Snapping Twig has published some of my work. Many thanks to Nic E. Turiano for sharing these poems with the world. You can find three of the pieces they took, here, with two more forthcoming in their Summer Anthology. Among the posted pieces, is my poem “Self-portrait as a Southern Baptist prayer altar,” a very personal piece about my experience growing up in fundamentalist faith and my transition away from it. It’s probably one of my favorite poems I have written to date. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, if so inclined.
The new Spring edition of FRiGG is out, and it includes five pieces of mine, which you can find here. The pieces published are part of my ongoing social media experiment, where I take inspiration from my facebook feed. I hope you like them. Many thanks to Ellen Parker and Dennis Mahagin for the opportunity. The issue they put together features a lot of stellar work, and I am just lucky to be a part of it. As always, thanks for taking the time to read and comment if you feel so inclined.
Editor John Ebersole has been causing a stir by publishing many poems directly to the Philadelphia Review of Books blog – with a political slant. As part of this project, I submitted a piece, about the Baltimore riots and police brutality, that was published. This has been an interesting and unique experience to watch unfold, and to see everyone’s responses. Many thanks to John for giving this moment a voice, and pulling no punches. You can read my poem here: Guilt.
The new issue of Arsenic Lobster is out, which contains two of my poems. Many thanks go to Susan Yount for allowing me to be a part of this phenomenal issue. There are so many talented folks in there that I feel quite lucky just to be in the room. If you want to read my poems, go here to get to the first one, and click “next” at the bottom to see the second one. I recommend reading the whole issue. You won’t be disappointed.
I extend my thanks to Black Heart Magazine for sharing two more of my poems this week. This is my third publication with them. It’s truly an honor to have continued support like that from an editorial team. They run an outstanding journal, and I’m thrilled they would include my work. Thank you to Danielle White and Laura Roberts. You can find the poems here. Let me know what you think!
Bud Smith taps into the magic in his poetry collection Everything Neon. I was held captive by his voice, a compelling weaver of contemporary narrative poetry that resonates on nearly every page. There is a passion for life to be found here, and profound moments that shine through like white flashes of lightning in the windows. Bud doesn’t have a pretentious bone in his vocabulary. Whether he is in love, missing his love, or finding new love in his surroundings, you will want to see through his eyes for a while.
There are themes that run through the work that make it a cohesive package. Repeated again and again are things that become neon, elements of ordinary life like magazines left on a radiator, the familiar birds or a moon that scrapes the tops of buildings, finding a parking space or losing the car keys, listening to vinyl records, etc. The best are the moments of clarity that seem to pop out of nowhere in surprising fashion, like when a girl at a laundromat suddenly says, “the secret to life is soap.” Or “society is full of too many people / who never built their own roller coaster.” Some of my favorite poems in the collection are the ones that read like quickly jotted notes or to do lists, with interesting vignettes under each heading.
There’s lots to find and admire in this work, and lots you will want to return to and linger over, to appreciate the subtlety and depth, which runs as deep as any silver river or ocean that you may or may not live beside. It’s accessible poetry, humble and real poetry, coming from a true place that few manage to get to in their writing or their art. Whether you are a lover of poetry, or someone just getting your feet wet in the world of verse, you could do much worse than this book, but I don’t know if you could do much better. This collection will stick with you, and haunt your thoughts. The true test is will it make you want to write your own words, and for me, it’s already germinating, and that’s all you could ask from any writer – inspire me. Thanks for sticking your fingers in my skull and giving my brain a good shake.
The children are not sleeping.
It is not nap time.
No red pillows
between their heads and the ground.
The children are not dreaming.
Crying for mothers
or fathers, to flip on the closet light,
to pull hanging clothes aside.
The children are not playing.
The sticks are just sticks,
as their hands are just hands.
No one laughs.
The children are not breathing.
The last prayer
passed their lips
like smoke that refuses to rise.
I have two new poems published with Lyre Lyre for their Back to the Future issue. One, “Thank God,” was originally published by Boston Poetry Magazine, so many thanks to them for allowing the reprint. The other piece is a favorite of mine that I had been trying to get published for many months now. I owe much gratitude to Jillian Brall and Greg Crosby for this opportunity, and I hope you will take the time to check out my work. Let me know if anything resonates with you!
The Ofi Press has been gracious enough to share two of my poems in their latest issue. I am thrilled to be a part of it, and I hope you enjoy these pieces. Very warm thanks to Jack Little for taking a risk on my work. Leave me a comment if you like the poems!
Five of my poems have been made available, with audio, at The Poetry Storehouse, for remix and video projects. Many thanks to Nic Sebastian for letting me take part in this awesome and unique opportunity. I think you’ll find my reading of “Noir, or imitating Tom Waits” quite humorous.