Tagged: modern poetry

Sarah McCartt-Jackson’s “Stonelight”

“Stonelight,” the debut collection from Appalachian poet Sara McCarrt-Jackson, is as plain and unfussy as West Virginia dirt. Seldom have poems of such beauty and human sentiment proclaimed themselves so simply and directly. Shale, coal, rocks, stones — the minerals McCarrt-Jackson’s miners seek have a talismanic power, which the poet translates into the music of...

Valerie Fox’s “Insomniatic”

Half way through Valerie Fox’s sensational poetry chapbook “Insomniatic,” it dawned on me that her poems are funny — effortlessly. They’re not jokey or gimmicky, so why all the deep humor? Because they’re remarkably real, and each person’s version of reality is usually the darkest and brightest comedy of all. Fox’s work has an undercurrent of...

Xandria Phillips’ “Reasons for Smoking”

“I write to you from the predicament of Blackness,” is the opening line of Xandria Phillips’ new collection of poems, “Reasons for Smoking.” Unwritten, but deeply felt, is the predicament of Femaleness. And Gayness. And Differentness. All these challenges are met (and rhetorically bested) by this fierce poet’s keen sense of self and of the...

Grant Clauser, Poet

Many readers dislike poetry because it’s, well, poetic, employing technical maneuvers like alliteration and assonance (and repetition). According to popular wisdom, prose is plainspoken; poetry is fancy. Poems don’t seem to say what they mean; they dance around the simply stated truth, impressed with their sophistication and refinement. The poet Grant Clauser offers a bracing antidote to...

Poem: Never Lonely

  Now that I’m alone with my thoughts Now that I’m alone, with my thoughts Now that I’m alone. With my thoughts   Nothing has changed from the moment before Nothing has changed from the moment, before Nothing has changed. From the moment before   I was in a crowd acutely aware of my solitude...

Poem: Go On

How do you go on when every morning brings news of the intolerable, the intolerable that we all tolerate? How do you consciously continue the divine comedy, momentarily detouring Dante’s hoary inferno infested with infamy and ferocious flames, braising the bottoms of all who perpetrate the unallowable? How do you smile while the unacceptable must...

Poem: Beautiful World

Sitting on a bench beside a Scottish canal, watching the locks rising and the Lochs glowing he crossed his legs and placed his hands upon worn corduroy wales that had seen much of the civilized world. “It’s a beautiful world,” he said, smiling, an eternal boy peering from behind octogenarian eye-creases.  “It’s a beautiful world....

Poem: Pimped Out Poetry Slam Five-Sided Story

This is not an insult. This is merely a minor reminder mainly meant to catapult adult minds toward new thinking instead of the usual repeated drinking of the poisoned Kool-Aid propagated by the war-machine cult. At least that’s the expected result!   This is not a jabbing joking jibe. This is not a fleet-footed treatise about...