Tag Archives: best dressed

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Unremitting Entrance by Janelle Adsit

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industry can make pinks now that are 99-100% permanent
pink keychain with my sister’s face etched into it
pink quartzite bench on a grassy Fort Collins hill,
pink tulips the neighbors planted, pink
candles, pink tattoo of a pink last-gift candle, pink
vases, materials as metaphors—the necessary attempt
at conflation, pink bracelets with her
name—color is more symbolic than sensory
every skin fleck and fingernail
gone to an impalpable gray
in May with its hibiscus pink and its leaving
crabapples, soapwart, begonia

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This selection comes from Janelle Adsit’s collection Unremitting Entrance available now from Spuyten Duyvil. Purchase your copy here!

Janelle Adsit‘s poetry has appeared in publications such as Sixth Finch, Confrontation, The Cultural Society, and Lalitamba. She lives in northern California where she teaches creative writing at Humboldt State University. www.janelleadsit.net

Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Ceasura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.

 

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alicia Rebecca Myers’ My Seaborgium

My-Seaborgium-500x750

 

Linnet

Birth: radial. Becoming a starfish
growing a spine. Center of a mirror,
tarantella, this line of fire, this
tambourine tearing through. My insides: pain
like a double-handled saw bisecting
my lower back, bringing me back into
rocking. Then rhombic crystallization
of garnet. Gravity. Pressure, torch, or
arroyo (rain-filled promise). Whirligig.
Yaw. Ship carrying pearl ash purified
by kiln, this sea change, this delighting in
red skies, in freight. Glacial channel. Maw of
sliced open nacelle, loved layabout. This
calm, this room, this ohm, this not like being
held together by anything other
than gravity: fatigue song. Percussive.
Train headed into watercourse. Double-
sided psalm. Familiar mastery. Sway.
Turn. My breath fogging the glass
as a distant linnet gathers knotgrass
by the sea, to weave, to build a nest of
salt, of thistledown, to house the hunger
that will feed on flax, tiny seed from which
linen is made, starred cloth we wrap you in.

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This selection comes from Alicia Rebecca Myers’ chapbook My Seaborgium available now from Brain Mill Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alicia Rebecca Myers is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, The American Literary Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, The Carolina Quarterly, The Fairy Tale Review, and Day One. In February of 2014, she was awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City. A graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, she currently teaches at Wells College. You can find her online at aliciarebeccamyers.com.

Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Cæsura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Alicia Rebecca Myers’ My Seaborgium

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Chorus

The Argos cement truck
circles back a third time.
I’ve forgotten if the hundred eyes
were housed in one head
or many. These days I care so little
for myth, how witness works.
Now when I catch sight
of myself in windows of Last Resort
I deliberately extend my abdomen,
shine like a buffet
Buddha begging touch. I round out
like a hassock. I believe in God just so
I can revise:
hello Spry Fundus, hello
Winged Stria.
My memory of pain no more
than the memory of having once compared
a good apple to a good orange.
My own eyes, dazzling and compound.
Mornings, I outswim
women half my age. With a featherweight
heart I fold and refold
the layette, dream of kicks
from a fruitless chorus. I need them
behind me. To them I’ve upturned
my alms bowl. Hello Golden Reticulate,
hello Show. I’ve renamed
every leaf, every bereavement.

________________________________

This selection comes from Alicia Rebecca Myers’ chapbook My Seaborgium available now from Brain Mill Press. Purchase your copy here!

Alicia Rebecca Myers is a poet and essayist whose work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, The American Literary Review, Gulf Coast, jubilat, The Carolina Quarterly, The Fairy Tale Review, and Day One. In February of 2014, she was awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City. A graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, she currently teaches at Wells College. You can find her online at aliciarebeccamyers.com.

Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Cæsura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.

 

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Allie Marini’s Before Fire: Divorce Poems

allie and george


Streuselküchen, Prasselküchen, Butterküchen

Some say, lying is done with words & silence,
but it is also done with küchen, streusel
something scattered or sprinkled:
flour, cinnamon, butter, sugar, crème, nut meats, cherries, fat—
all the makings of happy marriages or happier funerals.

