Exceptional Poetry From Around the Web: January 2018

Here’s a short curation of some of the best new poems hitting the web. 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.


Love Poem for a Dry Spell

by Emily Paige Wilson in Glass Poetry

“How the skirts of trust/ rustle, edge my waist in hungry/ red welts.”

Sensuous and evocative, Wilson’s love poem compacts the body into her senses, only to exhale it like smoke. Read the poem out loud, notice the magic on your lips.

marathon avoidance

by Inam Kang, winner of the 2017 Winter Tangerine Poetry Award, judged by Kaveh Akbar

“all day i was crowded by it. dick on/ the horizon and maybe bad dead/ people watching it all go down”

Kaveh Akbar: “The poet foregrounds pleasure through their wildly imaginative language and their breathless spirit; then, that pleasure carries us into a place of deep private and universal truth. Frost said a poem should begin in delight and end in wisdom. MARATHON AVOIDANCE is a very, very good poem.”


by Roya Marsh in Flypaper Magazine

“i carry the wood/ of men/ i have never loved/ {in my mouth}”

With a drumbeat rhythm, incessant pounding of syllables in staccato lines, Roya Marsh transfixes the musical power into her raw digestion of frustration: “a recipe/ for fire.”

Letter to Alan Lomax

by Russel Brakefield in Bomb Magazine

“The hymn for the time is bone on bone./ One man’s anthem slaughters another.”

A stunning command of language, with inverted verbs and nouns and the language of hymns—this “Letter” is written from a clear and cool wisdom of the artist facing injustice.

“From 35,000 Feet / Praise Aviophobia”

by Geffrey Davis, a Motionpoem from Button Poetry

“the holy fall from the flock/ from the union whole/ until the touch to ground”

Poetry is always stretching toward accessibility, and this well-produced video of a poem by Geffrey Davis amplifies all the body talk and anxiety the original words perform.

Elegy for Don Lalo’s Gold Tooth

by Alan Chazaro in Lunch Ticket

“One year we visited and his family broke/ the news about his burial. The streets seemed to/ blister with potholes that night.”

Chazaro’s poem builds for us a town, a decade, a childhood—what else is poetry for but to remember those neighbors who pass when we’re out of town and far away?

When All the Dandelions Have Wilted, the Scratch of Tobacco is So Much Less Damning

by Khaya Osborne in Drunk in a Midnight Choir

“desperation/ is best described by all the places/ i let you sink your teeth”

A love poem is always an exploration of power and Osborne’s poem here is no different. Come for the vigorous body language, stay for the quiet and earnest examination of the poet’s relationship to love itself.

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