Posts Tagged: poetry

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Mirror Neurons: Interview with Nuar Alsadir

 

Indiana Review is accepting submissions to the Poetry Prize until March 31, 2019. Final judge Nuar Alsadir will select a winner to receive $1000 and publication. Hannah Kesling, our current Poetry Editor, chats with her about the genre, empathy, unconventional ways of “finding” poems. Listen to some of Alsadir’s work here: https://vimeo.com/283671638.

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Poetry Feature: “Loblolly Pine in a Field of Hollyhocks” By Vievee Francis

 

Loblolly Pine in a Field of Hollyhock

There is sweetness, oh yes, there is, like a thin pistil of honeysuckle
gone almost as soon as it’s sucked, like lips pursed just so, like a needled pine
with blossoms at its feet and far afield, and the slobbering bees bobbing punch-drunk.
So sweet, to inhale the late afternoon and the slight damp, hint of dew, or the rain
to come, like the rough lick of animals, a whistle, a rude joke in the ear,
trill of dying cicadas, a mouth of sour mead in the quickening day. Dear,
but not innocent, not the purity of some child, no virgin’s fount—no,
sweetness like joy must emerge from soil, from the torn fruit grown ripe
to bitter, not the penitent’s vision, nor the onanistic ecstasy of a lonely saint,
but the sweetness found in a stain of wine, or the cloy of blood soup, thickening as it cools.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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