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Josh Simmons

Joined 1 year, 6 months 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 70)

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

In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east …

For Earth's Grandsons by Joy Harjo

Stand tall, no matter your height, how dark your skin Your spirit is all colors within You are made of the finest woven light From the iridescent love that formed your mothers, fathers Your grandparents all the way back on the spiral road— There is no end to this love It has formed your bodies Feeds your bright spirits And no matter what happens in these times of breaking— No matter dictators, the heartless, and liars No matter—you are born of those Who kept ceremonial embers burning in their hands All through the miles of relentless exile Those who sang the path through massacre All the way to sunrise You will make it through—

An American Sunrise by  (Page 56)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

Shadows by Mary Oliver

Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast terrible shadows, that each of the so-called senseless acts has its thread looping back through the world and into a human heart. And meanwhile the gold-trimmed thunder wanders the sky; the river may be filling the cellars of the sleeping town. Cyclone, fire, and their merry cousins bring us to grief—but these are the hours with the old wooden-god faces; we lift them to our shoulders like so many black coffins, we continue walking into the future. I don't mean there are no bodies in the river, or bones broken by the wind. I mean everyone who has heard the lethal train-roar of the tornado swears there was no mention ever of any person, or reason—I mean the waters rise without any plot upon history, or even geography. Whatever power of the earth rampages, we turn to it dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever the name of the catastrophe, it is never the opposite of love.

Devotions by  (Page 348)

Ada Limón: Bright dead things (2015) No rating

"Bright Dead Things examines the chaos that is life, the dangerous thrill of living in …

We Are Surprised by Ada Limón

Now, we take the moon into the middle of our brains

so we look like roadside stray cats with bright flashlight-white eyes

in our faces, but no real ideas of when or where to run.

We linger on the field's green edge and say, Someday, son, none of this

will be yours. Miracles are all around. We're not so much homeless

as we are home-free, penny-poor, but plenty lucky for love and leaves

that keep breaking the fall. Here it is: the new way of living with the world

inside of us so we cannot lose it, and we cannot be lost. You and me

are us and them, and it and sky. It's hard to believe we didn't

know that before; it's hard to believe we were so hollowed out, so drained,

only so we could shine a little harder when the light finally came.

Bright dead things by  (Page 42 - 43)

Sappho: If Not, Winter (2003, Vintage) No rating

A bilingual edition of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, in a new translation …

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

The Trees by Jericho Brown

In my front yard live three crape myrtles, crying trees We once called them, not the shadiest but soothing During a break from work in the heat, their cool sweat

Falling into us. I don't want to make more of it. I'd like to let these spindly things be Since my gift for transformation here proves

Useless now that I know everyone moves the same Whether moving in tears or moving To punch my face. A crape myrtle is

A crape myrtle. Three is a family. It is winter. They are bare. It's not that I love them Every day. It's that I love them anyway.

The Tradition by  (Page 19)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

Last Days by Mary Oliver

Things are changing; things are starting to spin, snap, fly off into the blue sleeve of the long afternoon. Oh and ooh come whistling out of the perished mouth of the grass, as things turn soft, boil black into substance and hue. As everything, forgetting its own enchantment, whispers: I too love oblivion why not it is full of second chances. Now, hiss the bright curls of the leaves. Now! booms the muscle of the wind.

Devotions by  (Page 410)

Love to my dears in the north marking the autumnal equinox, and my dears in the south marking the vernal equinox. May this season of transition be what you need it to be.

