Sunday, August 30, 2020

Meghan Lamb’s “To hold, to hollow” is #213 in the never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM

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***Meghan Lamb’s  “To hold, to hollow” is #213 in the never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.  All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. 

Can you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form? I’m afraid my memory (and consciousness of my own intuitive process) isn’t quite strong enough to detail everything step-by-step, but here are a few significant details I recall about writing this piece:

Around the time I conceived of this piece, I was also writing a monograph about Sarah Kane (and the complex legacy embodied by her Complete Plays: and thinking a lot about the run-on monologue in her play Crave. Specifically, I was thinking about performative accumulations, how a run-on paragraph-style poem can serve the dual function of a list (an inventory, an accounting of its own parts and construction) and an emotional explosion or outpouring. Most of the moments described in that monologue from Crave are just mundane activities—“meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes”; “tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes”; “get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don’t”—but you can tell even before reading it all the way through, just from the sheer length and shape of it, that every mundane detail contains multitudes of love and obsessive longing. I really wanted to write something like that—a piece that was both an inventory and an outpouring—and I was really interested in the challenge of writing a story in a single paragraph (because most of my writing is rather sparse, and I often rely on the suggestiveness of open space, emptiness, and gaps on the page).

Around the same time, Lyn Hejinian came to visit St. Louis (where I was then living), and I was really inspired by My Life in the Nineties (a different but similar inventory/outpouring). I started to consider the idea of writing an “entire life” in one accumulation, trying to contain the essence of a life in all its fragments of mundane and transformative detail.

In the spirit of these writers who inspired me, I felt like I wanted to extend some kind of anaphora across the entire piece, an almost liturgical-style repetition that evoked the feeling of prayer, or conjuring…a kind of longing that the piece itself knows it can’t fulfill (which is what I was trying to suggest with the last repeating line: “The sensation of loss”). I was really struggling to find something that was both precise enough and ambiguous enough to fulfill so many functions, though.  
Then, one day, when I was driving with my husband to visit his family on the east coast, the song “New Sensation” by INXS came on the radio, and I had my little epiphany moment (and I refuse to feel embarrassed by this source material)!

From that point on, the writing of the piece was pretty intuitive, driven by my own evolving “sensation” of its anaphora. I just imagined the many things I did from day to day: compulsively, without thinking, activities that looked boring on the surface but tingled with some kind of underlying charge. And the poem (or whatever you want to call it) flowed out in a way that was both practiced and spontaneous, like improvising on the piano to the repetitious ticking of a metronome (Below Left)

Where were you when you started to actually write the poem?  And please describe the place in great detail. I was staying at my mother-in-law’s house (Below Right) with my husband. I wrote most of this piece in the bedroom she usually used as her own, but always offered to us when we stayed there. 

          I sat in her bed with two pillows propped up behind me. The sheets were warm fleece winter sheets. A bowl of orange slice candy was on the bedside table. I ate each candy orange slice very slowly, taking little mouse bites, letting the sugar dissolve on my tongue. 
          There was a clock on the wall above my head—one of those raw wood cut-out clocks from the 70s—ticking gently in time with the tick, tick, ticking in my mind as I wrote each line. Now that I think about it, I might owe a great deal of my inspiration to that clock.

What month and year did you start writing this poem? Haha, it’s so hard to keep an accurate timeline, but I believe I wrote it in a single day sometime around the end of January or beginning of February in 2017. It looks like I submitted the piece to Threadcount on February 4th, so it was shortly before then.

How many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?) It never went through any formal “drafts,” per se…It was just a thing I kept picking at, changing a word here or there (and every time I changed a word or two, I’d save over the old version and delete my previous version). I have mixed feelings about my obsession with deleting things…on the one hand, it would probably be educational for me to “see” more of my own (mostly intuitive) process…but on the other hand, I make so many tiny little edits that they’re often impossible to track (especially in a piece this dense). Maybe deleting is part of a necessary “letting go” as I write (which is kind of germane to this piece and its interest in cloudy, untraceable “loss”).

Were there any lines in any of your rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version?  And can you share them with us? I didn’t cut any lines before publishing the poem in Threadcount, but I ended up trimming a few repetitions of “The sensation of loss” from All of Your Most Private Places to make the piece look like more of a solid block of text (from beginning to end). I also cut lines every time I read the piece out loud depending on how long I have to read it. Usually, the sections I cut are the office setting sections (in workshops, people mentioned that those were the parts they found boring, haha).
I wish I could share some print-offs with crossed out lines or some other piece of papery ephemera, but I move around way too often to carry all that stuff with me. Sorry about that.

What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem? The feeling of searching for yourself—for your legacy, your own essence, your own desires, for the things that make you you—amidst the accumulation of everyday movements, numb tiredness, lost-feeling, “the sensation of loss.”

Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? It was definitely, “The sensation of memory, pastel smocks, hair curlers, tufts of white hair wisping out of them, smiling, tea stained teeth with gold plated caps on the side of a mouth, gleaming strangely.” These are images I associate so closely with my grandmother (LEFT), who passed away just before I entered my MFA program at Washington University (which I was enrolled in at the time when I wrote this piece).
Education meant a lot to her (because she was a very intelligent and culturally literate person who never went to college herself), and she’d always wanted me to go to graduate school. I found out I was accepted to Washington University (RIGHT) just before she died. In our last phone conversation, I told her about the acceptance, and she told me she was proud of me.

Has this poem been published before?  And if so where?

Yes. It appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Threadcount:

To hold, To hollow
Meghan Lamb

The sensation of sleep. The sensation of unknown sensation that hums in your hollows. The sensation of waking, forgetting, remembering, fading, and failing, dissembling. The sensation of waking up early, head hard, eyes like cold bullets under your lids. The sensation of squinting, thin needles of light, as your hand guides your mind through the room. The sensation of rising and yawning and swallowing sour taste, spitting it out. The sensation of sitting in front of your mothers lap, letting her brush all the snarls from your hair. The sensation of tugging, of ripping, of hissing, hold still, in your ear. The sensation of wriggling, whining, of gritting your teeth, as you try to count backward from ten. The sensation of standing up with her beside you, and looking inside of the mirror, as she tousles and twists up your hair, clipping, hold still. The sensation that you are bad. The sensation of sewing, of training your eyes through the needle, through one, thin, minuscule slit, pinching tight to the edge of your thread, licking lightly, the tip. The sensation of pulling it through. The sensation of watching your grandmother sewing, hands feeding the fabric along the machine with its jagged tooth, gnawing its pathway of perfectly hashed lines. The sensation of running out into the snow. The sensation of ruining shoes. The sensation of tracking in mud, in the dark, unaware, switching on the light, feeling the fear in your throat. The sensation of spilling root beer on your pristine new white Easter sweater. The sensation of dropping a plate and the instant of hoping before the plate shatters. The sensation of picking up fragments, of piercing your skin, the air rushing inside of the opening, filling you with a sharp chill. The sensation that you are bad. The sensation of petting the cat. The sensation of getting a scratch. The sensation of swimming in cold water, toweling off, drying off, diving back in. The sensation of riding around in the back seat and listening to your CDs, watching mountains unfurl, hills wane, cities sprawl, and tall trees shed their leaves. The sensation of looking out windows, of looking at pictures in albums, of looking at sculptures of Jesus, of looking at magazines, looking at art. The sensation of looking at girls. The sensation of noticing something you like, or would like to have, like to have been, or be, someday, you hope to become. The sensation of touching your tongue to a sore in your mouth, licking secretive wounds. The sensation of something all wrong in your underwear, cotton that catches inside of your crotch. The sensation of cutting your hair. The sensation of dying your hair blue, then black. The sensation of switching to new underwear, smoother fabric that lets you forget what it hides. The sensation of stepping up onto the scale, the fluttering sound as it settles in place. The sensation of pinching your waist in an effort to see how much of yourself you can still hold. The sensation of tossing some twigs of spaghetti into a hot pot, and then watching them boil. The sensation of watching the dish in the microwave, turning and turning. The sensation of peeling an orange. The sensation of pouring some flakes. The sensation of waiting for coffee, then sipping the first hot sip, tenderly, carefully. The sensation of scratching an itch. The sensation of thick, itchy sweaters. The sensation of twirling, of pinning up your hair, the twisting of your wrist. The sensation of opening up the front door. The sensation of stepping out onto the ice. The sensation of stepping out into the sun. The sensation of stepping out into the rain. The sensation of racing to catch the bus, catching your breath in its smog. The sensation of catching a womans reflection inside of the window, inside of your own. The sensation of quickening pulse. The sensation of jittering floors. The sensation of cold. The sensation of watching her face as she looks at you, knowing that you have been looking too long. The sensation of seeing her shift to avoid you. The sensation that you are bad. The sensation of picking your chapped lips and biting inside of your cheek. The sensation of pressing your face to the window and watching the street fogging by. The sensation of clasping your hands around warm coffee, cooler now, safer to sip. The sensation of walking up long flights of stairs. The sensation of sitting beneath a bright light. The sensation of humming vibrations sent down from the light, and absorbed by your skin. The sensation of stretching, and pacing, and trips to the semi public bathroom. The sensation of scanning the bottoms of stalls to see if there are feet underneath them. The sensation of waiting, foot tapping, and catching a thin whiff of piss. The sensation of ducking