MOST RECENT OPA NEWS
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Third Place in Poet’s Choice: “The Ballad of Chaos Nightingale” by Charles Castle
My name is Chaos Nightingale. My mother christened me,
but it was my father’s song I followed here.
Come with me. We begin as I’ve begun, and we’ll end no differently.
I am bent by age in these somber times. My back is humped by life’s
uneven weight. I don’t complain, I welcome it.
I live in a house behind a church, a stone house in a field
of standing stones. I live on a broth of flowers left for grief,
my bread, a crust of loss.
I spend my days as a poor man spends, little by little, close
to nothing. But nothing, or close to it, is enough
and my prayers are often for nothing.
The hide on my feet is the leather of my coming and going.
I go as ...
- Posted: November 2, 2020
I am so happy to announce my new poetry book “Learning to Love A Western Sky.” This book was released and published by Airlie Press in September. More about this book and other Airlie titles can be found at http://www.airliepress.org/
LATEST BOOK REVIEW (EXCERPT)
Reviewed by Paul Telles
What She Was Wearing by Shawn Aveningo Sanders
The Poetry Box (November 5, 2019), 48 pp, $12
ISBN #: 978-1-948461-32-0
Available at: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/what-she-was-wearing
In What She Was Wearing, Portland poet Shawn Aveningo Sanders bravely reveals her experience as a rape victim. In a series of 29 muscular poems, Sanders recounts the horrific experience of being raped during a fraternity party in the 1980s. As well as offering a heart-rending description of the rape itself, the collection delves into the trauma’s influence on the rest of Sanders’ life, exploring its ramifications for her identity as a mother, a wife, and a woman.
The 2019 chapbook uses its title as a refrain, repeatedly deploying the ...
MOST RECENT POET’S SPOTLIGHT
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
(a Vivianne sonnet variation)
As embryos we each explore the wall
of womb that holds us. It’s the first place joy
is felt—mom’s heartbeat like a lullaby.
Cocooned in touch, that’s how we interact.
We’re chastised just as soon as we can crawl
or walk. Just look! Hands off! That’s not a toy.
We’re told to view, to listen, smell that, try
a taste of this—but touch … and hands are smacked.
And so begins our isolation. All
those inhibitions finally destroy
instinctive comfort found in touch, deny
the core of who we are. Our lives contract.