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A few Poems w/Afternoon Visitor

Cover Art for the issue — by Margaret Yapp

Hey, these new poems of mine are being projected through circuits of energy and light Afternoon Visitor 6 is out – w/thx to Maggie Nipps and TR Brady for their vision and work on the issue.

How to feel, in part, about what we wrote (& write) largely remote from social life during the pandemic? Fugue 87 is a poem in love w/Samuel Delany’s memoir, Motion of Light on Water. Don’t know if I’ve read anything else as attuned to the movement between day to day life (relationships, housing, money) and the lyric and erotic. Don’t know about you, but when I wasn’t flattened by the cognitive load of trying to understand & act in relation to it all (& work, always work (2 jobs)), there were months where I lived and died by what I was reading. And Motion of Light on Water was a way to live between the cracks and protests.

W/poems like 113, I’ve been trying to write my life in Buffalo in a way that appears unforced, in a creak-like line, to get at something like the rhythms of days and weeks of life and thought and relationships moving at a distance. And then there’s J on his porch, fixing his bike chain. They’re what I cld write in what feels like 3 years of endless transition.

Happy first encounter w/the works of co-contributors (my reading is in weird cul-de-sacs). Moments of interest reading thru / (read the whole thing, I mean):

Jed Munson’s “A Personal Statement to My Understanding”

“The empire backs me while it hunts her. This is me surviving as her shield.”

“N. straight from my insecurity, who was bigger than us by a lot and could’ve easily shut it down, clobbered me in a single recognition of his threat to me, but didn’t from his goodness, from his gentleness, the best thing about living.”

Trevor Ketner, “[If thy soul cheque thee that I come so near,]”

“swallowed (awful, tinny film)—i lilt hilly, / peg raw with vers perfection—i hinge to tease–/neon omen: an ermine sang buckodor”

Evan Goldstein, “Trash Mountain”: “Standing on / the landfill in the view of what created it: / our three states spread beneath us. The insurance / building skyline, limping hills, and in the pastures / limpid fog lakes gather ambient light like”

Hanna Shea, “unusual clouds”: “my social life begins in the throat / a theater extending into the atmosphere / flickering or elastic, complex / and unable to reach you / something in the water is tender”

Robert Balun, from “from Mineral” : “where the tending will make the commoning // a truly we where we might carry / ourselves to the place where only we can save us // a counter absorption”

Paloma Yannakakis, from “from Your every image (un)tethered” : “I rally towards the day’s banks / calloused and quartered, re-mark, enjoin it / at the edge of seeing. The stream moves on,”

Zack Peckham, from “Fountains in Winter”: “I keep saying / anaphora // what I mean is / anathema”

Filed under: Poems Online

About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

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