Poem first published in We Don’t Break, We Burn: Poems of Resilience by Mindwell Poetry Press and edited by Zachary Kluckman
Quarantine swoops in like snowfall, sucking voices from air.
Forcing us to hide from each other, come together in isolation.
But you’re an introvert.
You like what it means to be alone to be dead to the world,
be shadow with no sun to hold your hand,
make you matter, make you appear,
to have others create you.
And isn’t that what you really mean?
That if nobody’s around to see me,
walk in their footsteps,
I somehow enjoy being cloudy day?
That life is better without someone to call friend?
What you don’t understand is I don’t value
small talk, don’t appreciate how
counterfeit conversation steals my energy,
robinhoodwinks me of lifeblood,
mails it to you the extrovert
as you roll your eyes at me when I show up anemic.
So explain to me again how I enjoy
missing my niece’s birthday, my aging grandma who raised me,
Take your IV from my arm.
Let me know how it feels to not have a host
to be parasite to
and I’ll happily show you the healing bite marks on my back.
Earlier version of poem first published in We Don’t Break, We Burn by Mindwell Poetry Press and edited by Zachary Kluckman
Mosaic of pots paint a garden
tomatoes struggle to stretch fingers
herbs barely bubble out dirt
too scared, bland afternoon sun
old man spinach sneers
watches shadows yawn across ground
But onions, oh those damned onions
crowd like matryoshka dolls
Wants to be flavor on tacos
or bite on smoked turkey sandwiches
Only planted life capable
standing up to this pungent world
Poem published in 2015 in Bear the Pall: Stories & Poems about the Loss of a Parent.
Book can still be purchased HERE
I hate having to say good-bye,
I hate having never said good-bye.
That my head knows but my heart
doesn’t seem to care.
That my heart cares but my head
That I couldn’t see past your illness,
your internal struggles,
or your lack of care for mine.
I hate that people hated you
before you were laid down to rest.
I hate that they tell me to love you
for who you weren’t,
for whom my heart still wishes you were.
I hate you for leaving,
every time you left.
I hate me for letting you come back.
I hate you for putting me in this position.
I hate me for making you put me in this position.
I hate that some day I’ll end
up in the same bed you did, dying
of broken innards and a bleeding heart.
I hate that I couldn’t get past the things
you did to me.
I hate that you’re my father.
I hate that I’m a terrible son.
For the last three years Cathy Cook has performed slam poetry in New Mexico.
She tied for second at the 2018 Southwest Shootout in the individual category and was the 2018 Lobo Slam Champion.
Her work is published in Raven Chronicles and 3Elements Literary Review and is forthcoming in Roanoke Review, and Toe Good. Her poetry is inspired by the body of the land and by the landscape of her body. Find more work at rewritereread.wordpress.com. Find her zines at Bookworks or Astrozombies.
Jack Tapestry has been a slam poet for two decades. Tapestry came from Oklahoma City, resides in Albuquerque, and his poetry is amazingly gut wrenching and powerful. He’s also a comedian and over all performance master.
You can find Jack Tapestry on Youtube and at poetry and comedy events throughout Albuquerque.
Tapestry is also on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram.
Gina Marselle is not only a poet but a high school teacher, mother, wife, and photographer. You can find her work in many places like the Alibi, the Rag, Adobe Walls, among others. She’s author of the book of poetry called A Fire of Prayer: a Collection of Poetry and Photography. And her photography can be found, among other places, in A Fire of Prayer and also the book of poetry, September, by Katrina Guarascio (or Katrina Crespin, who we’ve had on the show already).
I sit and speak with Jules Nyquist, traditional and spoken word New Mexico poet, about her new book “Homesick, then”, about life, loss, healing, family, and of course shares some of her poetry.
Jules Nyquist is the founder of Jules’ Poetry Playhouse, LLC, a place for poetry and play in Albuquerque, NM, which also is the umbrella for Jules’ Poetry Playhouse Publications. In 2017, three books by women were published, with future tiles in 2018. Jules is a native Minnesotan and moved to Albuquerque on spring equinox 2011. Jules teaches creative writing and poetry classes and hosts poetry readings with visiting writers. She took her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College, VT. Her two books of poems, Behind the Volcanoes and Appetites (Beatlick Press), were finalists for the NM/AZ Book Awards. Her latest book is Homesick, then which is a poetic memoir of the life and death of her parents and deals with caretaking issues and also domestic violence suffered by her grandmother. Jules’ poems have appeared in 5 AM, Salamander, Malpais Review, Adobe Walls, A View from the Loft, St. Paul Almanac, Long Islander News, Gray Sparrow, House Organ, Duke City Fix, Café Review and others. She is co-editor of the Poets Speak Anthology series by Jules’ Poetry Playhouse Publications and Beatlick Press.
Zachary Kluckman is an award winning poet. Named the 2015 and 2016 Slam Organizer of the Year, 2014 Slam Artist of the Year at the National Poetry Awards. They’ve been on national slam stages as an individual and as part of a group, including the Rumble Room team that went to Southern Fried Poetry Slam in 2017. At SoFried, Kluckman lead 3 newbies (me, Robin Reynolds, and Anna Martinez). A founding organizer the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program. Author of Per-City Poems, Animals in Our Flesh, Some of it is Muscle, and , one of the 4 poets in Rumble Room Volume 1, and has published at least 100 poems in various publications outside of these 4 collections.
Performance poet Rowie Shebala talks about her time on many final stages representing several different cities around the US, family, her life as a Native American in the Southwest, and as always, shares some of her poetry.
PS: I had the pleasure of sharing the Albuquerque Grand Slam Championship stage with Rowie just yesterday. We tied for first. Rowie’s been on so many stages around the country it’s more than an honor to compete against her, as well as everyone else who graced the night with their poetry.
Poet and managing editor for Swimming With Elephants Publishings Katrina Crespin talks about her life as a poet, an editor for an Albuquerque small press company, her growth as both a traditional and performance poet, and reads some of her poems.
You can find Katrina Crespin’s work under her maiden name Katrina Guarascio at SwimmingWithElephants.com. Her works include ‘my verse‘, ‘The Fall of a Sparrow‘, and ‘September: traces of letting go‘.