Simple cakes, these—though the baker knows better.
Yeast & milk, the freud-und-leid, mixed together to form dough,
which though silky to the touch, takes heft & might to make smooth.
In the kitchen, the baker kneads by hand, flipping & punching
until every knot turns soft & velvet.
Leave it still, heart-warmed, until it doubles.

Zuckerküchen assumes nothing.
Flat cakes for oblong unions, lopsided loves & slivered luck.
Most of the time, it’s more crumb than cake;
though sometimes—a puff pastry or short crust foundation,
a dough formed from shortening, more pie than küchen
it’s up to the baker to decide: Sweet is sweet.

Years ago, a Silesian baker tied her apron strings,
pulling rolled pastries & butter-sugar tartlets,
veined & studded with pockets of cinnamon,
out of the warmth of her oven—to get to a husband’s heart,
travel a path from his tongue, & when he wrongs you,
invent Käseküchen; soft cheese will mask the salt.
Emboss it with cherries. Show him how sweet it is to sit at your table.

When he strays & comes back to you, celebrate the ripe fruit of reconciliation,
a bit sharp, sour-sweet as the reddest of strawberries in your famous Erdbeerküchen.
Lace it with an edge of whipped cream—
forget the way the crust crumbles under the tines of your dessert fork.

Later, use a flat pan for a simple confection:
Baumküchen, whose layers are the rings of a tree,
gone from acorn to oak in the oven—
mature & ripe, its filling pinwheels vanilla, nutmeg-glazed apple slices,
the pinch of occasional jealousies & the remaining scars of old fights,
strident as an unexpected spike of ginger or cinnamon—
softened by a flutter of cardamom &
a skillful piping of sweet white icing on the top.

What’s left, in the kitchen,
after the husbands have been wedded, forgiven & buried,
after the kids have moved out &
the guests have come & gone:
just crumbs, & the memory of desserts not always sweet.
Beerdigungsküchen; the baker grieves.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This selection comes from Allie Marini Batts’ collection Before Fire: Divorce Poems, available now from ELJ Publications!  Purchase your copy here!

Allie Marini holds degrees from Antioch University of Los Angeles & New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net & nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is managing editor for the NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, & Zoetic Press, and co-edits for Lucky Bastard Press with her man, performance poet B Deep. She has previously served on the masthead for Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal, The Weekenders Magazine, Mojave River Review & Press, & The Bookshelf Bombshells. Allie is the author of  Unmade & Other Poems (Beautysleep Press), You Might Curse Before You Bless (ELJ Publications) wingless, scorched & beautiful (Imaginary Friend Press), Before Fire (ELJ Publications), This Is How We End (Bitterzoet), Pictures From The Center Of The Universe (Paper Nautilus, winner of the Vella Prize), Cliffdiving (Nomadic Press), And When She Tasted of Knowledge (Nomadic Press), Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide To Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Hyacinth Girl Press), Here Comes Hell {dancing girl press}, & Heart Radicals, a collaborative collection with Les Kay, Janeen Pergrin Rastall & Sandra Marchetti (ELJ Publications).  Allie rarely sleeps, and her mother has hypothesized that she is actually a robot fueled by Diet Coke & Sri Racha. She met George R.R. Martin & did not die. Proof of immortality? Not sure, but it does make a compelling argument…Find her on the web: https://www.facebook.com/AllieMariniBatts or @kiddeternity.

Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found, which will be re-released from Zoetic Press later this year. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. She serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and The Wardrobe.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: G.L. Morrison’s “Chiaroscuro Kisses”

MorrisonFront

Relentless Blue

I look for you in this poem with both hands
every word like the fingers of a blind sculptor
searching for your familiar face in the sightless clay.

If I were a painter, what I want to say
to you would be a shade of blue that couldn’t be bought
only blended by loving curiosity and relentless patience
blue as sun rising on the ocean after a storm

blue as dawn, obsidian about to shatter
in a wet cacophony of color.
Azure love. Sapphire uncertainty.
Hungers marbled turquoise and lapis lazuli.

If I were a sailor, this poem would be
a hundred days at sea.
Lips cracked with salt and silence.

