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Josh Simmons

Joined 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Technicolor geek. Slow reader. Main social presence: /

I try to post a poem every day.

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Josh Simmons's books

Currently Reading (View all 64)

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The Bees (Paperback, 2018, Pan Macmillan) No rating

The Woman in the Moon by Carol Ann Duffy

Darlings, I write to you from the moon where I hide behind famous light. How could you think it ever a man up here? A cow jumped over. The dish ran away with

the spoon. What reached me were your joys, griefs, here's-the-craic, losses, longings, your lives brief, mine long, a talented loneliness. I must have a thousand names for the earth, my blue vocation.

Round I go, the moon a diet of light, sliver of pear, wedge of lemon, slice of melon, half an orange, silver onion; your human sound falling through space, childbirth's song, the lover's song, the song of death.

Devoted as words to things, I gaze, gawp, glare; deserts where forests were, sick seas. When night comes, I see you gaping back as though you hear my Darlings, what have you done, what have you done to the world?

The Bees by  (Page 49)

The Tradition (Paperback, 2019, Copper Canyon Press) 3 stars

HeLa by Jericho Brown for Henrietta Lacks

I won't die. I keep white men up at night. I come from the deepest basin they know. They want to watch me grow so they took me from Mama. When they hold me close, it's always so cold, but when Sister came to see me the other day, she kissed me & called me beautiful & I was warm again, like it always was with Mama, just for a little while. Yemoja olodo awoye Yemoja...

I—two, one hundred, three million, legion, spawn of gall, glory of silt gone sour—make the slack-jawed bow & wish they could drink from my ever-after. Now these men have brought women friends to look at me. They say I'm getting stronger every day. They want me to tell them my secrets, but I don't know what they mean. How can I explain who I am if they can't see, after looking at me? They call me HeLa. Healer. Mama would be proud to know we got healing in us. I hope she understands I didn't want to go... Yemoja Orisha Orisha Yemoja fun me lowo. Asé. Asé.

The Tradition by  (Page 27)

Don't Call Us Dead: Poems (2017, Graywolf Press) No rating

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and …

Devotions (Paperback, 2020, Penguin Books) No rating

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean— the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down— who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Devotions by  (Page 316)

Wishing you a beautiful solstice, whether you're ushering in summer or winter. May yours be a season of joy and meaning ✨

#MaryOliver #QueerPoetry #TodaysPoem #Poetry #BookWyrm #Solstice

Leaves of Grass (EBook, Grapevine) No rating

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although …

Earth, My Likeness by Walt Whitman

Earth, my likeness, Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there, I now suspect that is not all; I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth, For an athlete is enamour'd of me, and I of him, But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth, I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.

Leaves of Grass by  (27%)

Leaves of Grass (EBook, Grapevine) No rating

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although …

We Two Boys Together Clinging by Walt Whitman

We two boys together clinging, One the other never leaving, Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making, Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching, Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving, No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening, Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing, Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing, Fulfilling our foray.

Leaves of Grass by  (27%)

Leaves of Grass (EBook, Grapevine) No rating

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although …

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me by Walt Whitman

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions, But really I am neither for nor against institutions, (What indeed have I in common with them? or what with the destruction of them?) Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard, And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large that dents the water, Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument, The institution of the dear love of comrades.

Leaves of Grass by  (27%)

Leaves of Grass (EBook, Grapevine) No rating

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although …

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone by Walt Whitman

Roots and leaves themselves alone are these, Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side, Breast-sorrel and pinks of love, fingers that wind around tighter than vines, Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen, Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea, to you O sailors! Frost-mellow'd berries and Third-month twigs offer'd fresh to young persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up, Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are, Buds to be unfolded on the old terms, If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form, color, perfume, to you, If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers, fruits, tall branches and trees.

Leaves of Grass by  (26%)

Leaves of Grass (EBook, Grapevine) No rating

Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Although …

Devotions (Paperback, 2020, Penguin Books) No rating

The Gift by Mary Oliver

After the wind-bruised sea furrowed itself back into folds of blue, I found in the black wrack

a shell called the Neptune— tawny and white, spherical, with a tail

and a tower and a dark door, and all of it no larger

than my fist. It looked, you might say, very expensive. I thought of its travels

in the Atlantic’s wind-pounded bowl and wondered that it was still intact.

