PopMuse: Poems http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2020 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ "Lost" [by David Wagoner] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/jTzMlkGr6UU/the_best_american_poetry~Lost-by-David-Wagoner.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/jTzMlkGr6UU/the_best_american_poetry~Lost-by-David-Wagoner.html Wed, 01 Jul 2020 16:11:00 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows Where you are. You must let it find you. The esteemed poet and teacher David Wagoner was guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2009.��������Related StoriesFor Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Richard Deming on "A Touch of Evil" as BFI Film Classics Return http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/pqQNZ0TKpLc/the_best_american_poetry~Richard-Deming-on-A-Touch-of-Evil-as-BFI-Film-Classics-Return.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/pqQNZ0TKpLc/the_best_american_poetry~Richard-Deming-on-A-Touch-of-Evil-as-BFI-Film-Classics-Return.html Wed, 01 Jul 2020 15:40:16 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry BFI Film Classics – books commissioned by the British Film Institute, published by Bloomsbury in the United States -- make a welcome return with Richard Deming’s excellent study of A Touch of Evil. Orson Welles’s 1958 noir is justly celebrated by film aficionados, though its meandering plot has puzzled many viewers. Deming's book is a fine guide for the perplexed. Set in a town near the US-Mexican border, the movie fuses sex and violence in a boiling cauldron. It begins with an explosion that interrupts an embrace and ends with two shooting deaths in an oilfield. As Deming points out, one remarkable thing about the film is the extent to which the plot is subordinate to the technique. Welles uses cinematic means to explore questions of justice, motivation and “a complex, perpetually equivocating moral world,” in the author's phrase. If the causality and chronology of events are enshrouded in a swamp-like fog, it’s because Welles achieves his effects by cinematic rather than literary means. Deming’s analysis of the famous tracking shot that opens the movie is right on the money. Deming strikes a personal note in his preface by way of ushering us into the darkness of Welles’s vision. In chapter one he presents a valuable summary of noir, its meaning, its history. He argues that A Touch of Evil “is more than the apotheosis or apex of a genre or a style” – to his mind, it is the ultimate noir, and then some. The movie’s central thesis, he argues, is spoken by Charlton Heston, playing the Mexican policeman Vargas, to Welles, playing the corrupt police chief Hank Quinlan, an obese bully, a bigot, and a slob: “A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state.” Janet Leigh, the blond Yankee spouse of the Mexican Vargas, is as beautiful and vulnerable as in Psycho and The Manchurian Candidate, and Marlene Dietrich as a fortune teller may have the best line in the movie. When Welles asks her to read his future, she has, “You haven't got any.” “Huh?'” “Your future's all used up.” A Touch of Evil takes the romance out of noir, and leaves only the criminality, the hostility, the spite, and the evil that men do that lives after them. It is a deliberately ugly movie, refusing to treat sin and crime, the stuff of noir, with the romantic sheen and sensual promise that usually comes with the turf. (Think of Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Out of the Past.) Welles, possessor of a “distinctive smoothly textured baritone with its ability to slide across tonalities with both insolence and nobility,” is willing to sacrifice even this most valuable of assets; he slurs his words, mumbles, steps on other characters’ lines. “Who’s the boss – the cop or the law?” Vargas asks. That’s the thematic crux of A Touch of Evil. the movie. But the experience of the movie is far more unsettling than any such formulation, and Richard Deming's discussion of the film makes it...��������Related StoriesRichard Deming Takes On "A Touch of Evil"� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Reading Poetry to Ward off the Covid Blues [by Nin Andrews] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/7BWVBDCayYw/the_best_american_poetry~Reading-Poetry-to-Ward-off-the-Covid-Blues-by-Nin-Andrews.