And here it is. It’s officially released out into the world today. I’d be honored if you would follow the links to learn more about it. You, my friends have been a vital part of it; thanks for the encouragement, and for cheering me on to chapbook number two.
How such a simple line can stop you cold. Beautiful.
Fishing for Trey Platoo
By Bunkong Tuon
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth post in a series of poems about the immigrant experience in America. Our late Managing Editor, Okla Elliott, featured Bunkong Tuon’s work on As It Ought To Be back in January of 2017. Okla was particularly concerned about the anti-immigration rhetoric heating up in America and he hoped to showcase the voices of immigrants on our site. In honor of Okla’s memory, Tuon has allowed us to feature more of his poetry about his experience as an immigrant from Cambodia in the United States.
Fishing for Trey Platoo
You might have seen them
fishing on the shores of the Cape Cod Canal:
My uncle in his fisherman’s hat
pulling in a one-foot scup, my aunt in her pajama-like
pants walking backward up the…
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I’m going to give my friend Raul Clement a bit of a plug for his excellent work at New American Press just because they put out damn good writing. Check them out, and send them some of your best work (after thoroughly reading their guidelines, of course). I met Raul maybe two years back when I first moved up here to the Wyoming Valley, which is, oddly enough, nowhere near Wyoming (Northeast Pennsylvania. Weird, right?).
They were doing a reading series at a local Irish pub, and one of the Wilkes University professors told me about it. I was seriously impressed, and since they did a little combo discount, I bought four or five books from the fiction and poetry writers who were there to read their work that night.
Since then Raul and I have only gotten to know each other on Bookface, but hopefully, I’ll get to visit him in his new home in Chicago eventually. One of the many things I’ve learned is that he’s got excellent taste in music, and when he says he likes a song, I want to check it out. I’m not sure how I missed Lucy Dacus when she did her NPR Tiny Desk concert two years ago, but I’m happy to have found her now.
So here for the Saturday Songs feature is Lucy’s song that came out last year. I love a good song that, as Raul said, “actually goes somewhere.” Below that video, you can enjoy her eleven-minute mini desk concert, just in case you missed it too. You’re welcome.
And that’s a wrap! Follow the link over to Micah’s blog for the audio and video playlists of poems we recorded this April.
National Poetry Month was started the same year I was born. But, arguably I am more popular out of the two.
Enough joking. Dad and I decided this year to do some poetry reading recordings. This is much like what we did last year.
We picked poets from different eras and recorded us reading poems by the poets. This time we stuck to poets we had not ever done this for before.
We also did a few YouTube videos. mostly I did, actually. We did plenty of extras in both playlists below.
This year’s sound playlist is a bit longer than last year. Maybe we just really felt we needed to read poetry this April. I can’t explain it.
I am really happy with this playlist and the YouTube videos. I hope you are too. If you are not, (and even if you are) explain to me what exactly you…
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Tuesday Tunes, that’s what my son calls them when he shares songs on his blog. I usually feature Saturday Songs or Monday Music, but today this song just won’t get out of my head. Probably because of yesterday’s post here.
One of the many good things that came out of the new Twin Peaks series is my discovery of The Cactus Blossoms. These brothers take me back to the music my mother listened to when I was a child, and somehow they make that sound new again. Of course, along with those gorgeous harmonies, they also happen to be pretty easy on the eyes.
I am going to sign off from this year’s National Poetry Month in an uncharacteristic fashion. No commentary, no hoopla. Just a bonus poem by one of the most beautiful poets alive today, Naomi Shihab Nye.
by Naomi Shihab Nye
It is a good word, rolling off the tongue;
no matter what language you were born with
use it. Learn where it begins,
the small alphabet of departure,
how long it takes to think of it,
then say it, then be heard.
Marry it. More than any golden ring,
it shines, it shines.
Wear it on every finger
till your hands dance,
touching everything easily,
letting everything, easily, go.
Strap it to your back like wings.
Or a kite-tail. The stream of air behind a jet.
If you are known for anything,
let it be the way you rise out of sight
when your work is finished.
Think of things that linger: leaves,
cartons and napkins, the damp smell of mold.
Think of things that disappear.
Think of what you love best,
what brings tears into your eyes.
Something that said adios to you
before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for.
Explain little, the word explains itself.
Later perhaps. Lessons following lessons,
like silence following sound.