Ah yes, there was that door that held only the eventual, inevitable emptiness.

There’s that—there’s always that. Still, what a house to leave behind! I held it

like the wisest of books and imagined its travels toward my hand. And now, your hand.

Devotions by  (24%)

Poet in New York (Paperback, 2007, Grove Press) No rating

City Without Sleep by Federico García Lorca (Nocturne of the Brooklyn Bridge)

No one sleeps in the sky. No one. No one sleeps. The creatures of the moon smell and circle their cabins. Live iguanas will come to bite the men who don't dream and he who flees with broken heart will find on the corners the still, incredible crocodile under the tender protest of the stars.

No one sleeps in the world. No one. No one sleeps. There is a dead man in the farthest cemetery who for three years complains of the dry landscape on his knee; and the boy they buried this morning wept so much they had to call the dogs to quiet him down.

Life is not a dream. Look! We fall down the stairs to eat damp earth or we ascend to the edge of snow with a chorus of dead dahlias. But there's no forgetting, no sleep: living flesh. Kisses bind the lips in a tangle of recent veins and those who suffer, suffer without rest and those who fear death will carry it on their shoulders.

One day horses will live in the taverns and furious ants will attack the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows.

Some other day we'll see the resurrection of mounted butterflies and even as we wander through a landscape of gray sponges and mute ships we'll see our ring glow and roses pour forth from our tongue. Look! Those who still bear traces of claw and squall, that boy who cries because he knows nothing of the invention of the bridge or that dead man who has only his head and one shoe, they must be taken to the wall where iguanas and serpents are waiting, where the bear's teeth are waiting, where a child's mummified hand is waiting, and the hair of the camel bristles with a violent blue chill.

No one sleeps in the sky. No one. No one sleeps. But if someone closes his eyes, beat him, my children, beat him! Even if there's a panorama of open eyes and bitter incandescent sores. No one sleeps in the world. No one.

I've already said it. No one sleeps. But if at night someone has an excess of moss on his temples, then open the trap doors so the moon lets him see the false cups, the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Poet in New York by  (Page 63)

The Apidictor Tapes (Paperback, New Rivers Press) No rating

"Annette C. Boehm's new book, THE APIDICTOR TAPES, rather than concentrating on the hackneyed hum …

Raccoon by Annette C. Boehm

The yolk on the tongue, hen-warm and mellow. As rich as memory milk. In a dream, a spilled yolk means things will be difficult. Raw eggs stand for success, for plans put into motion. Two yolks in one egg: a feast. Not a promise of plenty, a reality. Feel the shell against your paws, the surface neither smooth nor rough. For a moment, you create Schrödinger's henhouse. Then you make your choice.

The Apidictor Tapes by  (Page 28)

Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Hardcover, 2019, Copper Canyon Press) No rating

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times writes: “The poems in Mr. Vuong’s new collection, …

Anaphora as Coping Mechanism by Ocean Vuong

Can't sleep so you put on his grey boots—nothing else—& step inside the rain. Even though he's gone, you think, I still want to be clean. If only the rain were gasoline, your tongue a lit match, & you can change without disappearing. If only he dies the second his name becomes a tooth in your mouth. But he doesn't. He dies when they wheel him away & the priest ushers you out of the room, your palms two puddles of rain. He dies as your heart beats faster, as another war coppers the sky. He dies each night you close your eyes & hear his slow exhale. Your fist choking the dark. Your fist through the bathroom mirror. He dies at the party where everyone laughs & all you want is to go into the kitchen & make seven omelets before burning down the house. All you want is to run into the woods & beg the wolf to fuck you up. He dies when you wake & it's November forever. A Hendrix record melted on a rusted needle. He dies the morning he kisses you for two minutes too long, when he says Wait followed by I have something to say & you quickly grab your favorite pink pillow & smother him as he cries into the soft & darkening fabric. You hold still until he's very quiet, until the walls dissolve & you're both standing in the crowded train again. Look how it rocks you back & forth like a slow dance seen from the distance of years. You're still a freshman. You're still terrified of having only two hands. & he doesn't know your name yet but he smiles anyway. His teeth reflected in the window reflecting your lips as you mouth Hello—your tongue a lit match.

Night Sky with Exit Wounds by  (Page 40)