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/7BWVBDCayYw/the_best_american_poetry~Reading-Poetry-to-Ward-off-the-Covid-Blues-by-Nin-Andrews.html Tue, 30 Jun 2020 19:53:50 UTC Nin Andrews at The Best American Poetry It’s another day and soon it will be another month in this miserable COVID summer. The sunlight is streaming through my window, and outside, the goldfinches are swooping through the meadow that is so thick with black-eyed susans, it looks like an Impressionist painting. In the distance, I can see the cows in the pasture, calves running behind them, a newborn trying to stand up on wobbly legs. Most years I’d feel a sense of joy at all this pastoral beauty. But this year, I wake each day to a strange ache in my heart, almost as if I have lost a loved one. I try to write but usually find myself just staring at the page. Maybe poetry is the loved one I have lost, I think. A friend tells me I am suffering from the COVID blues. She says lots of folks are, including herself. She’s been riding her motorcycle after dark to escape the loneliness. “You need something powerful between your legs,” she jokes. Like me, she says writing poetry usually gives her a thrill, a sense of romance and escape from the humdrum of daily life. I am reminded of the Bruce Bond’s first paragraph of the preface for the most recent PLUME anthology, Plume 8: “All good poems are love poems. They have something to lose. No less so in the aftermath of loss, or the thick of peril, in the crisis of the here and now that summons language as public and private, all at once. Relational, historical, psychological, poems recover, in light and in spite of human difficulty, a sense of their vocation. They ask us, as they ask themselves, why now. Why a poem. And more challenging still, why beauty.” Bond goes on to talk about the many beautiful poems in the anthology, and he’s right. Plume Poetry 8 is a stunning collection, featuring many of my favorite poets including Lynn Emanuel, Major Jackson, Albert Rios, Lisa Russ Spaar, Jeffrey Friedman, and Elizabeth A.I. Powell. Reading it does alleviate some of the misery of this peculiar time. While it would be impossible to pick just one poem to admire, there is a poem by Cynthia Cruz that synchronizes with my current mood: The Music Constellations of evening, Sweet, the smell of fire and filth of pines. Racing through the woods on silver shining motorcycle. What is the sound of driving back through black magnetic fields of night. Play the record back. Unpack the accident down to its haunting. Its smaller rooms, its trash and crackle. This morning the good voice spoke to me. A ghost entering the body. Then the sound of a violin playing. What I was is gone. Now just the din of smaller sounds of wayward and crawl. And then, there is this oddly timely poem by Stephanie Burt, with an epigraph in ancient Greek (which I can’t type out on my ancient IBM Thinkpad, alas). Reading the poem I am reminded of the Molly Arden, whose work and...��������Related StoriesA Night on the Town, 2018 [by Stacey Lehman]� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Fashion and Beauty with Poetess Vinny: Non-Binary is the New-Black [by Virginia Valenzuela] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/Y8263TK7RIY/the_best_american_poetry~Fashion-and-Beauty-with-Poetess-Vinny-NonBinary-is-the-NewBlack-by-Virginia-Valenzuela.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/Y8263TK7RIY/the_best_american_poetry~Fashion-and-Beauty-with-Poetess-Vinny-NonBinary-is-the-NewBlack-by-Virginia-Valenzuela.html Tue, 30 Jun 2020 16:40:55 UTC Virginia Valenzuela at The Best American Poetry This year’s Pride didn’t have the razzle-dazzle of years past. It didn’t have a parade or concerts or nights in gay and lesbian bars, no access to that one time of year when we’re surrounded by people who get it, who are queer or questioning or different, just like us. Instead, there was fear of illness and protests for change, neither of which are foreign to the queer community. The sparkle and studded leather remained in doors this year, but the message rang true just the same: People want to exist in the world feeling safe in it, and to be comfortable in their own skin. Writers have always been a little different. And it’s no secret that queer people have flocked to the artist’s way in order to truly be themselves. From Lord Byron’s flowing scarves and earth tones to Elizabeth Bishop’s baggy button-downs and boyish slacks, the idea of challenging gender has been in the writer’s fashion lexicon for centuries. The term "non-binary" is used first and foremost as a gender identity for individuals who do not identify as exclusively male or female. This identity, along with the gender non-conforming fashion choices that surround it, is about breaking down the assumptions we have around femininity and masculinity and providing options for personal expression that were previously inaccessible--and in some cases illegal--both in the fashion world and in real life. It’s about comfort, confidence, and dressing in a way that frees you from other people’s expectations of who you are, how you should dress, or what you are capable of, and it is in that spirit that I offer you the following tips. 1. Start with neutral colors. Our culture has done a good job at telling us which colors are “masculine” and which are “feminine,” which is why wearing mostly neutral colors like beige, brown, black, white, gray, soft earthy tones, and cotton and denim textiles, work so well for a gender non-conforming approach to your outfit. 