Friday, September 30, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Alice B. Fogel

To the Bone

Related Poem Content Details

One against the other across
the fleetingly infinite field:
that dry crackling of pallid
corn stalks clacking comes close to it.
behind them mountains range like steppes
between the tiers of fog they coddle.
it's autumn coming close
again and you need to compare
this one to autumns past, recall the other
sputters of color too good to last.
something you need to say, something
you come close to:
wind in its limitless visits—
especially in fall when it cleans
the overblown trees—
wind in possession of you
says it best. but you go on anyway,
trying to pen the breeze:
this fall phenomenon different
from summer's in its macabre
celebration of the lifeless,
in its forever rewritten memory
of what comes next. sorrel
leaves swirling in a whirlwind
mimic your own compulsive
repetition, its own circle
of yearning so close
to a kind of comfort.
quickening conversations
of geese flocking south
chill through your thin skin:
behind it a choir of silence
undefined rows you
closer to what you'll never forget,
what you almost remember
this time. closer to its name.
the heart overtaken. the bare staves
waving at boughs' ends, the musical
red wings: something
they almost say, more like a sense
hunched in darkness, an ache,
a suspicion: every time,
closer to it, closer. hear
hard light on the hillside
flatten the visible scale
into two dimensions, and you're in love
with the flatted third:
the way it breaks you down,
over and over, to mean you are
alive. the way you rub it in
the wound that you never
come close to wanting to close—
as if you could scrub away the whirling
of everything else and come down
like snow to the center, the eye, so close
to the purity of knowing inside this
present pain, that searing
white place without wind or words.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Happy Book Birthday @LBardugo! Crooked Kingdom Out Now

Happy book birthday, Leigh Bardugo! I don't know about you guys, but I've been really excited about this book ever since I read Six of Crows back in December. I preordered the hardcover and everything and thanks to Amazon, got release day delivery. Woo!

Here's the description:

The highly anticipated sequel to the thrilling #1 New York Times-bestselling Six of Crows.
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

What I loved about Six of Crows:

*The characters
*The dialogue
*The world building

For example:

Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias.

Come on, guys--that's gold! I loved every minute of it. And I have high hopes that Crooked Kingdom is just as awesome. This book is available on Amazon, and I'm sure all other retailers.



Friday, September 23, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Grace Paley


Related Poem Content Details

What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended burning   
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of   
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching 
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the 
   edge of which the birch trees   
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story 
by Chekhov   or my father 

What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended   burning 
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of 
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching   
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the   
   edge of which the birch trees 
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story by 
Chekhov or my father on 
   his own lawn   standing   
beside his own wood in 
   the United States of   
America   saying (in Russian) 
   this birch is a lovely 
tree   but among the others 
   somehow superficial 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#Tuesdaybookblog: Cover Reveal for Dying Breath, A Jesse Sullivan Novel

Dying Breath, the 6th Jesse Sullivan Novel
Coming November 29, 2016

*                         *                        *

Well...? What do you think?

Friday, September 16, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Max Ritvo

The Big Loser

Related Poem Content Details

Audio Player
The guardian angel sits in the tree
above the black lip of street
the man walks down.
He calls the man Cargo.

The angel sees a pinewood box in place of the man,
and the street he walks is a boat,
the hull like a coal crater.

Somewhere in the real world there is such a boat and box.

The angels call these overlays dreams,
and believe they crop up because angels
can’t sleep but want to —

space falls apart when you have unlimited time.

The cargo is rattling in the boat.
Maybe it’s just the waves, maybe it’s rats.
What’s the difference? Either way: it’s the box.

The angel sends the man
a happy vision from his past — the time

he fed birthday cake
to his goldfish
after an unsuccessful party.

The angel thinks he’s applying lemon oil
to the creaky, wounded wood of the box.
He knows it’s palliative, but it’s beautiful.

The man reaches the end of the street. He’s a sick man
and he starts to ponder death
as he often does these days:

All of death is right here
— the gods, the dark, a moon.
Where was I expecting death
to take me if everywhere it is
is on earth?

