Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Archive for the tag “NaPoWriMo”

Day 16 & 17 ~ John F Buckley and Martin Ott

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Writing poetry is a solitary job, unless you are one of the 3 pairs of writers I will be spotlighting this weekend. Somehow these writers have learned to collaborate and allow their work to be inspiring and inspired by each other. I admire that, as a person that locks herself all alone in the world to write anything at all.

Today I begin the pair spotlight with John F Buckley and Martin Ott. These two writers work so well together that they have written two books together. That’s correct two books in six years of collaboration. Their first Poets’ Guide to America (2012) and their latest, Yankee Broadcast Network (2014). What I love about their latest book is it takes a look at society (and the writers, individually) and television. If you were raised in the 70s or 80s TV informed your life, as it did mine. I remember rushing home from school to watch Dance Party USA and being glued to the tube for Saved by the Bell, even when they went to college. Life revolved around television while parents worked, and outside was a bit too dangerous. These poets get that.

I highly suggest you pick up their latest book (which I see as a bargain, after all you are getting two poets for the price of one.) until that book finds it’s way to your home, here is a poem from each, which I asked them to pick for this spotlight. Enjoy!

 

John F. Buckley recently graduated from the MFA program at University of Michigan. He was a west coast man, for nearly 20 years but for now, is staying in Ann Arbor. We miss him on the west coast, but know how amazing he is doing.

 

The War on Drugs

Let’s agree to disagree about my righteous father
chopping down the finally mature pot plants
hidden so well in our grandmother’s backyard.

He wore his old Boston College windbreaker
and a handkerchief tied across his mouth
like a stagecoach bandit afraid of contact highs.

He dumped the plants at the curb for the trash men
and scrubbed his hands carefully with soap and water
and pontificated about disrespect and illegality

to the aunts and uncles gathered in Foxborough,
the Vegas smiler who was alleged to be a mean
drunk, at least when his brother-in-law was around,

the gourmet cook who execrated Ted Kennedy,
and the pharmacist with the endless prescriptions,
who explained family realities I couldn’t grasp,

while cousins complained about Boy Scout rectitude
and recovered the last few Baggies of buds
tucked away on the wooden shelf above the dryer.

 “The War on Drugs” first appeared in Existere Journal Volume 33, Issue 1 (Fall 2013/Winter 2014).

 

 

Martin is a former military man, and a writer who has seen many different states, but has decided to call California (Los Angeles) home, and often writes about the quirky city he now resides in.

 

Fruits of Labors

 

My friend’s new heart rests in a crevice
that housed the pacemaker; the wires fried
his old thumper like a zapped alternator,
doctors unsure this loaner will ever beat.
Blackberries float in a bowl on the counter,
separating out the spiders and veiny leaves.
Later, he tells me that he has gone to some
other place, a bifurcation of living and dead,
subterranean with a zenith, invisible susurrus
of some river, with trout, with kids splashing.
Thorns in those Michigan woods taught patience,
fingers careful not to burst the berry’s juices.
There is one surgeon that goes in to save
his legs with a pinnate precision, arteries
flushed, and who stays at his bedside
after rounds, after the new heart reboots.
The taste of the jam boiled and jarred
from fly-filled afternoons fills us still.
He is unconscious for more than a week,
with dreams that make me wonder about
what will come after the jam disappears
from the pantry, when childhood is near.

Previously published in Nimrod and will appear in Underdays, Sandeen Prize Winner, University of Notre Dame Press, Fall 2015.

 

Day 14 ~ Shivani Mehta

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 8.37.41 PMAnyone who personally knows me will not be surprised by my next pick of a poet spotlight. Not surprised, because I talk about this woman all the time, and how everyone needs to buy, Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded.  Shivani Mehta is a great prose poet. I’m not stretching the truth when I say she is my favorite prose poet. I see glimmers of those who have taught her in her work, Rick Burksy and Richard Garcia, but she has capitalized on what they taught and created her own voice that often mixes whimsy with pathos quite perfectly. Below I have chosen one of her prose poems to show you just how she does this, but to call her just a prose poet would be unfair, as she is a poet, without adjective.

