Monthly Archives: October 2015

Monday’s Verse 10/26/2015

Readers,

Don’t forget you can read Monday’s Verse by accessing the Monday’s Verse blog, and/or by following us on Twitter, @MondaysVerse.

The National Book Award committee put out its "long list" of annual poetry award candidates. Among them was Robin Coste Lewis’s The Voyage of the Sable Venus, recently reviewed in the New Yorker. She is currently a fellow in Poetry at USC, and is from the Compton neighborhood of L.A. She also has an MFA from NYU and a master’s degree in Sanskrit and religious literature from Harvard. And she has a longer list of nice fellowships, award, and teaching gigs, which is I suppose what we expect from a national book award finalist. But her name was new to me.

She uses both halves of her brain to write poems that speak from sound and logic, hence the anagram "lobes write sonic."

Here’s a piece with 2 dedications. I can’t date it precisely but it appears to be from the 2010s. Enjoy! -ed.

THE MOTHERS

for and after Gwendolyn Brooks
for and after the Kitchenette Building

We meet – sometimes – between the dry hours,
Between clefts in the involuntary plan,
Refusing to think of rent or food – how
Civic the slick to satisfied from man.

And democratic. A Lucky Strike each, we
Sponge each other off, while what’s grayed
In and gray slinks ashamed down the drain.
No need to articulate great restraint,

No need to see each other’s mouth lip
The obvious. Giddy. Fingers garnished
With fumes of onions and garlic, I slip
Back into my shift then watch her hands – wordless –

Reattach her stockings to the martyred
Rubber moons wavering at her garter.

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Monday’s Verse 10/6/2015

Dear readers,

This weekend I celebrated the 100th birthday of the Notre Dame Glee Club in style, catching up with all my old, older, and not-so-old brothers, and joining a cast of 500+ for a centennial concert in downtown South Bend. Total number of MV members greeted: 3.

One of the side benefits of singing with this vocal group was memorizing a lot of poetry. Edmund Waller. Robert Frost. Christina Rossetti. Ben Johnson. And — a contemporary piece of music, to be sure — e.e. cummings (1894-1962). Here’s one that we did roundabout my sophomore year. It was paired with "Dominic Has a Doll." Both were terrific, and I learned as much about the poems by getting my mouth and lungs and brain around these weird choral settings, as I did in American lit, which I was taking the same year. Enjoy! -ed.

maggie and milly and molly and may
maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach(to play one day) and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were; and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone. For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
-1956