MTPR

poetry

Combining Bone Fishing And Poetry Into Memoir

Jul 5, 2017
Milkweed Editions

Chris Dombrowski was playing a numbers game: two passions — poetry and fly-fishing; one child, with another on the way; and an income hovering perilously close to zero. Enter, at this particularly challenging moment, a miraculous email: Can’t go, it’s all paid for, just book a flight to Miami. Thus began a journey that would lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide.

'Spirit'

May 8, 2017
Cover Art: Russell Chatham "Hayfields on the Cottonwood Bench," 2004. Oil, 36" x 48". / Copper Canyon Press

by Jim Harrison

Rumi advised me to keep my spirit
up in the branches of a tree and not peek
out too far, so I keep mine in the very tall
willows along the irrigation ditch out back,
a safe place to remain unspoiled by the filthy
culture of greed and murder of the spirit.
People forget their spirits easily suffocate
so they must keep them far up in tree

'I Lost My Job & Wrote This Poem'

May 1, 2017
ClarkCountry.gov

No longer will I swallow hard boiled
instructions. No longer smile at
people I’d like to bite.
Today I am free.
Today I am Mick Jagger’s lips.
Today I am Kerouac’s touchdown in Lowell ’39.
Today I’m Jack Kennedy—ich bin ein unemployed!

There will be time later for assassins.
Today I am Lenin arriving at Finland Station
Napoleon back from Egypt.
Today I am Neville Chamberlain’s peace
Timothy Leary’s PhD
Joplin’s vocal chords
I am used up—but new
and yesterday was my last day of work.

Milk and Filth
cover dsign and image: Evan Lavender-Smith / University of Arizona Press

"All of us gun owners, pro-rights-pro-life, pro-choice…  all of us are being oppressed by this same coterie of rich people. But we’re oppressing each other through hate. And that’s great for that 1%. They’re thrilled when we’re fighting about trifling things because they have all our money now." — Carmen Giménez Smith

'Stranded At Noon's'

Apr 17, 2017

Now that wet street smell
evening rush hour,
and I have a flat tire.
This morning
a dead dog in the ditch
a black roamer who would come in
and leave our yard sniffing.
Now this rain
this stranding at a gas station
this dead dog in the ditch day.

Two bearded house painters
push through the glass doors,
decide out loud not to pay taxes this year.
No forms in the post office
the day before they're due.

"Phone Therapy"

Apr 3, 2017
Lilly Ledbetter, REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi / Lost Horse Press

I was relief, once, for a doctor on vacation
and got a call from a man on a window sill.
This was New York, a dozen stories up.
He was going to kill himself, he said.
I said everything I could think of.
And when nothing worked, when the guy
was still determined to slide out that window
and smash his delicate skull
on the indifferent sidewalk, "Do you think,"
I asked, "you could just postpone it
until Monday, when Dr. Lewis gets back?"

'Why Print Books'

Mar 20, 2017
Sabda Press

why print books he said
who needs books these days
everything's on the web

well i wouldn't know i said
i still enjoy turning pages
in a chair by the fire

still window-shop mainstreet
still relish a big screen matinee
buttered popcorn jujubes and milk duds

still sit and think about how
all last century carriages went horseless
and horses thank god are not extinct

still long for real letters in the post
the effort of someone's penmanship
the dear and sincerely yours

'Wooden'

Feb 27, 2017
Kate Brady

by Jennifer Finley

When you feel like a block of wood
when you used to be a branch whipping
up after a lump of snow slid off you,
what are you supposed to do?

You can't become a tree again. You
can't reattach yourself to where you
came from. Yet, you share the same
bark and pulp.

Writing To Preserve Nakoda Culture And Ancestors

Feb 22, 2017

Nakoda Sky People is a compilation of poems from several of Allen’s smaller collections, and also contains a lexicon of Nakoda words and phrases as well as pages of Native recipes and herbal medicines.

In an introductory essay to Nakoda Sky People, Minerva Allen states directly, “We keep our history and culture alive by telling of our ancestors and legends to young people.”  She tells of learning the Assiniboine way of life from her grandparents, and now she feels a duty to pass along what she knows. 

Western Writers Write The West

Feb 15, 2017
University of Texas Press

What does it mean to be a westerner? With all the mythology that has grown up about the American West, is it even possible to describe "how it was, how it is, here, in the West--just that," in the words of Lynn Stegner? Starting with that challenge, Stegner and Russell Rowland invited several dozen members of the western literary tribe to write about living in the West and being a western writer in particular.

'Love Song'

Feb 13, 2017
Kumar

by Danell Jones

I'm overeasy for you —

After four hardboiled decades
you glaze my heart
icing dissolving on my tongue

Call me your sweet, your dariole, your bonfemme

You'll be my crown roast, my deep dish, my potatoes O'Brien

You'll be my always

my cupful

my round

my fill

'Bardo Thule'

Feb 6, 2017
Tim Pierce

by Dave Caserio

My brother, expecting, thinking, what?
That the wind would waft our father's ashes
Gently out of his hand, convey them
As though a squall of butterflies, as
White bits of the soul, as wafer
Upon the tongue, to dissolve

'Mutation'

Jan 30, 2017
Ruthanne Reid

by Elizabeth Cain

When you can walk a milefrom your front door in August
and eat wild strawberries,
something changes
inside.

Months later you thrive
when the snow tumbles
down the mountain
and the roads ice up
and you can't even see
your way to the barn.

The Poetry Of Life

Jan 25, 2017

In When We Were Birds, Joe Wilkins wrests his attention away from the griefs, deprivations, and high prairies of his Montana childhood and turns toward “the bean-rusted fields & gutted factories of the Midwest,” toward ordinary injustice and everyday sadness, toward the imminent birth of his son and his own confusions in taking up the mantle of fatherhood, toward faith and grace, legacy and luck.

