Poetry mixtape for September 2010

Being the fifth in a series of lists of poems what I found on the webinator and liked muchly enough to share with those who would listen:

Separation – Ron Hardy

Steam from a bowl of oatmeal rises,
dimming the party hat mountain.
The plunger falls in the dark waters,
settling on the murky grounds.
Something orange, something wrinkled,
something sprinkled, something soft.

This is by far the most tenderly romantic breakfast I have ever vicariously experienced. No – I’m okay, I’ve just got a bit of oatmeal steam in my eye…

Cleave – Jeanann Verlee

He plopped it down like a mound of bad pudding
but it settled upright, a proud cupcake,
skin still prickling like gooseflesh…

This is a short poem, but man does it go places. From its abrupt and jarring first line it moves from absurdist cupcake metaphors to fumbling schoolyard sexuality via the physicality of flesh, blurring the line between physical violence and plastic surgery while maintaining a balance between cuteness that never becomes cliched, and anger that never becomes self-righteous.

Secessionist – Andy Jackson

I feel a breath at my neck and wake. A dream
only a stranger’s brain could make jolts me back
into my body. Who else roams these bones?

“Secessionist” is an amazing and thorough exploration of human duality. It applies equally well to considerations of public vs. the private persona as it does to more literal interpretations regarding mental illness. You’re never sure which of the poem’s two characters is the dominant personality, or which is meant to be – they flow in and out of each other to create a swirling sense of uncertainty that is genuinely palpable.

Unsummoned – Hannah Stephenson

…Almost none of experience needs / your consent…

Biology, astronomy and philosophy all wrapped up in a neat little package. Powerful stuff.

Don’t Marry a Rich Woman – Taras Shevchenko

Don’t marry a rich woman,
She will cast you out of the house,
Don’t marry a poor woman,
For you shall have no sleep.

A nice bit of bleak 19th-Century Ukranian poetry to end with. I know Mr. Shevchenko probably didn’t intend such a reaction, but this poem just makes me want to give him a big bearhug. Is it wrong that the first line makes me think of Hall & Oates’s “Rich Girl”? Probably.

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About

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, poetry mixtape
4 comments on “Poetry mixtape for September 2010
  1. Lyrian says:

    ‘Separation’ and ‘Unsummoned’ = wow. Love your work.

  2. gnunn says:

    A mighty fine mixtape Adam. That Andy Jackson poem is one of my favourites at the moment.

  3. Thank you so much, Adam, for including me here! And thanks for the kind words, Lyrian!

  4. Andy Jackson says:

    I’d heard from a friend of mine that I’d cropped up here. You clearly have your followers too. & Thanks. Always a beautiful thing when someone identifies themes and tones in your writing that are almost semi-unconscious.

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About Adam

I'm a dad and the author of the poetry collections The Third Fruit is a Bird and Not Quite the Man for the Job, the novel Man Bites Dog and the short story collection Heroes and Civilians.
contact: adamatsya@gmail.com
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