Poetry Mixtape for June 2011

Being the 8th in an itinerant series of lists of poetry that I found online and brought home to love and hug and call George…

Leeches – MC Allan

Now we begin to introduce
Mr. James Montgomery of Newton, Mass.,
to Mr. Tomas Krakowski of Houston, Tex.,
only Mr. Krakowski is dead.

A poem about contemporary medical science that sounds so odd (the science, not the poem) that I had to indulge in a spot of “surely not” googling only to be told “indeed so”. “Science is just magic / with more bar graphs,” says Ms. Allan, and I swoon.

Binaries – Cate Kennedy

It’s basically a series of binaries, he says,
permutations of zero and one
so the data may be stored as, say,

A video interpretation of Kennedy’s poem, which cleverly connects knitting and the internet without the aid of hipsters. Although the person who made the video may be a hipster – they use YouTube, don’t they? Hipsters?

Globus Hystericus – Timothy Donnelly

…The snailsdeath refers to the average length of time,
about 43 seconds, elapsing between the loss of the first
snail to toxic waters and the loss of the next, roughly
equivalent to the pause between swallows in a human
throat, while the adverb here refers to my person
and all its outskirts, beginning on the so-called cellular
level extending more of less undaunted all the way down
to the vale at the foot of the bed. …
Dude, this guy’s created his own unit of time in this poem. Which is awesome. Not content with this, however, Donnelly also regales us with theories about paranormal possession of inanimate objects; history’s last two cream-filled cakes; the broad, black-green, waxy leaves of Mesoamerica; and a Gilgamesh reference. More swooning from yours truly!

Innuendi – Anthony Madrid

Aren’t pronouns just nouns. Why do we have a special category for that. I see no warrant for the category. “He walked into the room” versus “Dad walked into the room.” Don’t tell me a pronoun “takes the place” of a noun. What does that even mean.

Like Starlings‘s shtick is to pair up two poets and get them to write poems in response to each other. In this six-prose-poem sequence, part of a larger call-and-response between Madrid and Jeffrey Pethybridge, Madrid picks a fight with pronouns, stanzas, abstract poetry and lust, among others. Good, smart, funny stuff.

John Ashbery – …by an earthquake

A hears by chance a familiar name, and the name solves a
    riddle of the past.
B, in love with A, receives an unsigned letter in which the
    writer states that she is the mistress of A and begs B not
    to take him away from her.
B, compelled by circumstances to be a companion of A in an
    isolated place, alters her rosy views of love and marriage
    when she discovers, through A, the selfishness of men.

Originally published in the Paris Review in 1995 (and now gloriously online due to the Review‘s canonisable decision to make everything they published ever available for free), Mr. Ashbery’s romp reads like the weekly synopses of some so-terrible-it’s-unmissable never-made UK murder mystery show (Midsomer Murders via Xavier: Renegade Angel), now with 10% extra hilarity.

Matthew Zapruder – Letter to a Lover

Today I am going to pick you up at the beige airport.
My heart feels like a field of calves in the sun.
My heart is wired directly to the power source of mediocre songs.
I am trying to catch a ray of sunlight in my mouth.

Aw. Just – aw.


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
One comment on “Poetry Mixtape for June 2011
  1. Hey Adam,
    Matthew’s poem is just hilarious – it captures totally the stupid things we do and say when we’re in love. Loved it.
    Came across this page ’cause I was Googling Cate’s ‘Binaries’ – truly beautiful – both the poem and the animation. I’m picking her up on Friday for a trip to Katherine town!
    Best, Sandra.

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Quelle Grammage!
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