Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, concludes today with poetry from Sandra Doller. Thanks so much to all the editors and poets who contributed to the anthology and the feature — it’s been a lot of fun for us to read. You can purchase the anthology here.
what did you capture
what did you land on
here’s one—I’ve got one
spiral jetty on the
what did you see
what I saw what I
fanned myself I shared
a moment of fanning
I told myself fall down
I said to fall down is
to be forgotten
is to be lonely on the
I have never used
this word this pen
write the soundtrack sound tack
spread it out and try to
move forward only
1 inch try to stop
yourself from this side
run around a downside
an email is being
sent a hardness
how do they know?
-what is an
-where did she go?
-what was her name again?
-why are we here?
-will you share it?
-why is the floor stomping?
-what about that?
-fire under water
-unhappy ice cream
where are you now?
what was that wave?
what sound does the foot
make on the
only questions I have
are where why
when I woke up I
so wake me up
did you just lift your foot?
did you just ask me to dance?
can you write and listen?
what happens without
what are you afraid of?
I doubted it—I didn’t
I told you I didn’t
what just happened here?
what did you say?
what was on your foot?
why were you standing
is this how you feel?
is it over?
what is your focus?
a distraction a diversion
a Sandra a
they’re saying my name
I can’t focus without my
once my name is
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we have new work from Carrie Olivia Adams. You can purchase the anthology here.
from Daughter of a Tree Farm
A widow, belonging by fire. A beehive’s swarm of bees attacking a bear, made small. Finishing schools to earn the well-known favorite honor of departure. A peeress, a remarkable beauty against her will, to liaison the leaves. She lived for the remainder in the village buried near the church in the sight of God, the view of man, took part in the battle.
A body that medicine has given up, refuses to diagnose. I finished, I cried, separated. In mathematics, I soon forgot the mark at hearing the heroines myself. It was so windy there. Our family had not seen our way back. Almost daily, handed a proposal of struggle. How else to combat the farm’s idleness? The itch of still. I did not think it was possible. It goes on like this. I shall go and tell everything or shoot. Life had passed. The force of the need. Fate and activity began to consider their origin but did not like to be called in. I remember how to listen to anything new. We lived a recall that passed us by; we followed nothing. I desired nothing else but to develop as though they were living. I had no other proof.
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we’re happy to print a new poem from Randall Mann. You can purchase the anthology here.
Remember the shake-the-salad days of Dragnet
reruns, spray and starch, and that pint-sized fridge?
Tenderloin Heights? The Earth Muffin magnet?
You stalked me on the Carquinez Bridge,
little Pinto; I asked you in to look at my iguana.
You stayed. You smelled like an arcade.
When I threatened to leave you for Guyana,
you swam all up in my Kool-Aid.
Even our losses felt relatively glam:
crullers, snap-on ties. Shadow gloves.
Your pair of black Zodiac-Killer glasses.
A lot of meat, but not a lot of money, like Spam.
And our vinyl wedding, which ended when doves
shot “A Blessing in Disguise” out of their rented asses.
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we’re happy to print a new poem from Steve Healey. You can purchase the anthology here.
6:05 pm on a Wednesday
This is what a bridge looks like.
This is a bridge crossing a river on a planet
orbiting a sun. This is a structure
providing passage over a physical obstacle
such as a river on a planet once upon
a time. What being in a vehicle
crossing a bridge looks like upon a time.
This is a vehicle that looks like
many vehicles shiny in the light
of the sun, moving across a structure
that looks like a perfect horizontal strip
of land across nothing but air.
This is a person who once upon
a 6:04 pm on a Wednesday in August
thinks nothing about what gravity
looks like at one-hundred-and-fifteen feet
above an actual river. What people
look like in vehicles wearing sunglasses,
remembering a chicken salad sandwich
for lunch, listening to news about
a war happening somewhere,
people who are killing other people.
This is in fact what a bridge seen
by a security camera on a Wednesday
in August at 6:04 pm, the shiny vehicles,
the planet turning away from the sun,
the sun falling in the sky a little more
toward evening, looks like.