Shivani is a mother, a wife, a friend, a former Lawyer, and an award-winning poet. If you ask me she deserves many, many more awards. There is just something so special about the woman who writes lines like Did you hear the night/aching around us?/You say it doesn’t matter/but I have known you since/my body was full of mourning/since before the sky. (From North American Review)

If I have one complaint it is that Shivani does not read out in public enough and when she does it’s far too short. Until she rectifies that take a read of the poems before and head over to Press 53 and buy her book Useful Information for the Soon-to-be-Beheaded.

 

Here is one of her recent and simply sublime prose poems from Wherewithal magazine.

The Bicycle

One morning I wake to find I’ve turned into a bicycle. At work, people notice. They talk, the way people do. There is whispering in corridors as I wheel by, my pedals gleaming. I make out phrases like so much promise, and that’s what happens when. The upshot is, men find me irresistible, they cannot help riding me around the block, stroking my wheels, my derailleur, admiring the sleek line of my down shaft. How the other women envy me now, how I love to see myself reflected on the concave surface of their eyes. How they seek me out at office parties and ask for dating advice. And every Saturday morning a crowd of reporters gathers outside my apartment for a glimpse of my shiny titanium frame, my perfectly oiled chain.

 

And the poem that started my love of Shivani’s work, that I would have never found were it not for one Martin Ott‘s Writeliving site:

Useful Information for the Soon-to-be-Beheaded

The following is an excerpt from a pamphlet designed by the Commission on Public Severance, handed out to condemned individuals as they waited in line for their turn at the guillotine.  Reproduced here with permission:

1.  Close your eyes tightly so as not to get dizzy when your severed head falls off the executioner’s block and rolls across the wood platform, picking up splinters and human debris.

2.  When you cease to feel movement, it is safe to open your eyes.  Remain calm as you watch your body dragged off and stacked on a pile of headless bodies. Your head will be tossed or kicked into the basket of severed heads.[1]

3.  This is likely to be the last time you will see your body. Expect a period of adjustment to the separation. You may experience a lingering sensation of movement in limbs you no longer have. This will pass.

4.  This is where your head will remain for whatever period of sentience it has left.[2]  Your vocal chords will not work. You might begin to feel a sense of freedom, of lightness, buoyancy, like a balloon that is suddenly untethered.

5. Think back to the day you were born, remember what it felt like the first time light fell across your closed eyelids, the weight of air on your forehead. Remember the last time you were born human, the sensation of trailing your fingers in a lake, cupping water in your hands. Or, think of the time you were a bird, remember stretching your wings, pushing against the wind, taking flight. Remember that it always ends this way.


[1] If the basket contains other heads, they will ease your transition. If your’s is the first head in an empty basket, try not to think about the abrupt separation from your body.  Focus instead on the details of your new surroundings: the closely woven fibers of the basket in which your head lies, the checkered spaces between the weave where sunlight passes through, the intermingled scent of sweat, tears, blood that permeates the air.

[2] On average, severed heads retain approximately fourteen seconds of sentience. However, exceptions have been known to occur.  It has been reported that some severed heads remain sentient for several hours, and in a few cases, for more than a day.

Day 11 ~ Elena Karina Byrne

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.57.37 AMTonight Beyond Baroque brings the rare treat of two amazing women poets that have given their hearts and efforts to the City of Los Angeles. Yesterday I spotlighted Suzanne Lummis, and today I spotlight the renouned Elena Karina Byrne. She has worked so tirelessly in the arts for so long, that many of you already know and admire her. Her poems “irregular Masks” was featured in The Best New American Poetry 2005 and she is a Pushcart Prize winner.

She curates poetry readings at Ruskin Art club and is the moderator for Poetry at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival.

If you are at all near the Venice area tonight. Perhaps taking in a lovely dinner, than you need to get over to Beyond Baroque to hear this woman read along with Suzanne Lummis.

More importantly you can be part of the celebration when she is awarded the George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award and Distinguished Service Award, tomorrow night. Elena Karina Byren epitomized both outstanding achievement and distinguished Service. A wise choice by Beyond Baroque, and you can see her accept this award by purchasing tickets.

Here is a taste of the poetry you will be treated to, tonight, courtesy youtube.

