Visual Verse is a neat online journal exclusively featuring ekphrastic poems and stories. Every month, they post a new image prompt and a challenge to submit a single 50-500 word response to it, written in no more than an hour.
This month, the image is a picture by poet Sarah-Jane Crowson, who is an internet-acquaintance of mine and creates surreal and dreamy visual poetry. I was very pleased that my response poem “Preservation” was one of those chosen for publication in this volume.
The poem is a “duplex” poem, a relatively recent form premiered by poet Jericho Brown. It’s constructed with a series of interlinked and repeating couplets, ending up something like a cross between a ghazal and a sonnet. I’ll be writing more of these.
I’m very pleased to announce the publication of two new poems, “Weaning” and “The Sleeper”, in Antilang no. 10 — emergence. You can read the entire issue here, or skip right to my poems on this page. In either case, hitting the “fullscreen” button in the bottom right will provide the best reading experience.
These poems are about my daughters, though somewhat obliquely in the case of the first. When Perpetua was a toddler, I had to wean her very suddenly, going from nursing frequently throughout the day to nothing at all. That abrupt stop was physically painful, and my body struggled to adjust to the fact that I didn’t need to make milk anymore. “Weaning” captures a little bit of that experience.
I wrote “The Sleeper” about six months into the pandemic. Having a young baby around during most of 2020 was, in some ways, surprisingly grounding. Tertia didn’t care about germs or geopolitics, but only about the simplest aspects of our being: warmth, food in the belly, love, sleep. Tending to her needs became a way to shield myself from the greater worries of the world.
Learn more about the magazine at antilang.ca.