'Beer and Poetry'

Dec 6, 2016
Beer: Paul Downey

by Maddy Irwin

Poetry reminds me of beer. More specifically it reminds me of Cold Smoke, a favorite of Missoula brew enthusiasts. I always pick up the cold pint glass thinking this will be the time I finally gain appreciation for the dark ale that my friends consume generously on our nightly excursions. However, my response is found to be the same puckering of lips and slight crinkling of my nose in an unattractive grimace, immediately followed by a mouthful of my usual vodka-cran to wash down the taste of the dark ale.

'Buffalo'

Nov 14, 2016
Shawn McCready

by Eduardo Chirinos

In days of old, buffalo dotted the plains
with a soft, light brown.

Their hooves fearlessly trampled these pastures.
This was their home, their vast

'To the Man in the Jaunty Golf Cap, Wow—

Nov 7, 2016
Paul Elliott photo

by Rob Carney

I'm glad that wool was saved from coyotes,
glad for winter with its sight lines, glad for trees,

the way they cooperate
by letting go of their leaves.

And I'm glad for the skill of the helicopter pilot,
ski-smooth even in the crosswinds,

'Vasectomy'

Oct 24, 2016
Confluence Press

by Greg Keeler

waiting for an hour alone
in the white room

naked from the waist down
clean flesh on clean sheets

polished steel and rubber tubes
behind reminiscences

of alcibiades on his*
lopping spree (would bogart

'Rain'

Oct 17, 2016
Jordan Hackworth

by David Allan Cates

A flash on the ridge lengthens shadows, dims the wire
of ravens, and you retreat again tonight.

Madness drives us to bury seeds in what solitude
and night reveal—or perhaps it's only vigor.

Born in longing, words come to life in whispers,
the first truth I know.

'When God Was A Woman'

Oct 10, 2016
Evan Lavender-Smith / The University of Arizona Press

by Carmen Giménez Smith

When God was a woman,
empire was meh.
When God was a woman,
we built Schools of Listening
and every week we sat quietly
until we could hear
each other's thoughts.

No shadows when God
was a woman. Little girls
had great dominion,
and grandmothers

"The trouble with giving away a place name is that then we can guarantee someone else will go there," points out poet, Damon Falke. "No matter how remote the dirt road that winds its way to the overlook where the sunsets are eloquently perfect, someone else will seek and find the same road.  When we expedite this process of finding, we (or someone) will begin to advertise our places through a precise network of signs and signals.

'For Which It Stands'

Sep 19, 2016
Peter Miller

By Gregory Pardlo

For a flag! I answered facetiously. A flag of tomorrow,
fluent in fire, not just the whispers, lisps, not just the still there
of powdered wigs, dry winds. Who wants a speckled
drape that folds as easy over smirch as fallen soldier?
This is rhetorical. Like, "What to the Negro
is the fourth of July?" A flag should be stitched with a fuse.

'Green-Striped Melons'

Sep 12, 2016
Li Talpo

by Jane Hirshfield

They lie
under stars in a field.
They lie under rain in a field.
Under sun

Some people
are like this as well—
like a painting
hidden beneath another painting.

An unexpected weight
the sign of their ripeness.

'Lovemaking in America'

Aug 15, 2016
Simon Huggins / Creative Commons

by  Rob Schlegel

I watch a silent film about the sea and I am forced
To imagine the sound the schooner is making.

Upstairs, you fill the bath with everything that has
Or could ever happen between us.

You think you have lived this day before. Earlier
At the fair we found a magician who claimed

'Rondo Of The Familiar'

Aug 1, 2016
Laurence Barnes

by Robert Pack

Beside the waterfall,
by the lichen face of rock,
you pause in pine shade to remember blue
for drawing back, and green
for trust, replenishing yourself
among familiar leaves
with scattered sunlight.
And beyond those trees in time not ours,
you see our children search

'Willow Wind'

Jul 25, 2016
Lost Horse Press

by Henry Real Bird

In the willow wind
the feeling will begin
Life, liberty, and death
Democracy in our breath
Born of the dew, and soil
in the heart of our soul

From the backwaters, still waters
Tears of war and joy victory covers,

'Sweetness'

Jul 18, 2016
Joe Pell

by Mark Gibbons

Raven struts
Down the sidewalk

Tasting
The air

Shakes its
Tuxedo tail

Dips to clean
The cement

Caws to another
Combing the grass

Hop-Roaming
The plaza

They dance
The Caw-ca-doodle-doo

Tango like
Dada-dandy

Blue-black
Crow sisters

Waddle bumping
Big breasts

In a hornpipe
Dead heat

For some sticky
Big Hunk

Candy
Wrapper

Kids Like You And Me: Isolation 2

Jun 24, 2016
Gerolf Nikolay

"The Pea Green Boat" provides a unique and nurturing place to hear stories about how it feels to be excluded, mocked, and bullied because you’re different, in color or ability – or how it feels to be accepted despite those differences. This week, Annie facilitates conversations with middle-school students and a teacher, Caroline Patterson, about isolation. Students write poetry about their feelings during this classroom session and then read their poems.

'Poem In Place Of A Fatwa'

Jun 20, 2016
Ken / Creative Commons

by Stan Sanvel Rubin

'Aftershock'

Jun 13, 2016
Joe Shlabotnik

by Richard O. Moore

Afterward, you look on the world as a happy place
flush from arrival into a new land of not being in pain.
Is there anything forgotten, now that the screaming's stopped?

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