 

Day 10 ~ Suzanne Lummis

SL
This Sunday, LA is honoring two powerhouse forces in poetry. The first I am spotlighting is Suzanne Lummis. This woman is indeed a fabulous poet, but she is also a teacher, editor, performer, historian, and an inspiration. To inspire is to breathe life into and there is proof that she does this, not just through the many students she has taught via UCLA extension courses and her workshops but her very words.   What Ms. Lummis does for poetry in Los Angeles is far reaching and celebrates the city’s history. There is an interview on NPR with Suzanne conducted by Jacki Lyden that you must listen to, the interview covers Suzanne in the city of angels, from her mugging to her love of the L.A. River.  She loves this city, and she celebrates her with the poetry of the noir.

 

Suzanne has been a staple in the L.A. Poetry scene for over 30 years, recently releasing her book Open 24 Hours that won the Blue Lynx Poetry Prize (2103). The Wide Awake: Poetry of Los Angels and Beyond had the great fortune of having her as an editor. But I first saw her work in a very used copy of Stand Up Poetry that she co-edited with Charles Harper Webb. In this anthology she showed us all that humor is possible in poetry as is with and mastery of the word. I always sold my books back to the bookstore, always, I was poor. I didn’t give that book back, and I still have it in my bookshelf nearly 20 years later. (Side note, I reread the whole anthology before writing this, and confirmed it will go nowhere). The New Yorker featured poems from Suzanne about six months ago, and you can hear the poem here.

 

There is no wonder that this Sunday Suzanne is receiving Beyond Baroque’s

George Drury Smith Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award and Distinguished Service Award. And she epitomized both outstanding achievement and distinguished Service. A wise choice by Beyond Baroque, and you can see her win this award by purchasing tickets.

 

If you haven’t the time to make it to the award ceremony, but find Saturday night open, Suzanne will be reading her work (with her co-recipient, Elena Karina Byrne) at Beyond Baroque and you can be there to hear it. Check out all the information here.  Hope to see you at one or both of these events as we celebrate Suzanne Lummis

 

The Perfect Man
         By Suzanne Lummis

     For the men who’ve asked me,
      “Why isn’t there a perfect man
      in any of your plays?” 

.                 He’s lonely.
There is only one of him.
He’s like the last-of-its-kind
someone captured
and shipped back to the zoo.
.                  Except he
has never been captured, only
by the mirror which captures
his image, speaks
the same reassurance:
you are the fairest…
He sighs and straightness his tie.
It’s terrible being a myth.
Why can’t he do goofy
ordinary things —
cruise down boulevards,
be in a play?
.                  He turns
and moves through his rooms,
their identical
fields of light, their curious
absence of shadow.

Why can we not find him?
.                  Late,
very late, when the women
of this earth lie asleep,
he sighs, then packs up his costumes:
the formal wear, leather jacket,
the ski gear of a down-hill racer…
You see?
He’s obliged to break into our dreams.
Now he will begin his long run,
through cities and provinces, from
sleek condominiums to the Highway’s
last chance hotels.
It’s a delicate task
getting in.
If we wake we might catch
the tapping of his small
silvery hammer, its ping
ping…
We might think we hear
for a moment,. just
as it vanishes, the sledge
of some convict, some far away
prisoner, crazy to get out.

 

From Caffeine Destiny

 

 

Suzanne Reading Femme Fatale (from youtube.com)

 

Day 9 ~ Brendan Constantine

Brendan ConstantineWell it had to happen, and so it has, today I spotlight the uber talented Brendan Constantine.  If you have not seen him perform/read his work and you had the chance to, you have cheated yourself out of an experience you will not forget. Outside of being an absolutely great feature if you have your own reading you host, Brendan is a teacher. He teaches children, he does workshops at CAFAM (Craft and Folk Art Museum) and he volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Project. My mother has Alzheimer and I often fear this will be my final outcome, and I certainly wish there was a Brendan in my mother’s life earlier. Someone who would help her get out all she had to get out through writing, and feel creative and powerful again. This is what I truly love about Brendan he does that for people. He makes them feel powerful through words whether they are a 10 year old or 80 year old. He brings joy with words. When Brendan submitted his work to Wherewithal, a magazine I co-founded I felt honored that he even knew we existed.

I have gushed over this man enough, just let me say Brendan tours (those of you in the Los Angeles area have about a million opportunities to see him this month, New Your you only have Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival) and when he does catch him, please, it’s for your own good. Until that time, buy Letters to Guns, and then you can also pick up his other two books once you fall in love with his words.