2. Try loose-fitting clothing and cool shoes. Gender non-conforming fashion is unique in that it’s focus is physical and emotional comfort. One of the ways this is achieved is by taking attention off of the parts of the body that indicate sexuality and gender, such as the chest, waist and hips, and to instead accentuate parts that are more neutral, like the shoulders, neck and feet. Tops include: t-shirts, button-downs, blazers, vests. Bottoms: relaxed-fit jeans, slacks, knee-length skirts. Shoes: loafers, boots, sneakers, sandals. Accessories: ties, bowties, scarves, suspenders, watches, glasses, backpacks, leather cross-body bags, necklaces and rings. 3. Make it pop! Like Djuna Barnes in her dramatic polka dot turtle neck and dark fedora or Oscar Wilde in his velvet suit and ruffles, gender non-conforming clothing welcomes experimentation, color, and flare. Try a pattern or unconventional color or texture, and definitely expand your shopping trip to check out men’s, women’s, and unisex clothing sections. The only real difference between them is the way the clothing is cut, and sometimes our bodies...��������Related StoriesFor Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Grisel Y. Acosta� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/uR-W-hawWjM/the_best_american_poetry~For-Summer-Poems-by-Latinaoxs-Heidi-Andrea-Restrepo-Rhodes.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/uR-W-hawWjM/the_best_american_poetry~For-Summer-Poems-by-Latinaoxs-Heidi-Andrea-Restrepo-Rhodes.html Mon, 29 Jun 2020 22:00:45 UTC Emma Trelles at The Best American Poetry we the dancing millions by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes (after Omar Sakr’s Where I am Not) I ask the driver if he likes New York. we have not yet established I speak his mother tongue. he laments against loneliness, a season here depressed, a season back on the island, in revelry. a season here. a season there. season season season season he finds with every return that people here do not speak with each other, the rushingrushing an anvil on relation. so many unspokens. better to be with family, to go where you are loved. I try to love him for the length of the ride, brown bodies we are in the loneliest world so I smile, a secret gesture of union. he says through the rearview, it is a beautiful day isn’t it? I look out the window, he taps the steering wheel of his car, the hum of diaspora a child we’ve made between us, ready to live the twelve minutes to my destination. hermosa, pero, hermosa. his whole face beams the sun, the winter in him dies— �hablas espa�ol?! we feast on language the New York kind of lonesome we know our bridge & tunnel lovechild nobody wants to love. but we learn to love her too. when he isn’t driving all of Brooklyn through their silence, he—Jos�—(with the name of my grandfather) dances home to his country of brothers, their stifled exuberance riving imperialism’s calendar. an abundance of rice unworried for time: there is no word for late in the island’s mouth. what a world where you can linger into the hours of dusk, live off the horizon by touching its mornings. I wonder what it would take to be the bambuco itself, the waltz of lovers never-quite-touching in want. even my dreams of music play the asymptote of solitudes. I am not sure who to blame, though it is capitalism & poetry often enough to which I turn my back. this was never a commercial for anything, but capitalism & poetry make it possible: Jos�’s hands clapping back at colonialism in the bomba rhythm making a lover of the drum; my wrecked body carrying the fevers of memory down from the mountains. how language spreads us over each other, our histories necking in the rain of it all. too many hearts to name, & we are pulling up, anyway, to my door of seven years pretending to be home. our child is over now, the together-ride through a city that maybe ought to sometimes sleep if only to remember what it is to really dream, to remember the grammar of closeness. our twelve minute love affair & its offspring clinging to the window, heir to the ache of seasons. is that a marvel or a mess? can we tell the difference? cuidate, I close the door—parting, after all, is the first sorrow we know. birth, a distance in the giving of light. the harshness of winter returns, a jealous lover at my cheek. but a...