IPM 2015: Where do we go from here?

Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It's called the "new" bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.
Before the Simplon pass at the Italian-Swiss border, is a Roman bridge over the Diveria River. It’s called the “new” bridge, because it was built in 1300 c.e. to replace the previous bridge built in the reign of Emperor Augustus that was destroyed by a flood.

 

“Poetry gives us the opportunity to offer our observations to present and future readers, be they from the perspective of one standing on the bridge watching events or of one standing below and taking on the current. I’m looking forward to a month of editing and I know that my IPM readers are standing on the bridge waiting for the flow of poems to begin…”

So began International Poetry Month 2015 and the flow of poems was fascinating for me to edit and I hope that both Readers and Poets enjoyed getting their feet wet. I offer my most sincere thanks to the participating poets and to the more than 1000 readers who came from the United States, England, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Denmark, France, India, Luxembourg, Singapore, the UAE, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Switzerland, Israel, Ghana, the Philippines, Belgium, Peru, Romania, Serbia and Portugal to read their work.

Today is the fourth of March and Spring seems only a few days away here in Northern Italy while I know those in other places are still slogging through the snow. Regardless of the temperature, here the snows have begun to melt and these poems will begin to erode away, disappearing a few at a time and leaving only the voices behind. Some you will still be able to find on the web, or in a book. Some will be gone for good. Where do we go from here? Why across the bridge and in search of new images, new experiences and new poetry. Following is an alphabetical list of the participating poets; each name is also a link to the poet’s work posted at IPM where you will find additional links to individual blogs or published works:

NETO: by Octavio Solis

I have a brother who died before he reached his first birthday. I think I ran into him at the airport. I’m waiting this one afternoon for a flight at DFW that keeps getting delayed every hour. I sit and put on my earbuds and listen to a random selection of Electronica, Jazz and shit. There’s a point where the tunes in your head synchronize with eye focus and everything drops into a general blur. I zone out like that for a minute when I see him sitting across from me. My brother. I know it’s him because he looks like me, only a year younger. Less grey in his hair, fewer wrinkles around the mouth. Sleepy self-assured eyes. A face that don’t give a shit. I never really liked the phrase “comfortable in his skin” because I’ve never been comfortable in mine. But he is, the way he sits, the way his work boots sprawl toward me. I have my sunglasses on, which is how I size him up without him knowing.

 

I notice a silver cross around his neck, the kind that is both tribal and religious. There are four or five tiny black tats on his hands, and though I can’t see it under his clothes, I suspect he wears the Guadalupe Virgin over his heart. I can tell by the gentle curl of his lips that they’re more accustomed to speaking Spanish than English. He has his own invisible music playing in his head and judging by the cadence in his nod, I guess it’s the boleros of my Mom’s old records. He is all the Mexican I have tried to be but can’t.

 

Then in that languorous haze I see into his heavy-lidded eyes and his essential nature lays itself bare. I’m a Sunday man, he says inside, I kneel when the Father says to. I love my women, I sin against them and never apologize for it, except by loving them more. I know all the ways of loneliness, and all the ways to avoid it. I’m a nightbird, my eyes attuned to the nuances of darkness, and it’s in that place I hide my saddest dreams, my delirious vices. Pain is grace. I don’t know how not to do something, only that not doing it brings more regret than I can bear. Trouble’s bitten me so many times, it’s left black marks on my hands, marks that commemorate loss and love and maybe an unborn child or two. I’ve seen death more than most, so count on me to be present at your last breath. That’s how our blood must have it. I am lived-in, a lived-in man. Your brother.

 

He cuts me a single glance that lasts as long as it takes to say his name, and his look says, ‘cause I’m dead, I got permission to fuck my life up and still outlive you. A woman’s voice says something over the intercom and he gets up and walks to his gate. And I get up and walk to mine.

.

copyright 2015 Octavio Solis

to find more poetry by Octavio Solis, click HERE.

June 19, 2013: by Octavio Solis

Keeping vigil at the window
while my wife sleeps, my dogs, my child.
Night, keep your bargain.

The thin tree thins even more. It knows the sun is never coming back. The sea is a far-off sigh. A car travels slowly north, bewildered, as if there is no west, no east. A sleeping baby strapped in the car seat. The drunk pisses in the shadows which piss back at him the story of his life. I hear them tapping out the tune. Across the street, an invisible woman smokes at the window with the light out. She’s there, then gone. Almost there, and gone. Cold prayers slip unnoticed from the red tip of her cigarette. Tenuous lives suspended in the book of time, digging up the bones of love, is this what you call hope, is this how you find peace?

Too late, it’s done.
The moon already broken, already signaling the breach.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up and somebody will be dead.
Somebody will be born.

copyright 2013 Octavio Solis

to find more poetry by Octavio Solis, click HERE.

Winter: by Octavio Solis

This poem in its written form has disappeared. If you want to know why, click HERE.

to hear a reading of this poem, click on the player below:

to hear more poetry by Octavio Solis, click HERE.

Hajj: by Octavio Solis

This poem in its written form has disappeared. If you want to know why, click HERE.

copyright 2004 Octavio Solis, all rights reserved

to hear a reading of this poem, click on the player below:

to hear more poetry by Octavio Solis, click HERE.

The very last word in poetry news!