in, squatting, and training your ears as you piss, shit, covertly. The sensation of pulling your underwear back up, still loose, still the same, smooth synthetic. The sensation of pumping a foamy white soap mound and rinsing it off. The sensation of sitting down back at your desk. The sensation of coffee, gone cold. The sensation of typing, and pausing, and typing, and straining, and pausing to stretch out your hands, and you do so by clasping, unclasping your fist, and you do so by clenching, unclenching your fingers, and opening them, and then closing them, stretching them out toward the light. The sensation of hoping for something to hold. The sensation of holding a drink. The sensation of drinking a bourbon Manhattan and sucking the cherry. The sensation of stirring your cocktail sword. The sensation of picking your teeth with it. The sensation of tingling sharpness that digs in the grooves of your gums. The sensation of digging around in your purse for the compact mirror, fixing your lipstick. The sensation of checking your teeth, which somehow always seem to get covered in red. The sensation of waiting, and waiting. The sensation when she arrives, or he arrives. The sensation of looking him over, her over, brown hair, black hair, gray hair, and touching your own. The sensation of standing and sliding across from, beside her, or him. The sensation of speaking, adjusting your voice. The sensation of bass seeping, glass clinking, TV commercials, all muffled together, a too thick scarf of sounds around your words. The sensation of swallowing, gulping, of looking up, down, and around, to hear what they are saying. The sensation of a hand placed on your hand, the permission to leave. The sensation of walking up long flights of stairs. The sensation of walking into a dark room, where the light flicks behind you, illuminating a strange space. The sensation of having another drink, which you know that you wont finish, then leaning in, letting them lean in, or kneel, or kneeling to kiss them, or letting them kiss you. The sensation of smell. The sensation of taste. The sensation of most of it, strong, dark, and sour, or mint flavored, recently mint flavored, starting to fade. The sensation of a couch, a bed, a hard, soft, wall, so many textures, sounds, arrangements of their unfamiliarity. The sensation of standing, of straddling, fingering, sucking, secreting, of touching things, taking things, making things do things, and thus, making things into things. The sensation of an arm, a leg, a knee, an elbow, wrapping, or unwrapping, bumping up against your arm, your leg, your knee. The sensation of a new smell, salivation mixed with bergamot, synthetic pine sprig into sweat, tea rose into genital juice. The sensation of a cunt, a cock, a tongue, a who knows what, a something wet, a kiss, a flip, a lick, a lip, a sniff, a shift, a slide, a cough, a creak, a web of wet hair in your face, a pimple, nipple, pink, or brown, amid a tuft, a mound, a round, a soft, flat mass, amid a body, short, or long, or smooth, or furred, or sharp, or stiff, or swimming up to you, then backward as you move your mouth, your hands, your face, your mouth, your hands, your face, your face, your face, a face you cannot see, you never see, you never do see what you want to when you think, feeling around, the moment when you make it come, the cunt, her cunt, the cock, his cock, the face, their face, your face, your face, your face, your face. The sensation that you are bad. The sensation of the underwear, picked up and put back on. The sensation of a brush torn through the snarls of your hair. The sensation of your quiet footsteps through the strange room, to the door. The sensation of opening, ducking your head in the wind. The sensation of huddling into your coat. The sensation of walking out into the dark. The sensation of an echoed engine, quivering the streets, the way small cities hollow themselves out late in the night. The sensation of an oil smell, a gravel smell. The sensation of walking by a vent from which a thick, grey steam is pouring. The sensation of climbing back up to your room, into your bed, and wrapping yourself deep inside the shadows of your sheets. The sensation of waking up, sick. The sensation of coughing and holding your chest. The sensation of smelling like sweat, mostly yours, some of theirs, mixed with bergamot. The sensation of lying, and coughing, and reaching your arm out, and pouring a cap full of syrup, a cup full of bourbon, and swallowing, switching them back and forth, and back and forth. The sensation of watching TV. The sensation of ordering lunch. The sensation of hot noodles, slimy green peppers, and bean curd. The sensation of cold and half-hardened white rice. The sensation of opening packets of sauce with your teeth. The sensation of drizzling them over everything. The sensation of swallowing, painfully, chewing each bite twenty times, in the way you were taught. The sensation of warm spit, full stomach, disgust. The sensation that you are bad. The sensation of chopping up garlic and ginger, then smelling the tips of your fingers, then thinking of other times when you have made this same motion, have done this same act, with quite different results. The sensation of tossing some vegetables into a pan full of oil, and frying them up. The sensation of eating too quickly and burning your mouth. The sensation of running your injured tongue over your teeth as you package the leftovers, shelve them inside of the fridge, and then stand for a minute, inside of the droning blue glow. The sensation of taking a bath, lying back in the water, and letting it flow through your hair, fill your ears and your nose and all your other openings. The sensation of shaving your legs. The sensation of