In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


I. Plantation Tour (One Star!)

“Vacationers have been sharing their disdain
for guides emphasizing the annals of slavery.”

Let me tell you, what I didn’t need,
Cher Guilt-instilling Know-it-all,

Was a boring-as-sawdust lecture at Belle Fleur
About the bone-breaking perils of slavery!

FYI, Miss Firebrand Liberal,
It wasn’t all that bad: I’ve heard

Plantation slaves often sang happily
While collecting cotton—

Look, I can’t possibly be racist because—
Get it!—I’m Sicilian-American: see,

My people never enslaved anybody!

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


There’s no kindness in your eyes / the way you look at me, it’s just not right”—Hilary Duff

I used to know how to save the world / now I don’t know anything anymore”—Justin Chin

 

(—Once in a blue moon, maybe several times a week,
I write a truly great American poem;
Here I will tell you abt 8th Street . . .
my rules for American life—:

Generally: TV always; no sharia law; don’t say gay; bathrooms are sacred; no hugging/touching (men); don’t pay attention to politics; really, don’t, they only need you every 4 years; small talk is an art & national pastime; acceptable small talk topics include complaining abt wife, kids, kids’ sports, schedules, Chinese boss; even if you hate sports, you have to pretend; candy corn is the worst; mac-n-cheese is the best side. 

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


So you’re intent on devouring the sins
Of the plundering country

That murdered your pedestrian sons,
Your seldom-cop-safe children,

That tore the defiant music
From your paragon chest, the inmost

Prayer from your winter-cracked
Yet rancor-less lips—

Exorcist, it won’t be easy!
Sin-eater, would-be saint, beware!

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


a White friend was expressing how upset he was
by the burning and looting and random violence
being displayed by the thugs fighting our police.
He noted that calm protests and talking is best.

I gave his comments consideration and then said,

when has talking peace and protesting quietly
prevented Black men and boys from being
randomly targeted, victimized, murdered,
imprisoned and accepted here in a land
of free and brave like you, my friend?

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


he knelt on his neck
releasing Black butterflies
raging w/fire

Restrained

I, born of the title of

Virginia Woolf’s sister

Mourn the passing of my paintings in the privacy of this new home

No. 8 Fitzroy Sq. bombed last night – art the only fatality

Clustered, cloistered, perhaps, by other people’s things

Second hand. The generosity of others is not unwelcome

But,

the task at hand to make of them her own, is, in itself, an art form

After all, one can always paint more paintings

 

 

ancient 2020 history

 

You should give the alternative

at least half as long as you

give reforming capital from within

and give and keep giving —

 

don’t see the devil in silencing

your details. We’ve been through

this for centuries, and now it’s

time to kill your precious

 

darlings. I’m the author of un-

finished novels who fills up un-

presentable notebooks on the side.

Welcome to the future

 

of publishing. The bible knows

that all we have is the word

future

future

Ireland

By Sunny Rey

Poem

Cobblestone
Bell tower
Me in plaid, two fingered peace sign in a photograph dangling over the cliffs of Moer

Child’s voice singing in unknown tongue

Proposal to the girl in lace

Old man eating stroganoff alone under a raining window sill

I was right where you found me
Broken and all wrong

Leaving small poems inside tree stumps in grassy driveways up to abandoned castles

Too tough hearted to admit the loneliness

my tastes have changed; i’m not as into
sweetness, anymore. i still go wild — still lose my
mind for
certain scents, the ones reminiscent
of old haunted wood ships and blue raspberry hookah smoke.
remember when there was nothing
but daytime cocaine and the one
song (about the breeze) and
where do chapters end? when do things pass?
how do you separate an over from a start
how do you delineate, anything, ever?
so yes, if you have something nice to say, please say it;
clearly, i am a slut for
any and some and no and all things.
and i will wake up again
from a dream where i am
hosting a dinner party in a paint shop under a ferris wheel on the pier,
and everyone who’s made a life out of living for vivid color
is cheering for me and raising my chair and saying i should run for president,
and i am flattered and vain and humble and laughing, yes,
“yes,” i laugh.

Who are you?

Hi, my name’s Kate. I’m a writer from the midwest living in Brooklyn. My loves are my dog Banjo, herbalism, motorcycles, Bob Seger, the color blue, tequila, collaborative art, and jackalopes in non-specific order.

We won’t necessarily be better off

and I’ve made my peace with that.

But the oceans will be semi-gorgeous

and compromising, a laissez-faire approach

and we have to be hands-off now, don’t we?

Take the stem through your teeth from one end and

keep the distances long, but briefly hold

eyes in contact. Our irises something like

swimming pools, innumerable pools,

pools of liquid memory — how effortless

I dip myself in.

I suppose it began when
I opened doors to morning
and my head burst into leaves

there are stranger waters

out there and I can see them.

Sitting five stories tall above this stacked city

I now know that I am a strange bird.

My mother used to split grapefruit in the morning

with fingers delicate and precise, I am not

my mother but I am

breaking the pulp for the better, I believe

in jazz and the accent of an off-beat

feather that splits the wind above distant street.

I am counting the price tags in my medicine cabinet

taking inventory of trauma and truth requires

a steady hand.

The sleek downtown building shakes
upon my arrival. The woman who
interviews me has flat silver hair, like a fish,
a head of flashing scales. She fingers
her Montblanc pen, I think of marbles.
As in, I lost mine a long time ago.

As she talks, I fall into a reverie in which
we become BFFs. We go to the doctor,
and there I see her heart looks like a chicken
claw. I come to and learn that you can scratch
a surface and only find more self-critique. I mean,
I didn’t get the job.

Although Sharron Hass has warned that rationality is the enemy of generosity

sex four times in one week ÷ our public argument at dinner =
sex twice X  the I want to see you text one workday at noon.

My four birthday presents for your four kids  ÷ (your telling me when your mother’s birthday was by telling me you’d bought flowers for her +
you did so only because I asked you what you did that day) > (your mother phoning me on my birthday to tell me that her gift to me would be a new pair of sunglasses – your dislike of my current pair of sunglasses).