The Death’s Head’s Testament continues on from Stephanie’s previous book This Being Done & fortunate for us Stephanie is in the present progressive, hammering out the dimensions of poems. The poems here continue to wade in the difficulties of womanhood, family, child-rearing, love, life, memory & death. There is wakeful invention, an intellectual alacrity, sure-footedness [...]
This poem from the Yoon Yong series is probably a personal anxiety of my own showing through the tissue paper of personality. I think all poets (I cannot speak for translators) have some such concern as this in their transmogrification of reality & experience into the poetic. The solution: not apologizing for seeing, trying, relying & [...]
Falun Gong (still rheum in her eyes) …As she is leaving The Comfort Inn she stops to watch a snippet from a KBS documentary : “They would drag us away for thorough medical examinations. Test our blood | take urine & stool samples| check our reflexes with a soft wooden mallet —our eye sight too. [...]
Another Chapbook Confession this week, this time by poet Sarah Law. Law writes on her collection Ink’s Wish, about a Medieval visionary called Margery Kempe. Her poems from the collection, are rich in details, zooming in on incidents from Kempe’s biography, a thorough character study of a woman, creating a connection between the contemporary conscience & the Medieval. Well worth a look-see.
I’d also like to remind you poets with collections & chapbooks etc, that we are always open for submissions in all our categories, but we’d especially like to read about your Confessions. I was hoping poets would be jumping at the opportunity to talk about their work, almost completely free of restraint, free to roam the experience & talk about everything or anything about it, as well as the chance to see some of the poems published. What you playing at! Get busy. Where else is this opportunity available? As far as I know, only at Underfoot. Get your arses in gear.
Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.
Below, Sarah Law writes on her 2014 collection Ink’s Wish.
Sarah Law lives in London, UK, and is a tutor for the Open University and elsewhere. She has published five collections of poetry, the latest of which is Ink’s Wish. Recent and forthcoming work in Ink, Sweat & Tears; Ekphrastic Review; Eunoia Review; Amaryllis; The Windhover, Saint Katherine Review; Where is the River and elsewhere.
These poems are from my collection Ink’s Wish which was originally published by Gatehouse Press and was shortlisted (one of four collections in the poetry category) in 2014 for the East Anglian Book Awards of that year. The small (100 only!) print run from Gatehouse soon sold out and I…
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Criticisms of the West (11:44 a.m.) …Does all this talk get recorded anywhere —a data-bank of the cosmos? My Western friends are always talking about the Universe’s Consciousness—Thai dye t-shirts & harem pants | mandalas patterning them —I stick out like a sore thumb in my grey pant suit. They travel through Asia for a [...]
I’m aware this “review” could potentially end up as flat out extolment for a poet who has become my friend and whose poems I was fortunate enough to have read in their early drafts. Am I biased? Probably. But I am going to make an effort to evidence what makes this a worthy read. There [...]
Hunger (8:39 a.m.) …I remember clearly… lepers from Bible sermons made me tickle stomached —I never read the passages alone even when mother underlined them to be read before I slept | I could summarize them enough to get away without reading them again : nature never bites off more than it can chew. “The [...]
Earnest & revealing poems by Hannah Rousselot at Underfoot this week.
There is tension in these poems exploring contemporary issues with piercing directness: the problems of indulgence, queer identity, social etiquette, body image & religion are all treated with a confident voice.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Glasses clink and
mouths smile and
jewelry sparkles and
eyes are hungry hawks.
This dress is too tight.
My smile is too tight.
My stomach is too tight.
I wish I could peel off my skin
to stretch it out over the curve of the Earth.
Maybe I would finally be skinny enough.
I wish I could give away pieces of my brain
until the light that shines behind my eyes
no longer reflects me, standing alone in the mirror.
The voices of the choir echo eerily
around the hollow chamber.
I feel surrounded here. The windows
are stained with stories I don’t know.
There is a hidden script in this place.
The Priest speaks to the crowd,
and they all know what to say back.
I scramble to keep up.
I decide to just mouth “watermelon”
like my theater director taught me.
In the middle of the…
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Pleased to be publishing Tom Laichas’ poems on Underfoot today.
If you have poems you think we’d be interested in, check our submission details & get in touch with either me or Tim.
Named and Nameless
In the midst of the naming, the boy asks: What’s your name?
The Voice remembers: years in the future, others will ask this question. The reply is the same: I am what I am.
The boy: That’s not an answer. We’re all what we all are, nameless or no.
The Voice: But it’s you who must come when called.
Hers & His
Once torn apart, the two freshly skinned bodies take the names given to them. The boy takes one name and the girl another.
They learn the words I and mine.
It will be easy to swallow the fruit.
The girl wonders aloud: what name would I take if the verses hadn’t spoken first?
About his own name, the boy says nothing. He thinks: it has been mine all along.
That first week, all the seasons tumble…
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Last night, i went with a friend to the beach. The few squid boats that sailed out were returning early, around 8ish. We'd found a low bench outside the perimeters of society's light & with a bottle of soju, a box of kimchi & veggie pancake, talked our tired into something productive & admired the [...]