nicking your skin with the blade. The sensation of raising your ankle, blood running, and dabbing it off with a rag. The sensation of tracing a clear circle into the mirror fog, feathering out your hair, wondering what you would look like with shorter bangs, longer hair, shorter hair, flipped to the side. The sensation of Googling girls with good hair. The sensation of Googling girls with short hair. The sensation of Googling girls with short lavender hair. The sensation of Googling girls with short lavender hair, puffy nipples, and small breasts, unfurling your skirt with one hand, scrolling search images with the other. The sensation of wishing your breasts looked like that. The sensation of touching them, feeling dissatisfied with the sensation of something so yours and so known. The sensation of searching for lavender lingerie, pale gray stockings with lavender seams. The sensation of buying a set of sheer panties in orchid and aubergine, on sale. The sensation of buying a gimlet, to try it, a dirty martini, a dry one, then back to the dirty one, briny as yes, you know what, because who are you kidding. The sensation of meeting a lawyer who says he likes secrets. The sensation of meeting a stripper who says she likes dogs. The sensation of meeting an art teacher with a blonde streak in her blunt cut black hair, who declares she is looking for someone to keep her company. The sensation of meeting a surgeon who carries a very large purse filled with boxes of dark purple nitrile gloves that she puts on whenever she smokes. The sensation of fucking inside of the book store, the library, bathroom, the back room, inside of the back of the booth, on the twenty fourth flour of the merchandise mart. The sensation of sex on the table, the counter, the window, the balcony, in an abandoned warehouse, on a brittle concrete slab outside a train yard. The sensation of making a list of things that you would like to do, doing them, ticking them off. The sensation of reading it, trying to read something into it, failing. The sensation of reading a book without reading it, paging through, thinking, Im in here, somewhere. The sensation of touching yourself in your bed without touching much, thinking, Im in here, somewhere. The sensation holding your skirt as the wind blows too strong. The sensation of holding the edge of your flimsy umbrella against a hard rain. The sensation of stepping around puddles, seepages, islands of muddy wet trash. The sensation of riding the bus, nodding off on the window, with bags at your feet. The sensation of ending up at the wrong stop. The sensation of wandering, squinting around. The sensation of seeing a house that looks just like your grandmothers. The sensation of memory, pale teal tile, pile carpet, a big picture window, and shelves full of thick picture albums and magazines, statues of Jesus. The sensation of memory, hide and seek, ducking in showers, in closets, behind the dark doors of the wardrobe, beneath the mothball scented sweaters and coats. The sensation of memory, pastel smocks, hair curlers, tufts of white hair wisping out of them, smiling, tea stained teeth with gold plated caps on the side of a mouth, gleaming strangely. The sensation of cold feet, cold nipples, cold lit, distant windows, like teeth. The sensation of betrayal when an unknown man walks by, inside. The sensation of going inside. The sensation of closing the door, turning off all the lights. The sensation of licking an envelope, sealing it shut. The sensation of sermons, of funerals, dim lit wood paneling, weak coffee brewing. The sensation of weddings and showers and new dresses bought to wear to them. The sensation of curling your hair overnight, and unrolling the rollers, next morning, to find that the right side is perfect, the left, a complete utter mess. The sensation of taking a brush to the right side and making it wrong, so it matches the left, tearing hard, frizzing up all the edges, and tossing your head in a frenzy. The sensation of biting your nails. The sensation of punching the wall. The sensation of fingering, fisting, of slapping, and biting, and digging around in someone elses shape. The sensation of coming, hard, feeling your muscles protracting and pushing themselves from your bones. The sensation of coming, soft, looking up into the globe lamp, cocooning its light. The sensation of snow falling, coating the world in its sheen. The sensation of melting, uncoating, revealing, of having learned nothing from years worth of seasons. The sensation of plays and recitals and concerts and trivia nights and bar hopping and team meetings, bowling and badminton, brunches and birthdays and date nights and calling in sick. The sensation of Fridays, and Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, and Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and Fridays, and more dates and drinks, and more sleeping, and eating, and meeting, and kissing, and fucking, and shaving, and cutting your hair short, and growing it out, and more chasing the bus, and more looking through windows, at windows, and watching them, waiting for something, some portal, some image, some message, to play there, forever, of riding the bus and imagining mountains unfurling, hills waning, in place of the parking lots, blocks with the same signs recurring, the same scenes repeated, of hunger, of fullness, of happiness, boredom, and waiting, and waiting, and anxiousness, which is just really a form of some sourceless, eternal impatience, of here and of gone, and of now, and of dull, and of fear, and of done, and of shame, and of farce, and of love, and of guilt, and of vague pain, vague hope, and vague longing, vague sadness, vague pleasure, vague loss. The sensation of loss. The sensation of loss.

