Today’s poem of the day is by Ryan Eckes and he was nominated by Mel Bentley, who expresses much love for his work:
“Every poem by Ryan Eckes is my favorite poem about Philadelphia, followed closely by a whole book by Kevin Varrone, g-point almanac:passyunk lost (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) but here is one of my newer favorites, from Ryan’s newish book Valu-Plus, just out from Furniture Press Books in 2014.
Paul Insect, “Star Eyes 15″
What I love about Ryan’s poetry his voice, which sounds like him talking, but tuned and turned. It is subtle and often unsung art how daily speech can be musical. Ryan’s work balances with such ease minutely observed detail, political reality, wry self-reflection, anecdote and surreal humor in a way that appears deceptively effortless and light. Although emotionally subdued, Valu-Plus leaves me deeply emotional, without knowing exactly how or why, or what I am feeling.
If you want to know your city better, I highly recommend this book.” What a great recommendation! Check out Mel’s work too!
art as experience
in passing john calls john dewey j-dew, which makes everything infinitely more watchable. go phillies like a bus, half hours, half flowers, to valu-plus for flip-flops and a new notebook—marble, like my stoop. i stand on the book, its title, valu-plus, arrived home on a sticker, yellow, with a price: a buck, a holler. after that we’re free to have our hazards. love ages me, but not that two people were murdered a half block from me this week. the barista lays down a napkin and spoon even when you’re just getting it to go. front-to-back three years ago a night this november i tore thru splay anthem while this place was called something else, and i thought i felt the whole world sail thru a map in my chest, knocked on wood a lesson: bare hands, bare hands, no lie: you’ll never understand yourself in isolation. a hair on your selfish city’s chest, you will mistake selfishness for independence again. again, you will catch yourself being a republican to yourself. if i’m beaten, who can tell. not me, anymore. not me, anymore.
Want to shout out a worthy work? To celebrate Poetry Month, we’re asking all our voracious readers to tell us YOUR favorite poems by local poets. To nominate a poem, send us the title, link or text, and author name, as well as a sentence about why and how you love it, to email@example.com (We’ll publish links to/excerpts of the work so credit goes to the original publications where they appeared, when possible, and get writers’ permission).
Rassouli Art Studio, “Soul Migration”
Today’s poem is penned Leonard Gontarek and is nominated by Charlie Carr, who says, “It is simply one of the best poems I have ever read.” You can find more of Leonard’s poems and other info by clicking here. This particular poem is from his collection titled He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs.
A picture is all I have. All I have ever wanted to give, Lord.
The trees, diminishing: a tunnel & archway.
There is a child. There is a man.
Lord, I prefer the child smoothing over the cracked leaves, carrying home color
on his shoes.
Bringing a prayer to you, 2 or 3 words.
Small hands that are yours, Lord. Black, indecipherable, magnificent things.
That are yours. Everywhere I turn. Everywhere I turn is a detour from the soul.
The soul, a detour from the self, Lord.
The rain falling there is slow & terrific.
The boy you made, Lord, loves the rain, cool as cloth on the face.
Loves thinking of the leaves comforted. Worthy, then, of being in their presence.
The boy draws a diagram of when it opened. Fast leaves. Intersected lines, Lord,
He is a dot. He is a scent. Compresses it. The way to you when he forgets it.
See how he has drawn you as a crown, Lord. In purple because the gold is gone.
See how much he wants you. The gate to the heart swings on its hinge. He spits on it,
with affection, so it will not squeak when he touches it.
This month, we’re asking all you voracious readers to tell us YOUR favorite poems by local poets. To nominate a poem, send us the title, link or text, and author name, as well as a sentence about why and how you love it, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish links to/excerpts of the work so credit goes to the original publications where they appeared, when possible, and get writers’ permission.