Tag Archives: notnostrums

“The House Was So Alone” by Natalie Lyalin (notnostrums 7)

15 Apr

I’ve been digging writing about religions lately, all kinds, for and against, testimonies and arguments, reasoned and hysterics. About to move from my home-state, away from my hometown (again), I’ve been thinking a lot about my religious teen years–why I believed it, why I left it, why I stay away. All the contradictions (of the religion, of the religious, of my religious self). All the swirled and swirling emotions, then and now.

And I found Natalie Lyalin’s poem to be both comforting as I look back and an example of the writing I’m using to look back. It’s all of the above–a testimony and an argument, for and against, reasoned and a bit hysterical. It’s a poem to carry with me, too.

We joined a cult
It was beautiful
Our cult, it was helpful to others
We were not phantoms
No, we were real gems
We had depth
But our house
It remained a mystery
Who survived there?
Who survived?

Check out the entire new issue here!

The Most Incredible Thing About “The Most Incredible Thing” by Blueberry Morningsnow

24 Dec

It’s just what we need right now, covered in the mournful despair, post-election gunk, holiday yuck, and winter blues, a reminder what joy can do to a poem, to a life, a reminder to look around, a reminder to know how to say hello. This poem is top-notch incredible for its persistent go-forthness, its ringing a giant hopeful bell.

I learned how to say hello:
Hello, Mississippi river! Hello, silver silver silver gray!
Hello, dog! You are barking wildly at me. Hello!

Three Poems by Tomaž Šalamun

27 May

Multiple moons ago, I was wheedled into attending a reading by some friends. Natch, I had better things to do, like watch LOST, or complain about not writing. But I relented and went. And what I heard was Tomaž Šalamun. If you’ve never heard of, or read, Tomaž Šalamun, then I forgive you. Once.

He read his poems in English and then in Slovenian. One poem he read made me fall out of my chair. I am not exaggerating. I say that, and people think I’m hyperbolic. I’m not. The…poem…made…me…weak. That poem is not in this bunch, but this bunch is lovely. And through reading them, you, too, will be made lovely.

grill fish, dwarves, squeeze house corners in your bags
the moon sleeps, carpets
frozen snow, I see blood on the fur coat
I see iron grids, Persian cats
I don’t want to die in the steppe, I don’t go on
I want to be killed by a cicada, the earth’s womb

Read all three poems in notnostrums.