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I am reading "Lucifer at the Starlite" by Kim Addonizio.

Two favorite poems from her book...


It was following me so I killed it,
I felt kind of bad but it was following me

so I cut off the head with scissors,
the neck was thin and rubbery, easy to sever,

it wasn't a bad pig--more like a dog
that hasn't been trained,

it's not the dog's fault.
Maybe it was lost and needed my help

but I didn't like seeing it every time
I turned around. Are you with me on this one?

Don't waste a thought on that pig.
Never mind how it bled

without making a sound, black welling up
under the scissors. Did I say they were shears?

Never mind the shears.
This is all in my head, all right? Forget it.

It could have been a boy, four, maybe five
years old. It had that trusting look.

Though come to thing of it
there was something thievish

in the corners of the eyes.
They were pinking shears,

with say-toothed blades. I killed it
so it would stop. What did I have

that it could want? This was just a stupid dream
about a pig. Stupid dream. Stupid pig.


Because no reporters came to my door
wanting to confirm my low opinion
of the Bush administration,

because not even the Jehovah's Witnesses,
who can usually be counted on
to arrive each Saturday

bearing informative articles on Satan's wiles
and the hour of judgment
can be counted on this afternoon,

I have no one to tell
that the load of laundry I managed
to carry to the washer

has been transferred successfully
to the dryer. I even was able
to make my self coffee and toss the cat's toy

onto her carpeted platform
before returning to my bed.
There were little victories

over sullen god--the one who hunkers down
and rocks back and forth, muttering
that there's no reason to go on

lifting the stone of today
only to watch it roll down into tomorrow.
And now I feel compelled to report

that when the clothes were dry and warm
I got up and folded them and put them away.
Then I finally dressed, late in the afternoon,

and looked out the window and saw
my neighbor, and old black man who lives alone
and sits on his porch most days

in a ratty kitchen chair. So I got my harmonica
and played a bit of Sonny Terry I'd been working on
and I don't know if he listened, if it lit

a match to the damp cigarette of his joy
I can't say, but maybe it did
in some small and unrecorded way.

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Pre-Order "Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" Today!

"Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" (The winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest, selected by Janine Joseph) will be available from Backbone Press (Spring 2018).

Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”

Pre-Order Your Copy Today from Backbone Press!