Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Galway Kinnell's Little Sleep's-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight

“To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.” — Galway Kinnell (1927-2014)
    You scream, waking from a nightmare.

    When I sleepwalk
    into your room, and pick you up,
    and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to me
    as if clinging could save us. I think
    you think
    I will never die, I think I exude
    to you the permanence of smoke or stars,
    even as
    my broken arms heal themselves around you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Seeker of Truth Mural in Chicago Remembers James Foley

Life is often forgotten beyond the headlines. A nation recoiled in horror with the murder of journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 and introduced a new word into our collective vocabulary — ISIS.

James' friends in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago sought to remind us and console each other that James was more than a statistic. More than a journalist.

James Foley was a poet, a drummer, a hip-hop performer, an educator and ironically enough an anti-war activist. He may have been born in Evanston and raised in New Hampshire but James Foley had called Pilsen home.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Chapbook — Picasso’s Guitar

Picasso's Guitar

Picasso’s Guitar is disassembled
and rebuilt on canvas
when figs are sugared and
clustered in the heavens
and the studio is silent;

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Woman Alone with Her Soul

A woman
is sitting alone
in a house.

She knows she is alone
in the whole world:
every other living thing
is dead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soledad Mexicana

Y soy un extraño sin felicidad
caminando las calles de México
Mis amigos, se me han muerto,
mis amantes desaparecieron,
mis putas fueron proscriptas,
mi cama apedreada y sacudida
por los terremotos y no tengo
hierba santa para volarme a la luz
de las velas

Monday, October 20, 2014

Openness — Love

Free flowing, like a clear mountain stream,
tumbling down unobstructed.
Open wide, like the arms of a tree,
to the heavens above.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rain Dance

It's nice to enjoy
What you are doing for a chance,
My very own new rain dance.

Bright lightning night.
Rolling thunder now.
Knowing my own answers, somehow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Be not Defeated by the Rain

Be not defeated by the rain, Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of summer.

Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 National Book Award Poetry Finalists Announced

The shortlists for the National Book Awards were announced today and the finalists for the poetry award are: Louise Glück; Fanny Howe; Maureen N. McLane; Fred Moten and; Claudia Rankine. Robert Polito, President of the Poetry Foundation, heads a panel of five judges who will decide this year's honoree.

Library Walk: The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

"Writing your name can lead to writing sentences. And the next thing you'll be doing is writing paragraphs, and then books. And then you'll be in as much trouble as I am." So speaks the titular character in Robert Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence's The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.

The two-act play debuted at their alma mater during the height of the Viet Nam War in 1969 and was one of the most popular college productions of the time appearing on campuses coast-to-coast.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Chapbook — Pangea

We, in bed,
are an early Earth;
the Africa of me
is fitted to
the Americas of you.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Harvest Time

Pillowed and hushed on the silent plain,
Wrapped in her mantle of golden grain,

Wearied of pleasuring weeks away,
Summer is lying asleep today —

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Poem That Speaks Your Name

There was a poem that spoke your name
I read it in another tongue
Reciting words before we fell into bed
laughing at my clumsy attempt
to be an overseas romantic
to be something more

Friday, October 10, 2014

Poet Blanca Segura Reflects on Vibrancy of Peruvian Poetry

It has been said that to find the soul of a country you must seek out its poets. When the Bar None Group arrived in Peru we put out a call for the poets — the soul — of Peru. Blanca Segura of the Grupo Parasomnia — a collective of poets from Lima — answered our call.

Blanca's first volume of poetry, La Brutalidad de Los hechos was published in 2011. Her poetry also appears in the Grupo Parasomnia's 2013 anthology of poetry, Al otro lado del verso. She is also the creator of an online multimedia poetry experience called Mis hombres y yo.

We put Blanca behind the proverbial eight-ball and asked her to answer eight questions as to the vibrancy of Peruvian poetry yesterday, today and tomorrow and where her own poetic journey will take her.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pictures of You

The first poem I wrote you
was just etched in my memory
depending on the circumstance
or wherever I was, thinking of you.

It was then transcribed
on the back of a napkin
where it changed some more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Excerpt of Roberto Bolaño's Prosa del otoño en Gerona

“This could be hell for me.”
The kaleidoscope shifts
with the serenity and boredom of each day.
For her, in the end, there was no hell...
She simply avoided living here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another Tequila Sunrise

A yellow/orange tinge slowly stains
the hard edge of darkness
and dissolves into day.
18th St. awakens to a jumble
of color and sound.
Bi-lingual signs hawk tequila, menudo and a miracle or two.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just a Date with Chicago Slam Poet Eric Sirota

Chicago slam poet extraordinaire Eric "MC Rota" Sirota is co-headlining the Words That Kill open mic and variety showcase at Multikulti tomorrow night, Thursday October 2, 2014.

Hosted by the Lethal Poetry Collective the monthly slams are an opportunity for Chicago area poets, musicians, storytellers, rappers and comics to flex their creative muscles in front of an enthusiastic audience.

Eric is a Chicago poet and rapper who has represented Chicago at three different venues in three consecutive years at the National Poetry Slam. He was Mental Graffiti's 2013 Grand Slam Champ and Lethal Poetry's 2014 Grand Slam Champ.

To give you a flavor for this event, this date, we share with you Eric's poem, Just a Date.