Posts tagged ‘2021’

Thursday, 26 January 2023

(26th January) – Mend That! by Paul Collis

I’m too black to be Blue…
too black I am, to be true Blue Aussie, like you.
I’m not like Johnno and Crew,
too black I am, to be that Blue.
so no happy birthday, Australia,
Oi, Oi, Oi,
for You!


Date: 2021

By: Paul Collis (19??- )

Monday, 14 November 2022

What Bees Read by Mary Soon Lee

The essentials of their trade:
horticulture, crop forecasts,
Farmers’ Almanac, hive design;
perturbing reports on pesticides,
poison, parasites, pathogens,
their collapsing population.

And to pass the winter hours
as they huddle round the queen,
anything to delight or distract:
flower catalogs, choreography,
royal gossip, glossy art books
featuring Georgia O’Keeffe.

The queen, alone in a crowd,
reads of sky lanterns, da Vinci,
Coleman, Earhart, Sputnik, Venera,
Tereshkova, each stepping-stone
toward the day her daughters
dance on other worlds.


Date: 2021

By: Mary Soon Lee (1965- )

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Almost Cha-Cha by Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

I tell people that when I was born, my mother
was on drugs, and so she named me Brett.
But what I don’t tell them is that she almost
named me Charlotte and wanted to call me
Cha-Cha. My almost-name seeps with sugar
and sequins, a dancer with a nicotine
patch slapped over a half-sleeve tattoo
of a big-tittied mermaid with a Fu Manchu.
If I were Cha-Cha, I swear to God I’da had

all the boys in my sixth-grade class smoking
Parliaments with me under the bleachers.
Ryan Goldstein woulda never knocked the books
out of my hands, and the girls woulda lined up
at my locker to get a look at my new Chuck Taylors.
My mama woulda wanted to rename me
in high school when I started going God-knows-
where at two in the morning with Jason Wheeler,
knocking back Miller High Lifes and throwing

the cans at speeding trains. Cha-Cha is my id,
the girl in the purple dress at the funeral.
The hot-lipped, fuck-you-very-much fast-talker
selling fake IDs out the back of her pop-up camper.
In my dreams I’m her, a goddess in ruin, a red-
lipstick, denim-jacket pool shark with a taste
for whiskey. Who don’t take no shit. Who lets
the cares of this world slip through her hands
like air, like dust, like something impossible to hold.


Date: 2021

By: Brett Elizabeth Jenkins (1986- )

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Hummingbird by Jason Olsen

In Finland, the aurora borealis
is caused by foxes who brush their backs
against mountains,
tails of flame
painting the night with sparks.
But that’s Finland.
Where I live,
hummingbirds are made of fire,
and there was one hummingbird
who lost its way, and in the desperation
of the moment, about to die of starvation
for the tenth time that day,
found pity from a sky that opened its arms
and said, I cannot find you,
but I can light your way home.


Date: 2021

By: Jason Olsen (19??- )

Sunday, 16 October 2022

How to Say Thank You by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

I want to bring to the doorstep of your heart
a giant bouquet of soft-petalled words,
a lavish bouquet of gratitudes
grown from seed in which each bloom
remembers each time
I watered it, encouraged it,
pulled the weeds from around its stem.
I want to have amended the soil
in which these appreciations grew
with the mycelium of devotion,
the dark compost of love.
It matters, the ways we say thank you.
Those two words disappear from the air
in less than a second,
so is it any wonder, when you
with your love have changed me forever,
that I want to bring you
a whole garden of gratefulnesses
no, a whole field of eternal thank yous
in which every flower is astonishingly open
and the perfume fills
every room in your heart.


Date: 2021

By: Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (19??- )

Monday, 19 September 2022

Take the Bait by Adele Elise Williams

A student asks for eulogy guidance.
The next day, I have a brother and
we discuss sociopaths, cold worms,
how we ended up so undisturbed.
Memory. Now that’s a thing a girl
can get behind. I remember caring
for the strays under our house, coaxing
the squirrels out from the alabaster
walls. Always sick and on the edge,
I’d watch them die as we all should
—alone and unsophisticated. Was my
interest in salvage or ritual? Officious?
A sort of wasted communion? Or was
I simply a child whose home was framed
furred and alive. Memory. I remember
the first poem I ever wrote—a clementine
full-faced and gasping as I consumed it
whole, even the juices hollered.


