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Josh Simmons

josh@books.josh.tel

Joined 1 year, 2 months 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 70)

quoted Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey (2014) No rating

Milk and Honey (stylized in all lowercase as "milk and honey") is an Indian-Canadian collection …

you tell me to quiet down cause my opinions make me less beautiful but i was not made with a fire in my belly so i could be put out i was not made with a lightness on my tongue so i could be easy to swallow i was made heavy half blade and half silk difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow

Milk and Honey by  (Page 30)

Joy Harjo: An American Sunrise (Paperback, 2019, W. W. Norton & Company) No rating

The Story Wheel by Joy Harjo

I leave you to your ceremony of grieving Which is also of celebration Given when an honored humbled one Leaves behind a trail of happiness In the dark of human tribulation. None of us is above the other In this story of forever. Though we follow that red road home, one behind another. There is a light breaking through the storm And it is buffalo hunting weather. There you can see your mother. She is busy as she was ever— She holds up a new jingle dress, for her youngest beloved daughter. And for her special son, a set of finely beaded gear. All for that welcome home dance, The most favorite of all— when everyone finds their way back together to dance, eat and celebrate. And tell story after story of how they fought and played in the story wheel and how no one was ever really lost at all.

An American Sunrise by  (Page 28)

Hannah Emerson: The Kissing of Kissing (Paperback, 2022, Milkweed Editions) No rating

In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse--a literary series written and curated …

Fill Your Arms by Hannah Emerson

Please try only to go to the place that is just trying kissing us yearning to love this moment instead

of hating it yes. Please try to kiss this place that is probing our sweet soul that is trying to understand just what the hell is going on yes. Please

help kiss the process that is happening in this world now yes. Please fill your arms with the bear the heart the monkey the horse the kissing kissing kissing that they bring to us

today yes. Please try to help them get up to dance in ward to find the strength that will find great great great new wiring that is trying to become the nothing air that we breathe that is sweat we need to let out yes.

Please try to go to the sweat helping yourself go to the salt that will melt you yes. Please try to become the ocean that is becoming yes yes that is becoming lovely life yes yes. Please fill your arms trying to take in the nothing of everything yes yes.

The Kissing of Kissing by  (Page 48)

Nikki Giovanni: Love poems (1997, Morrow) No rating

In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Nikki Giovanni has earned …

Mothers by Nikki Giovanni

the last time i was home to see my mother we kissed exchanged pleasantries and unpleasantries pulled a warm comforting silence around us and read separate books

i remember the first time i consciously saw her we were living in a three room apartment on burns avenue

mommy always sat in the dark i don't know how i knew that but she did

that night i stumbled into the kitchen maybe because i've always been a night person or perhaps because i had wet the bed she was sitting on a chair the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through tiny window panes she may have been smoking but maybe not her hair was three-quarters her height which made me a strong believer in the samson myth and very black

i'm sure i just hung there by the door i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady she was very deliberately waiting perhaps for my father to come home from his night job or maybe for a dream that had promised to come by "come here" she said "i'll teach you a poem: i see the moon the moon sees me god bless the moon and god bless me" i taught that to my son who recited it for her just to say we must learn to bear the pleasures as we have borne the pains

Love poems by  (Page 47 - 48)

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

People-Shaped Universes by Nikita Gill

Someone once told me, We are the universe expressing itself as a human for a while.

It makes me think of every person I meet as their own little universe,

each with their own planets of thoughts and solar systems of dreams and galaxies of emotions in their bloodstreams.

People are so much bigger on the inside than they seem on the outside.

Imagine a whole world of universes constantly bumping into each other,

listening and learning, and sometimes, just sometimes,

building a perishable forever together.

Where Hope Comes From by  (Page 91)

Les Murray: Learning Human (2001, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) No rating

A bighearted selection from the inimitable Australian poet's diverse ten-book body of work

Les Murray …

Hearing Impairment by Les Murray

Hearing loss? Yes, loss is what we hear who are starting to go deaf. Loss trails a lot of weird puns in its wake, viz. Dad's a real prism of the Left— you'd like me to repeat that? THE SAD SURREALISM OF THE DEAF.

It's mind over mutter at work guessing half what the munglers are saying and society's worse. Punchlines elude to you as Henry Lawson and other touchy drinkers have claimed. Asides, too, go pasture. It's particularly nasty with a wether.

First you crane at people, face them while you can still face them. But grudgually you give up dinnier parties; you begin to think about Beethoven; you Hanover next visit here on silly Narda Fearing—I SAY YOU CAN HAVE AN EXQUISITE EAR AND STILL BE HARD OF HEARING.

It seems to be mainly speech, at first, that escapes you—and that can be a rest, the poor man's escape itch from Babel. You can still hear a duck way upriver, a lorry miles off on the highway. You can still say boo to a goose and read its curt yellow-lipped reply. You can shout SING UP to a magpie,

but one day soon you must feel the silent stopwatch chill your ear in the doctor's rooms, and be wired back into a slightly thinned world with a faint plastic undertone to it and, if the rumours are true, snatches of static, music, police transmissions: it's a BARF minor Car Fourteen prospect.

But maybe hearing aids are now perfect and maybe it's not all that soon. Sweet nothings in your ear are still sweet; you've heard the human range by your age and can follow most talk from memory; the peace of the graveyard's well up on that of the grave. And the world would enjoy peace and birdsong for more moments

if you were head of government, enquiring of an aide Why, Simpkins, do you tell me a warrior is a ready flirt? I might argue—and flowers keep blooming as he swallows his larynx to shriek our common mind-overloading sentence: I'M SORRY, SIR, IT'S A RED ALERT!

