The internet is chock-full of great poems, and as I’ve been scouting out magazines to send my own poetry to, I’ve had the pleasure of reading all kinds of amazing work. I’d like to start sharing a few of my favourite poems each week, and would love to hear what you’re reading as well!
“For my friends, who save me” by Lily Wang
from The Puritan
“A tower of sparrows, dirty and simple.”
The imagery in this poem gives me shivers. The focus on birds gives the mind’s eye something to work with, but it skews sideways, is made strange, and is cavalier about this strangeness. The imagery moves from absurd, to cute, to practical, to dangerous, quickly and unapologetically. The grammar of the piece magnifies this tension: mid-line spaces, shifts between longer and very short sentences, and tight repetitions all keep the reader slightly off balance. This piece wastes no space; simple language and tight metaphors practically vibrate with subtext.
“terrestrial helium” by Sam Avery
from Half a Grapefruit Magazine
“in the end, we were all very wrong about helium”
This piece spins the reader effortlessly between outer space and everyday life. A conversational voice divides ideas neatly into small poems-within-a-poem, then weaves them back together. I’m a long-time fan of the seemingly disparate emotional resonances that can be found rattling around in the supposedly cold-hard-facts world of science, and the subdivided structure of this poem is an effective way of stringing the different elements of the piece together while keeping the pacing tight. The light voice and the odd juxtapositions keep the underlying subject matter of interpersonal tensions fresh.
“You Cut my Hair” by Kara Goughnour
from Oceans & Time by Honey & Lime Lit
“ each thin sensation of love a spider wisp”
This piece gets me right in the heart. The imagery is buzzing with sensory immediacy, running together in a prose-y & punctuation-less form. The images flow in a natural order, bound together by small repetitions, but the form encourages you to feel them all at once, suggesting the heightened vividness small moments can take on, especially in love.