Posts tagged ‘2019’

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Back Home by Julia Travers

My body
is my home,
but I shuttered it
awhile back,
and I’ve hovered nearby
like a tangled kite,
a drunken bird.
Now I look through the windows,
knock on panes, trace ledges.
My hands follow mossy walls.
I see how the roof
points to the sky,
and I want to live
in there again,
where my stuff is
and the myths are mine,
where my limbs meet
and my paths cross,
where I walk in my own footsteps.
I started to pick the lock
and push the door,
but now,
I’m just breathing,
waiting to be recognized,
to find I am
back home.


Date: 2019

By: Julia Travers (19??- )

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Spare Parts for the Human Spirit by Amanda McLeod

Spare parts for the human spirit
are not easy to come by.

Life would be simplified
if we could only remove
the broken pieces of ourselves
and replace them with
newer, shinier versions
coated in titanium or sapphire
so they don’t wear out.

Instead, we pry off our
covers and peer into the depths
shaking our heads at the dust
and fragments that crunch
between our fingers, wondering
what value there is in this

But as we pull the pieces out
one by one, they start to make
sense, and we begin to rebuild
what they once were.

It looks different.

Some pieces are gone forever,
ground away and carried
off by the wind. Others
Are worn at the edges and
don’t quite fit.
As it all comes back together
even as a distorted version of what was
it starts to mean something.
And we begin to love the cracks
the missing pieces
As much as we loved the pristine original
and maybe even more.


Date: 2019

By: Amanda McLeod (19??- )

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Sowing the Field by Sara Henning

To love is to tell the story of the world.
–Nomi Stone, “On World-Making”

If my body is a field you once lost yourself in,
Mother, if your body was a field I once lost myself

in—I could say sweet things about windflower,
musk thistle, some fractured kaleidoscope of purples

and blues. But these metaphors do not hold us long.
We are the truth beyond. You, catching like shrapnel

in my cellular heat before you skimmed your way
into a different ether. Before you made crucial

alchemy of this life and let go, I was proof of your
longing. Now, when my husband touches me,

he’s searching for some part of himself that will stay.
He wants some part of our love he can hold in his

hands. Someone once told me that to have a child
is to feel like your heart is walking outside your body.

I do not want a child to fall to her knees when I die.
This is how love becomes circular. This is how

love outlives us. Every time my husband reaches
for me in the dark, I think: I am alive. I think—

it starts this way, one cell breaching another.
Then a world unfurling, a world that will go on.


Date: 2019

By: Sara Henning (19??- )

Friday, 8 October 2021

This is How I Choose to Remember by Brittany Coppla

you: arm & hammer toothpaste slobbers
towards your chin and i don’t even have
the itch to thumbscoop it away.
framed by the bathroom doorway, you perform
a pop song while your phone thumps its tiny bass pulse.
this recital is more for the fandom
of your own reflection in the mirror than for me,
which only raises the stakes of hitting the high notes.
the toothbrush wedges down the corner of your mouth
to make room for the peppermint suds
you gargle through during the chorus.
the intervals between lyrics are a time to either
rework the instrumentals into nasally vocal solos,
or feverishly brush the enamel like a kid who thinks
a few furious scrubs will keep the cavities away.
you lasso your shirt over your head at the final
crescendo before the end. as the room yields to a staccato
quiet, your body folds into itself. standing in your boxers,
you bow. the proud and bent you during this silence:
this is who i choose to remember.


Date: 2019

By: Brittany Coppla (19??- )

Thursday, 30 September 2021

After Life and In Between by Christina Stoddard

When you ask again if I believe in ghosts,
insisting I commit, I answer with
a vision my cousin had two summers ago
in Canyonlands. She was beaten

by a prisoner on work-release, her voice disabled,
drifting out, when our grandmother—
sixteen years gone—appeared above her. Solid
as the trees. Without an ounce of tenderness

our grandmother said Get up, girl. My cousin
does not remember crawling to the road
but a minivan found her stretched across
its lane. A family wrong-turned

in an unmarked branch of the park. The driver
used my cousin’s walkie to guide the helicopter,
and she woke from the coma
saying our grandmother’s name.