Date: 2021

By: Adele Elise Williams (19??- )

Saturday, 27 August 2022

Waiting for ’97 and Godot by Yam Gong (Lau Yee-ching)

The torment
of a drop of water
falling into a lake
I know—
at times I am the drop of water
at times
I am the lake

The torment
of a drop of water
falling onto the parched earth
I also know
At times I am
the parched earth
At times
I am
that droplet

But what about the joy
of a drop of water
falling onto the parched earth?

What about the ecstasy
of a drop of water
falling into the lake?

Even though
at times I am the water
at times I am the earth
at times I am the rivers and lakes
at times ecstatic at times tormented at times joyful
at times
I persuade myself
that you
will arrive eventually.


Date: 1997 (original in Chinese); 2021 (translation in English)

By: Yam Gong (Lau Yee-ching) (1949- )

Translated by: James Shea (19??- ) and Dorothy Tse (1977- )

Sunday, 21 August 2022

[The suitors play make believe] by Vandana Khanna

The suitors play make believe, dream me up
wondrous and willing—with lace at my throat,
gold between my legs. A paper-thin myth, each
one calls wife behind my back. I learned to
swim with my leg’s thin tread of hope. I learned
to sin(k) kohl-eyed in a pool of slim chances.
You showed me how to come up for air, breathless
and sweat-soaked. Couldn’t wear white after that.
Couldn’t find my way back to that girl a decade
in the making, lying in wait, half-grown away
from the sea. My barely-there prayers made
of broken shells and sharks’ teeth, a prophecy
of how I could wreck everything in my path.
Let them wade in after me, let them beg
with their last breaths while I show you
where the half-wound of my heart is hidden.


Date: 2021

By: Vandana Khanna (19??- )

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Number Theory by Rosanna Phelps Warren

The four-and-a-half-foot black-backed rat snake swayed
up and across the kitchen screen door, seeking
a way in. Encountering, instead,

our eyes, it slowly, deliberately, withdrew
to slide across the stone porch, over the wall, and along
the foundation, inspecting every crevice,

feeling, nosing, listening its way
toward a solution, which it found
around the corner, up the back flagstone steps,

where it squeezed its impossible length and girth, inch by
patterned inch, into the crack beneath the topmost slate. So
we know we’re living with a patient

companion, like you, inquisitive. You sit
taut in your chair, whispering, as you probe
the gaps between prime numbers. Until infinity.

It’s pattern you seek. The opening through which
your thought will glide suddenly into a lit space
and be at home. In a shaky house, where wasps gnaw the walls.


Date: 2021

By: Rosanna Phelps Warren (1953- )

Monday, 25 July 2022

A Love Reckless by Cate Lycurgus

There may be virtue in restraint—: in distance, drinking,
or—like the child left to cry—in letting your savings
be. How, if you hold still enough to sense the veins’
valves click shut up & down both arms, the colt might
cool off. His pace slows to staccato steps, to deep heaves
beside the fence. Advocate for control—
but try telling this to daddy’s girl as she fords the border
piggy-back; maintain the merit of reserves despite a shattered
piggy-bank, an overdraft for diapers. SNAP. One might
at another frisk, another cellmate yet to return;
& if the brush were not on fire, I’d rather have two birds
in it. Today needs a little hum on hand, so I lift
my alto. Closed fist. Raise all my sugar crimson
to hang on the closest eave. Restraint is faith
in abundance—just another way to say tomorrow, more
where that came from. But iron filings leap & thistle—
who doesn’t magnet to earth? I love you so much, I run
through the house licking the rim of every cup your lips might have
touched. I’m calling & hanging up, calling again—mouth
open, lip snagged like a largemouth bass. Have no angle
in this gape or way to temper my flail when—we’re drawn down
every day. You are the uproar at the end of my cherry slushie
& this is practically holy. I am not afraid.


Date: 2021

By: Cate Lycurgus (19??- )