 

First let me show you Brendan doing his thing so that you want to run out and see him.  This video is from youtube, where you can find many more.

 

And here is a poem that I was so grateful to him for allowing us to feature on Wherewithal Magazine.

 

Phototaxis

Whatever gets between us and the sky
becomes the sky / It’s how we start to
wish on the flicker in a smoke alarm /
how sometimes the bed seems hidden
under moss / We sit long after the lamps
go down / The park so dark / the moths
dive at our phones / It makes sense to
laugh down the street / The street waits
its turn / then rolls out its black receipt
for things we don’t remember / We
can’t read the numbers / What we owe
is somewhere behind those trees in
the wallpaper / or way the other way

Day 8 ~ Mary Szybist

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 12.23.31 AMI read Mary Szybist‘s  Incarnadine, for a class in my MFA program. An assignment I do not recall, but the book I do. I was maddeningly in love with what Mary Szybist did with holy Mary and the crossing and the separating of herself and the holy mother in that book. I went to catholic school, was raised in the church so I found automatic familiarity with her work. But what I marvel about was how she did not forget the work behind the poetry. Her notes are extensive and I imagine her research was volumes of material that never even made it into the book.

For those of you going to AWP she will be part of the festivities. Get to her reading, and get to her panel. How do you miss the 2013 National Book Award Winner? Here’s a little information on those:

Saturday, April 11
AWP Conference Events in Minneapolis, MN
9:00 am: Panel on Charles Wright at 80: A Celebration of Poetry and Teaching:
Auditorium Room, Level 1
4:30 pm: Reading and Conversation with Linda Hogan and Eric Pankey:
Main Auditorium, Level 1

If you aren’t going, like my poor hiney here are a couple of poems to make you even sadder

 

Hail

Mary who mattered to me, gone or asleep
among fruits, spilled

in ash, in dust, I did not

leave you. Even now I can’t keep from
composing you, limbs & blue cloak

& soft hands. I sleep to the sound

of your name, I say there is no Mary
except the word Mary, no trace

on the dust of my pillowslip. I only

dream of your ankles brushed by dark violets,
of honeybees above you

murmuring into a crown. Antique queen,

the night dreams on: here are the pears
I have washed for you, here the heavy-winged doves,

asleep by the hyacinths. Here I am,

having bathed carefully in the syllables
of your name, in the air and the sea of them, the sharp scent

of their sea foam. What is the matter with me?

Mary, what word, what dust
can I look behind? I carried you a long way

into my mirror, believing you would carry me

back out. Mary, I am still
for you, I am still a numbness for you.

Source: Poetry (November 2008).

 

 

Apology

I didn’t mean to say so much to you.
I should have thought to let the evening end
by looking at the stars subdued

into their antique blue and alabaster hues.
Such looking would have fit with my intent.
I didn’t mean to speak that way to you.

If I could take it back, I’d take it, undo
it, and replace it with the things I meant
to give—not what I let slip (it’s true)

like any pristine star of ornamental hue.
I do not always do what I intend.
I didn’t mean to say so much to you.

It slipped before I saw, before I knew.
Or do we always do what we intend?
Perhaps it’s true and all along I knew

what I was saying—but how I wanted you.
I should have thought to let the evening end.
The placid stars seemed filled and then subdued
by what I did and did not want to do.

From the book Granted

Found on PBS.org 

Day 6 ~ Diane Wakoski

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 9.37.12 AMAnyone who writes a poem entitle, “Dancing on the Grave of a Son-of-a-Bitch” deserves our attention and she wrote that and like poems in her book the The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems, (1971).  But then as years would turn Diane Wakoski wrote more books than I have years, and I found Medea the Sorceress and Jason the Sailor (1991 an 1993 respectfully), which called out to me because of my maddening love of myth, but they are so much deeper than an exploration of myth as we have seen them before.  Not only does she use myth in these books but in writing these poems she creates a myth of her own life.  Most Recently, Diane Wakoski has release Bay of Angels (2013) and this time her base to build these poems are movies and TV.  For those of you that loved Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there’s a poem called “Spike, Not Angel: Imagining Another Spinoff from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and even gives the pilot episode it’s own title “Vampire Ballerina”.  It’s like she has been reading my mind before I was ever born.