Above me, in the wet, endless sky clouds row by
with a cargohold of storms and birds for barnacles.
Gulls shriek like lonely women.
Every star is an omen, I navigate by touch.

Below me, in the wet and endless sea
is everything I dare imagine, everything
that will ever and will never be
wide and spiny as puffer fish.

Infinitely blue and filled with stones, fish, and sunken
treasure; skeletons of clouds, birds, and stars;
sharks, mermaids, and the myriad of scuttling mysteries.
This poem is adrift in tomorrow’s current
somewhere off the coast of yesterday.

Your hand on this page is bone china,
the pottery buried with Pharaohs, Klimt’s
yellow kiss, swollen-mouthed as O’Keefe flowers.
Your hand on this page is the woman who waits
in a cottage overlooking the sea
where every hundred-day journey hopes to end.


This selection comes from G.L. Morrison’s collection Chiaroscuro Kisses, available from Headmistress Press. Purchase your copy here!

Born in Utah in 1966, G.L. Morrison was wet-nursed by Poetry whose savage, urgent milk has sustained her all these years. An oracle of knives and wings; an acolyte of reckless gods; channeled by a disabled poet in the Northwest: she is an intersectional feminist who moonlights as a sporadic blogger/writing teacher/freelancer, Oregon Chair of the Communist Party USA, and overzealous grandmother. Over the last 30 years, she has feathered her nest with the contributor copies of hundreds of magazines, a dozen anthologies, and a fistful of writing awards. She has been noted in Ms. and twice interviewed in Mother Jones. Her nonfiction writing stands at the crossroads of racial/economic justice, LGBT issues, and body-politics/fat-activism. Regie Cabico pronounced Chiaroscuro Kisses (Headmistress Press, 2013) “one of the most inspiring collections of poetry I’ve seen in the last decade.”

Mari Hailu is a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University where she simultaneously received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. As a Managing Editor of The Wardrobe, a blog series affiliated with Sundress Publications, she finds fellow poets to read and learn from. She hopes to have the opportunity to share her writing with the world very soon.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

jana

Dilemmas of Poets and Sculptors 

Translated by Barbara Jursa

Where poets seek a way into space
behind the visible world, sculptors enter
with hands, legs, hooks in the ceiling,

they bring their van loaded with bags of plaster
distracting passers-by with questions about the metal,
seducing them with the communal spirit of their work.

In the uncertainty of dissolving flesh we crave
substance, which is why sculptors are always
appreciated. They rummage through
immortality
giving solidity to spiritual places
like libraries where they lay their big
warm hands on the largest spines of monographs
thick with illustrations.

With religious patience they carry
their shining metal tools
into ever smaller spaces.

Poets still have much to say on the matter.
They love the sculptor’s tactile achievement,
glad to elude problems
of such concrete nature.

From afar they watch the group at work.

Sculptors don’t think about poets.
Every so often they look at canaries,
afraid their sculptor’s breath might press them
to the wall. Proud of being
so close to such exotic feathers.

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

Srdic_cover-212x300

The Other Side of Skin

Translated by Barbara Jursa

Wishing for a poem is like a humidity
in the air, 80% and rising.

At night I walk through this city in the shape
of a wet puddle, lights blur in its waving

and dry islands of life are named:
a pump, Nobel Burek, Hot-Horse,
Day and Night. “Good morning,” grins
an aged motorcyclist in leather
with his helmet and motorbike
and a rock-n-roll youth,
enters the shop.

Everything moving repels off
my body, a longhaired cat swiftly
puffs beside me, this hour is torn out,

time collapses
into itself in spirals, we are waiting in queues,

everyone with their tattered auras,
with marbles of lust scattered across the ground.

The city gives us an infusion of glittering
rhythms and saves us from a sweaty
apartment, flowers in pots that are quietly dying away,

the city is a recourse of cellophane
and we wait patiently—rabid dogs.

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

jana1

Vanishings

Translated by Barbara Jursa

Half a year after your death
I called home,
no one answered the phone and
suddenly I was surprised by your voice
on the answering machine.

As if the cactuses from the window shelf
had circled my bed in the morning.

