In honor of National Poetry Month, The Thread is introducing Poetry Fridays. Each Friday in April, we will publish a selection of poetry from local independent publishing houses Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press and Milkweed Editions.
• Poetry Friday: Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four
crocus she says
snaps a picture looks away turns to see
the deer that later swallows the crocus
oh well Spring
"Crocus," copyright © 2016 by Anselm Hollo. Reprinted from "The Tortoise of History" with the permission of Coffee House Press.
Father as JellyfishSjohnna McCray
My son shivers in the babble of dreams.
For now, he only knows a few things:
rough beard, blankets and breasts. He grips
the world in his hands. Soon enough,
he'll spend words the way the nouveaux riches
burn money—with haste and an impracticality
for fashion. The jargon of the schoolyard, snapcracklepop!
Bling in the mouth, meaning askew.
Later, he'll strike pose after endless pose:
insecurity, pride and lust. His door will shut.
He'll figure if he's like most men:
average penis, thin arms, a basic understanding of math.
Will he work? Be an intellectual?
Will he break the earth with those soft hands?
But tonight, behind the bars of his crib,
he is a prince in the kingdom of rhymes.
From under the sea, he sees me:
hovering head and tentacles,
bloated and ripe with meaning.
As sleep descends, I arrange myself
floating near the shore of his life
like stars, like hurdles, like gravity.
Stingers in place, I wait.
Nashville After HoursAda Limon
Late night in a honky-tonk, fried pickles
in a red plastic basket, and it was all Loretta
on the heel-bruised stage, sung by a big girl
we kind of both had a crush on. Nashville
got the best of us, in a bar shootin' Fireball
with the band that just roused the Ryman.
Good grief we were loaded, shotguns,
and the soft-hearted. It's like this:
sometimes the buried buzz comes back,
and soon the kid that cut the lunch line
ain't nothing; and the cruel tongues licking
your insides are gone; the bully girl who
kicked you out of the city is no one, no rotten
crumb left, just a dizzy river of nonsense
in the waxy light under the bright signs and
look here, I won't deny it: I was there,
standing in the bar's bathroom mirror,
saying my name like I was somebody.
"Nashville After Hours," copyright © 2015 by Ada Limon. Reprinted from "Bright Dead Things" with the permission of Milkweed Editions.