Love & violence & beauty in The New Yorker (poem) (Jericho Brown).

How many amazing poets have you met? How many people have you met that have hypnotized you–literally hypnotized, the world swimming away–by reading one of their poems? Jericho Brown is an amazing poet and a skilled teacher and also an elegant creature. I took some workshops with him, and he came to a birthday party of mine once, and I wrote him a poem about his favorite color, orange, after he came to speak in one of my classes. I hope he liked it. He was in the New Yorker recently, and that, my friends, is a victory. For The New Yorker. And for all of us who know him. And for all of us who get to read The New Yorker because our mothers-in-laws give us their finished issues. The end.

 

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Excitement! And a poem (Weston Cutter).

Got my first poetry acceptance today in a Long Time and been jumping around the kitchen and yelling “Finally! Finally!!!!” a lot this morning. Feeling good. Two poems of mine will be forthcoming from Muzzle in mid-March for their Sex-Themed Issue. Alright! In the meantime, here’s a poem by Weston Cutter, a poet I really admire. He incorporates a vocabulary of the natural world that is very different from mine–it’s as if he uses the masculine nature words and I the feminine. I tend to like all poems of his that I read, and here’s one from a previous issue of Muzzle.

 

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How to be ready for everything

is
to pick up yesterday + crack
its thick honey. How
to be ready is not pockets
but matches, the act
is never carry but burn or if not burn at least warm, the rote mem-
orization that is flame. How to be ready
for everything is to know
leaves turn, offer
their silver undersides when rain’s
coming, is to know you have to use
heat and hard soap to scrub all trace
of gathered apples
from your hands if you don’t want
the dog jumping lickwild. How
to be ready for everything is to know
you’ve got one name though
nobody knows what it is,
even you, and so there’s treebranch
and rocksalt, there’s shaved ice
and trampled grass, there’s a season
whose secrets haven’t been disclosed
but look at the sky, look what’s on its way.

—WESTON CUTTER

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Click here to see the poem formatted correctly & hear a recording of Weston Cutter reading it.