National Poetry Month: April 7th

April 7, 2014

Free-floating anxiety sounds like a pretty balloon by Bob Hicok

I need a soft day, soft hour, a minute
without edge or the stare of a man
with homicide in his teeth.
Need a cigarette you can smoke
to get in shape, that sucks
tension out while putting
slimmer thighs in your quiver, something
in menthol or better yet a Cajun
gasper, fag, coffin stick
for blackened lungs that puff on
after the fidgeting fit
have blown their gaskets. Need
to jump from 30 stories up & scream
through tumbling of Olympic merit,
to have my heart stop one two three
times faster than the speed of thought
and land on a serial killer
to applause for my good deed & aim. Continue reading “National Poetry Month: April 7th”

Poetry 365

May 23, 2013

Poet Bob Hicok

Another National Poetry Month has come and gone but that doesn’t mean the fun is over.  Breathe easy, poetry friends, because here on Off the Shelf we like to celebrate year round with Poetry 365, a monthly-minus-April feature that highlights a contemporary poet’s most recent work.  This month we pick back up with Bob Hicok’s absorbing new book Elegy Owed.  A fluid, funny, and darkly irreverent exploration of mortality and mourning, this eighth collection from the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist offers offbeat variations on the elegy that “jut out in wild, associative directions, yet find their way back to the root of the matter, often in sincere and heartbreaking ways.”  So while you reminisce about another National Poetry Month, check out this excellent new collection, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

Continue reading “Poetry 365”

National Poetry Month: April 22nd (Happy Earth Day!)

April 22, 2012

Having Intended to Merely Pick on an Oil Company, the Poem Goes Awry by Bob Hicok

Never before have I so resembled British Petroleum.
They–it?–are concerned about the environment.
I–it?–am concerned about the environment.
They–him?–convey their concern through commercials,
in which a man talks softly about the importance
of the Earth.  I–doodad?–convey my concern
through poems, in which my fingers type softly
about the importance of the Earth.  They–oligarchs?–
have painted their slogans green.  I–ineffectual
left-leaning emotional black hole of a self-semaphore?–
recycle.  Isn’t a corporation technically a person Continue reading “National Poetry Month: April 22nd (Happy Earth Day!)”

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