Sunday, February 17, 2019

My Four Beating Green Hearts

Image of the day:  Quick bird-shadows skating across the sparkling snow.

It's been awhile since I posted here, but thought I'd try and do so a little more.  I haven't had a lot of poetry acceptances as I took a "Top 25 Challenge," submitting my poems only to the top 25 tiered journals this past year.  A fun challenge but relatively futile.  This year, I'm aiming for 100 rejections again and this article explains the reasoning for attempting to do such an ambitious submissions project.  It certainly does inure one to rejections, which is a good thing when submitting poems.

I do have a poem here at Radar Poetry, with a reading (not my best) that doesn't match up to the published poem. (The art matched with the poem is spectacular, though!) I submitted an early draft of a poem that got accepted, but I had since revised said poem, and when they asked me to record it, used that version instead, by accident.  So here's the revised poem you can read and see what revisions I made:

Self-Portrait as Burgeoning New England Summer

I begin as pine tree rubbing myself against another pine

making noise like an opening of many forest doors

I begin as terra cotta pot of hot-pink impatience petals

            waiting for the hummingbird’s sword-like beak to enter me

I begin as a finely woven trick of web catching the sun’s lit thread

            and the hunting roly-poly bug

I begin as the yellow shooting star of cherry tomato bud

             a promise of juice inside your mouth

I begin as the fledging phoebe begging in the birch tree

            feed me  feed me  feed me

I being as the eager breeze chasing the apocalyptic horse-fly

I begin as the innocence of a pea-pod, ready to be peeled and reveal

            my four beating green hearts

I'm reading Tunsiya / Amerikiya now as well as The Line Becomes a River.  I've just started both so we'll see if I actually finish them.  

Your Quiet Outpost

And here is the sea and the agave already in flower
and along the colorful embankment teeming with life
are thick beehive tombs built into the cliff wall
and I look inside at timeless laughing girls
with dark, damp-stained hair. A similar girl
flanked your Ionian coast (a bee glistening with honey
shone in her eye), and she left
scarcely a trace of her name in the shade
of olive trees. There's no one to save you:
From the look on your face, you know
that one day is the same as others.
A sudden light transfigures
and closes us in this lonely circle
of empty moon—where Hades
rushes past your quiet outpost.

Salvatore Quasimodo
translated from the Italian by Julia Older
Mid-American Review
Volume XXXVIII, Number 2

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