Exceptional Poetry From Around the Web: December 2017

Here’s a short curation of some of the best new poems hitting the web recently. These seven poets, both established and emerging, all have talent worth copying. Enjoy, and be grateful, knowing so many awesome poets are making our community beautiful.

[I dreamed of it again, my dad’s body lost to us again]

by Diane Seuss in Virginia Quarterly Review

“my mother and sister added bluebells to his coffin/ but they called them sweet peas, I don’t know why”

This poem by Diane Suess blends the line between poetry and prose beautifully—the speaker’s voice rolls on quixotically in one unending sentence, asking, loving, seeking.

Exit Aisle

by Gary Dop in the most recent River Styx

“Let’s burst from here, take to our wing,/ and rush past all the lines of lights, the blue and white/ and blinking red, till we’re in the quiet”

“Exit Aisle” works to reveal an average moment with exceptional ambition. Dop invites us into empathy, into the quiet space where the Other does not require our language.

The Island Planet

by Alejandro Escudé in Gris Gris

“I’ve decided that whenever I encounter someone evil/ I’m going to speak to them in tongues”

Escudé animates his poem with associative force: the poem broadens from God to Greece to yeti caves. So much good in the stretching here.


by Jennifer L. Knox in The Journal

“alongside my dog who knew everything I knew/ but none of the nonsense—this made him our boss.”

“Hero” so casually intrigues the reader with its dog and its hesitant, clairvoyant speaker. Perfect title for a wonderful little experience.

City of Trans Liberation

by H. Melt in Lambda Literary

“Where every body/ has a body they/ believe in”

Unmitigated & sincere, H. Melt writes with a simple, earnest clarity. It is what you think it is, and it doesn’t need to be anything else.

Tongue to Tongue Cool

by Sam Herschel Wein in Pank

“I am pressed against her hair, and/ I am tongue to tongue cool, I am talk to tongue cool,/ I am talk to classmates about the tongue cool, I am// classmates with their tongues hidden behind their/ throats cool”

Beyond the wonderful title, this poem delivers a great lesson on the control of language and voice—the conversational quintets eventually disintegrate into a purely satisfying emotional authenticity.

Commas in Dante

by Jessica Laser in The Volta

“There are so many ways to think of us/ that I have thought them all.”

Simply, Laser has done a marvelous thing: a poem with a perfect first line(s) and a perfect last line(s).

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