February 16, 2010

endless possibilities

Since we broke up
Or better, since you left
I've been juggling with
Endless possibilities

Considering the odds
Scrutinizing different options
Probing the multiple paths
Unfolding before me

For you see, it all seems so blurry
and yet so clear to me now
That I'm walking the extra mile
Just to hear the sound it makes

I hung out with an ageing ex-model
Who bought me dinner at an upscale, fancy restaurant
And then took me to her apartment
Where we fornicated a few times

I dated fat chicks
With a college degree and boring jobs
Little or no self-esteem
Always eager to please

I flirted with men
And quite enjoyed the company
Of old ravenous guys
Looking for adventure

But even when I hit rock bottom
At some other not so pleasant times
I never considered being like you
That's the one gate I left unopened

I never ever want to be like you
Not even faintly resemble
The childish smile, freckles, bangs and polka dots
The artsy, cutesy, curvy, pushy type

Who turned me upside down, rocked my world
And left me considering, juggling, agonizing,
Probing the multiple paths that inevitably
Send me straight back to your door like a hungry stray dog

jon kutcsa (Corpus Christi, TX, 1971)

February 15, 2010

lemon juice from a plastic lemon

wreaking of insincerity walking to the mailbox
lost in front yard hands look gold
touching grassy knoll
head a raging suffocating battlefield lost to patriotic intoxication
failing deep in voiceless shadows
concrete path boxed, regulated weeds confronted and decimated
faces box house a tan shade against jack o lantern twilight

drink whiskey from dirty glass,
no dishes soaped tonight
kids lick television
fornicate social networking sites
wife rests head a pillow side
responsible trickster with a shrill voice at dawn

here her voice tempos deep, dull
vibration off stomach, meteor show pierces silent night
roman candles eating atmosphere with silver sharp teeth
electrolyte water sits bed side a recourse booze to sleep medication
dignity latches a fornicated blanket to our sleeping sweaty bodies
growing pounding heart beat claims
retreats, acts as a demigod,
plays with pets sleeping betwixt feet
poisons a gelatin mind
smooth teeth with that keen smile upturned

matthew wedlock (Taunton, MA, 1984)

February 5, 2010

a poet of malls and semi-lighted highways

"Hoagland is a poet of malls and semi-lighted highways and CNN feeds, more suburban than rural or urban. An awareness of the natural world hovers around the margins of his work, but don’t look to him for rolling lists of place names or ecological elegies. In one poem a bird has 'a cry like a cell phone,' and a creek trickles 'from dependent clause to interrogative.'

Elsewhere, 'tipsy drivers swerve/under the breathalyzer moon.' Smelling a woman’s perfume, he can’t help thinking of 'the destruction of a hundred flowers.' And not knowing what to do on a date, he thinks: 'If I were a bull penguin right now I would lean over/and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved.'"

dwight garner on tony hoagland (Fort Bragg, NC, 1953), excerpt from ‘The Free Verse Is in Aisle 3’, published in Books of the Times, The New York Times, February 4, 2010

Further reading:

Tony Hoagland at The Poetry Foundation

Negative Capability: How to Talk Mean and Influence People (Poetry Daily) and Self-consciousness (nidus), essays by Tony Hoagland

February 3, 2010

and we're back!

Young American Poets, year three. Now open for submissions.

Read our guidelines!

Read our poetry!

The Young American Poets team