I would also like to point out she is a nice lady.  I brought 2 of her books (out of the shelf of books I seem to have of hers) and she signed those and Bay of Angels for me.  And she chatted me up about poker, apparently a new passion of hers, and a game my grandma taught me at 4.  Poets are regular people, folks.  They watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and play poker, that’s what DIane Wakoski taught me.

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Instead of me picking my favorite poems from Diane (which is nearly impossible), I am showing you  a video that Diane has on her own website and I quote from her site “I am always interested in wonderful video interpretations of my poems. Below are some of my favorites. If you create a video using one of my poems, please be sure to send along the link.”  So if you have created a video send it her way.

And now a poem from Diane’s website, that appears in Bay of Angels, and sings to my love of mythology in contemporary situations.

Persephone Steps Off the Elevator
At the 4th Floor

and emerges again onto the adobe walled landing,
the Southern California horizon wide as an avalanche
exposing parrot-wing cerulean, and cobalt
streaking into the molten crown of evening’s still golden
approach.

Returning to light,
even twilight, makes her shadow gasp with
recognition. Here on the 4th floor she seems still
long-haired and trusting, the speckled-blue egg of her
gaze is open to any invitation, as it was before
she became the Queen of Night,
pomegranate-smeared
and cruel.

If only she had not returned,
ascended to this balcony that obscures the long
corridor, on the walls of which hang photos
showing a girl
holding a blue flower; if
only she didn’t have to look
at the radiant sky, its
beauty reminding her of everything she’s either
lost or never had.

In the moment of stepping into light
she does not know,
for the first time,
if beauty is,
or ever can be
enough.

from http://dwakoski.com

Day 4~Nick Cave

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 3.24.29 PMToday’s poet of my choosing isn’t a traditional poet, as in academia may not instantly think of this man as a poet, but I do. I completely do! It is the Australian rocker, Nick Cave. I first heard him baritone voice singing about a “Red Right Hand” at a nightclub in Hollywood that catered to those who like wearing black clothes too much. I was one of those, but I would like to point out gothic, emo, poet, all pretty much have the same dress code. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the musicality of the piece, but it was the fact that I didn’t really find myself as fascinated with the musicality as I did the words. Perhaps that is a poets hazard, words take over tone, and actions because they do become all we care about. I went out and bought every album he had released up to that point. A healthy list that consist of everything from the 2001 No More Shall We Part to the 1984 From Her to Eternity. What I found was a man who loves words.  Here is the opening stanza from Red Right Hand, and just reading it you hear the attention to cadence:

Take a little walk to the edge of town
and go across the tracks
Where the viaduct looms,
like a bird of doom
As it shifts and cracks
Where secrets lie in the border fires,
in the humming wires

Should you not have ever heard of Nick Cave, May I suggest starting with Tender Prey, that features Mercy Seat, Up Jumped the Devil, and Deanna. The Murder Ballads are also pretty mind-blowing (plus there are fabulous duets with the likes of PJ Harvey on that album)

In case that is not enough, Nick Cave has scored soundtracks, written movies, books, and had a documentary about him and the band.  So I do implore you to look into this man’s work.  He has never seen the type of fame in the United States that many other countries have bestowed upon him, and I’m blaming that on the fact that poetry, even when in musical form, needs to be more wildly celebrated.

Today I give you two videos from YouTube, instead of poems.

First “Nobody’s Baby Now”, which I am convinced is an Elegy, but have no proof other than my gut.  It is from the album, Let Love In.

 

From Tender Prey the song, which is really a ballad, “Mercy Seat” about a death row inmate.

Day 3~Kim Addonizio

kim-bar13And what if your mom was this cool? What if your mom was a musician, artist, and poet? Kim Addonizio is not your mom, and she certainly isn’t mine, but I like to think of her as the mother of the current crop of Rock and Roll Poets, as I call them. Her work is edgy, or so academia seems to think, but to me it is as REAL as REAL is when waking up in a bed that’s not yours with a tipped over bottle of vodka that you are damn sure hoping poured out onto the floor and not your mouth. Now that good just be me. But these are my favorite poets.

