(no subject)

making up with hank

I’d read him, sure, and liked him okay
for a two-bit drunk who squeezed out poems
the way most of us shit, but then my friend
with the bukowski tattoo took me to the horse track
to watch the old toads sweat over their tickets:
two minutes for each race then thirty more to bet,
weep, tally their losses. bukowski loved misery
which is why he loved horses: even the long-shot
thoroughbred only bought him the whiskey
which put the puke on his pillow in the morning
and gave his wallet to some no-good whore.
but that’s what helped hank pump out ten poems
on a good day—caring about as much for the art
as he did for the #6 mare shot in the head
after it broke its leg and lost him a hundred.
on the ride home my nose was already peeling,
burned red as a forty-year boozer’s,
I’d won a half dollar, my buddy lost twenty,
and we were at a stoplight watching crows
on a powerline when he said ravens
were sophisticated, not like seagulls, they don’t
just let go of their guts in mid-air like
angelic bums. then right on cue it was caw, caw,
and a wet bomb hit the windshield. shit,
hank, you were right all along! the world
is a joke—mean and unknowable. I’m planning
to play the ponies again real soon.

I feel like I've come late to the party!

Hey everyone! My name is Phoebe and I'm heading to Florida's MFA program this fall for oranges and poetry. My year away from school has been pretty creatively dry and I was hoping to jump start my writing here! I mostly write in flash fiction/prose poetry/short short form, with a few sonnets thrown in here and there for good measure. I like insects, nostalgia, and science fiction themes in poetry. And I just realized that I'm making myself sound like an awful poet. But anyway, I look forward to collaborating with you guys. Under the cut, I've posted a poem that people in college tended to get really exited about, but it may have had more to do with the mention of "Melmac" than anything else.

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Now, post things so we can share more writing!
me on the set of my movie

For Fred

For Fred

To have your week planned out in meals is a wonderful comfort.
Or having just enough clean laundry to make it to Sunday.
I like watching old women shop for groceries,
studying soup cans with patience
not fear, lifting a bag of potatoes onto the conveyer belt with a giant effort.

It’s a full time job trying to keep the house clean.
It’s easier when you have a small house but even so.

I got a t-shirt with an orchestra of elephants,
their trunks were trombones or tubas and then his grandmother died.
God is a comfort to a lot of people and most everybody’s grandmother dies.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
For me comfort is
the courageousness of a small, shy tiger living in a clock.
Battling shyness is one of those battles that’s ok to lose.
There usually isn’t a whole lot of blood shed.

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problematic ty cobb poem

II. Heavy Artillery

Baseball is not for pink mollycoddlers
who don’t bleed. It is a war
for men chased by sniveling
bastards. Haven’t you seen
the diamond sink when I play?
I am stomping us down to some
quick hell – it is the only way
to bury your enemies. Make them be
a guide through heat so tight
even my shadow is trained to steal
bases. My shadow should have
been a doctor, so I could
never look up to it. I
talk in paragraphs of war
and if you want a poultice,
don’t increase my tension.
Don’t suck on my fever.
Don’t infest my politics with clap.
Don’t chuck things at my weapon.

Jeff Knight introduction

Hi, I'm Jeff, happy to be here, and hoping this will be a good kick-start to my too-long-dormant poetry writing. I used to be an occasionally successful slam poet, have published in some okay places, and love the feeling of being lost in a poem, both as reader and as writer. Dead center of the overlapping circles in the Venn diagram of poetry virtues I admire and aspire to would be James Dickey, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, and Stephen Dunn.

I tend to take on more than I can actually do, and have a couple of novels underway, besides being a busy dad, and working a fulltime job as a scriptwriter of educational media. But everything goes better when I'm writing poetry.

Here's a good example of my work.

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Hi, I'm Tim. I live in Los Angeles with the lovely and amazing quiet_flame, and work as editor of RATTLE. After graduating from the University of Rochester in 2003, I lounged around as an overnight counselor at a group home, taking advantage of a lot of down time to write -- poetry, fiction, garbage, etc -- and then stumbled ass-backward into this fine situation. I can't complain. My poems have appeared in a lot of my favorite journals, but I still get rejected constantly from the big powerhouses. My first book-length collection, American Fractal, is on the verge of being published...I hope. For sample poems and a bit of video, you can check out this tag at my more 'professional' blog. The extremely diligent can track back through my entire writing career by 'joining' timothy_green.

Anyway, reading through the guidelines and introductions, I have to say that I'm very impressed with this community. It's organized very thoughtfully, and the members indeed seem like real 'poets-for-life.' Good job, Sean. Looking forward to this.

allow myself to introduce...myself

Hi, my name is Megan. I'm glad to be invited. I often crave to be part of a writerly community, but I couldn't hack the notorious poetryslamming, as I don't do the whole BDSM thing, so I'm glad positivity is emphasized here. I'm 23, I recently graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and moved to Los Angeles, California. I live with my lobster, writer Timothy Green, who I hope will also join this place. He is the editor, and I the assistant editor, of the poetry journal RATTLE. I have been writing since I was 3, but am just now starting to get serious about it and accept that it's what I want to do for the rest of my life and that that's okay. I've been published in some magazines but you probably don't care about that so I won't list them. I have a chapbook I'm trying to get published. I'm just starting to read my poems at open mics, which I find terrifying and kinda fun. Poetry has thus far been my main focus, but I'm actually really into fiction right now, so I'll probably be posting older poems that could use some work (lord knows I have a lot of those). I just read over this post and God, I'm really boring. But I look forward to getting to know you all better and sharing and caring and all that jazz. Thanks again for having me.
green shirt

still needs a title

Pruning the pomegranate tree
I am owed a thousand kisses:
mistletoe devours every axil,
sprouting green and pearl
wig-like twiglets.

Host tree weakened by choking zarza,
the parasite takes toehold and moves.
The only remedy: serrated half-moon
pruning saw and tough
leather gloves.

My arms are a maze of weals nonetheless
and splinters shiv my knuckles;
the pain a small penance
for hardtooth pleasure of slicing deep
through green wick.

I imagine her half child eyes as I cut:
were they closed for that first kiss
or widened in surprise?
Such a harmless thing, just a bit
of mistletoe.

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attic view

The Life Word

The day wears it away, a scrubbing like:
upholstery, upholstery,
sometimes it’s just a dick in me.

Not sure now how the chainsaw came into it
but there were two nightmares in one:
the library found to be dis-ordered,
searching for uncataloged romances and finding them
next to war histories.
Pleased panic.
And then the customer: shambled,
chainsawed and chainsawing.
I can say two of these things to you.
don & cosmo [SITR]
  • hkath


Hi, I'm Kath. I grew up bilingual on the border between Québec and Ontario, and now live in Toronto, where I manage a videostore. I originally moved here to attend York film school, but after a few years of study, I somehow wandered into a BA in creative writing instead. During my time at York, I also managed to stumble into the President's Prize for poetry and an editorial position on the school's lit mag. I find most of the best and most significant things in my life have felt like accidents. These days, I've been writing far more fiction than I have poetry, which is highly unusual for me. I'm hoping this community will inspire me to get back on track.