In fact, the bridge begins to fall
at 6:05 pm. It drops quickly, in fact,
under the force of gravity. In fact,
this is what one-hundred-and-fifteen feet
looks like. The bridge and the vehicles
on the bridge and the people
in the vehicles and the sunglasses
on the people. This is what falling
looks like. This is what afraid.
This is what my God. This is what
no bridge, in fact. The absence of bridge.
Once upon a time, in fact. What
nothing looks like. This is absence
seen by a security camera at 6:06 pm
on a Wednesday. What,
in fact. In fact, this.
Note: This poem was commissioned by the city of Minneapolis and published by Rain Taxi Review of Books in a limited-edition poetry collection marking the 5th anniversary of the I 35 W bridge collapse.
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we’re happy to print a new poem from Kyle Dargan. You can purchase the anthology here.
If my heart would only mimic
David Blaine more than Houdini—
suffering in place for excruciating,
short spells instead of shocking
audiences with escapes.
Endurance is not magic,
sadly. Imagine ever-lasting
love as a simple chant—arcane
language that will fuse souls
given proper enunciation.
Or am I thinking of sorcery?
(A wizard might wand your lips
into Japanese hornets for calling him
a magician.) Either way,
I admire David Blaine
for the same reasons many
think him a charlatan—
he is just a man, one who’ll risk
standing within the caging ice
of human limitation until
his nerves numb or he forgets
to sink back into consciousness.
My heart thinks too much,
sees opening as an illusion
masking constraint. It fidgets,
tucks and rocks with the same
passion that it once slipped within
the straightjacket’s long arms.
Free, my heart rises from the body’s
river of blood. Along the banks,
men extend their palms to collect
from all the fools who bet against.
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week and next with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. Today we have two short poems from Eric Baus. You can purchase the anthology here.
The agrarian century absorbed me into a horse. I was busy being a
parable in a film about stormlessness. We wore a pair of grass
glands. We watched the sun give birth to a lamp. We knelt to bury
our glass in the sand.
The Recessive Sea
The accident exposed a tiny song when the floating wires
grounded. The protozoan organ played an undetected tone.
The tranquilized tongue woke up in a cell. The trees blurred
into a seed.
Our feature of Rescue Press’ new anthology of contemporary poetry, The New Census, continues this week and next with new poetry by contributors to the anthology. We continue today with a poem by Darcie Dennigan. You can purchase the anthology here.
All poems should bear the title “Reasons for Living Happily…” …That was what X, the retired exterminator, quoted to me one night when we were… moving… from one warehouse to the next… crates… for… the Resistance… The Resistance… We all… I… worked undercover… toward… for… whatever the daily email… urged… Till the night… while emptying the sea back into a sack… the police got… At the trial months later… I drew Magistrate Beverly… it was information he was after… The Magistrate sat on the pulpit… stroking his pet beaver… Tell me he said… What the Resistance is against… I told him… I went right ahead…! Four times I said conglomerate… I got very specific… for instance…! … for instance…! for instance…! But perhaps broad strokes would… So I said We are against… everything… but at the same time we love the whole thing… We are against… the fat white men snoring… But not all of them… no… yes… All of them… But… during… Magistrate Beverly had fallen… the magistrate was sleeping… Now awoken… Now again beaver stroking… Will the court stenographer please read back the testimony…? Yes Your Honor The Resistance is against Alzheimer’s charity whales and the Ottoman Empire… How extraordinary… The courtroom denizens were all smiling… congratulating… What a machine… What a… They… they… could mishear anything… And their smiling… their smiling… I was about to say they smiled from ear to ear… but no… they… from hair to hair… They had no ears…
And… I now noticed… the magistrate’s beaver… had no testicles…
Upon my release… they gave me a smile… and a Popsicle… Back home I tried to write a poem… about… their smiling… “Reasons for Living Blithely…” I copied it 100 hundred times… on my at-home copy machine… taped the copies to the walls of my bedroom… Smiles from lair to lair… I lay there… beneath the poems… in bed… I stroked the pet rat with my left hand… the sleeping child with my right… We in the Resistance had to keep working… till no one living was… young… or young enough… to believe in reasons…