As you spoke from that cube
of pink jelly

your voice
was both familiar and strange,
unusually determined like the voice
of a thirty-year-old who is never
at home and needs an answering machine

because he just came back from playing handball,
and is hurrying to go target shooting.
Just like all shooters on their way
to the range, he knows that he must stare
through the window of the bus
at the same spot, continuously,
the moon in the afternoon sky,

so in front of the target
his heart begins to beat with the black circles
until he joins them with his pulse on a dot
and pulls the trigger.

The familiar voice
of a thirty-year-old who is now on
a honeymoon to Venice with the Glen Miller casette
in the car. A women’s hat with a wide brim.
His light summer trousers (Gatsby style)
slip over his knees when he jumps up
two stairs at a time.
Stinky canals, damp walls,
pigeons, he says to her, everywhere pigeons,
at the same time as his cigarette, he leisurely
lights the smiles on negatives.

I pass by this tall slender man
in a light summer shirt who does not recognize me,
I do not exist.

I am thinking — when we erase the tape
and your voice in my head
becomes a blur I will be
a bit more porous,
my vanishing
will begin.

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

Srdic_cover-212x300

Air Cage

Translated by Barbara Jursa

All children on wheels have gotten helmets,
and trenches have been dug around the tracks
so we can’t cross them, which destroyed our
collective memory of walking on rails.

There’s a program, scribbled with yellow
chalk on a blackboard: activities in nature.
Young sparrows don’t kill themselves
when they fall out of a nest, sometimes
they just get eaten. Short but sweet.

This country isn’t right for us, we’re shaking our heads,
it rains too many days per year. All the bad
poems I read are like always having sex with the same
person, thoughts unwillingly wandering elsewhere
and yearning for something to nail them

to this moment.

The words are cut grass, calming, if you lay down,
even ants will politely avoid you.

And what are the chances that a swaying jogger
stops right above your head, eclipsing the sun
with her smoothly shaved legs?

No, this isn’t the right geographical latitude,
we’re shaking our heads, we need to stand on our
heads, stroll on the streets of Kampala, Nagpur,
Kuala Lumpur, where parrots fall from nests.

We need to shift from activities to nature.
Change our desires. The world is ripening into
a golden ball, all times are apocalyptic
and every moment now our cages will shatter.

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Jana Putrle Srdić’s “Anything Could Happen”

jana

The Dark Green Poem

Translated by Barbara Jursa

This is a poem about us two,
I have avoided it for a long time.

We push what deprives us of light out
          of our focus, heaping wobbly chairs,
unused tables, empty frames
into our guestroom. Some spaces we never
use, at least not with
                                       each other.

This is a poem about us two, green,
smooth and strange it lies
on the kitchen
                           linoleum.
In our long breakfast silence it sheds
its skin
             into words until only a dry
empty husk remains.

Although I am not numb, this night I dreamed
          of a woman with one leg,
she was perfect, I have to reach the bottom
of entanglement,
                         I dreamed that we share one leg,
is that perfect? It would be hard to
reach
          the town square with it, amongst
the pedestrians and cars, you know,
the square is the heart of every city,
a small perfection.
                                         We can still crawl.

This is a poem about us two.
I always thought it would be
                              a love poem.
At the bottom of the city, at the bottom
of the apartment,
                                        our one leg

This selection comes from Jana Putrle Srdić’s book Anything Could Happen, translated by Barbara Jursa and available from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Jana Putrle Srdić (1975, Ljubljana) is a poet, art film reviewer, and translator of poetry who lives in Ljubljana, where she works as a visual art producer. She has published three collections of poems to date, and also translates poetry from English, Russian, and Serbian, including collections by Robert Hass, Sapphire, Ana Ristović, and other authors.

Leslie LaChance edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration, has curated The Wardrobe for Sundress Publications and written poetry reviews for Stirring: A Literary Collection. Her poems have appeared in literary journals, and her chapbook, How She Got That Way, was published in the quartet volume Mend & Hone by Toadlily Press in 2013. She teaches literature and writing at Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee, and if she is not teaching, writing, or editing, she has probably just gone to make some more espresso.

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