TheThe Poetry
≡ Menu

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

This is what comes after massacre.


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.


Our work intentionally destabilizes genre, both in terms of content and media, an intention born out of personal identity as a queer feminists. 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.

The Lost Ark Between their wings, space only for God. The air, charged. Within, only dust. What shall we put in the ark? Nothing, but the tablets. The gold flaked away, baring acacia. The poles broken. We cannot carry it any further. What shall we put in the ark? Nothing, but the testimony. The sand, cemented. The faces, muted with time. Silent. Eyes closed. What shall we put in the ark? Only that which has been commanded. Only that we may listen. Our attention. Our obedience. Our vigilance. What shall we put in the ark? Our ears, our hearts. Nothing, but the testimony. How He speaks and moves. The sound of his laughter. The sound of our cries. His provision. His victory. The walls, fallen. The necks, broken. The hands, [...]

tara shea burke

Provocation and witness is what I strive for; to provoke and to witness is, to me, poetry’s true radical.


Form we desire because it means
the thing has yet to rot.

Build/surround/ yourself with
like relics. Sit. There’s ruin here.

The best invention, morphine.


Fig. 260: A flyer for classes meeting at the fire station. Ladies are welcome to come learn furniture repair. Ladies are welcome to come learn tailoring skills. Ladies are welcome to come learn how to be more in the home. Ladies are welcome to learn, welcome to content themselves with domestic expertise.


    Originally from Kentucky and upstate New York, Trista Dymond moved to Detroit in 2004, where she has steadily evolved her practice, immersed in the ebb and flow of the Motor City. Aesthetically and personally, she is currently invested in observing the art of stillness -- which she often finds in the most unlikely environments, including The Heidelberg Project, where she works as site manager and resident artist.  

THE FOURTH WAVE KISSING PARTY Let’s not invite the whole class; let’s pretend that we are the bosses of the fourth wave. [The Fourth Wave, JoyceAnn McManus would say. In all caps, she would say] and when she is done being the boss of the way words will appear, we’ll kick JoyceAnn out of the waves. When we play pretend, we’ve got on cowboy hats and eucalyptus panties—refreshing!—and go off into the sunset every evening and to the disco every night. [That would be cowgirl hat or cowwoman hat JoyceAnn McManus would say and bucking broncos and steers and the dull-eyed cows she would say not noticing that girl and woman have been left behind for altogether new pronouns JoyceAnn McManus wrings and wrings and wrings her hands] and we [...]

  This is the final part of Joan's essay.      When viewing the poems of Jorie Graham in the Sea Change collection, it’s a little harder to pinpoint place. Graham’s poems have narrators that inhabit more of an internalized physiological place. This is a much different approach than Tretheway’s internalization of place. Graham does not rely on characters influenced, defined or trapped by place. There are few external settings in Graham’s poems. There is also not the hierarchal feeling we get from Hull’s poems or the definite characterization in the sense of place we see with Di Piero.      Graham, instead, has a feeling of total embodiment in her poems as if it is both a foundation and a place of diffusion and dispersal. The narrators inhabit the world around [...]

The Nest By Carl Dennis The omens of fall are out again. We sit in the park with our feet bedded in leaves. The wind widens, The sun grows small, Warnings that friends should band together For joint defenses before the end. Now it seems foolish for anyone To grow cold alone. You want me to turn and notice you But I look inside. There I can see bare branches With a single bird Peering out at the litter of fall. He has built his nest too high in the tree Or too small. This poem, like all Dennis poems, has a simple surface but a lurking depth. Its title, right off, tells us there is a bird involved, or at least the evidence of a bird. Birds in poetic [...]


She stood in the window-
frame rolling
down her stockings
She stood
rolling down her stockings
She stood in the the window-frame
her foot on the ledge of windowsill
raised and rolling down
her stockings
pale against the pale light
pale rolling down her stockings


"Piazza deconstructs and reassembles her words as she moves—through a relationship, through the world, and through the structure of the sonnet, her vehicle of choice. This is a form that has persisted through the ages: a challenge, a teacher, and a unit of meaning that even modern curricula are obliged to include. Piazza helps us understand this sustained appeal by taking the sonnet beyond an exercise, homage, or twist on tradition; her work reminds us how condensed this form is, how direct. Most of all, Interrobang celebrates—albeit rather darkly—the ability of the sonnet to turn, not only on itself, but on its subjects, its readers, and often, on its respective writer."


  Lorien was born in Southern California, where she currently resides. She spent twenty years living in New Orleans in between, and plans to return soon. Her work includes small assemblages made from found objects, Haitian art-inspired sequined bottles and flags, and recently, vessels covered in beads. Her love for detail, texture, and Spirit shines forth from each piece, and offers the beholder a glimpse into another world.

Jill McKenna Reed

________________________________________________________________ Jill McKenna Reed is a poet, writing instructor, and beekeeper living in Portland, Oregon. She is co-editor of "Winged: New Writing on Bees," an anthology of modern literary writing, forthcoming in October of 2014. Jill earned her MFA in Creative Writing Poetry at Portland State University. She is a native of the Chicago area.

linda hull collected poems

  This is part two of Joan's essay. Part three  will be posted on Thursday, October 23rd.      When we look at the poetry of Lynda Hull, her poems seem to combine the backdrop of Di Piero and the internalization of Tretheway in her Collected Poems. And while the early poems are heavily textured, it’s easy to see, not only a change of perspective, but also a depth that developed in the poems written just before her death.      In the introduction to Collected Poems, Komunyakaa stated: “Hull’s poetry creates tension through what the reader believes he or she knows; it juxtaposes moments that allude to public history alongside private knowledge. Thus, each poem challenges and coaxes the reader into an act of participation ... Measured experience informs these poems.” [...]