With “Best of 2017” lists around the corner–and many already published–a number of people have rightfully been noting the absences that appear time and time again. Book lists without poetry, poetry lists without Black or Latinx authors, and, of course, the forgetting of the small and micro presses are far too common. We can’t all read everything nor do we have to–my own roundups are often heavier in poetry and essays than fiction–but I’d like to open this week’s post with an invitation to reflect upon where we get our reading materials and how we can expand further.
I spent the time off last week curling up and thinking with a number of pieces, including:
Things I Will Probably Never Say To My Imagined Child by Momina Mela: “Be an empty / parking lot at night. Whole into dumb a nothing, my blue-glass / smithereen.”
One Poem by Layli Long Soldier: “The Dakota people were starving. / The Dakota people starved. / In the preceding sentence, the word “starved” does not need italics for emphasis.”
Orphic by Jonathan Duckworth: “& wherever Orpheus’s head is, he will / pause mid-song, to smile & lick his lips / with their sweet residue of antifreeze”
CATALOG OF INFIRM COCOONS by Rodney Gomez: “I lose the mechanism / of belief / as a priest drapes / a thundercloud over your mouth”
Poetry by Chelsea Bodnar: “Who needs a word / besides the certainty that when a thing is bad you burn it down, your body or the world.”
Missed Turn by Christopher Iacono: “At the cemetery, he removed his baseball cap and held it in front of his waist. He didn’t pray. He gazed at the book and apple engraved on Amelia Walker’s gravestone while the sun was burning his balding crown.”
Alt Lit and Rape Culture – This Will l Now Sing Deftly by Kia Groom: “Look, write about your cock. I don’t care. I’m sure it’s really great, and you probably have a lot to say about it. Shine on, you crazy diamond. But when those dick-poems migrate into the realm of the muse, when they become not just poems about your body, but poems about my body too—or about the nebulous body of the feminine “you,” with whom I am forced to identify—then, then I have a problem.”
Stephanie Kaylor in based in upstate New York and is currently a MA student in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at European Graduate School. She holds a MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University at Albany and is Managing Editor for Five:2:One Magazine and Reviews Editor for Glass: A Journal of Poetry.
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