Thanks for poetry, thanks for places to hear about new poetry, thanks for bookstores, thanks for booksellers.
My job, for which I am of course also thankful, has been inordinately time- and focus-intensive of late so not that much reading of poetry (not to mention writing of or about poetry) has snuck in through the cracks, but that just makes the force of coming across a good poem all the sweeter.
Here are a few poems I’ve read in the past few weeks that have struck me like a tractor beam — not necessarily about gratitude per se, just ones for which I myself am giving thanks for having read today:
“Still When I Picture it the Face of God is a White Man’s Face” – Shane McCrae
“Unwanted Pepper” — Darlene Pagan (who has a brand-new book out)
“August Rain” — Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo (and the other two by her in this journal)
“Toward What Island Home am I Moving” — Joanna Klink
“Mule Deer” — Melissa Kwasny which isn’t online but which is in Reading Novalis in Montana along with many other poems you must read, because she is the kind of poet who can describe mule deer going through the woods this way:
Cartographers, queens of trespass, they draw their blue lines
best incline down, the shortest distance to raspberry
See how they mince like the herons do
But to be dazzled by the image is to be stuck there
Birds draw lines in air, fish in water, and the element closes up
behind them—not earth, its endless embassies of departure
“The Prototypical Ghosts” — Joe Bolton
“Paying My Taxes” — Madeline DeFrees, also not online, but including this passage:
[…] Computer love is like the poetry:
more exciting when routines break down.
Nevada’s never been my kind of state.
But in the evergreens of Washington
we shoot for the moon
and learn to gamble on the government.
And since it IS Thanksgiving, one about food, Elizabeth Alexander’s “Butter“, which is making me hungry (for food and for more poetry), as it should be.