Tag Archives: reading

Two Ghosts Between Covers

I converse from time to time with a bibliophile. It inspires me to recount a bookish tale. On the skids from academia I kept either of two books near me as a talisman, carrying one even to bars. They didn’t … Continue reading

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Cry the Belovèd Reader

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). Pass 3 of 3. Previous comment: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/https://ethicaldative.com/2022/05/01/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-2-of-3/ You. Be. Here. It’s an affirming imperative to exist, or be situate, in the speaker’s space-time. It’s addressed to “tilt” — twice “tender” now … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 2 of 3

Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). [Previously commented text: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/ ] what vaunted green excess enclosed in each skimmed year then the years / vanquished any fuchsia sky / the excess leaking forward filmed aqua / filled … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 1 of 3

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent,” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022) roped in incremental ghost tens / future tens clairvoyant tens home tens // blue slips beneath the exposed wing / tilt then seam then an angle spent all inside / the … Continue reading

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‘Smidgins’: Afterthought

A “smidgin” is an imprecise, tiny amount of something, a modest dollop. As a poem title, the jocular word is self-effacing but also coyly assertive, like a humble-brag. I got dirt under my nails the other day with Rae Armantrout’s … Continue reading

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How Poetry Feels About Itself

Rae Armantrout’s poem “Smidgins” fulfills an imperative of lyric, which is “Don’t be gassy.” Also another imperative, which is “Talk in riddles.” My crumpled, wrinkled / blurt / of flesh. // “Let’s face it,” / it says. * … Ravaged … Continue reading

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On ‘Love Letter to a Dead Body’

I’m intrigued by the tension in Jake Skeet’s [sic] poem: Its title juxtaposes love with death, and its rhythms press against the nettle-like images. The first stanza’s images are scarred and rough with “burr and sage,” “bottles” and the “cirrhosis … Continue reading

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Coming Unstuck With Glück

I’ve acquiesced to much of what I can’t quite fathom in Louise Glück’s poetry. Enough reaches me to defeat surliness. I feel surprisingly addressed at times: … You are like me whether or not you admit it. / Unsatisfied. Meticulous. … Continue reading

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How I Do Reading, Sadly

It seems when I encounter a poem I start an argument with it; I approach it as a provocation. Why is it written this way? What is it trying to tell me? What should I feel or think after reading … Continue reading

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Not Everything Is a Sonnet, Damn It

“I get pretty impatient with people who consider any fourteen-line poem to be a sonnet. The turns of thought are crucial, as is the number of turns.” (Carl Phillips, interviewed by David Baker, http://www.kenyonreview.org) The interview inspiring these illustrations is … Continue reading

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