This is a multi talented writer, who has written not just prize-winning poems, but prize-winning essays. She never stops writing, it would appear with her latest publication being a story collection , The Palace of Allusions in 2014 and now Blues Poems and Portraits (2015)

I came to Addonizio in a back-handed way, a student handed me her book, Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, and I was in love with the ideas she let out and onto me. So then it was to her poetry I ran. It has only been a few years, and still she has become a favorite. Below I give you two of her poems, and urge you to at the very least buy Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within. When I read her poetry I think, if only Anne Sexton were alive to see how far we get to take poetry now, she would be PROUD!
Two of my favorite poems from this poet who knows how to push the edge and sometimes jump right over.

What Do Women Want?

BY KIM ADDONIZIO

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

Kim Addonizio, “What Do Women Want?” from Tell Me. Copyright © 2000 by Kim Addonizio.
found on poets.org, buy the book at www.boaeditions.org.

Source: Tell Me (BOA Editions Ltd., 2000)

IMG_17031

Divine

BY KIM ADDONIZIOOh hell, here’s that dark wood again.
You thought you’d gotten through it—
middle of your life, the ogre turned into a mouse
and heart-stopped, the old hag almost done,
monsters hammered down
into their caves, werewolves outrun.
You’d come out of all that, into a field.
There was one man standing in it.
He held out his arms.
Ping went your iHeart
so you took off all your clothes.
Now there were two of you,
or maybe one, mashed back together
like sandwich halves,
oozing mayonnaise.
You lived on grapes and antidepressants
and the occasional small marinated mammal.
You watched the DVDs that dropped
from the DVD tree. Nothing
was forbidden you, so no worries there.
It rained a lot.
You planted some tomatoes.
Something bad had to happen
because no trouble, no story, so
Fuck you, fine, whatever,
here comes more black trees
hung with sleeping bats
like ugly Christmas ornaments.
Don’t you hate the holidays?
All that giving. All those wind-up
crèches, those fake silver icicles.
If you had a real one you could stab
your undead love through its big
cursed heart. Instead you have a silver noodle
with which you must flay yourself.
Denial of pleasure,
death before death,
alone in the woods with a few bats
unfolding their creaky wings.

—Kim Addonizio

from Best American Poetry 2013

Day 2~Andrew Demcak

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 4.14.42 PMToday I want to profile a man that I consider my friend, Andrew Demcak. I met Andrew (what seems like a million years ago) in college. It was my first day at California State University, Long Beach, and I had signed up for a Creative Writing Poetry class that I had no right to be in. I sat in the corner scared as I watched all these upper classmen come in, and finally just stared down at a blank paper tapping my pen, then Andrew walked in greeting everyone like family members he had not seen in far too long. I looked up and saw hair, wild and spiraling hair, which would take many formations in the time we were in college. Andrew, at that time, I believe was in his 5th year of college, as he decided to take his time, and I was grateful because some of the best times I ever had in college were a direct result of him (particularly when we took Buddhism class together). But what was amazing about Andrew, outside of his hair, was his writing. Even then, sitting in a class with him, I knew he was destined to be a great writer and being his friend was a privilege. Lately he has found his writing leading him to novels, but I want you to see some of his work as a poet.  He does what great poets do, he makes us see images in ways we have not considered, but when he writes them, it is like we should have known all along.  The two poems below are a small fraction of how he will amaze you if you were to pick up his book Night Chant, or any of his books actually.

 

I have picked two that I love below. Enjoy and feel free to friend him on Facebook, or following him on twitter.

 

Threading

Your cancer was trimmed with blue scissors.
You folded like a Parisian rag rug,
a tourist in the sterile, chemo room.
Culled cloth,
 little fugues from fingertips,
tissue patterns issuing from your body.
Radiology, 
loose ends rethreaded.
Stitched with a sash of mango crepe,
costly silk in venous pleats, 
dark yellow.
Your rebirth came as a daffodil cape.

 

Copyright © 2009 Andrew Demcak
All rights reserved
from A Single Hurt Color

 

Stings

Client #15 twitches and sweats. My latest rehab cellmate,
he tells of offering his arm’s white dandelion to any passing
bee. He waits in bloom. Industrial chemicals to needle
into his wilting skin, pollinating him. Miraculous, there he
curls dreaming of that brood chamber: a queen’s poisonous
barb looming over him, weekly visits of waxy syringes and
burnt teaspoons.

 

 

 

You can purchase many of Andrews poetry books on Amazon.
Some are sold out, he’s that amazing!

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