          Meghan Lamb is the recipient of an MFA in Fiction from Washington University and the 2018 Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing. She is the author of the novel Silk Flowers (Birds of Lace, 2017), the poetry chapbook Letter to Theresa (dancing girl press, 2016), and the novella Sacramento  (Solar Luxuriance, 2014).

Contact her at


001  December 29, 2017
Margo Berdeshevksy’s “12-24”

002  January 08, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “82 Miles From the Beach, We Order The Lobster At Clear Lake Café”

003 January 12, 2018
Barbara Crooker’s “Orange”

004 January 22, 2018
Sonia Saikaley’s “Modern Matsushima”

005 January 29, 2018
Ellen Foos’s “Side Yard”

006 February 03, 2018
Susan Sundwall’s “The Ringmaster”

007 February 09, 2018
Leslea Newman’s “That Night”

008 February 17, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher “June Fairchild Isn’t Dead”

009 February 24, 2018
Charles Clifford Brooks III “The Gift of the Year With Granny”

010 March 03, 2018
Scott Thomas Outlar’s “The Natural Reflection of Your Palms”

011 March 10, 2018
Anya Francesca Jenkins’s “After Diane Beatty’s Photograph “History Abandoned”

012  March 17, 2018
Angela Narciso Torres’s “What I Learned This Week”

013 March 24, 2018
Jan Steckel’s “Holiday On ICE”

014 March 31, 2018
Ibrahim Honjo’s “Colors”

015 April 14, 2018
Marilyn Kallett’s “Ode to Disappointment”

016  April 27, 2018
Beth Copeland’s “Reliquary”

017  May 12, 2018
Marlon L Fick’s “The Swallows of Barcelona”

018  May 25, 2018

019  June 09, 2018
Alexis Rhone Fancher’s “Stiletto Killer. . . A Surmise”

020 June 16, 2018
Charles Rammelkamp’s “At Last I Can Start Suffering”

021  July 05, 2018
Marla Shaw O’Neill’s “Wind Chimes”

022 July 13, 2018
Julia Gordon-Bramer’s “Studying Ariel”

023 July 20, 2018
Bill Yarrow’s “Jesus Zombie”

024  July 27, 2018
Telaina Eriksen’s “Brag 2016”

025  August 01, 2018
Seth Berg’s “It is only Yourself that Bends – so Wake up!”

026  August 07, 2018
David Herrle’s “Devil In the Details”

027  August 13, 2018
Gloria Mindock’s “Carmen Polo, Lady Necklaces, 2017”

028  August 21, 2018
Connie Post’s “Two Deaths”

029  August 30, 2018
Mary Harwell Sayler’s “Faces in a Crowd”

030 September 16, 2018
Larry Jaffe’s “The Risking Point”

031  September 24, 2018
Mark Lee Webb’s “After We Drove”

032  October 04, 2018
Melissa Studdard’s “Astral”

033 October 13, 2018
Robert Craven’s “I Have A Bass Guitar Called Vanessa”

034  October 17, 2018
David Sullivan’s “Paper Mache Peaches of Heaven”

035 October 23, 2018
Timothy Gager’s “Sobriety”

036  October 30, 2018
Gary Glauber’s “The Second Breakfast”

037  November 04, 2018
Heather Forbes-McKeon’s “Melania’s Deaf Tone Jacket”

038 November 11, 2018
Andrena Zawinski’s “Women of the Fields”

039  November 00, 2018
Gordon Hilger’s “Poe”

040 November 16, 2018
Rita Quillen’s “My Children Question Me About Poetry” and “Deathbed Dreams”

041 November 20, 2018
Jonathan Kevin Rice’s “Dog Sitting”

042 November 22, 2018
Haroldo Barbosa Filho’s “Mountain”

043  November 27, 2018
Megan Merchant’s “Grief Flowers”

044 November 30, 2018
Jonathan P Taylor’s “This poem is too neat”

045  December 03, 2018
Ian Haight’s “Sungmyo for our Dead Father-in-Law”

046 December 06, 2018
Nancy Dafoe’s “Poem in the Throat”

047 December 11, 2018
Jeffrey Pearson’s “Memorial Day”

048  December 14, 2018
Frank Paino’s “Laika”

049  December 15, 2018
Jennifer Martelli’s “Anniversary”

O50  December 19, 2018
Joseph Ross’s For Gilberto Ramos, 15, Who Died in the Texas Desert, June 2014”

