Tupelo Press 30/30 Project

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you are having an enthralling autumn. Soon the leaves will become a florid amalgamation of yellows, reds, oranges, and browns. Autumn is a season that inspires many poets, from Keats to Stevens and countless others. Perhaps the chill on the exterior prompts them to look inward and seize the riches beneath the surface of their creative depths, or chances are the explanation is much less highfalutin and much more quotidian and commonplace. However, this November, I am embarking on a personal challenge.

I’m participating in Tupelo Press’s 30/30 Challenge in which I, along with several other poets, will write a poem per day for thirty days and publish it on their website.  Tupelo Press is a small publishing house that publishes contemporary poetry, translations, essay collections, and literary fiction. The press brings the work of exceptional writers to the general public, but they do not have endless marketing resources of publishing giants such as Random House and HarperCollins, so the 30/30 Challenge is a way to generate revenue and cultivate awareness for the important work that they do.

If you feel inclined to help in this endeavor you can donate here: (https://tupelopress.networkforgood.com/projects/39802-kenneth-west-s-fundraiser). Your donation would not only help Tupelo but also give me encouragement and validation as I challenge myself. I hope you will consider giving a few dollars to this worthy cause, but if you are not able to, the poems will still be available for you to read at tupelopress.org.

I appreciate all of you and your support of this blog. Until next time, stay bright, my shining stars!

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street prophet

Image result for street musician

street prophet

the prophet will tell you all he knows

of oranges, how to pull off the peel,

tearing apart its puckered lips in one fluid motion,

 

and if you toss one crumpled bill

into his wide-brimmed hat, he’ll stand

with hands upraised staring straight into the eye

of streetlights overhead and place his untuned guitar

into the inharmonious heap of cans and grocery bags

 

and he will tell you all that is etched upon his heart’s surface

 

he’ll tell of time, death, decay:

encomiums of grandiloquent sentence.

his words hark of tribulations to ensue,

 

and he”ll sound his trumpet

while you groan in blue.

About the Blogger

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As most of you know, I’ve had this blog for six months. During that span of time, I have written many poems and posts while growing a lot as a person. I have made one-hundred posts, and this website has become a window on a clear, cloudless morning whereby I can peer out and see the works of others or thrust aside the curtain and render my own work visible.

Today, I am going to introduce myself properly. My name is Kenneth, and I’m a writer who lives, persists, and strives to thrive right here in the southern United States. I don’t write much about myself on the blog, because I believe that the work should take precedence over the personality. Furthermore, I don’t have much to offer with regard to personality. I’m just another boring person. I am not a Napoleon; I am merely a man with a watchful eye and a metronome in his heart. I feel deeply, and I try to make something beautiful in the midst of the hullabaloo that is the modern world.

I like to read books. For me, words are a flavor of air that make the soul a bit more sturdy. I like popular history books; they make the past unfold in a riveting way. I like chocolate and thinking about things. I like maps that show cities, rivers, and the way blood and bones bind landmasses weaving the past with our sense of self. I suppose I’m a writer, because my imagination hasn’t died yet.

Well, that’s enough about me. I’d like to hear about you if you’re willing to tell. I’m grateful to all of you who take the time to read my work, and as always, I’d love to read your comments and your thoughts.

scene with a golden goose

Image result for poor farmhouse

scene with a golden goose

her golden goose

with olive pit eyes

cimmerian pupils, shadowing

her refusal to forgive. this

is a slit from which no light leaves.

 

her speckled eggs. her stacks of hay.

her hills of horseshit newly heaped.

her blue bucket with water sloshing up

to the brim. her brown and green leaves

shimmying on the surface. her pockets of sunlight

 

yellowing through the arbor amid the naked

branches of dead pear trees. her old sow

with backbone protruding. her earthworms

wiggling under heavy stones. her dresses blowing

on the clothes line.  here is the farmhouse during

 

an uneasy season, and here is the widow who lost

her senses in the disconsolate flurry of days. she peers

out the window and sees a landscape twenty years gone,

a caravan of romani sipping beers beside blue flames,

stallions galloping over gray hills their tails sloshing

and angels wearing neckties wrestling each other

in the shallow water of estuaries only to sink suddenly

 

into the tall grasses. she looks out her foggy window

at her golden goose and her fat speckled egg and adjusts

her bathrobe. her moon ascends in a flaming wagon,

and the old woman remains unmoved.

man, watch, and gun.

Image result for pocket watch

man, watch, and gun.

a deaf man presses his cold palm

against the shining lunar silver

of  a watch, chain coiled around

his left index finger. bullets hit

the wall in rapid procession.

first the poet falls and then

the jewish woman with gray eyes.

 

nothing is sacred beneath stalin’s

chin ,and the rivers are dammed

with legs and elbows. brown shoes,

beige jackets, and the uniformity

of petrified faces before the firing rounds.

 

he wonders what dostoevsky felt right before

the czar’s reprieve arrived and his hands shook

in awe of the inevitable. he wonders if

the writer was a window into himself,

if he could see his future, a bucket of cool water

poured into the sludge of street gutter.,

 

daylight bouncing off tinctured glass,

dreams burning with the fiery

resonance of unwritten poems.

venus fly trap

Image result for venus fly trap

venus fly trap

my brain is a cage

carried aloft on lime-colored waves,

and so is the love we live inside

a wool scarf that suffocates

until time resuscitates the ghost of greta garbo

grey-faced floating up from some long abandoned

nickelodeon in the middle of nowhere. you stand

tremulous on the brink of memory,

eyes heated saucers expanding in a field of stars

soon to shatter as your legs linger on a last syllable.

the mouth slams shut. no measured gust or

pleasurable release. abdomen dissolved; thorax vanishing

like a child’s quarter in some storefront gumball machine.

from here it is mere mechanics.  fear is but the shadow

that follows relinquished feeling.

the dealer has stacked the deck

fortuna has spun her will, and your squeal

feeds my lust to kill.  historians with their microscopes

can glimpse rome burning in the brightened pus of your melted wings.

canticle in mid-autumn

Image result for wolf howling

canticle in mid-autumn

september’s last light fell

slipping into the purse of night

and a she-wolf sitting

on the slope emitted a low moan,

a howl hitting the ground

with a clanging sound, copper coins

on a shower’s floor lathered

with soap and blood.