Exceptional Poetry From Around the Web: March 2018

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


Collective Memory

by Iliana Rocha in Virginia Quarterly Review

we’ve left their dreams lifeless, dangling by the necks, carotids wrung out to dry like old hand towels my grandmother pins on a line—they give breeze back for the wind to bear in a way skin can’t.

Prefaced by the stunning fact that thousands of Mexicans were lynched in America, Rocha reflects with an unflinching glare on the recent deaths of the ten immigrants in Texas. Death, the poem says, wicked but new or surprising, is only evidence of history’s repeating circles.


This Is the Day The Lord Has Made

by Mark Jarman in Plume Poetry

This is the mind in self-regard,
staggered, speechless, almost amused,
to see the day the Lord has made

Jarman delivers his usual dry wit here—about God, about man and mind and time. A reader can quickly accept the comfort Jarman carries in his language and his exploration of faith. May we all reach the self-assuredness and maturity his poetry possesses.


under fireworks, the immigrant remembers his feet

by Bernard Ferguson in The Boiler

the rocket’s climb into the mouth of summer & its slow bloom in the sky
i name it honestly: violence as spectacle

Ferguson spills his body across nearly every line—his feet, his fingers, his necks (yes, plural), his rib and kiss. His efforts catch our bodies too, snap up our stiff bits until we know what it means to run, recklessly, from thunder and violence.



by Melissa Ginsburg in Guernica

Scree filled the bedrock floor.
Detritus, our ingenue.

“History” wields end-stops well—ten lines of this thirteen line poem are end-stopped—the voice and subject dancing by the beat of commas and periods and independent clauses. A voice of time, outside time, speaking.


[I courted her, that musky tart, dusk personified, she of the purple prose and yellow]

by Diane Seuss in Waxwing

to quote my cousin-
who-looks-like-Moses speaking of Etta James, she’s old, she’s fat, she’s sick, she’s mean,
she’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen

We read Diane Seuss because we know the kinetic delight. Her new poem in Waxwing channels a genuinely chromatic display: pee-pee colors and yellow journalism and nose-picking and the grotesque.


Sailing Past Sinai

by Hazem Fahmy in Tinderbox Poetry

We will unbury
their memory, replace
them with all the arms
still lying around.

Fahmy’s desire to see “boys, dancing, given lipstick and kohl” arrives with daring hope amidst the buried. The ache for prayer and rest imbues every line, and will imbue every hour of the rest of your day.


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