Duly Quoted

"A library is a hospital for the mind."

“We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.”

Book: Junkyard Ghost Revival: poems by Anis Mojgani, Andrea Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Derrick Brown, Robbie Q. Telfer, and Sonya Renee

Reading this was admittedly not as world-rocking as seeing Mojgani/Brown in person, but I still really enjoyed them. There are some really resonant stanzas, and I came away from it with a renewed enthusiasm for platypuses (see last poem) (& no, not platypi, I checked).


Anis Mojgani:
From “The Machine Had Been Built
For Teleportation
But Had No Bodies That Had Been Built
For Travel:”
I don’t like how the world moves sometimes. It moves like a cat at night cutting through the dark, not worrying of anything else. Moves like two sticks
that some boy nailed together and threw up into the sky just to see the shape
they would create when they fell back down, the quiet sound the dust would make
when they landed inside of it. I don’t know If I miss the feel of your arms or just their configuration. Does that matter? Is there a difference? Probably not. You smell beautiful.

Buddy Wakefield:

From “Horsehead:”
I did not recede into the distance.
I was still very much present
With what I had left behind.

I am not the end of a movie.
I am done playing sunsets for lonely.

It is work to ride head up and holy here.

I’ve been learning here how to grow larger
than the monsters alive in my dreams

Ya know, I don’t care to be good, Sheriff.
I care to be whole.

Not everyone wants to go home
to get the sunset painted back into their bones
to have the law with all that slack in its love
pretending to save me
you don’t need to save me

From “Stated:”
If there’s anything I’ve come to understand
it is that I no longer need you to fuck me as hard as I hate myself.
Make love to me like you know I am better than the worst thing I ever did.

From “Water Gun:”
If living
is really the greatest revenge
then I want you
to have my laughter.

And if we really do get what we give
then I give up,
so that I can
get up.

From “The Math:”
My parents kept the car window cracked
so they could smoke cigarettes and numb the night time
while the night time would shove air into the back seat on me

Let me out of these blinking lights.
Get me out of this whiney car
full of poets with their sadness and the anger.

Derrick Brown

From “The Return of Christ”:
Some piano is being beaten to death.
That’s my kinda music.
That’s the night music the kids are all choking on.

I try and drink away the thing in my brain
that makes me wish these lines
are really the way I feel.

The difference between bad living and bad loving
is a slipped keystroke.

From “After the Bachelorette Party”:
This is the city you run to and then crawl away from.

I am no longer against it.
I have fallen in love
with the choke and chance in this place.
Just having at least one chance feels good.
That’s why Southern people marry young.

I am writing this all down because sometimes I am a believer but a forgetter

and sometimes I look at all the things around me that make want to kill all those beliefs
and say fuck it, today I am going to nowhere. I am marrying a feeling.

Today I’m gonna talk about everything I am supposed to be ashamed to talk about.

Andrea Gibson

From “How It Ends”
Baby, I have no idea how this will end.
Maybe the equator will fall like a hoola hoop from the earth’s hips
And our mouths will freeze mid-kiss on our fiftieth anniversary.
Or maybe tomorrow my absolute insanity
combined with the absolute obstacle course of your communication skills
will leave us like a love letter in a landfill.
But whatever, whenever, however this ends
Heather, I want you to know that right now, in this moment,
I love you forever.

I promise whatever I do
I will always try my best to come true.

From “Trellis”
There is a reason why my body creaks like a closing casket
every time I fuck with the lights left on.

From “Birthday”
The sky didn’t fill with colors the night I convinced myself
veins are kite strings you can only cut free.
I suppose I love this life,

in spite of my clenched fist.

We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.

We are all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,
but you still have to call it a birthday.

I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.

From “Pole Dancer”
The key to finding love
is fucking up the pattern on purpose,
is skipping a stitch,
is leaving a tiny, tiny hole where the cold is
and hoping she fills it with your lips.

I am not looking for roses.
I want to break like a fever.
I want to break like the Berlin Wall.
I want to break like the clouds
so we can see every fearless star,
how they never speak guardrail,
how they only say fall.

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

From “Salutatorians”
They told us we were having
“real life experiences,” said
we were preparing ourselves

in ways that our peers weren’t,
and I wish I could say we’d
have traded it all in for the heat,

for the magic, the all that young
stickiness, but the truth was we
liked it clean, liked it quiet.

Each heavy book in our bag
a brick, a stepping stone,
a non-refundable ticket out.

From “For The People at Bookstore Readings Who Keep Asking Me Why I Still Slam Now That I Have “Real Books” Out:”
Because there is poetry here, every cracked voice,
every stutter, every stumble is poetry. Every
shaky piece of paper held by shaky hands,
every nervous laugh, every awkward pause: poetry.

From “The Charmless Starling:”
Did I announce my love of the platypus,

its webbed feet and leathery bill, its ability
to lay eggs but still nurse its young with
warm lapped milk, the fact that scientists
have studied the platypus for years and
still don’t know what the hell to make of it.



Filed under: Andrea Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, Derrick Brown, Robbie Q. Telfer, Sonya Renee, , , , , , , ,

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