#Poetry Wed: “Here’s Where You Can Legally Own a Wolf” by Charlie Clark

“Where in fall they burn the dirt of Robert Frost’s own grave.
Where they call his ashes dragon and sift through them for teeth.
Where smoke is the only produce of the factories.
Where the man whose jawbone throbs must punch himself to sleep.
Where dawn’s the sun hung above a field of blood-wet greens.
Where the word blunt is just as violent as it seems.
Where grammar is the mutilated cousin of the breeze.

Read the rest of the poem at Tinderbox.

#Poetry Wed: “The Abstract Humanities” by Sandra Simonds

On August 14th, 1971, when they arrest Justin Smith on Rose St.,
his neighbors don’t know he’s a subject
in the Stanford Prison experiment, and Justin himself
doesn’t know that within 36 hours of dunking his head
into that fake cop car that he will have a mental breakdown
even though he keeps telling himself “This isn’t real.”

Do not write “luminous glyphs” for it is
overly Romanic. Do not write
a love poem to Karl Marx, for you might lose your job.
Do not talk about compassion, for this is not
a temple. Do not use the word “tender,”
for this is art and art must be
cold like money or a fish. Do not
say you’re a Jew,
for you never know who is reading.

It has been fifteen years since my mother
tried to kill herself. There is no way
into the abstract
humanities. In the experiment, Todd
beats Justin. You can only follow
me so far, but when we get to the river, Horatio,
you will not be able to cross through my
particular hourglass…

Read the rest of the poem at The Seneca Review (pdf)

Sandra Simonds Official Site

#Poetry Wed: Warsan Shire (aka #Lemonade Poet)

Beyond being an astounding work of art itself, Beyoncé’s new visual album, Lemonade, brought much deserved attention to Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire. So it seems appropriate to feature Shire as part of Muruch’s poetry series this week. As most know by now, Beyoncé read from Shire’s book, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, in Lemonade. The title poem from the book first appeared in Spook Magazine, a literary journal for which Shire serves as Poetry Editor.

“What We Have” by Warsan Shire

Our men do not belong to us. Even my own father, left one afternoon, is not mine. My brother is in prison, is not mine. My uncles, they go back home and they are shot in the head, are not mine. My cousins, stabbed in the street for being too—or not—enough, are not mine.

Then the men we try to love, say we carry too much loss, wear too much black, are too heavy to be around, much too sad to love…”

Read the rest of the poem at Poetry International. In addition to her written work, Shire has an album of spoken word poetry, Warsan Versus Melancholy, available on Bandcamp…

#Poetry Wed: “In the Old Barn” by Enda Carty

where junk from another age
ropes and harness
hang on the walls
and rot in the damp
where the small windows broken
are boarded and nailed
where in the old dresser
farm medicine and syringes
lie in rusty biscuit tins:

that’s where I found him…

Read the rest of the poem at Rhino Poetry and/or listen to audio of Enda Carty reading the poem here.

Lady Gaga “Til It Happens to You” Live at the Oscars Video feat. Kevin Kantor!!!!

I didn’t watch The Oscars last night, but I did see Lady Gaga’s powerful performance of “Til It Happens to You” from the campus sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground. And I was so happy to see poet Kevin Kantor among the survivors that took the Oscar stage with Lady Gaga. Kevin’s own spoken word poem about sexual assault, “People You May Know,” was included on our Muruch.com for RAINN benefit album and he was a great support during our fundraising campaign. Kevin Kantor is an incredibly talented poet (and a very nice, humble man) and his should be a household name.

Kevin Kantor Official Site

Lady Gaga Official Site