��������Related StoriesFor Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Grisel Y. Acosta� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ From Portugal: Francisco Jos� Craveiro de Carvalho's new anthology http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/rnvBe6-jAF4/the_best_american_poetry~From-Portugal-Francisco-Jos%C3%A9-Craveiro-de-Carvalhos-new-anthology.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/rnvBe6-jAF4/the_best_american_poetry~From-Portugal-Francisco-Jos%C3%A9-Craveiro-de-Carvalhos-new-anthology.html Sun, 28 Jun 2020 18:57:00 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry Afagando a Face de Lorca. Uma Antologia Francisco Jos� Craveiro de Carvalho Selec��o e tradu��o de Francisco Jos� Craveiro de Carvalho Pref�cio de Manuel Portela Francisco Jos� Craveiro de Carvalho antologia 22 poetas contempor�neos (da Ucr�nia � China). � um exerc�cio que nos d� a ver em portugu�s as diferentes vozes dos poetas antologiados mas igualmente a pr�pria voz do poeta-tradutor: Craveiro de Carvalho tem-se dedicado nos �ltimos anos, a par da sua produ��o po�tica, a oferecer-nos vers�es de grande parte dos poetas agora reunidos sob o t�tulo Afagando a Face de Lorca (par�frase de um verso do neozeland�s Mark Young). Os poetas antologiados: Adam Zagajewski (1945, Lviv, Ucr�nia), Amalia Bautista (1962, Madrid, Espanha), Aram Saroyan (1943, Nova Iorque, EUA), Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (1947, Lahore, Paquist�o), Billy Collins (1941, Nova Iorque, EUA), Charles Simic (1938, Belgrado, Jugosl�via), David Lehman (1948, Nova Iorque, EUA), Eunice de Souza (1940, Pune, �ndia. Faleceu em 2017), Howie Good (1951, Nova Iorque, EUA), J. R. Solonche (1946, Nova Iorque, EUA), Jane Hirshfield (1953, Nova Iorque. EUA), Jennifer Clement (1960, Greenwich, Connecticut, EUA), Jos� Luis Garc�a Mart�n (1950, Aldeanueva del Camino, C�ceres, Espanha), Luis Alberto de Cuenca (1950, Madrid, Espanha), Mark Young (1941, Hokitika, Nova Zel�ndia), Michael Dylan Welch (1962, Watford, Inglaterra), Nathalie Handal (1969, Haiti), Neil Curry (1937, Newcastle on Tyne, Inglaterra), Owen Bullock (1967, Cornualha, Inglaterra), Pat Boran (1963, Portlaoise, Irlanda), Roger Wolfe (1962, Westerham, Kent, Inglaterra), Steve Klepetar (1949, Xangai, China). Poemas originais (em ingl�s e castelhano) e em portugu�s. Nas Livrarias: primeira semana de Julho de 2020. Oferta especial de PR�-VENDA (de 1 a 30 de Junho): 13,60 � (desconto de 20% sobre o pre�o de livraria: 17 �). Portes gratuitos Pedidos para: companhiadasilhas.lda@gmail.com��������Related StoriesAdrienne Su, Guest Author June 1-5� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ "Decompose and" [by Bruce Kawin] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/XgJwVJDXaVE/the_best_american_poetry~Decompose-and-by-Bruce-Kawin.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/XgJwVJDXaVE/the_best_american_poetry~Decompose-and-by-Bruce-Kawin.html Sun, 28 Jun 2020 00:53:00 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry Decompose and you might get to be a peach then be part of the shit of the living thing that eats you plop back to earth to feed some tree become part of some flower be honey When I walked on the earth before I was under it I had a few fertile parts Now it’s the whole show��������Related Stories"Monroeville, PA" [by Ed Ochester]� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ "Monroeville, PA" [by Ed Ochester] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/ioplv9JgCBs/the_best_american_poetry~Monroeville-PA-by-Ed-Ochester.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/ioplv9JgCBs/the_best_american_poetry~Monroeville-PA-by-Ed-Ochester.html Sat, 27 Jun 2020 00:56:00 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry One day a kid yelled "Hey Asshole!" and everybody on the street turned around from Unreconstructed: Poems Selected and New by Ed Ochester (Autumn House, 2007).��������Related Stories"On Nature" [by Lawrence Joseph]� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Grisel Y. Acosta http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/hKiRTPP3N80/the_best_american_poetry~For-Summer-Poems-by-Latinaoxs-Grisel-Y-Acosta.