Featured Poem of the month​

 

The Solar Apogee of Indigo Mystics

 

a kind of freedom lives in yellow and indigo

            a bit of hate remains

in the stickiness of sidewalks

on small brown, slick, freeze-pop fingers

 

balls of gold glow less and so too inhibitions

of bare-skinned limbs in mangled jeans

from long party nights and lusty red lights

living on sweaty cocoa skin

 

chalk-stained sidewalks fade, old mascara

          on grey eyes and silver seams

snaps of double-dutch ropes; scurrying gym shoes

Hide 'n Seek where we vanish as ghosts

 

cotton wraps lie one on top of two on top of three

enshrine bodies and trap movement

where humid longing remains entombed

 

trills of bells; clicks of computers; squares and grills

          easy peace and easier violence

Clustered frames and bunched buildings

small steel projectiles shattering glass and lives

 

taken all into some languid equation of existence

stripped of ballads and romantic words

 

we stand here waiting for all that is next. 

A writer born, raised and living on the South Side of Chicago, Catherine Adel West fixes punctuation and grammar for big companies to pay the mortgage. While soothing itchy Twitter fingers on @cawest329 or curating content for her blog, The Scriptor Complex (https://catherineadel.wordpress.com/), she's also recently completed her first novel. Publication credits include Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, 805 Lit + Art, and Doors Ajar.

...and now....

poetry magazine, editor, Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins, Anthony Watkins
Better than Starbucks -- The Interview
Ron Silliman is, as the Poetry Foundation Profile states,"An influential figure in contemporary poetics, Ron Silliman became associated with the West Coast literary movement known as “Language poetry” in the 1960s and ‘70s. He edited In the American Tree (1986), which remains the primary Language poetry anthology, as well as penned one of the movement’s defining critical texts, The New Sentence (1987)."
We will ask him, not only about Language Poetry, his philosophy of poetry and writing, but about his thoughts on modern poetry and modern poets, many of whom are or were his friends.
Photo  by Krishna Evans

BTS: This question possibly reflects my ignorance in general but I am curious and I think some of our readers might be curious because you were extremely knowledgeable and you've given lots of thought to kinds of questions about poetry. How much help or harm do you think is done to a poet through education? I mean given where you come from the language poets, is the outsider person more useful to the conversation about poetry or are they just ignorant people who get in the way? Maybe I'm asking this question wrong or maybe it's the wrong question and you're welcome to tell me either. 

 

RS: I believe there is such as folk poetry, a poetry written by people who do not read much poetry and have no interest in any of the (always contested) canons. Cowboy poetry, fisherman poetry, a lot of slam/spoken word/hip hop (although not all), some of the sentimentalist poetics around works like Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey. None of that is objectionable to me in the slightest -- there will be people who get introduced to poetry that way and some of them will go on to do interesting things. There is a wonderful book about the role of poetry among Yemeni nomads, a society in which people need their horse, their rifle and their ability to compose poems under competitive conditions. The role of the poem is always conditioned by the society that we find ourselves in. So I have no problems really with outsider poets -- I have real affinities with some of that -- and I have none really with what I think of as the administrative poetics of the MFA mills. Not my thing, maybe, but, hey, why not? There is no one right way. 

Copyright  Better Than Starbucks 2017, a poetry magazine

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