051 December 23, 2018
“The Persistence of Music”
by Anatoly Molotkov

052  December 27, 2018
“Under Surveillance”
by Michael Farry

053  December 28, 2018
“Grand Finale”
by Renuka Raghavan

054  December 29, 2018
by Gene Barry

055 January 2, 2019
by Larissa Shmailo

056  January 7, 2019
“The Seamstress:
by Len Kuntz

057  January 10, 2019
"Natural History"
by Camille T Dungy

058  January 11, 2019
by Brian Burmeister

059  January 12, 2019
by Clint Margrave

060 January 14, 2019
by Pat Durmon

061 January 19, 2019
“Neptune’s Choir”
by Linda Imbler

062  January 22, 2019
“Views From the Driveway”
by Amy Barone

063  January 25, 2019
“The heron leaves her haunts in the marsh”
by Gail Wronsky

064  January 30, 2019
by Terry Lucas

065 February 02, 2019
“Summer 1970, The University of Virginia Opens to Women in the Fall”
by Alarie Tennille

066 February 05, 2019
“At School They Learn Nouns”
by Patrick Bizzaro

067  February 06, 2019
“I Must Not Breathe”
by Angela Jackson-Brown

068 February 11, 2019
“Lunch on City Island, Early June”
by Christine Potter

069 February 12, 2019
by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum

070 February 14, 2019
“Daily Commute”
by Christopher P. Locke

071 February 18, 2019
“How Silent The Trees”
by Wyn Cooper

072 February 20, 2019
“A New Psalm of Montreal”
by Sheenagh Pugh

073 February 23, 2019
“Make Me A Butterfly”
by Amy Barbera

074 February 26, 2019
by Sandy Coomer

075 March 4, 2019
“Shape of a Violin”
by Kelly Powell

076 March 5, 2019
“Inward Oracle”
by J.P. Dancing Bear

077 March 7, 2019
“I Broke My Bust Of Jesus”
by Susan Sundwall

078 March 9, 2019
“My Mother at 19”
by John Guzlowski

079 March 10, 2019
by Chera Hammons Miller

080 March 12, 2019
“Of Water and Echo”
by Gillian Cummings

081   082   083    March 14, 2019
“Little Political Sense”   “Crossing Kansas with Jim
Morrison”  “The Land of Sky and Blue Waters”
by Dr. Lindsey Martin-Bowen

084 March 15, 2019
“A Tune To Remember”
by Anna Evans

085 March 19, 2019
“At the End of Time (Wish You Were Here)
by Jeannine Hall Gailey

086 March 20, 2019
“Garden of Gethsemane”
by Marletta Hemphill

087 March 21, 2019
“Letters From a War”
by Chelsea Dingman

088 March 26, 2019
by Bob Heman

089 March 27, 2019
“Clay for the Potter”
by Belinda Bourgeois

#090 March 30, 2019
“The Pose”
by John Hicks

#091 April 2, 2019
“Last Night at the Wursthaus”
by Doug Holder

#092 April 4, 2019
“Original Sin”
by Diane Lockward

#093 April 5, 2019
“A Father Calls to his child on liveleak”
by Stephen Byrne

#094 April 8, 2019
by Marc Zegans

#095 April 12, 2019
“Landscape and Still Life”
by Marjorie Maddox

#096 April 16, 2019
“Strawberries Have Been Growing Here for Hundreds of
by Mary Ellen Lough

#097 April 17, 2019
“The New Science of Slippery Surfaces”
by Donna Spruijt-Metz

#098 April 19, 2019
“Tennessee Epithalamium”
by Alyse Knorr

#099 April 20, 2019
“Mermaid, 1969”
by Tameca L. Coleman

#100 April 21, 2019
“How Do You Know?”
by Stephanie

#101 April 23, 2019
“Rare Book and Reader”
by Ned Balbo

#102 April 26, 2019
by Jefferson Carter

#103 May 01, 2019
“The sight of a million angels”
by Jenneth Graser

#104 May 09, 2019
“How to tell my dog I’m dying”
by Richard Fox

#105 May 17, 2019
“Promises Had Been Made”
by Sarah Sarai

#106 June 01, 2019
“i sold your car today”
by Pamela Twining

#107 June 02, 2019
“Abandoned Stable”
by Nancy Susanna Breen

#108 June 05, 2019
by Julene Tripp Weaver

#109 June 6, 2019
“Bobby’s Story”
by Jimmy Pappas

#110 June 10, 2019
“When You Ask Me to Tell You About My Father”
by Pauletta Hansel

#111 Backstory of the Poem’s
“Cemetery Mailbox”
by Jennifer Horne

#112 Backstory of the Poem’s
by Kate Peper

#113 Backstory of the Poem’s
by Jennifer Johnson

#114 Backstory of the Poem’s
“Brushing My Hair”
by Tammika Dorsey Jones

#115 Backstory of the Poem
“Because the Birds Will Survive, Too”
by Katherine Riegel