This is the last IPM poetry update for the moment but full of good news and new things to read:

Benjamin Norris, poet, artist, and university lecturer, after a spate of publications in February has continued to write, his most recent work can be found on his website A View from a Carpark:

My sleight of hand grows tepid, shaken
kept unbound, it withers down
the coins invariably end their trail
somewhere behind the ears of a child…
(excerpt from Petty Magicks)

American poet Tim Seibles’ book Fast Animal became available in February and I found this review at Ringside Reviews the most engaging of the five that I read. The reviewer, Micah Ling, cited a poem entitled Dawn which I found on-line at eleveneleven journal. Here’s a taste:

So, I thought about death and the dying
it requires and the idea of lying
face-down somewhere: I thought

it’s just too much—the not
knowing, the anytime anyplace
of it: my heart running

out of gas—me: tagged
by a bus—my well-meaning self
clipped in the urban crossfire.

Or the giving up on everything,
the world a banquet of good reasons
for clocking out and chomping the black
sandwich. But I thought but…(excerpt from the poem Dawn in the collection Fast Animal)

Finally, American poet and playwright Octavio Solis premiered his latest theatrical work Cloudlands (a musical for which he wrote the script and lyrics in collaboration with Adam Gwon) at the South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa Mesa, California. It received this glowing review in the L.A. Times. We hope that he’ll have time to keep writing poetry now that it’s in production.

All the best to everyone and thanks for reading!

Where are they now?

“It is this gesture towards real communication, offered in the midst of the flash-flood of information that our culture deluges us with every morning as soon as we open our eyes, that is being offered by the poets who will be presented over the next 29 days. An arbitrary flower in the midst of chaos for you, the reader.”

I hope that you’ve all enjoyed the 29 flowers that were offered from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, the United States, and Wales by way of Budapest.

International Poetry Month 2012 is over. The marauding hordes have left the library ablaze, the flood has washed away the ashes, the caravan carrying the last copy of the precious poetry collection has vanished in the desert; at least that’s what it feels like to me as I hit the delete key and erase the written versions of the poems.

Now what?

What remains is the oral tradition; I have made audio files of each poem available where the poem used to be posted when permitted by the poet.  When the poems can be found elsewhere on the web I’ve left a link. Anyone who is on my mailing list has a ‘fragment’ of each work. Perhaps, like the poems of Sappho, this is all that will remain.

I would like to extend my profound thanks to the following guest poets for their contributions:

Anonymous 2oth Cent. Poet

Matthew Broussard

Gilles-Marie Chenot

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Lee Elsesser

Chris Fillebrown

Brad Frederiksen

Giacomo Gusmeroli

Michelle Lee Houghton

Christian Stokbro Karlsen

Helen Martin

Tom McClellan

Benjamin Norris

Angel Raiter

Adina Richman

Liliane Richman

Tim Seibles

Octavio Solis


Some of these poets have blogs or websites where intriguing writing, images, or biographical information may be encountered. I encourage anyone suffering from poetry withdrawal to visit these sites by clicking on any of the names that appear in color. Others are tantalizingly unavailable, if you want to see more of their work you’ll have to hope that they come back next year. Of course my work that is or has been posted throughout the rest of the year is still here.

Thanks as well to everyone who has stopped by to read and comment on the poems either here or on Facebook. It has been a real joy to present so much fine poetry again this year. Now I have to start thinking about next year and get back to writing.

A presto!

The Father’s Hand: by Octavio Solis

The written version of this poem has disappeared from this blog. 

To listen to a reading of this poem, click on the player below:

Copyright 2011 Octavio Solis, all rights reserved

To listen to more poems by Octavio Solis, click HERE.

IPM 2MXI…Where have all the poems gone?

“We’re all trying: poets to give you, the reader, the gift of an image that cannot be offered in any better way, that cracks you a bit and frees something; you, readers, are giving us the gift of your searching, your curiosity, your attention…”

That’s what I wrote on the 31st. of January when I inaugurated International Poetry Month 2011 and now, on the 2nd of March I say, with joy, it happened…the exchange of gifts between poets and readers.

Now what?

International Poetry Month 2011 is closed. The marauding hordes have left the library ablaze, the flood has washed away the ashes, the caravan carrying the last copy of the precious poetry collection has vanished in the desert; at least that’s what it feels like to me as I hit the delete key and erase the written versions of the poems.

What remains is the oral tradition; I have made audio files of each poem available where the poem used to be posted.  Anyone who is on my e-mail list has a ‘fragment’ of each work. Perhaps, like the poems of Sappho, this is all that will remain.

I would like to extend my profound thanks to the following guest poets for their contributions:

Anonymous 2oth Cent. Poet

Cesare Bedognè

Gilles-Marie Chenot

Chris Fillebrown

Brad Frederiksen

Giacomo Gusmeroli

Michelle Lee Houghton

Christian Stokbro Karlsen

Tom McClellan

Angel Raiter

Adina Richman

Liliane Richman

Jere Schaefer

Octavio Solis

Edin Suljic

Some of these poets have blogs or websites where intriguing writing and images may be encountered. I encourage anyone suffering from poetry withdrawal to visit these sites by clicking on any of the names that appear in bold. Others are tantalizingly unavailable, if you want to see more of their work you’ll have to hope that they come back next year. Of course my work that is or has been posted throughout the rest of the year is still here.

Thanks as well to everyone who has stopped by to read and comment on the poems either here or at podbean*. It has been a real joy to present so much fine poetry again this year. Now I have to start thinking about next year and get back to writing.

A presto!

*podbean ate my audio! All mp3’s can now be found posted with the poem.

People Are Not There: by Octavio Solis

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to a reading of this poem, click on the arrow below: