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What We’re Reading: We Are So Happy for Poetry Month

2011 April 28
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I happened upon this wonderful little letterpress poetry journal (yes, I know, it’s beginning to be a trend, but hey, it’s still National Poetry Month!) called We Are So Happy to Know Something. Hand-bound from repurposed paper and showcasing wonderful little poems, this is a delightful read. WASHTKS is published by Doublecross Press and Projective Industries.

Funnily enough, however, my favorite poem isn’t my favorite necessarily because of content, but rather because it’s the perfect poem from which to take a line and start a story. Here’s the poem:

“Summary” by Amanda Nadelberg

I am also broken and so I take him in. It’s a small island.

A horse woman painting a white horse to show all the colors.

Let me tell you, her skin is beautiful. There are other

kinds of money and we could be better for the masses.

Empty the house and just keep going. If I hold the pillow and

you listen, you are the ocean. Oh, Sweet Flag. Lying

in the field like anything living lying down, come here!

You can pick berries on your way. Nothing clarifies

like more kisses, and the stone hurt the river by being

in the river’s way. I am the river in my own way.

Pull up the woods and see. Imagine the weather

pre-industrial and mostly religious. Somebody’s uncle

alone in a jar catching light. Romance on account of

intruder as animal. Intruding animal. I am not going

to consciously promote myself. I will not show

cleavage very often. Women should really

talk to one another. When I was an

almond, some people don’t need people.

Take a line or two, or an image, and write a story or poem from it. Maybe it even triggers a real experience for a personal essay. I wrote a poem using the image of an almond, and a variation of the line “some people don’t need people.” Don’t feel like you have to stick to it – remember, as one of my professors recently told me, once the scaffolding is up and the poem or story built around it, you might not even need the scaffolding anymore.

Further in this world of letterpress poetry, I also have Matchbook, Volume Three, from Small Fires Press (I wrote a blog recently about one of his other letterpress treats). Literally encased in a vintage, used matchbook, this tiny volume of poetry features many poets for such small pages, including local poet and bookmaker MC Hyland, who is behind Doublecross Press. With offset-printed text, and a “centerfold” of letterpress illustrations by Cherie Weaver, this charming little book is definitely a treasure worth keeping.