: Alison Hicks (19??- )

Friday, 11 October 2019

Home Thoughts from the Red Planet by Frances-Anne King

It was considered weakness to look back
so they didn’t speak of it, but images
spored inside their heads and spread
across their dreams at night. Some stashed
files, chose rare fonts – as if to keep the past
alive more vividly. Some wrote of trees;
oak, aspen, cypress, silver birch, pelts
of balsam fir across a mountain range,
the shape and texture of a leaf, the vibrancy
or calm of some particular shade of green.

A man described a wheat field ripening under sun,
the weight and sea-sway of wind-pulled crops.
A woman, haunted by cycles of return, explained
the pattern play of swallows in an autumn sky;
how they forage on the wing, the skim and swoop
of cobalt feathers across the surface of a lake.
Another recorded the last bee she’d seen, a red carder,
and sketched it in the margins of each page.
Through all their notes the memory of blue
in all its myriad shades, repeated and repeated.


Date: 2018

By: Frances-Anne King (19??- )