Poetry Friday and Poem-a-Day: #27

Gutter ball dinner
Potato chips weigh heavy–
Greasy bowling ball

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Not a thing of beauty, is it? Dinner last night did not turn out well, and I ended up eating some noodles and a bunch of potato chips. Ugh. Now my stomach is not feeling very happy.

On a happier note, it’s Poetry Friday!

I want to share a couple of haiku from October Mourning, by Leslea Newman. I received an ARC of this poetry collection from Sylvia Vardell, and I couldn’t put it down. I’ll share it again when it comes out (this fall, I think), but meanwhile…

This’stunning collection of poems imagines the circumstances surrounding gay college student Matthew Shepard’s death in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998. Leslea uses many poetic forms to powerful effect. Here are two haiku, in keeping with?my haiku (or senryu) a day this month.

Witness

Watching in horror
wishing he could do something:
the man in the moon
–Leslea Newman, all rights reserved

Mercy

Mr. McKinney, I give you life
in the memory of one
who no longer lives.
–Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew
Shepard Court statement, November 4, 1999

At the bitter end,
a matter of life and death:
Mercy. For the boy.
–Leslea Newman, all rights reserved

Stunning, right?

Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. Enjoy!

36 Responses

  1. Wow. So moving. I was so touched by the turn at “man in the moon.”

  2. Wow. So moving. I was so touched by the turn at “man in the moon.”

  3. Dear God, mercy, when he didn’t have to have any. Those gave me goosebumps.
    (As did your dinner — I know how that goes!)

    1. Yes. The collection is mostly the horror, but then therre are a couple moments of insane beauty, too.

      :>) on dinner. It was a horror, too.

  4. Dear God, mercy, when he didn’t have to have any. Those gave me goosebumps.
    (As did your dinner — I know how that goes!)

    1. Yes. The collection is mostly the horror, but then therre are a couple moments of insane beauty, too.

      :>) on dinner. It was a horror, too.

  5. all the things the moon sees… no wonder the moon seems so melancholy.

    gutter ball is also a perfect description for a weird thing i ate in the netherlands once. that didn’t sit well either.

    1. Her combination of intense personal-ness and inanimate witnesses gives this totally amazing dynamic to this collection.

      Oh dear on the Netherlands. I was in Amsterdam one day and played it safe with a grilled cheese and bakery treats:>)

  6. all the things the moon sees… no wonder the moon seems so melancholy.

    gutter ball is also a perfect description for a weird thing i ate in the netherlands once. that didn’t sit well either.

    1. Her combination of intense personal-ness and inanimate witnesses gives this totally amazing dynamic to this collection.

      Oh dear on the Netherlands. I was in Amsterdam one day and played it safe with a grilled cheese and bakery treats:>)

  7. Ugh, I have had dinners like those. They often end up with a scrambled egg followup dinner. Or a smoothie.

    Leaslea posted a poem from her book on, was it Greg’s blog this month? It was the one about the fence. Broke. Me. In. Two.

    1. Yeah, dinner came out awful. Everybody was already settled into a show we were going to watch together, and I just tossed potato chips and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on my plate with the noodles. Ugh. Not a good choice.

      Leslea’s book will hurt. But talk about writing from the heart, getting at the emotional truth…she will resonate with you,. Susan.

  8. Ugh, I have had dinners like those. They often end up with a scrambled egg followup dinner. Or a smoothie.

    Leaslea posted a poem from her book on, was it Greg’s blog this month? It was the one about the fence. Broke. Me. In. Two.

    1. Yeah, dinner came out awful. Everybody was already settled into a show we were going to watch together, and I just tossed potato chips and a Laughing Cow cheese wedge on my plate with the noodles. Ugh. Not a good choice.

      Leslea’s book will hurt. But talk about writing from the heart, getting at the emotional truth…she will resonate with you,. Susan.

    1. She does amazing things with many different forms, Andi. You are such a compassionate person–this book will break your heart. I was reading it in public, and the tears were just streaming down my face…

    1. She does amazing things with many different forms, Andi. You are such a compassionate person–this book will break your heart. I was reading it in public, and the tears were just streaming down my face…

  9. Thank you so much for your kind words about the poems from my forthcoming book, OCTOBER MOURNING. The official pub. date is September 25, 2012, from Candlewick Press.

  10. Thank you so much for your kind words about the poems from my forthcoming book, OCTOBER MOURNING. The official pub. date is September 25, 2012, from Candlewick Press.

  11. Wow, Laura. These are hard to read, but in Matthew’s memory, I do that, as I imagine the poet Leslea wrote for him. Living in Colorado, we saw much of this story. What a sad, sad day for all of us when this happened.

    1. Leslea didn’t know him, but she has a compelling connection with the whole awful thing, which powered her writing…They are both hard to read but impossible to stop reading.

  12. Wow, Laura. These are hard to read, but in Matthew’s memory, I do that, as I imagine the poet Leslea wrote for him. Living in Colorado, we saw much of this story. What a sad, sad day for all of us when this happened.

    1. Leslea didn’t know him, but she has a compelling connection with the whole awful thing, which powered her writing…They are both hard to read but impossible to stop reading.

  13. These poems are chilling and powerful. October Mourning sounds like it is in my future reading plans.

  14. These poems are chilling and powerful. October Mourning sounds like it is in my future reading plans.

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