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Josh Simmons

josh@books.josh.tel

Joined 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Technicolor geek. Slow reader. Main social presence: @josh@josh.tel / josh.tel/@josh

I try to post a poem every day.

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Josh Simmons's books

Currently Reading (View all 38)

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Devotions (Paperback, 2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Almost a Conversation by Mary Oliver

I have not really, not yet, talked with the otter about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble with vowels.

Wherefore our understanding is all body expression—

he swims like the sleekest fish, he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles. Little by little he trusts my eyes and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close. I admire his whiskers and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells me about his life is clear. He does not own a computer. He imagines the river will last forever. He does not envy the dry house I live in. He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship. He wonders, morning after morning, that the river is so cold and fresh and alive, and still I don't jump in.

Devotions by  (Page 75)

Call Us What We Carry (Hardcover, 2021, Viking) No rating

Pan by Amanda Gorman

Pandemic, meaning all people. Pandemonium, meaning all demon. Pandora, meaning all-gifted. Pan, meaning god of nature. All people have meaning, are all- demon, all-gifted. It is in our divine nature. We now appreciate that Pandora's box was a jar left ajar, a pithos (to tell the mistranslation, then, is to risk being remembered by its fiction), meaning a storage container for grain, oil, wheat & even the dead. We all need places to lay down our grief. Where else to put it. That vessel held all plague, all pain & all hope. Don't panic. Instead, turn to a companion. What are we if not the curiosity to open the coffins we carry, who are we if not all the things we let loose.

Call Us What We Carry by  (Page 71)

Where Hope Comes From (Paperback, 2021, Hachette Books) No rating

In Self-Quarantine, Watching My Cat from My Bedroom Window by Nikita Gill

I hope one day I become as gifted at recognizing love as my cat is.

I named him after the poet with the darkest, largest heart and I think of ravens

every time I call his name. He is not obedient, but I would not want him tame.

His tightly coiled body as he stalks birds, his discerning look when he hears his name but does not wish to come home.

I, too, hope to be that confident in a love. Someone who I know will still love me, even if I do not run to them

every time they call.

Where Hope Comes From by  (Page 33)

Scar and Flower (Paperback, 2018, Word Poetry Books) No rating

Wildflowers by Lee Herrick

I asked the florist for a batch of wildflowers and ran in your

direction, I lost my shirt and let my skin be in the wind, the dolphins,

sleek like me, but as for us, the irresistible sea is to separate us. As for an hour

carrying us, what is the worst that could come from a light stroll on the beach?

The florist handed me the batch of seagrass. I paint moons by the ocean because dying

in an asylum is difficult to paint. What good is a year without ambition,

without fire to char the skin of your animal engine, without apology to correct history's wandering plot.

The natives farm the berries and will own it all, after all. What I mean to say is, we could wander

out to find our own beach with no boundaries, bonfires every time the sun goes down.

Scar and Flower by  (Page 39)

California's newest poet laureate, everyone. Lee Herrick 👏🏻

Postcolonial Love Poem (Paperback, 2020, Graywolf Press) No rating

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection …

American Arithmetic by Natalie Diaz

Native Americans make up less than 1 percent of the population of America. 0.8 percent of 100 percent.

O, mine efficient country.

I do not remember the days before America— I do not remember the days when we were all here.

Police kill Native Americans more than any other race. Race is a funny word. Race implies someone will win, implies, I have as good a chance of winning as—

Who wins the race that isn't a race?

Native Americans make up 1.9 percent of all police killings, higher per capita than any race—

sometimes race means run.

I'm not good at math—can you blame me? I've had an American education.

We are Americans, and we are less than 1 percent of Americans. We do a better job of dying by police than we do existing.

When we are dying, who should we call? The police? Or our senator? Please, someone, call my mother.

At the National Museum of the American Indian, 68 percent of the collection is from the United States. I am doing my best not to become a museum of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out.

I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.

But in an American room of one hundred people, I am Native American—less than one, less than whole—I am less than myself. Only a fraction of a body, let's say, I am only a hand—

and when I slip it beneath the shirt of my lover I disappear completely.

Postcolonial Love Poem by  (Page 17)

Oof. Some poetry comforts, reassures, or grounds. This is none of those things. This agitates, and for that I am grateful.

The Biplane Houses (Paperback, 2008, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) No rating

Lifestyle by Les Murray

In the stacked cities they dance the Narrow Kitchen barista, barista! we go to wear black.

barista, baritsa! will you cook in your kitchen? will you drink in your suit? will you come on the Net?

Once it was unions now it's no carbohydrates, no fats, then no proteins barista, barista!

In the tall cities barista, barista! world is not made of atoms world is made of careers

The Biplane Houses by  (Page 65)

This offends my sensibilities 😅 I have hope that we will break with the worldview described here.

Gardening secrets of the dead (2012, WordTech Editions) No rating

Rhyme by Lee Herrick

If all the words in the world rhyme, then

oranges taste like being alive, ascent rhymes

with stop here, please the grace of exiting rhymes

with the drunk pissing The scarf rhymes

with the cost no idea how

an hour moves this slow.

All we want is to not be watched. All the glitches hiss.

Medicate. Meditate. Korea, homeland. Go quietly

then resist how perfect you are, this time

Gardening secrets of the dead by  (Page 15)