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/hKiRTPP3N80/the_best_american_poetry~For-Summer-Poems-by-Latinaoxs-Grisel-Y-Acosta.html Thu, 25 Jun 2020 01:33:10 UTC Emma Trelles at The Best American Poetry Ways of Seeing My Brothers by Grisel Y. Acosta 1. You are precise artisans, designing aircrafts meant to soar above the altocumulus, or pumping air pulsating through twists of brass trumpet, pressing fingers down on valves to scream higher than a jet. 2. Smirking boys in a 70s photograph, unaware of the holes in your socks. 3. Fearless little men, walking into classrooms filled with children who will only think to ask, “Are you a spic?” 4. I do not see you in jail the night you totaled Mami’s car I do not see you stoned or geeked out, lonely and alienated in the college dorm I do not see you terrified when you see no options in the want ads I do not see you when you cry alone when your best friend fell in a rain of bullets I only see the miraculous feat of survival, how you managed the impossible: staying alive when the world told you every day you did not exist 5. I remember the day your daughter was born, dear brother, and you had to fill out a form, choose Black or White. Your oblivious white wife saw the X by the word Black and asked you why and you said, “Well I sure as hell ain’t white,” and all of a sudden you gave your own kind of birth. 6. I wore your clothes, walked like what we call a boy, talked knucklehead talk, became what you were. 7. The only time I met Tio Segundo en Cuba, who built his home with black market wood, his dirty workman jeans the same as the ones I saw on you, brother, after a day of roofing, and my heart hurt because I knew the two of you needed each other, drank yourselves into oblivion because you longed for each other, yet you would never meet. 8. I listened at your doors Devo bang bang bang Santana Black magic sat for hours wondered in AC/DC electric curiosity fizzling like guitar feedback waited for you to open the passageway 9. are you safe, dear brothers? I cannot protect you from this obsession with your demise all I can offer is what I have seen remember, what I see is beauty Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an associate professor at the City University of New York-Bronx Community College. Her first book of poetry, Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere, is an Andr�s Montoya Poetry Prize finalist and it is forthcoming from Get Fresh Books in 2021. Recent work can be found in The Baffler, Acentos Journal, Kweli Journal, Red Fez, Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom, and Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader. She is a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet, a Macondo Fellow, and the editor of Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity, an anthology that features over Latinx 30 contributors and subjects. Her work focuses on her Afro-Latinx and indigenous ancestry, queer identity, the punk and house music subcultures, her birthplace of...��������Related Stories"Hidden Bird" [by Joseph Ceravelo]� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ "On Nature" [by Lawrence Joseph] http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/Mqglp2uL6LE/the_best_american_poetry~On-Nature-by-Lawrence-Joseph.html http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBestAmericanPoetry/~3/Mqglp2uL6LE/the_best_american_poetry~On-Nature-by-Lawrence-Joseph.html Wed, 24 Jun 2020 16:46:00 UTC The Best American Poetry at The Best American Poetry And the puzzles surrounding the cosmological constant, spacetime imploded into existence. Ten to fifty years between asbestos breathed and mesothelioma discovered, a rare form of cancer in the lungs or heart, or, if in the stomach, spreading quickly to the liver or spleen. Uploaded onto one of a half-a-billion or so blogs: “The human imagination? A relatively paltry thing, a subproduct, merely, of the neural activity of a species of terrestrial primate”; and in another, that other dimension, the Hudson River, black and still, the day about to open at the Narrows’ edge. Light on a mountain ash bough, a fresh chill’s blue sensation in the eyes. One week buds, then the temperature’s up and the landscape turns yellow, in a few days the wind scratches the blossoms, in a few weeks the sun scorches the leaves. I, too, see God adumbrations, I, too, write a book on love. Who, here, appears, to touch the skin. Hundreds of thousands of square miles of lost Arctic sea ice, bits of bone on killing grounds, electromagnetic air. Atrocious and bottomless states of mind, natural as air. from So Where Are We? by Lawrence Joseph (2017). Reprinted in A Certain Clarity: Selected Poems by Lawrence Joseph (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020).��������Related Stories"Hidden Bird" [by Joseph Ceravelo]� http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/