June Gratitude

Many, many, MANY blessings already in June, and I’ve been slow to post them here due to a computer crash. (I’m slowly transitioning to the new machine and recovering files.) But I’m far enough along to be back into WordPress, so here goes:

I’m deeply honored to be listed as one of the International Merit Award winners in the Atlanta Review’s 2015 International Poetry Competition. It’s humbling and a bit of a shock to find my name on this list alongside such poets as Luisa A Igloria and Joan Colby. Thank you, Atlanta Review editor Dan Veach, for the opportunity to participate in this competition.

Praxis Magazine Online published a Hausa poem with English translation in their Indigenous Languages section, Ta Je, Ta Dawo (Incubation). This is my first publication in a Nigerian magazine, and I am overwhelmed and delighted by the sense of homecoming. Thank you, editor Tee Jay Dan, and to Saddiq M Dzokogi and David Ishaya Osu for creating the space for this poem to happen.

Whispers has published my poem “Labeled Fragile” — written as a birthday gift for my cousin Jennifer. Thanks to editor Karen O’Leary and the Whispers community.

Editor John Murphy at The Lake encouraged me to write a book review of Mike Dockins’ most recent poetry collection, LETTER TO SO-AND-SO FROM WHEREVER. (Scroll down; it’s the second review in the June 2015 issue.) This is my first formally published review of a book of poetry, and I’m grateful for both the opportunity and the experience.

Dave Bonta has posted my poem “Rosetta” at Via Negativa — this is another poem inspired by entries at The Morning Porch.

MOVING POEMS MAGAZINE has featured Eduardo Yague’s English- and Spanish-language films of my poem “Considering Luminescence.” I’d already posted the individual films here, but here’s the link to the post at MOVING POEMS.

And finally, Right Hand Pointing has released Right Hand Pointing #87. I remain ever grateful to Dale Wisely for letting me serve as Associate Editor for this journal, and to all our contributors for sending such fine work.

Book Review: Bowen

Book Review: Bowen / by Laura M Kaminski

after reading Ash Bowen’s The Even Years of Marriage, Dream Horse Press, 2013

I make my way past the blonde bikini-babe
laid out on Geoff Greene’s grass, up the ridge
to the pink house that’s burning on the cover.
This is where I enter, turn the knob.

“Weather Report” — already on page twenty-nine.
I suddenly realize I’m still standing, my right hand’s
still clutching packaging, left thumb and pinky
doing an awkward dance to turn each page.

My experience in galleries of living authors’ poetry
left me completely unprepared for this: instead
of moments captured flatly, still life from skewed
perspectives, observations caught and stuffed

like trophy fish upon the wall (their eyes glassy,
artificial) — instead, I’ve entered the chambers
of a heart half-consumed by fire and yet still
candle-lit, and within this dwelling, I find sculpted

beings, the most exquisite wax museum I have ever
seen, I tread gently between the delicate headstones
of unborn children, stare long at the rigid back
of a loose-hipped woman who never looks my way.

I’m startled by a sense of pressure on my
shoulder, certain it’s Security come to remove me
from this place of fragility where I wander, uninvited,
a hallow where the vibrant air is awe. Instead,

some unseen ghost or gust must have reached out
to catch its balance, brushed against me for a moment.
An Icarus-feather, without wax, is drawn by gravity
along my cheek, a sincerity that makes me shiver.

–Laura M Kaminski, 2013