While you half-listen, I can see you arranging
your argument. The steely pearl
of your intellect. But my love,

you have never lain bleeding on any ground.
And there are things I knew
before I knew you. Which is why
I never told you what happened last spring

while the dogwoods bloomed,
a few nights after some god’s hand fished inside me
for the heart that was growing there

and plucked it out. In grief
I opened my eyes to a little girl, four or five,
standing quietly beside our bed. She held my hand.

If I thought you would listen, I would tell you
she was almost ours. That before she
vanished, she told me her name.


Date: 2019

By: Christina Stoddard (19??- )

Monday, 30 August 2021

Destiny by Natacha Féliz Franco

Love happens,
it is predestined.
The leaves’ green
sprouts in the city
Easter rabbits carry
happiness in their feet,
and in the exact triangle
two molecules meet,
love explodes.


Date: 2019 (original in Spanish); 2021 (translation in English)

By: Natacha Féliz Franco (19??- )

Translated by: Indran Amirthanayagam (1960- )

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Algorithm of Eternal Life by Ute von Funcke

At the sea the fishermen

tired, rocking
in rotting boats

they’ve been waiting, waiting
long days and nights

knotting and loosening knots
in their stinking nets

dreaming of
the return of death

waiting in vain

he will not anchor in
the bight of those living forever

the rudder raised to strike
his eyes flaming wheels

Charon in his empty ferry

the fishermen throw him
their last copper coins.

From: von Funcke, Ute, ‘Algorithm of Eternal Life’ in Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, Number 100, Spring 2019, p. 21.

Date: 2019 (original in German); 2019 (translation in English)

By: Ute von Funcke (19??- )

Translated by: Stuart Friebert (1931-2020)

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

I Don’t Wish to Be a Vampire by Elaine Equi

With centuries of memory
stored in a youthful body.

It is – or could be – such a pleasure
if we didn’t fear it so much,

to get old and indulge in
subversive acts of dawdling,

withering, forgetting with impunity,
letting go of ambition served too long,

its bitter sweet ligatures finally breaking
down and dissolving.

While others feverishly train
body and brain in gyms,

let me cultivate the corpse flower,
listen to it like a radio in a small room

quietly playing its hypnotic
melodic overture of decomposition.


Date: 2019

By: Elaine Equi (1953- )

Sunday, 30 May 2021

I Have Lived by Anne Walsh Donnelly

In his body
Grazed my hand on his stubbly head
Lost myself in his rainforest armpits
Sheltered under the ledge of his chin
Roamed the plains of his chest like a nomad
Swirled his Jack Daniels in my mouth
Ran with bulls through his fields of desire
Oiled my iron walls to ease his entrance.

In her body
Grasped her bleached marram grass
Surfed her peaks and troughs
Licked maple syrup from her lips
Bathed naked in her volcanic springs
Settled my cheek on the inside of her thigh
Sipped her dry gin
Let her light a candle in my cave.

What is there left to explore?


Date: 2019

By: Anne Walsh Donnelly (19??- )

Saturday, 29 May 2021

I Still Love Without My Head by Anne Walsh

Poseidon wanted me for a time.
And I was a fool.
He only ever loved himself.
Jealous Athena made me into a gorgon with a head of snakes.
Funny I had always seen myself that way anyway.
Now no one can look at me without turning to stone.
All the stones of grief, my gorgeous snakes
are not the venomous part of me.
My hopelessness is.
My lack of touch is basilisk.
You think I don’t see your shield, Perseus?
I look into it on purpose just to behold my monster face
that isn’t mine but that love made.
Mine was so tender, a poem.
You cut off my willing head
(no wonder you can’t think anymore).
But from my hopeless heart a winged horse springs.
Where she paws earth, water bursts and muses drink.
But the first thing that comes into my mind without my head
(my heart did all my thinking anyway)
when the stars touched down as hooves
was love again, akin to dread .


Date: 2019

By: Anne Walsh (19??- )