Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee: "Tightrope," and a Flood of Poetry

[Janelle Monae, "Tightrope," featuring Big Boi, 2009: "The Palace of the Dogs Asylum-- Dancing has long been forbidden for its subversive effects on the residents and its tendency to lead to illegal magical practices."]

Fogged in this morning...a lone Robin singing down below, calling out perhaps for a mate who cannot find him in the greyness...

Listening to the stylish, interstitial Janelle Morae. (Thanks to N.K. Jemisin's Facebook reference!) Her musical mini-dramas feel like Calvino or Cortazar-- "Many Moons" might be Philip K. Dick crossed with Kara Walker. If you like Grace Jones, David Bowie, Bjork, Outkast, Prince, you'll like Morae.

In honor of National Poetry Month, the lobster and the canary suggest these from among recent publications:

Sonya Taaffe, "Idle Thoughts While Watching a Faun," (March 29, 2010 in Strange Horizons). It opens this way (click here for the rest):

"He should be ice in a northern garden,
a moss-flanked marble whose fingers cling
as stilly to his flute-stops as last night's rain
between the bowing heads of roses,
sheltered forever by a symbolist's afternoon
from November and the winter's stripping chill,
yet here he lounges in an abstract of boxwood
and holly, under a slate-lid sky,
the black of his pelt like the soft lees of Setinum,
his horns as sweetly whorled as pinecones,
a gold annealing in the slots of his eyes."

J.C. Runolfson, "Phineas Gage Blinks For Eternity," in Goblin Fruit (Winter, 2010). Click here for the rest, if you like this beginning:

"After the iron,
the fire.

Saw it coming, that eye, peripheral,
too quick for the man himself to know,
but the eye saw, told the brain,
and the iron drove straight through.

The eye and the brain kept their secrets."

Diane Gage, "Sign Language, in Perigee (vol. 7, issue 3). Canary likes this excerpt-- for the entire poem click here.

"This is one of those
the kind told in riddles
and slivers of old bone
in some quiet room
off the main road"

Rachel Swirsky, "Mundane," in Ideomancer (in its lovely new format!, Feb. 18, 2010; vol. 9, issue 1). Click here for the entire poem.

"Our exploration limps, inert
and monotonous. We fill empty hours
imagining mirages that sparkle bright
beneath dim stars. We approach each
to measure and retreat, disappointed
as potential vanishes to dark."

Erika Lutzner, "The Great Mother Has No Face," in eclectica (Jan./Feb., 2010). Here it starts (click here for the rest).

"Do you believe in rebirth?
the goat asked the stone as they lay
by the river taking in the noonday heat"

Lynne Thompson, "Lament: I am Implication-," in Rattle, originally issue # 23, summer 2005, posted on Rattle's great new e-version, April 1, 2010. Click here for more.

"an afterthought,
meat gone rancid,
Anna Karenina in blue hose,

Every need I’ve declined to marry
has failed me: moonrise and the milksops

I would have loved. Every daughter
who could have been my revenge."

Gwendolyn Clare, "Uttu's Garden," in Abyss & Apex (Issue 33, First Quarter, 2010). For the full poem, click here.

"The hummingbirds return each year
on Mother's Day, knowing how their thirsty industry
is a gift to her. The only gift
she receives, but it is enough..."

Lobster closes today with a bit of a poem not recent but this week Web-posted: "quilting" by the late Lucille Clifton, first published in 1991, now poem of the week at Cave Canem:

"somewhere in the unknown world
a yellow eyed woman
sits with her daughter

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