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I’m not afraid of the blood that will pour from his shattered head; I’m not plagued by warmth or nostalgia. He deserves a brutal death. But there is the lingering question over the signs that led me here: I cannot unknow what I read in my cards. Every good teller knows that when you read your own fortune, you fall prey to your own fears and desires—like shadow and light, they throw your vision, flirt with your heart, and spatter the wall with the darker dregs of your mind.

Her pearl handgun that we had to hide, her dead father’s collection of child porn, my baby teeth she tried to throw away. She likes the gargoyle’s bulldog face pressing into her palm. She likes when I tell her how gargoyles scare demons away, even though she knows it many times over. She’s had two exorcisms now, but we don’t like to talk about that. She talks to spirits, but I don’t argue because they say nice things.

Reeves often deploys dislocation as a means toward location, as though the only way to see a broken world is through vision fractured by the brutalities of history and mended, momentarily, by lyric clarity. [. . .] The poem itself, then, becomes the only living body through which we can access a reality so grotesque and inescapably true.

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We are interested in subtle ways to defy comfortable expectations. Our subject matter is also liminal, often featuring characters of uncertain biological identity (blurring the lines between genders and between humans, animals, and machines), or objects caught between two states of being. We create work that is simultaneously repulsive and beautiful, and I use this uncomfortable dichotomy to pull my audience in to the polyphonic narratives embedded in my work.

adamsdarling

For many years, I dreamed mostly in words. Sentences would fall on me like thin sheets of cotton bunting (the dreams had a texture, if not an image). Last night, I was chasing around a name in my dream; I kept trying to solve it like a puzzle.

Potts

From the recently published collection, Trickster (University of Iowa Press), Randall Potts offers some uncanny arithmetic. Math I put 0 and 0 together And arrived at nothing. Nothing was accomplished. I had done it perfectly. I made 0 disappear into 0. I made sure nothing was left. There was no doubt of it.Next, I made 2 into two. It was easy: numbers are words. I made sure nothing was left. I made sure nothing was said. I made sure nothing was written It was getting complicated.My thumb was black with ink. So, everything I touched became itself plus me. Every addition complicated it. Every mark was a number. Every number mocked. I settled on the number one. I refused all manner of addition. I was careful to touch nothing. That’s [...]

 Photo credit: Cedric Terrell   Casualty Notification             The Only News I know / Is Bulletins all Day / From Immortality.             – Emily Dickinson   Switch channels, stop the breaking news, press mute to hush the anchorman’s reviews of war, his litany of each device and bomb gone off today. Silence the price of bread or medicare or gasoline. Make the black pinpoint on the TV screen. Unplug the blackbox from the mouth of the wall. Uncradle the phone so nobody can call. Let the venetian blinds blind everyone to what’s outside—the dead, indifferent sun, the car pulled up along the curb, the vexed men in uniforms looking for next of kin. They bring a check to pay the cost of grieving. Their dark sedan puffs out exhaust. And [...]

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Writing poetry as the spiritual process it’s always been for me.

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I'm interested in relationships that are haunted ... astral bodies that are forever orbiting one another, and forever distant from one another. Their union is haunted by a sky filled with debris and dead stars, the remnants of what once was a burst of light.

I gave in
to the filling

up, the fallen under,
the spiked craving.

The half-tender,
perfect: if.

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I think the other thing is that I want to live a life that feels fully lived; I’ve always believed that the best way to spend our short time on earth as humans is to engage in life as a radical experiment. To do that, you have to be somewhat bold. You have to go toward difficulty and be willing to shift paradigms. You have to be able to come up with creative alternatives to the default choices we’re all primed to make. You have to swim upstream.

The artist suffers to create art. The woman suffers in a world that hates women. The woman artist, then, if she wants to create, suffers a unique violence: a brutalization of the female form that renders the “feminine” the result of sustained violence both figurative and literal. So we see blood-streaked clouds and arteries spewing flour—we find the speaker with scars in her throat from blowing divine light.

Photo credit: Cade Leebron As autumn deepens, poet and essayist Kathryn Rhett meditates on the magnetic forces of inner weather. In Bed I can’t stop talking about the weather. You say not to, and I can’t stop. Did they say it would rain? The white light pours down—I don’t think it will rain, but did they say? I don’t know. It’s eight o’clock in the morning— one child has a fever and another is in a play about death and nobody’s slept. He’s performing all the parts about death, death itself and the one who doesn’t want to die. The rain and the one who waits for what they say— they didn’t call for snow sometimes they’re wrong it’s no wonder with all this change in weather he has a [...]

Nature doesn't simply reflect the moral upheaval associated with brutality and human atrocity: it participates. [. . .] We are . . . [i]nvested in nature only insofar as we are invested in human nature, and what it might give way to.

The past tracks your scent. At your heels
like king’s hounds and hungrier.

This is what comes after massacre.

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Of the Divining and the Dead possesses such delicate thematic coherency of seeking, altering, yet returning to what is most deeply cherished. The journeys in our mind, as facilitated by Razvi’s words, are fantastic -- the colors explode on the page. You see the poems unveil like a fairy tale. The domestic mixes with the untamed, connotes ideas of Darwinism, evolving into a new chapter of believing and becoming.