Posts Categorized: Poetry

Poetry Feature: “Patrón” by Oliver Bendorf

 

Patrón

Patrón skips
chemistry
to teach his mother
how to dance.

They tumble
along balance bars
while her pearled
dreams drip
to the floor.

They dance
underwater
in a room
of salty tears.

All the better
to dip you with
he says.

Patrón
she says
how you give.

Some floors
are better made
for grief.

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Mother he says
I’d prefer
to grow up
diagonal.

She sets a bowl
of tomato soup
in front of him
while he
polishes his shoes.

+

I am waiting
patiently
Patrón informed
a snowdrift.

December
and he’s learned
to dip cookies
one by one
in a cauldron
of chocolate.

Between his
fingers he lets
sprinkles fall
in the shape
of how his
voice used to
sound when
he laughed.

Read more…

Out of Easy Reach Exhibit & Ekphrastic Reading

 

OOER booklet_IR Irvin Edits

 

ABEGUNDE is a healer and ancestral priest in the Yoruba Orisa (O-REE-SHAH) tradition. Excerpts from her current work, Learning to Eat the Dead​, about visiting Juba, South Sudan, were selected as a COG poetry finalist by US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. She is a Cave Canem, Ragdale, Sacatar, and NEH fellow. She is the founding director of The Graduate Mentoring Center and a visiting lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies.

L. RENÉE is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. She is a first-year MFA candidate at Indiana University. Her poetry often explores how trauma – its physical, historical and emotional wounds – shapes the way we see and speak to ourselves and others. She also writes about Black family narratives, including what is passed down, what is lost to history and how imagination acts as a stand-in for what we’ll never know. She has previously worked as a staff reporter at the Chicago Tribune and Newsday, covering breaking news, crime, local government, arts and entertainment.

A. BOWDEN is a conceptual artist living in Bloomington, IN. They believe in small towns, liminal states, and intention as form.

JOANN QUIÑONES both a writer and a visual artist who juxtaposes objects for the home with the archival, in order to ask the viewer to think about how narratives of the domestic, family, and womanhood are complicated by a history of slavery, stolen labor, and racism in the U.S. She focuses on those moments of conflict and intimacy that bring us joy and pain, and those circumstances we inadvertently find ourselves in, due to our histories. My work is an invitation to remember, examine, and engage in meaningful dialogue.

 

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Poetry Feature: “Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me” by Traci Brimhall

Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me

You used to recite the parts of my body like psalms.

I should have known when you started to kiss

with your eyes closed that your mouth would ruin us.

 

And I should have known when you slipped belladonna

in my buttonholes, when you started to bring me empty boxes,

when I found her dog asleep under our house.

 

She told me about someone she’d been sleeping with, and the someone

was you. At first, I didn’t tell you I knew. I came home,

and you were slicing rhubarb

 

and strawberries. You put sugared hands on my neck

and kissed my forehead.No, it happened like this.

When you fucked me, I could feel

 

how much you hated me. And you came. And I came twice. You stayed

on top of me and softened inside me as you kissed

my shoulders. I stayed awake to watch

 

you sleep and thought about the stories your parents told about you.

The wildfire you started. How you broke your mother’s birdhouses.

How your father paid you to kill bats,

 

a dollar a body. Last summer you let me watch.

As you waited with a racket, timber wolves announced

the moon, bats crept out of the attic.

 

The soft pulp of their bodies struck the house. Your father swatted

your back, handed you five bucks, and I went to pick up

the bats. One still shuddered

 

against the cinderblock. I should have left, but I didn’t. I crushed

its head with a rock and tossed it into the woods and went inside

and washed my hands and lied to you.

Read more…

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40.1 SNEAK PEEK: AMERICA by NOMI STONE

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Nomi Stone’s second collection of poems, Kill Class, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019. Poems appear recently or will soon in The New Republic, The New England Review, Tin House, Bettering American Poetry 2017, The Best American Poetry 2016, Guernica, and elsewhere. Kill Class is based on two years of fieldwork she conducted within war trainings in mock Middle Eastern villages erected by the U.S. military across America.