If you’re reading this, thanks for checking out the last vintage post of 2014! It’s been a lot of fun, so to conclude a year’s worth of posts we have a great interactive work on themes of change and passing time, entitled “Thirty Days of Rain.” Travis Alber’s piece consists of 30 different animated haiku, each one a part of the narrator’s story of leaving San Francisco. It appeared previously in DB 9, Winter 2007-2008.
“Echos of birthdays
& my Friends
All dance through this room”
Travis Alber works as an independent digital artist in New York City. On top of that, she is also a co-founder and president of a social reading service, ReadSocial, that allows groups to enjoy reading books together. She has worked in web design, advertising, online training and education, and has consulted for several publishing entities. To see her latest and greatest, visit her website at ThisIsTravis.com
The 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis is just around the corner, and Drunken Boat always looks forward to participating in this important annual gathering. Mark your calendars! Drunken Boat will be hosting an off-site AWP reading at Honey (205 E. Hennepin Ave.) on April 9th.
• Drunken Boat: Laura McCullough, Alvin Pang, L.S. Klatt, Diana Thow
• Ahsahta Press: Kathleen Jesme, David Bartone, Stephanie Strickland
• Les Figues: Chris Tysh, Melissa Buzzeo, Sawako Nakayasu
• Ugly Duckling Presse: Phil Cordelli, Lilly Brown, Michael Ruby
Thanks to Baltazar Chavez for being the audio engineer during the event.
Welcome to another lovely Throwback Thursday. Today’s vintage selection is a short poem by Jessy Randall that appeared way back in DB 6, Spring 2004. While it may have to do with pregnancy, “The Feeling of the Baby” is about much more than that– give it a look and you’ll discover some very interesting food for thought.
no gender except in German.
Even in German it is a das, an es –
not female or male, not yet.”
Jessy Randall is a very active writer of both poetry and fiction and has published nearly ten chapbooks and one young adult novel. She works as the curator of Special Collections at Colorado College and enjoys giving readings and leading workshops whenever the opportunity arises. See what work she’s published recently on her webpage.
Drunken Boat’s very own Matthew Hamilton reviews Kristina Marie Darling’s Requited.
Imagine coming home one day and finding out that your wife packed all her belongings, and the only thing left of hers was a note, laying there like a cold memory, that read, “I’m not happy anymore. Take care.” Imagine an empty space where the word Love should have been above her signature. Imagine scratching your head as you struggle to understand why this has happened to you. Imagine your emotions freezing inside of you like an impatient winter storm.
For me, Kristina Marie Darling’s poetry collection, Requited, could not have come at a better time. As someone recently going through a divorce, after reading this collection, I feel confident saying that I understand the frozen space of a damaged heart, of an experience so hurtful it often leaves me reeling in angst with every thought I have of my soon to be ex-wife from the moment I read her letter.
But poetry is good for the soul, and Darling’s words spoke to me like a skilled therapist speaks to a client, or a priest speaking to a parishioner in the mysterious confines of the confessional.
These graceful prose poems, no more than five lines in length, describe a love affair that is like a “rose garden in the dead of winter,” which sets the pace for the rest of this 41 page book with its blizzardy cold conditions. Of course, this is all metaphor to how the narrator is feeling, miserable to say the least. She is a dead flower with “cold blue lips,” “a heroine counting unfaithful stars.” And these simple, yet profound lines will pervade the reader with sympathy and understanding, especially for those readers that have experienced, or are currently experiencing, a failing relationship.
But while the title of Darling’s poetry collection implies harm or retaliation, it also calls to mind returning a small act of kindness or favour to someone. That being said, I am not angry with my wife. I forgive her. I wish her well. And most importantly, I pray for her every day.
I encourage those of you that continue to struggle with current or past relationships, to let it go. Be at peace. I think Darling’s book is a good starting point to achieve just that.
It is always refreshing to be introduced to a poet that honestly engages their readers. Darling has given me new insight, a fresh look on how to deal with my own struggles and hurts, and I think her poetry can do the same for a number of others.
One day I will fall in love again. I am sure of it. I hope others will, too.
Matthew Hamilton holds a Master of Fine Arts from Fairfield University and is a three time Pushcart Prize nominee. His stories and poems have appeared in a variety of national and international journals, including Atticus Review, Noctua Review, Burnt Bridge, Boston Literary Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Muddy River Poetry Review. His chapbook, The Land of the Four Rivers, published by Cervena Barva Press, won the 2013 Best Poetry Book from Peace Corps Writers. He lives in Richmond, VA.
Amiri Baraka: S.O.S: Poems 1961-2013
Craft can say more than simply “I’m beautiful”. The book spans his poems from the Beats to Obama, and I just had the thought that instead of “being” a beat, he was the hipness they were striving for. Not knowing at least a bit of his work is your loss.
“When love & the Soul/are uncovered/then you will always/sound like/Duke Ellington” (“One Thursday I Found This in My Notebook”)
Jake Adam York Abide
Read this on days you think this country has lost its mind. A fine coda from a poet stopped in mid-verse.
“Take this then/and spin it.” (“Letter to Be Wrapped around a 12-Inch Disc”)
Tarfia Faizullah: Seam
Read this on days you hear poetry can’t handle ugly subject matter. Unflinching and searingly honest debut.
“It is possible to live without/memory Nietzsche said but/is it possible to live with it?” (“Interview’s Note”)
Willie Perdomo: The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon
What the griot sounds like, now.
“When a pair/of eyes meet on a bandstand/all the dreamers start talking/in history tones”. (“The Birth Of Shorty Bon Bon (Take #1)”)
Kimiko Hahn Brain Fever
Read this when they tell you poetry and science don’t mix.
“When shut, an eye sees itself; planet, orbit/a star, an egg, a raindrop before descent–/oh-and Prospect Park carousel.”) (“Circling a Sphere”).