and what would you say if you could

chapbook coastal image cover0002


and what would you say if you could

remembering Marthe Reed

get a copy: make a $5 donation for printing and shipping costs

at the &Now Festival of New Writing in Oct. 2018, Jill Darling, Linda Russo, Dana Teen Lomax, and C.S. Carrier collected  some work by and about Marthe Reed into a small chapbook that is not at all comprehensive, but speaks to a depth of feeling she carried through the world, and that shows in her writing, her social engagement, her concern for others, and her focus on the hope or potential for a different and better world. There’s a lot of continuing terrible, but we do also need hope.

2 Poems by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

 On Hunger

“The crown ain’t worth much if the nigga wearin’ it always gettin’ his shit took”
— Marlo Stanfield

And I say now what I have always known:

a king is only named such after the blood of anyone who is not them pools at their feet and grows to be a child’s height before running down a hill, flecking the grass of a village crowded with quivering mothers and their boys, huddled underneath a new and undone black sky. There is not a way to rule without the knowing of where your family will get its next meal  rather, who it will be taken from, or who will become it. The dead, we know, do not hunger for anything but stillness. Perhaps their name sung around a fire by those still living, their gold worn atop the head of the man who made a widow of their lover.

read more here




30 ways to celebrate national poetry month

  1. Order a free National Poetry Month poster and display it at work or school.
  2. Sign up for Poem-a-Day and read a poem each morning.
  3. Sign up for Teach This Poem, a weekly series for teachers.
  4. Memorize a poem.
  5. Create an anthology of your favorite poems on
  6. Encourage a young person to participate in the Dear Poet project.
  7. Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore.
  8. Review these concrete examples of how poetry matters in the United States today.
  9. Learn more about poets and poetry events in your state.
  10. Ask your governor or mayor for a proclamation in support of National Poetry Month.
  11. Attend a poetry reading at a local university, bookstore, cafe, or library.
  12. Read a poem at an open mic. It’s a great way to meet other writers in your area and find out about your local poetry writing community.
  13. Start a poetry reading group.
  14. Write an exquisite corpse poem with friends.
  15. Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
  16. Deepen your daily experience by reading Edward Hirsch’s essay “How to Read a Poem.”
  17. Ask the United States Post Office to issue more stamps celebrating poets.
  18. Recreate a poet’s favorite food or drink by following his or her recipe.
  19. Read about different poetic forms.
  20. Read about poems titled “poem.”
  21. Watch a poetry movie.
  22. Subscribe to American Poets magazine or a small press poetry journal.
  23. Watch Rachel Eliza Griffiths’sP.O.P (Poets on Poetry) videos.
  24. Watch or read Carolyn Forche’s talk “Not Persuasion, But Transport: The Poetry of Witness.”
  25. Read or listen to Mark Doty’s talk “Tide of Voices: Why Poetry Matters Now.”
  26. Read Allen Ginsberg’s classic essay about Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”
  27. Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day today! The idea is simple: select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.
  28. Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
  29. Get ready for Mother’s Day by making a card featuring a line of poetry.
  30. Read the first chapter of Muriel Rukeyer’s inspiring book The Life of Poetry.
from Poets.Org

Written By H’Self

The signature public
the only avant-garde
behind invention

wheelchairs (in) “the street.”
Type (A) bleeds through the page—
or screen—it becomes—

a pool as it we’re
one drop rules(.)
Individual talent

divides tradition
into tithes, tenths
and nationalized tribes—

market share erosion.
Staggered Lees

piggyback the Gap.
John Henry—busted by Keaton.
Gentlemen, ‘e thinks,

as the bespoken,
it was the other
kind of happy

feet I wanted.
Guess these shoes
will have to have.

Poem (I lived in the first century of world wars)

I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane,
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
The news would pour out of various devices
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.

I would call my friends on other devices;

They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.
I lived in the first century of these wars.

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