after Bobby Chacon
I don’t care about the title
I’m in this for the money
I care about the title
I care about the money
I’m in this for the title
I don’t care about the money
I’m for the money I don’t care
I don’t care I’m for the title the title don’t care about I
the money don’t care about the title
I’m about the money
I’m about the title
I’m the money I care about in this
Copyright © 2018 Eloisa Amezcua. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, November/December 2018. Used with permission of the author.
dear reader, with our heels digging into the good mud at a swamp’s edge, you might tell me something about the dandelion & how it is not a flower itself but a plant made up of several small flowers at its crown & lord knows I have been called by what I look like more than I have been called by what I actually am & I wish to return the favor for the purpose of this exercise. which, too, is an attempt at fashioning something pretty out of seeds refusing to make anything worthwhile of their burial. size me up & skip whatever semantics arrive to the tongue first. say: that boy he look like a hollowed-out grandfather clock. he look like a million-dollar god with a two-cent heaven. like all it takes is one kiss & before morning, you could scatter his whole mind across a field.
Copyright © 2018 by Hanif Abdurraqib. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 4, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
While crossing the river of shorn paper,
I forget my name. My body,
a please leave. I want a patron saint
that will hush the dog growling
at trimmed hedges it sees in the night.
I want the world to be without language,
but write my thoughts down just in case.
Send help, the dog’s growling
won’t let me sleep. I haven’t slept in days.
I am looking for a patron saint, but none
will let me pray for guidance. There is a buzz
in my right ear that never goes away, no matter
how hard I hit the side of my head
for loose change. Most mornings I wonder
who I can pray to that will make sure I never
have to survive waking again. Most nights
I forget to pray the rosary, though I sleep with it
by the bed. I’ve never owned a TV because
I’ll replay this conversation in my head.
My dead lovers are hungry in the kitchen,
so I fix them food they cannot eat. I make toast
of vellum paper, fry an egg made of crepe.
I only want a patron saint to protect me.
I only want someone else to bleed.
Copyright © 2019 by Natalie Scenters-Zapico. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 5, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
Yesterday, the final petal curled its soft lure into bone. The flowerhead shed clean, I gathered up your spine and built you on a dark day. You are still missing some parts. Each morning, I curl red psalms into the shells in your chest. I have buried each slow light: cardinal’s yolk, live seawater, my trenza, a piece of my son’s umbilical cord, and still you don’t return. A failure fragrant as magic. Ascend the spirit into the design. My particular chiron: the record that your perfect feet ever graced this earth. Homing signal adrift among stars, our tender impossible longing. What have I made of your sacrifice. This bone: it is myself.
Copyright © 2018 by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 9, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it
From The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara by Frank O’Hara, copyright © 1971 by Maureen Granville-Smith, Administratrix of the Estate of Frank O’Hara, copyright renewed 1999 by Maureen O’Hara Granville-Smith and Donald Allen. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Everything is brushed away, off the sleeve, off the overcoat, huge ensembles of assertions just jars of buttons spilled, recurring nightmare of straw on fire, you the scarecrow, the scare, the crow, totems gone, rubies flawed, flamingo in hyena’s jaws, noble and lascivious mouth of the gods hovering then gone, gone the glances, gone moths, cities of crystal become cities of mud, centurion and emperor dust, the flower girl, some of it rises, proof? some of it explodes, vein in the brain, seed pod poof, maybe something will grow, another predicament of bittersweet, dreamfluff milkweed, declarations of aerosols, vows just sprays of spit fast evaporate, all of it pulverized as it hits the seawall, all of it falling snow on water, flash of flying fish, breach and blow and sinking, far below creatures of luminous jelly constellated and darting and baiting each other like last thoughts before sleep, last neural sparks coalescing as a face in the dark, who was she? never enough time to know.
Copyright © 2011 by Dean Young. Reprinted from Fall Higher with the permission of Copper Canyon Press.