#Poetry Wed: “Uncensored” by Cheswayo Mphanza

“Sometimes I dream of a solar eclipse in my eyes I have grown too weary of the naked eye and its weaknesses in the light beyond gentle reflections and their sensitive images there are darker hues sinister colors and obscene visions I want to wield to drink spirits and howl blasphemies to speak ghostly and ghastly rattling god with evocative gestures to lust after saints and turn sacrilegious their divine convictions gospels of loneliness and martyrdom do not bury me gently I do not want to be perfumed and catalogued bones…”

-Read the entire poem at Prairie Schooner.

​​#Poetry Wed: “Techno-Origami” by Haji Khavari

“The 3-D printer
worked overtime
sculpting lemon trees
complete with bees
on budding flowers.
The overheated machine
filled the cardboard orchard
with the scent of hot plastic.
The 12th nightingale arrived
like a prophet…”

Read the rest of the poem at Poetry Foundation.

#Poetry Wed: “Pastoral” by Betty Adcock

“…the dog barks to call
attention and they turn back toward the house that was

his great-grandfather’s, now his to rescue, and with it
the hundred acres he has chosen to be his life.
Already he has rebuilt the fences, keeps chickens,
breeds goats, plants a garden and a sweet potato field.

What might he be thinking as the storm breaks
into sticks of flame above him? His wife
hears weather news and stops the car
on a roadside, waiting out hard rain.”

Read the rest of the poem at The Birmingham Review

Betty Adcock Official Site

Katie Ford: Blood Lyrics (Poetry)

Katie Ford’s upcoming poetry collection, Blood Lyrics, possesses an authentic fierceness of emotion coupled with a literary eloquence that is all too rare in modern poetry. Blood Lyrics will be released by Gray Wolf Press on October 21st.

[ O where has our meadow gone?
that which swept us here?
the orange cosmos and aster?
the hollycock and pollen-fire?
So I sing of hell
and the brutal body. ]

As the gut-wrenching final line of her opening poem “Spell” testifies, these poems were born along with Ford’s fragile premature baby daughter. It is that intense mix of maternal love and fear of loss that drives these poetic words.

I’m incapable of writing an unbiased review since the subject of Ford’s writing hits close to home with my family, but I think the emotional power and sheer beauty of her phrasing would be just as impressive without a kindred experience.

To Read of Slaughter,” for example, adroitly describes in succinct perfection the eerie, telling force of “silence” as representative of an absence — the sober realization of having been left behind in the wake of another’s leavetaking.

Ford expertly examines the “Trivial” aspects of daily life in the shadow, or “horror show,” of a loved one’s suffering and potential death. She also expresses the cruelty of dread at a time when “there should have been delight, delight and windchimes, delight.”

Less compelling to me were the more universal themes presented in the book’s second section, “The Long War.” Ford remains adept at her craft, but I personally feel those middle poems lack the punch of sincerity felt in the first section, “Bloodline.”

Thankfully, the final poem, “From the Nursery,” gracefully ties the two seemingly contradictory threads of motherhood and war together. Blood Lyrics is a magnificent book, inside and out.

“Don’t say it’s the beautiful I praise. I praise the human, gutted and rising.”

Buy @ Amazon

Buy @ Gray Wolf Press


Free Online Poetry Course

You can sign up for a free, no obligation, 10-week course on Modern American Poetry from the University of Pennsylvania at Coursera. There are no college credits awarded, but you can get a certificate of completion if you successfully finish the course.

The class started two days ago, but it’s fairly easy to catch up since it’s divided into weekly assignments, you can view the videos anytime and participation is optional.

This week, Week 1, begins with readings and discussions on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.