Internet Poetry Round-Up is back for the new year, and there are more great poems on my mind than I know what to do with. This batch of poems are ones I haven’t been able to close the tab on, full of strange imagery that pulls me back in to keep searching for meaning, again and again.
“Elegy for My Sadness” by Chen Chen
from Breakwater Review
“I wish it could / unbelong itself from me, unstick / from my face.”
This poem is a necklace of utterly unexpected words and phrases, linked seamlessly with repetitions. It’s a fresh, honest and strange perspective on depression and the frustration of having sadness always present, “unsweet, uncharming, completely uninteresting”. It’s a colloquial and grounded, full of sharp-edged truth, with an ending that sits heavy in your chest long after you’ve read it.
“Poem Where The Poet Lies Through Her Teeth” by Gabrielle Hogan
from Ghost City Press
“my / dream girl is a sheet of paper folded in / on itself, & then again, & then again”
This poem pulls the reader in effortlessly through the free-flowing anaphora on “my dream girl”, then sticks in your head with its series of omen-dark images. There is an incredible sense of heartache in the pull between the statements being the opposite of what you expect, and the fact that the same rule of opposition suggests some truth behind the imagery, despite the title; the truth, perhaps, that dreams are never what you want them to be. It’s a tightly written piece, fitted together like a precise and unsettling puzzle, a rubik’s cube of haunting.
“They were forced to imagine it through a prism” by Katelyn Oppegard
from Snail Trail Press
“yet every time it snows the air smells the same”
This poem is a prismatic landscape of fragments, expansive and spread across the page in a way that makes you feel surrounded by it, as if by spreading out the text a real space is carved out to let the moments breathe and mingle. It feels like a celebration of all the small details of nature, all the tiny miracles that can so easily appear and disappear. It’s a long piece, and only loosely held together, but well worth lingering in to savour the playful and delicate moments of life and language it carries.
And from this piece, one more phrase you’ve never seen before:
“a parakeet eats a pickle and is dilled on the spot”
Happy new year, and happy poetry!