Poetry mixtape for February 2010

Being the second in a series of lists of poems I found online that I have rather enjoyed:

the germ the germ – david prater

…death i have a life inside meh (born i have
a seed inside meh (tree i have a leaf inside

meh (air i have a girl inside meh (oh i have
a heart inside meh (boom i have two germs…

It’s simple yet hypnotic in structure with a seductive, driving rhythm,  and the nifty little watch-this-space switcheroo word-match game that Prater plays with “The Germ The Germ” makes this one a poem to read over and over again.

the fifth string – dave bonta

December 28th, 2009
It had been a drifter,
getting by on odd jobs:
guy wire for a weathervane,
the main spring in the crouch of a cat,
a corn broom’s binding cord…

This my favourite of Dave Bonta’s suite of whimsical and thoughtful poems about banjos, which he has been publishing and podcasting about on his excellent via negativa blog. They have a lovely folk-tale feel to them, a sense of the kind of story that is handed down from generation to generation from grandfather to grandchild around a campfire. “The Fifth String” is a banjo creation myth, something I didn’t know had been missing from my life until I read it.

She Who Misunderstood Love – Bill Yarrow

Once in a fit of pique, she poured
vinegar on the anniversary roses
which withered in his seeing. In
retribution, he became incontinent…

I don’t know what it says about me that I have a real soft spot for well-written anti-love poems, but I do.

Davenport – Patty Seyburn

…My husband sold shoes. Four on the floor, he taught me: you should be presented with choices, and the shoe-dog should be kneeling like a prince. I invented the last part. Princes don’t work in retail though it would help the aristocracy if trained to do something useful…

I think Patty Seyburn might be my new favourite poet. She’s got a wonderful give-a-fuck sassiness, a great eye for detail and a deft way with the kind of tangential stream-of-consciousness writing that suits the prose poem form so well. Extra points for the phrases “shoe-dog” and “Four on the floor”.

Dark Energy – A’Dora Phillips

…They’re experimenting with going in at the molecular level and rearranging atoms. That means they’ll be able to transform matter at the subatomic level. What is toxic today will be safe tomorrow — garbage, nuclear waste, cancer. . . It’s just a matter of time and the homeless woman who rides the F Train and looks thinner and more ragged every time I see her will be whole…

This is listed on elimae as an essay, but I’m going to claim it anyway as a prose poem for this month’s mixtape. I’m a sucker for science in poetry and also the phrase “dark energy” (“dark matter” works too, as does “black hole”), and the way that this poem/essay jumps at about the two-thirds mark from the molecular level to the human condition is just simply delightful.


Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in i would like to recommend these people's writing, poems, poetry mixtape
4 comments on “Poetry mixtape for February 2010
  1. Dave Bonta says:

    Thanks so much for the inclusion and your kind words about “The Fifth String.”

  2. Adam Ford says:

    you’re welcome, dave – i really like all of your banjo poems. it’s a great idea for a theme.

  3. Bill Yarrow says:


    Thanks for including my poem in your poetry mixtape. That’s a neat idea for a blog. I like that you include brief commentaries. Keep going with it!


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