““We live in a rhyme-drenched era,” Caplan asserts, which might be news to some who think of rhyme as the stuff of advertising jingles, greeting cards, and pop songs. Still, after finishing this book, readers will see that Caplan is correct. Caplan examines not just literary poetry, but legal documents such a verdicts from judges (“a groom must expect matrimonial pandemonium / when his spouse finds he’s given her a cubic zirconium”), novels, song lyrics, and most importantly hip hop, thus revealing how far-reaching and underappreciated rhyme is.”
“By writing into what you don’t you know, you allow your poem to invite readers who have followed you to discover new regions of their own minds and feelings, as well. Both you and the reader “rise” and “stagger(s) out” of the peony and come to understand that the unknown realms of imagination are filled with the abundance of wildness and calm, wilderness and home. The unknown realms of imagination are filled with alluring, invisible desires and strange dwellings.”
“Open my ears & let your frenzy enter
relentlessly, like a blind machine,
like a sea captain who doesn’t trust the stars,
carried off by an unsteady boat.
My life, this shirt I want to take off—
what can’t be said is the dark meat,
seeking your mouth in another’s mouth,
the whispered cries of animals without sleep.”
— "Wolf Cento" (the eleventh) in Wolf Centos by Simone Muench, reviewed by Julie Marie Wade

Two Poems

route9litmag:

by Chris Hunt Griggs
imagefrom Small Print by Justine Basa

Staking

The biggest (native) moth in North America lives for 
two weeks. I’ve seen one spend one of its mornings
against a brick wall, preternaturally alive, folding mass 
into the same amount of mass, collating. Its wings, 
as you might expect, have eyes. It has no digestive… 

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I abhor the Niagara

in winter
the difficult beauty

of its frozen falls
and all they’ve

come to represent.

— A poem from House of Deer by Sasha Steensen, reviewed by Molly Sutton Kiefer at The Rumpus.

Station

Days you are sick, we get dressed slow,
find our hats and ride the train.
We pass a junkyard and the bay,
then a dark tunnel, then a dark tunnel.

You lose your hat. I find it. The train
sighs open at Burlingame,
past dark tons of scrap and water.
I carry you down the black steps.

Burlingame is the size of joy:
a race past bakeries, gold rings
in open black cases. I don’t care
who sees my crooked smile

or what erases it, past the bakery,
when you tire. We ride the blades again
beside the crooked bay. You smile.
I hold you like a hole holds light.

We wear our hats and ride the knives.
They cannot fix you. They try and try.
Tunnel! Into the dark open we go.
Days you are sick, we get dressed slow.

From House on Fire by Maria Hummel, reviewed at The Rumpus by Laura Haynes.

“We wear our hats and ride the knives.
They cannot fix you. They try and try.
Tunnel! Into the dark open we go.
Days you are sick, we get dressed slow.”
— "Station" in House on Fire by Maria Hummel, reviewed by Laura Haynes
“I think I came to and still come to writing as a sounding board—and I mean that in both senses. As a way not just to record experience, but to be or to have one, to investigate one’s habitus. What’s that Oppen line: “There are things we live among and to see them is to know ourselves.” I think of it as a way of seeing more deeply.”
“Humor is essential to survival. Funny poems are vastly underrated. Very underwritten.”