Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

Hank Williams & the Ghost Train – Ryk McIntyre

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The train whistle in the distance is my word for loneliness,
a whisper in the wilderness, a ghost that never rests.
But here I am, in this bed alone,
so who am I to judge?
As if I could ever sound that sad.
As if I could articulate that much.

On the good days I remember the velocity of her smile.
That's something of a disadvantage, this deep in denial.
I pull back on the emotional brakes, but I'm broken-down and broke.
I'm not so lonesome I could cry,
but I suppose that I can hope.
 Continue reading

Sad Barge/Sick Animal – William James

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for Manchester, NH

The midnight sky looks down on the Merrimack 
			& the train horn blows. If you stood even a mile 
		west, you could feel the strain & pop of the couplers 

			as they strain against the pull, but in this city 
	the train passes through beneath the high moon 
				& the only sound that carries to this sleepy apartment 

window above Beech is that distant haunt song. 
			That far off freight cry, the ancient groaning - 
		too far away to hear the whine of steel wheels 

				against the rail, the rattling clank of coal cars 
swallowed by the pitch. A feast of sound. 
		Some long distance harpist is pulling at strings, 
 Continue reading

Rail Yard – Matthew Bayne

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this rail yard
this crumbling 
copper place
that lost nickel 
gone black in the gravel
and the dust on those stones
in this wilting heat
in the place where you work
those dirty dandelions
that lonely coneflower
some clover, unlucky
couple of crows heckling
those sparrows
those yard birds
pecking for what
this splintered sleeper
the sting-finger creosote
spikes for the tie plate
bolts for the joint bar, tool tight
soot soaked spade for ballast
swing the heavy sledge
true and level lines, your work
 Continue reading

Undone Yet – Sou Macmillan

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40 strong and drunk as 100 on fury
Lean with the fighting but well fed
We march together
We have the tools for this - 
                              black ink and vacuum tubes
                              telegraphs and two wicked beat boxers
                              a shovel & a good knife
We have a mind turned for fixing things
We bury our own dead
Sister Machine, wife of The Engine, leads us
She sweats oil, I swear
 Continue reading

Dear Elise – Emily Yin

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elise, midnight is a twisted hour
i’m dazzled by the uncorked mouth, the way
hard words condense on a drowsy tongue.
how gentle is the darkness, how false the light.
fortes iuvat fortuna, a cruel bromide indeed:
what is brave, what is healing but a covenant
for future hurt?

elise, sometimes i’ll start to laugh at the oddest times.
i’ve laughed in empty hallways and crowded hallways
—all kinds of hallways, and at a funeral too.
old friend, i’m so sad i’ve forgotten how to cry,
and maybe mirth is just another kind of grief. Continue reading

Body Becomes Black Hole or Magic Trick in Three Acts – Alain Ginsberg

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Act I

Body enters a world is nicknamed
black hole is named as consume
is expected to gorge and becomes
one anyways makes a canyon out
of itself

Body is told it has a runners shape
Body runs to not make anyone a
liar for saying this runs into the
absence of itself looks for its
broken rib and only finds extras, a
whole cage of them does not
know if they are in it
or the prison guarding it

Body is nicknamed black hole because
the food disappears and nothing changes
the hunger disappears and no one
questions where either of them went but
the body, who opens the kitchen cabinet
and finds a cemetery but only looks
at the bones

wonders how can I grow up to be just like that, and does.
Continue reading

“sit on your potential until it hatches” – Christine Tosti

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cocoon your nightmares
until they become

knead your wishes
into dough
until they rise;

get a dead end job;
be good at it

do drugs;
escape yourself.

sober up;
know yourself.

sit up straight
pay your bills
do the dishes tomorrow
ignore your parents
don’t meet anyone new
don’t keep your friends close
trust no one
move out
pay rent
waste your money
smoke cigarettes all day
get cancer
write a song no one will hear
don’t believe in your talents
take advantage of people
hurt someone badly Continue reading

When God Lets My Body Be (After the E.E. Cummings Poem Of The Same Name)

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When god lets my body be
from each ripped wound shall sprout a tree
of fruit that exists only for you .
My rosary beads will make you a laurel
of crowns, medallions
and alleyway garlands
no one but us can see.
My love, let me be your unknown color.
Let my back beget an afro sun
that turns inner deaths asunder. Continue reading

Sunrise For Jack Kerouac

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A poem for a poem

I gave Jake the last inhale
Watching a willow tree in a cow pasture turn to gold in the
Acidic sunrise of a July we tried for years to forget. 
The long streams of branch swaying in a breeze that bumped my gooses
From collar bone to sternum
Raised buttons of oooooh, of ahhhhh,
Of push them, push them - - we will never get out of here
if we don't move faster
Before I fall apart
Jake falls asleep against the wind
Shielded dreaming of a riddle on a Popsicle stick
His tiny fingers clutching it
Jamming it into his mother’s wringing hands
Asking her to just tell him what it means 
that he can longer read French (as I flip the tent stake
Mallet around and around, leav
ing bruises in the ground, wondering if it is God  or my child I should apologize to-) Continue reading

The Revolution Is In This Pantoum

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Poets lost their shovels
when body counts plateaued.
Skeletons stayed in closets.
Alone, tragedy went home.

When body counts plateaued,
pens stopped swallowing blood.
Alone, tragedy went home,
found a family of shaken babies.

Pens stopped swallowing blood
after the revolution got a job.
A family of shaken babies found
new ways to reach God.
 Continue reading