Learning Human by  (Page 96 - 97)

Hannah Emerson: The Kissing of Kissing (Paperback, 2022, Milkweed Editions) No rating

In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse--a literary series written and curated …

I Live in the Woods of My Words by Hannah Emerson

I live in the branches of the trees. I live in the great keeping freedom of the really helpful down yearning in the grown of the forest floor. The words fall from the sky like snow on this day. They become the floor of the forest. The ground from which all things grow into the towards. It is great great dream of life try to dream. I live in each letter that is where you will find me. They have been given to us as keys to the great breathing hope of life. I always wanted to live there but couldn't live there until the poetry gave me life of words.

The Kissing of Kissing by  (Page 19)

Hannah Emerson: The Kissing of Kissing (Paperback, 2022, Milkweed Editions) No rating

In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse--a literary series written and curated …

Naomi Shihab Nye: Tiny Journalist (2019, BOA Editions, Limited) No rating

Freedom of Speech (what the head-of-school told me) by Naomi Shihab Nye

We would appreciate if you would not

(you know in this strange climate taking into account problems we have had misunderstandings angry parents insults Facebook postings teachers being fired demonstrations floods)

mention the president

Tiny Journalist by  (Page 86)

Naomi Shihab Nye: Tiny Journalist (2019, BOA Editions, Limited) No rating

Moon Over Gaza by Naomi Shihab Nye

I am lonely for my friends. They liked me, trusted my coming. I think they looked up at me more than other people do.

I who have been staring down so long see no reason for the sorrows humans make. I dislike the scuffle of bombs blasting very much. It blocks my view.

A landscape of grieving feels different afterwards. Different sheen from a simple desert, rubble of walls, silent children who once said my name like a prayer.

Sometimes I am bigger than a golden plate, a giant coin, and everyone gasps.

Maybe it is wrong that I am so calm.

Tiny Journalist by  (Page 19)

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

Born by Lee Herrick

I was born in an ocean of poor magic near a songwriter with stories

but no maps, strung out on local wine and rice.

I was born because the magic and the birds were certain they'd seen me before.

There were no gasps or hands clapping nor arias or sobs. I was there

on the grass, a full head of black hair, eyes that asked, will you say a little more

a curiosity that became desire, then death, then desire again.

Gardening secrets of the dead by  (Page 57)

Ada Limon: Hurting Kind (2022, Milkweed Editions) No rating

Runaway Child by Ada Limón

The ocean was two things once, in two places, north it was the high

icy waves of Bodega Bay, Dillon, and Limantour, and south it was the blue ease

of Oceanside and Encinitas, umbrellas in a sleepy breeze.

It took me years to realize those two blues were the same ocean.

I thought they must be separate. Must be cleaved in the center by a fault line.

On a call just now with my grandmother she mentions how all the flowers

I've sent are from my garden, so I let her believe it. Sweet lies of the mind.

She says she's surprised I like to grow things, didn't think

I was that kind of girl, she always thought I was a runaway child.

She flicks her hand away, to show me her hand becoming a bird, swerving

until it is a white gull in the wind. She repeats: a runaway child.

Mercy is not frozen in time, but flits about frantically, unsure where to land.

As children, they'd bring us to the ocean, divorce distraction and summer,

we'd drift with the tide southward until we'd almost lose sight of them,

waving dramatically for our return, shouting until we came back to the shore.

Once, when she was watching us, I tried to run away, four or five years old,

and when I got to the end of the driveway, she didn't try to stop me. Even shut the door.

And so I came back. She knew what it was to be unloved, abandoned by her mother,

riding her bike by her father's house with his other children, late afternoons,

before her grandmother would call her home for supper. Some days, I think

she would have let me leave, some days I think of her shaking on the shore.

Now, she thinks all the flowers I've sent are from my garden. Grown

from seeds and tended. She gets a kick out of it, this runaway child

so overly loved, she could dare to drift away from it all.

Hurting Kind by  (Page 68 - 70)

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

This is Les Murray's first new volume of poems since Poems the Size of Photographs …

Panic Attack by Les Murray

The body had a nightmare. Awake. No need of the movie.

No need of light, to keep hips and shoulders rotating in bed on the gimbals of wet eyes.

Pounding heart, chest pains— should it be the right arm hurting?

The brain was a void or a blasted-out chamber— shreds of speech in there, shatters of lust and prayer.

No one can face their heart or turn their back on it.

Bowel stumbled to bowl, emptied, and emptied again till the gut was a train crawling in its own tunnel,

slowly dragging the nightmare down with it, below heart level. You would not have died

the fear had been too great but: to miss the ambulance moment—

Relax. In time, your hourglass will be reversed again.

The Biplane Houses by  (Page 85 - 86)

Ada Limon: Hurting Kind (2022, Milkweed Editions) No rating

If I Should Fail by Ada Limón

The ivy eating the fence line, each tendril multiplying by green tendril, if I should fail the seeds lifted out and devoured by bristled marauders, blame only me and the strip of sun which bade me come to lie down snakelike on my belly, low snake energy, and be tempted by the crevices between the world and not world, if I should fail know I stared long into fractures and it seemed to me a mighty system of gaps one could slither into and I was made whole in that knowledge of a sleek nothingness.

Hurting Kind by  (Page 72)

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

Testimony by Lee Herrick

I heard the American poet groan like his farmworker mother bent into California's central question like a rake or a comma or a death that was not a death but a rising fire or a shotgun in a wheat field.

I heard the father say to himself to hell with it before he wrote a seven page manifesto on the crimes of lemon trees whose leaves become little whispers in our dream like yellow flowers floating on a lake.

I heard anger come into the night I heard the night bring you down I heard the down say please madam I heard a woman say Hmong means free I heard freedom like kingdom.

Scar and Flower by  (Page 32)