spark fire


It’s National Poetry Month. You can do lots of cool things to celebrate. For example, you can sign up to receive a poem a day. My favorite by far is creating your own anthology. This is something I have been doing myself the old-fashioned way since I was a teenager, collecting in my own scribble, all my favorite world poetry in one large, tattered blank book (which slowly came to no longer be blank – much like ourselves). Poetry feeds the soul and mind, is food for thought, sustains the spirit, nourishes so many curiosities across so many disciplines. It always informs with its profundity, its language, its insight, its reflection.

Don’t let the love of poetry reside only in a month set aside for it. Let it flow through, be sewn to and buoy you and your life every day. In the words of Victoria Williams (in a song that has been a bitch to find, aptly titled “Poetry”): “Every day is poetry.” And it really is.

Photo (c) 2008 gabz used under Creative Commons license.

traveled in circles


-Ocean Vuong

And this is how we danced: with our mothers’
white dresses spilling from our feet, late August

turning our hands dark red. And this is how we loved:
a fifth of vodka and an afternoon in the attic, your fingers

sweeping through my hair—my hair a wildfire.
We covered our ears and your father’s tantrum turned

into heartbeats. When our lips touched the day closed
into a coffin. In the museum of the heart

there are two headless people building a burning house.
There was always the shotgun above the fireplace.

Always another hour to kill—only to beg some god
to give it back. If not the attic, the car. If not the car,

the dream. If not the boy, his clothes. If not alive,
put down the phone. Because the year is a distance

we’ve traveled in circles. Which is to say: this is how
we danced: alone in sleeping bodies. Which is to say:

This is how we loved: a knife on the tongue turning
into a tongue.