At life’s close, you’re like the child whose parents
step out for a drive —

everyone else out on a trip,
but the child remains in the familiar bed,
feeling old lumps like new
in the mattress — the lights off —

not sleeping, for who can sleep
with the promise of a world beyond the door?

That night the child dreams
he’s inside the box.

It’s burning hot, the heat coming
from bugs and worms
raping and devouring one another.

He starts the hard work
of the imagination,
learning to minister to the new dream.

Perhaps all that’s needed is a little rain —
for everyone to drink and have a bath.

Outside: a car humming,
somewhere, his mother’s singing.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Read a poem Friday: Louise Erdrich #poetry #fridayreads

Turtle Mountain Reservation

Related Poem Content Details

For Pat Gourneau, my grandfather
The heron makes a cross 
flying low over the marsh. 
Its heart is an old compass 
pointing off in four directions. 
It drags the world along, 
the world it becomes. 

My face surfaces in the green 
beveled glass above the washstand. 
My handprint in thick black powder 
on the bedroom shade. 
Home I could drink like thin fire 
that gathers 
like lead in my veins, 
heart’s armor, the coffee stains. 

In the dust of the double hollyhock, 
Theresa, one frail flame eating wind. 
One slim candle 
that snaps in the dry grass. 
Ascending tall ladders 
that walk to the edge of dusk. 
Riding a blue cricket 
through the tumult of the falling dawn. 

At dusk the gray owl walks the length of the roof, 
sharpening its talons on the shingles. 
Grandpa leans back 
between spoonfuls of canned soup 
and repeats to himself a word 
that belongs to a world 
no one else can remember. 

The day has not come 
when from sloughs, the great salamander 
lumbers through snow, salt, and fire 
to be with him, throws the hatchet 
of its head through the door of the three-room house 
and eats the blue roses that are peeling off the walls. 

Uncle Ray, drunk for three days 
behind the jagged window 
of a new government box, 
drapes himself in fallen curtains, and dreams that the odd 
beast seen near Cannonball, North Dakota, 
crouches moaning at the door to his body. The latch 
is the small hook and eye. 

of religion. Twenty nuns 
fall through clouds to park their butts 
on the metal hasp. Surely that 
would be considered miraculous almost anyplace, 

but here in the Turtle Mountains 
it is no more than common fact. 
Raymond wakes, 
but he can’t shrug them off. He is looking up 
dark tunnels of their sleeves, 
and into their frozen armpits, 
or is it heaven? He counts the points 
of their hairs like stars. 

One by one they blink out, 
and Theresa comes forth 
clothed in the lovely hair 
she has been washing all day. She smells 
like a hayfield, drifting pollen 
of birch trees. 
Her hair steals across her shoulders 
like a postcard sunset. 

All the boys tonight, goaded from below, 
will approach her in The Blazer, The Tomahawk, 
The White Roach Bar where everyone 
gets up to cut the rug, wagging everything they got, 
as the one bass drum of The Holy Greaseballs 
lights a depth 
charge through the smoke. 

Grandpa leans closer to the bingo. 
The small fortune his heart pumps for 
is hidden in the stained, dancing numbers. 
The Ping-Pong balls rise through colored lights, 
brief as sparrows 
God is in the sleight of the woman’s hand. 

He walks from Saint Ann’s, limp and crazy 
as the loon that calls its children 
across the lake 
in its broke, knowing laughter. 
Hitchhiking home from the Mission, if he sings, 
it is a loud, rasping wail 
that saws through the spine 
of Ira Comes Last, at the wheel. 

Drawn up through the neck ropes, 
drawn out of his stomach 
by the spirit of the stones that line 
the road and speak 
to him only in their old agreement. 
Ira knows the old man is nuts. 
Lets him out at the road that leads up 
over stars and the skulls of white cranes. 

And through the soft explosions of cattail 
and the scattering of seeds on still water, 
walks Grandpa, all the time that there is in his hands 
that have grown to be the twisted doubles 
of the burrows of mole and badger, 
that have come to be the absence 
of birds in a nest. 
Hands of earth, of this clay 
I’m also made from.