#MaryOliver #QueerPoetry #TodaysPoem #Poetry #BookWyrm

Danez Smith: 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 …

bare by Danez Smith

for you i'd send my body to battle my body, let my blood sing of tearing

itself apart, hollow cords of white knights' intravenous joust.

love, i want & barely know how to do much else. don't speak to me

about raids you could loose on me the clan of rebel cells who thirst

to watch their home burn. love let me burn if it means you

& i have one night with no barrier but skin. this isn't about danger

but about faith, about being wasted on your name. if love is a room

of broken glass, leave me to dance until my feet are memory.

if love is a hole wide enough to be God's mouth, let me plunge

into that holy dark & forget the color of light. love, stay

in me until our bodies forget what divides us, until your hands

are my hands & your blood is my blood & your name

is my name & his & his

Don't Call Us Dead: Poems by  (Page 37)

Ocean Vuong: 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, …

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Tell me it was for the hunger & nothing less. For hunger is to give the body what it knows

it cannot keep. That this amber light whittled down by another war is all that pins my hand to your chest.

You, drowning between my arms— stay.

You, pushing your body into the river only to be left with yourself— stay.


Night Sky with Exit Wounds by 

Michael Walsh: Queer Nature (2022, Autumn House Press) No rating

Settling In by Jenny Factor

How I loved each bare floor, each naked wall, the shadows on

newly empty halls. By day, my head humming to itself of dreams, I cleaned and

scrubbed to make life new; dislodging from the corner,

the old moths and cicadas pinned to the screen, the carcasses

of grasshoppers dangling from beams, and each windowsill's clutter of

dried beetles and dead bees. But, through each opening, each closing door,

the old life returns on six legs, or spins a musty web as it roosts over

a poison pot, or descends from above to drink blood in. This is how it

happens: the settling in—the press of wilderness returns to carved-out space, to skin.

Queer Nature by 

Audre Lorde: The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (Paperback, 2000, W. W. Norton & Company) No rating

"These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."—Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of …

From the Greenhouse by Audre Lorde

Summer rains like my blood cries lover my lover over and over surging receding sometimes a brief sun knifing through rain like my blood speaks in alternate whispers roaring giving and taking seeking destroying beseeching green sprouts in our struggling garden blessing the earth as it suffers blind rain beating down tender sprouts in the silent mud.

My blood yells against your sleeping shoulder this is a poem of summer my blood screams at your false safety your mute body beside me driving me closer and closer you seek your own refuge farther and farther away in your dreaming the edge of our bed is approaching again rain surges against our windows green sprouts are drowning in mud and blessings in our carefully planted greenhouse I have moved as far as I can now my blood merges into your dreaming.

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by  (Page 312)

Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

August by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high branches, reaching my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming the black honey of summer into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark creeks that run by there is this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is this happy tongue.

Devotions by  (Page 365)

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

Gardening Secrets of the Dead by Lee Herrick

When the light pivots, hum — not so loud the basil will know, but enough to water it with your breath. Gardening has nothing to do with names like lily or daisy. It is about verbs like uproot, traverse, hush. We can say it has aspects of memory and prayer, but mostly it is about refraction and absence, the dead long gone when the plant goes in. A part of the body. Water and movement, attention and dirt.

Once, I swam off the coast of Belize and pulled seven local kids along in the shallow Caribbean, their brown bodies in the blue water behind me, the first one holding my left hand like a root, the last one dangling his arm under the water like a lavender twig or a flag in light wind. A dead woman told me: Gardening, simply, is laughing and swimming a chorus of little brown miracles in water so clear you can see yourself and your own brown hands becoming clean.

Gardening secrets of the dead by 

Mikko Harvey: Let the World Have You (Paperback, 2022, House of Anansi Press) No rating

Mikko Harvey’s new collection invites readers into a world that is and is not the …

Spark by Mikko Harvey

A leaf declining to fall. A man hunting to kill but not to eat. On the patio last night, a telephone told stories about democracy, but I was watching your hands move. Picking up patterns. Slowly starting to see that my life was nothing more than a perch from which to be kind, like the foliage that successfully hides a turkey from a hunter. The evening's blackness frothed in the grass. The evening's mantises danced. Or at least swayed. Or at least existed. And when I thought that a small amount of liquid was about to spill over the edge of your cup, a small amount did! Simplicity: a doorknob. The freckle on your forearm.

Let the World Have You by  (Page 61 - 62)