i would like to recommend these people's writing, poetry mixtape, writing

Poetry mixtape for March 2011

…being the -what? fifth?- in a sporadic series of lists of poems what I found on the internertz and enjoyed the reading thereof…

Agenda at 74 – Hayden Carruth

Tap barometer, burn trash,
put out seed for birds, tap
barometer, go to market
for doughnuts and Dutch
Masters, feed cat, write
President, tap barometer,

I like the way Carruth is taking the piss out of himself here, at the same time as celebrating (or just pointing out, maybe) the inundation of minutiae that comes with everyday life. I’m also a bit of a voyeur, so I enjoy detailed lists like this about other people’s lives.

Scholastic Book Orders – Paige Riehl

Choose two only
two we can
afford. Two
from so many
other worlds,
alternate endings.

I had completely forgotten about the whole book club thing from primary school until Riehl sent me straight back there with her poetry time machine, revisiting the agony of limited choice in early childhood as desire butts up against the harsh financial realities of the adult world. (Can I just take this moment to say thanks to my mum and dad who put away so much of their paypackets to keep me in books and action figures my whole childhood? Thanks. I love you guys.)

To Failure – Christopher Ankney

How I kicked my way out of brotherhood
fights; lifted more than I should to impress
all those beautiful girls who valued me more
as a good listener, because I could repeat back
like a tape recorder, the important phrases.

Ankney explores multiple aspects of failure in detail in this multilayered, multifaceted poem, from career choice to losing in love and letting down your family. Great stuff that rewards multiple readings. The reading of this poem by qarrtsiluni luminary Dave Bonta is a nice bonus.

angel/ – Tara Walker

Michael o Michael o Gabriel o
Gabriel I fish the stars I heard
your drum solo on the garbage
can with only your hands…

A lovely portrait of hobo angels playing garbage-can drums and emerging from their paper-bag coccoons with butterfly wings. At least, that’s what I see in it…

How Simile Works – Albert Goldbarth

The drizzle-slicked cobblestone alleys
of some city;
                        and the brickwork back
of the lumbering Galapagos tortoise
they’d set me astride, at the “petting zoo”….

Really, I’m just a sucker for any kind of “we are all stardust” reference in a poem, and any naked back imagery.

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