#116 Backstory of the Poem
by Joan Barasovska

#117 Backstory of the Poem
by Michael Meyerhofer

#118 Backstory of the Poem
“Dear the estranged,”
by Gina Tron

#119 Backstory of the Poem
“In Remembrance of Them”
by Janet Renee Cryer

#120 Backstory of the Poem
“Horse Fly Grade Card, Doesn’t Play Well With Others”
by David L. Harrison

#121 Backstory of the Poem
“My Mother’s Cookbook”
by Rachael Ikins

#122 Backstory of the Poem
“Cousins I Never Met”
by Maureen Kadish Sherbondy

#123 Backstory of the Poem
“To Those Who Were Our First Gods”
by Nickole Brown

#124 Backstory of the Poem
“Looking For Sunsets (In the Early Morning)”
by Paul Levinson

#125 Backstory of the Poem
by Tiff Holland

#126 Backstory of the Poem
by Cindy Hochman

#127 Backstory of the Poem
by Natasha Saje

#128 Backstory of the Poem
“How to Explain Fertility When an Acquaintance Asks Casually”
by Allison Blevins

#129 Backstory of the Poem
“The Art of Meditation In Tennessee”
by Linda Parsons

#130 Backstory of the Poem
“Schooling High, In Beslan”
by Satabdi Saha

#131 Backstory of the Poem
“Baby Jacob survives the Oso Landslide, 2014”
by Amie Zimmerman

#132 Backstory of the Poem
“Our Age of Anxiety”
by Henry Israeli

#133 Backstory of the Poem
“Earth Cries; Heaven Smiles”
by Ken Allan Dronsfield

#134  Backstory of the Poem
by Janine Canan

#135 Backstory of the Poem
by Catherine Zickgraf

#136 Backstory of the Poem
“Bushwick Blue”
by Susana H. Case

#137 Backstory of the Poem
“Then She Was Forever”
by Paula Persoleo

#138 Backstory of the Poem
by Kris Bigalk

#139 Backstory of the Poem
“From Ghosts of the Upper Floor”
by Tony Trigilio

#140 Backstory of the Poem
“Cloud Audience”
by Wanita Zumbrunnen

#141 Backstory of the Poem
“Condition Center”
by Matthew Freeman

#142 Backstory of the Poem
“Adventuresome Woman”
by Cheryl Suchors

#143 Backstory of the Poem
“The Way Back”
by Robert Walicki

#144 Backstory of the Poem
“If I Had Three Lives”
by Sarah Russell

#145 Backstory of the Poem
by Andrea Rexilius

#146 Backstory of the Poem
“The Night Before Our Dog Died”
by Melissa Fite Johnson

#147 Backstory of the Poem
by David Anthony Sam

#148 Backstory of the Poem
“A Kitchen Argument”
by Matthew Gwathmey

#149 Backstory of the Poem
by Bruce Kauffman

#150 Backstory of the Poem
“I Will Tell You Where I’ve Been”
by Justin Hamm

#151 Backstory of the Poem
by Michael A Griffith

#152 Backstory of the Poem
by Margo Taft Stever

#153 Backstory of the Poem
“1. Girl”
by Margaret Manuel

#154 Backstory of the Poem
“Trading Places”
by Maria Chisolm

#155 Backstory of the Poem
“The Reoccurring Woman”
by Debra May

#156 Backstory of the Poem
“Word Falling”
by Sheryl St. Germain

#157 Backstory of the Poem
“Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of 7,000 Jews Detained in an
by Liz Marlow

#158 Backstory of the Poem
“Why Otters Hold Hands”
by William Walsh

#159 Backstory of the Poem
“The Invisible World”
by Rocco de Giacoma

#160 Backstory of the Poem
“Last Call”
by Ralph Culver

#161 Backstory of the Poem
by David Dephy

#162 Backstory of the Poem
“Mare Nostrum”
by Janice D Soderling

#163 Backstory of the Poem
“Winnipeg Noir”
by Carmelo Militano

#164 Backstory of the Poem
“Needlepoint Roses”
by Jason O’Toole

#165 Backstory of the Poem
“Singing, Studying on Whiteness, This Penelope Strings”
by Jeanne Larsen

#166 Backstory of the Poem
“How To Befriend Uncertainty”
by Prartho Sereno

#167 Backstory of the Poem
“Shostakovich: Five Pieces”
by Pamela Uschuk

#168 Backstory of the Poem
“Bouquet for Amy Clampitt”
by Peter Kline

#169 Backstory of the Poem
by Catherine Arra

#170 Backstory of the Poem
“Silence – a lost art”
by Megha Sood

#171 Backstory of the Poem/ May 09, 2020
“Horribly Dull”
by Mark DeCharmes

#172 Backstory of the Poem/ May 12, 2020
“Celebrating His Ninety-Second Birthday the Year his Wife Died”
by Michael Mark

