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Lexington Poetry Month
The Messenger Is Sudden Thunder Release
16Aug2017
Christopher McCurry News



Poets,

I’m so glad to finally be announcing the release of The Messenger is Sudden Thunder: Selections from Lexington Poetry Month 2016.

We want to celebrate this release with an event at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning on Wednesday, September 20th, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Please come read your poem from the anthology! There will be drinks and snacks, and with any luck, just enough time to chat. Invite friends and family. This is one of the best readings of the year.

If you are interested in getting a copy of the anthology there are a couple of ways we can make that happen:

  1. Come to the reading! We will have them there for an even $20 cash or check, but will also be able to process credit cards.
  2. Order directly from the Workhorse website by clicking here!
  3. Help us reach 100 supporters and receive a copy of the 2016 and 2017 anthology by becoming a patron.

If you have already pledged five or more dollars to Workhorse (thank you!), we will be shipping your book out soon! Feel free to let me know you are attending the reading and you can pick your book up there.

Finally, Workhorse is accepting applications for the 3rd year of The Poetry Gauntlet. You can read it about it here! It’s a year long challenge to write 100 poems and read 12 books of poetry with a community of 10 other poets. I hope you’ll join us. We’ve had writers from all over Kentucky the last two years!

That’s all (and probably more than enough) for now! Hope to see everyone soon.

Take Care,

Chris


Show
02Jul2017
E. Helmuth
5

My lungs are full of someone else’s smoke 
and I am suddenly very aware of how much I do not belong,
even though we have the same shoes on.

I am trying something new where I deal with my inability to interact
via deep breaths and not vodka sodas.
It’s not going very well so far.

That thing someone wrote on the wall helped though.
“Take a breath. You can do this.”
Thank you wall, I’ll try.


Where would ghosts take me?
01Jul2017
Michelle Knickerbocker
2

I imagine being breezed away in a swirl of rainbow and late-night tv snow static
into a world of sepia and slow jazz
solid but not solid in form, an other-worldly pudding
whisked into a mix like meringue folds into batter.

We watch as MacArthur battles Napoleon, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have tea
Valhalla, Heaven, Svarga intertwine and combine, the cosmic fiber-optic infinity network
movies of past lives play on a big screen
texts of speculative futures unfold streaming toward technicolor doors that swing open and shut, open and shut

Waltzing on ponds and flying through windows
Spectral experiences are elastic, stretching and springing, our phantom abilities are untethered,
Until they decide to take me back home, tuck in my blankets, sprinkle some sand
Haunted and holy, existing again, holding dreams of unhinged imagination. 

[Duet Poem by Maggie Brewer and Michelle Knickerbocker]


Where Would Ghosts Take Me?
01Jul2017
Maggie Brewer
2

I imagine being breezed away in a swirl of rainbow and late-night tv snow static
into a world of sepia and slow jazz
solid but not solid in form, an other-worldly pudding
whisked into a mix like meringue folds into batter   

We watch as MacArthur battles Napoleon, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have tea
Valhalla, Heaven, Svarga intertwine and combine, the cosmic fiber-optic infinity network
movies of past lives play on a big screen
texts of speculative futures unfold streaming toward technicolor doors that swing open and shut, open and shut  

Waltzing on ponds and flying through windows
spectral experiences are elastic, stretching and springing, our phantom abilities are untethered,
until they decide to take me back home, tuck in my blankets, sprinkle some sand haunted and holy, existing again, holding dreams of unhinged imagination. 

– Duet Poem by Michelle Knickerbocker and Maggie Brewer 


in Dependence
01Jul2017
Jim Lally
3

You take the fourth
All its fire-
Works at night
Its boom and crack
I’ll take the fifth
Refuse to in-
Criminate myself
To a matter of fact


Celestial Bodies
01Jul2017
Jessica Swafford
5

When the stars are loud, 
there is no black sunshine –
only a black hole
that devours a star
and belches fire. 

(This poem arose from a combination of three things: a line from Misty Skaggs’s June 4th poem,  Jude McPherson’s pseudonym, and an article about black holes.) 


At the Close
01Jul2017
Joseph Allen Nichols
12

The last hours of the last day.
The pages turn and the story folds.

                            ~~~

I was told, once, that the mark
of a fine writer, of a finer story,
is how you wish for it to go on
when you reach the end.

The lights have been dimmed.
The sheets have been lowered.
Your head presses pillows,
fighting the inevitable
silence.

                          ~~~

Sometimes you can see the ending
before it’s ever begun.  Sometimes
the story is worth the risk
of those darker hours
of the night,
anyway.

                            ~~~

One of your first lines read,
“Don’t write the story.”  We knew
even then.  You knew.  I knew
I would try to follow your rules;
I did.  That one.  For the most part.

The paragraph closed, with this:
“Don’t fall in love.”  I never
saw you coming.  I never
stood a chance.

                           ~~~

Some settings recall more
than description, more than a place
you’ve been.  Some settings aren’t
just like — some settings are —
home.

                           ~~~

Sometimes you can see the ending
before it’s begun.  Sometimes
it really is the end.

                            ~~~

But first, you have to turn the page.
First, the entire story turns, folds
into the last hours of the last day.


Apprehensive Feline
01Jul2017
Dennis Preston
3

Saw her in the field
next to the house.

Talked to her softly, and tried
to coax her onto the back porch.

Left a saucer of cream for her
to partake at her discretion.

She waited until I went inside.
Then the backporch became hers.

Saucer was cleaned.
Never saw that cat again.


Prophesies
01Jul2017
Chaiya Miller
2

On a 50s, turquoise vinyl chair, 
flashlight in hand, our sitter reads
her Bible, one eye wa n der in g
in my direction. “Don’t you be
talking when it thunders, God is.”       

With my 70s, flower-embedded candle,
I stand in peace as the end, according
to my landlady, draws near. “Savage
thunderstorms spew God’s wrath!” 
(Wonder if her cockroaches will live.)  

Now, wind whips black canvas awning
spills a torrent of water onto leaning,
red brick retaining wall, as elm roots surely
inch its slant closer to the drive; thunder lacking,
I predict lacebark’s tawny seeds will appear in fall.      


Don Juan
01Jul2017
Zlatna
3

Once, just once
did I have a blind date with you.
We flirted some,
and then you left –
I must have disappointed you,
perhaps you found me
unprepared …  

The thought of you
hits me at night
as I wake up, all in sweat,
and fantasize about your touch,
wondering
what it would be like
to be in your notorious embrace.  

Sometimes,
you walk past me
only to choose someone else –
prettier and younger –
leaving me jealous …  

Why?
What is it about them
that attracts you?
What is it about me
you don’t like?  

Sooner or later
you’ll notice me again, I know,
but when?
I’m so curious
and so excited…  

Then,
you’ll take me tenderly
and painlessly
and you won’t hurt me,
will you,  

Death?  

                             Zlatna Kostova