october 1: round-up

Hi, all, and happy Friday! Did this week last forever for anyone else? I’m ready to sleep for one-thousand years. I’m also ready for a raise. How does one ask for a raise & when? Adulthood is still new to me.

Anyway, here’s what I have for you today:

  1. Quotations I read this week & liked

  2. A few metaphors

  3. A few similes

  4. Some titles

  5. What I read this week

And, in case you’re new, I’m including this stuff because I really like archiving literary devices, and I’m working on becoming better at titling my poems.

Here are my previous posts that address these three things:

beauty and terror (on poetry & being human)
the art of the metaphor
met·a·phor /ˈmedəˌfôr,ˈmedəˌfər/ (noun): a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Whether or not it’s true, I always think of metaphors as caffeinated similes: braver, bolder, rougher. [thing] is not *like* [other thing]. [thing] *is* [other thing]. And, because it’s not reall…
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beauty and terror (on poetry & being human)
the art of the simile
sim·i·le /ˈsiməlē/ (noun): a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g., as brave as a lion, crazy like a fox). Similes are powerful and poetic, and I am terrible at them. And—though perhaps I am alone in that—in case I’m not, here are some similes…
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beauty and terror (on poetry & being human)
the art of titles (or, title discourse ft. seething jealousy)
Titles are tricky things—and, for whatever reason, titling your own work, specifically, is the trickiest. That’s how I feel, anyway. I can help my friends and students and classmates come up with titles but, when it comes to my own poems, titling often is an impossible task…
Read more

And: I have a reading tonight with a bunch of really talented writers—5PST/8EST. Over Zoom and free. Come say hi.


QUOTATIONS I READ THIS WEEK & LIKED

…as if emulation could engender / equality.

-Monica Youn, “Marsyas, After”

I made a killing / in language & was surrounded / by ghosts.

-Ocean Vuong, “Almost Human”

I leave the bread crumbs of my name.

-Bruce Bond, “Will”

And what a joy / to still believe in anything.

-Safiya Sinclair, “Home”

A needy thing, / I want you in every language.

-Carrie Jerrell, “Love Poem Made in a Dry Riverbed”

How is it that I have come this far / with nothing, that I am empty- / handed in this country of blessings?

-Jacob Shores-Arguello, “Pilgrims”


AND HERE ARE SOME METAPHORS & SIMILES I READ THIS WEEK AND LIKED ENOUGH TO WRITE DOWN

METAPHORS:

Hope, perhaps, is a horse / bareback and aimless in a field of hay— / it twitches its ears toward promises / gone gossamer.

-JP Dancing Bear, “Prodigal”

Your voice a broken shell I cut my ear / against.

-Lisa Fay Coutley, “Dear Mom—”

Joy / streaks across the sky, a star / burning out.

-Ellen Bass, “Evolution”

Silence, // our shroud, no longer softens hunger.

-Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, “Facts on the Ground”

I lose faith / that each season will arrive at this address, / a rustic trust we clutched like loose / change in our pockets, a vine on a cliff.

-Joannie Stangeland, “When the Sky Does Not River”

A single white bird // cuts a silver scar across the sun.

-Carlos Andres Gomez, “Inertia”

And I knew when I entered her I was / high wind in her forests hollow.

-Audre Lorde, “Love Poem”

“April’s an umbrella of want.”

-Susanna Childress, “Rooted, They Grip Down and Begin to Awaken”

The tongue is a cadence, after all, is thick / in the mouth. // I used to sit with my brother as he drank, // as his words became antlers / or dark blood or unwilling gardens.

-Doug Ramspeck, “Winter Auguries”

More metaphors I love

SIMILES:

I hold this winter in my mouth like a pearl.

-Safiya Sinclair, “America the Beautiful”

We think as human / beings we deserve every last thing. Say / the element copper. Incandescence / glowing bright and soft like Venus.

-Natasha Saje, “Alive”

What any body wants: / another to cling to it / like bracken.

-Erin Adair-Hodges, “The Cartographer Gets Lost”

More similes I love


AND HERE ARE SOME TITLES THAT ARE VERY GOOD:

  • AUBADE TO A COLLAPSED STAR

  • MARGINALIA

  • APRICOT LAMENT

  • AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MY HUNGERS

  • THE CITY HAS SEX WITH EVERYTHING

  • HILLBILLY LEVIATHAN

  • [POEM IN WHICH EVEN YOUR ABSENCE IS MISSING]

  • DEAR MOM—

  • WEST VIRGINIA NOCTURNE

  • RIVER BAPTISM

  • TEXARKANA APOCHRYPHA

More titles I love


BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK:


That’s all for today! Hope you have a good weekend. And, if you live in the US, buy some books.

-DB
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