#173 Backstory of the Poem/ May 14, 2020
“Night Clouds in the Black Hills”
by Cameron Morse

#174 Backstory of the Poem/ May 18, 2020
“I’ve Been In Heaven For Long”
by Evanesced Dethroned Angel

#175 Backstory of the Poem/ May 20, 2020
by Barbara Crooker

#176 and #177 Backstory of the Poem/ May 25, 2020
“My Small World” and
“My Mistake”
by Tina Barry

#178 Backstory of the Poem/ June 05, 2020
“Against Numbers”
by Andrea Potos

#179 Backstory of the Poem/ June 15, 2020
by Julie Weiss

#180 Backstory of the Poem/ June 20, 2020
“The Tree That Stood Beside Me”
by Carly My Loper

#181 Backstory of the Poem/ June 23, 2020
“Electric Mail”
by Julie E. Bloemeke

#182 Backstory of the Poem
June 24, 2020
“Her First Ten Days”
by Julieta Corpus

#183 Backstory of the Poem
June 26, 2020
“Outside My House Is A Guava Tree”
by Dr. Ampat Varghese Koshy

#184 Backstory of the Poem
July 2, 2020
by Victor Enns

#185 Backstory of the Poem
July 5, 2020
“A Way of Life”
by Dan Provost

#186 Backstory of the Poem
July 6, 2020
“The Alabama Wiregrassers”
by Charles Ghigna

#186 Backstory of the Poem
July 6, 2020
“The Alabama Wiregrassers”
by Charles Ghigna

#187 Backstory of the Poem
July 7, 2020
“The Seer”
by Kathleen Winter

#188 Backstory of the Poem
July 11, 2020
“Stuck At Home”
by Valerie Frost

#189 Backstory of the Poem
July 13, 2020
“Between the Earth and Sky”
by Eleanor Kedney

#190 Backstory of the Poem
July 14, 2020
of patience” 
by Eftichia Kapardell’

#191 Backstory of the Poem
July 15, 2020
Threnody by the President for Victims of COVID-19, Beginning with a Line from Milosz”
by Ralph Culver

#192 Backstory of the Poem
July 16, 2020
“Will Be Done”
by Tom Hunley

#193 Backstory of the Poem
July 17, 2020
“The Love of Two Trees”
by Hussein Habasch

#194 Backstory of the Poem
July 18, 2020
“June Almeida”
by Lev RI Ardiansyah

#195 Backstory of the Poem
July 19. 2020
“After Grano Maturo”
by Matthew Gavin Frank

#196 Backstory of the Poem
July 20, 2020
by Linda Neal Reising

#197 Backstory of the Poem
July 21, 2020
“Will Be Done”
by Tom C Hunley

#198 Backstory of the Poem
July 22, 2020
by Ted Morrissey

#199 Backstory of the Poem
July 23, 2020
“Being In Love at Fifty”
by Anne Walsh Donnelly

#200 Backstory of the Poem
July 25, 2020
“Star pinwheel poem”
by Andrea Watson

#201 Backstory of the Poem
July 30, 2020
“Gentle Women, Adult Female Persons, and Housewives in Indonesia
by Kimberly Burnham

#202 Backstory of the Poem
July 31, 2020
by Don Yorty

#203  Backstory of the Poem
August 01, 2020
“I want to unfold the disease”
by Vanessa Shields

#204 Backstory of the Poem
August 06, 2020
“A Bone of Contention with the Ghost of John Lennon Over Strawberry Fields Forever”
by Ruth Weinstein

#205 Backstory of the Poem
August 07 2020
“Statement by the Pedestrian Liberation Organisation”
by Thomas McColl

#206 Backstory of the Poem
August 08 2020

Un Poco Pequeño”

by Damon Chua

#207 Backstory of the Poem
August 10, 2020
“mary lou williams’s piano workshop (after Fred Moten)”
by Makalani Bandele

#208 Backstory of the Poem
August 18, 2020
“Roll Credits by KCK”
by Casey Kirkpatrick aka KCK

#209 Backstory of the Poem
August 21, 2020
“Ancient Pyramid”
by Mark Tulin

#210 Backstory of the Poem
August 23, 2020
“How Far the Strom?”
by Charles Malone

#211 Backstory of the Poem
August 27, 2020
“89 Tears”
by Robert Carr

#212 Backstory of the Poem
August 28, 2020
“Food and Water”
by Brooke McNamara

#213 Backstory of the Poem
August 30, 2020
“To hold, to hollow”
by Meghan Lamb