In her latest collection, Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod, Traci Brimhall takes on the impossible task of all mothers: she tries to sing us to sleep. But even sleep can’t save us from the violence and chaos of the world. Even in sleep, there is a haunting, a symbolic language which speaks to us of the world we will return to upon waking.
Growing up, one of my favorite shows was My Favorite Martian. If you’re not sufficiently ancient or addicted to terrible — I mean, retro-cool — TV to remember, Ray Walston’s title character looked like a human but had knitting-needle antennae he could raise from the back of his head, plus an aluminum foil spacesuit and other unspecial effects. Bill Bixby, his Hulk days still ahead, spent three seasons in the 60s trying to conceal from the neighbors that Uncle Martin was an alien. Hijinks ensued.
Through the bougainvillea and clematis arch, / past the placards for Screw Palm, Gru-Gru, / Powder Puff, blocking the sun from our eyes / to get a better look at a maroon bloom
This Green Mountains Review special feature by J. Chester Johnson includes an essay and poems that explore the Elaine Race Massacre, an Arkansas riot that occurred in 1919.
In At the Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered, Levine begins his cinematic collection with the lifeblood line of the book in the second poem: “we know there is something more.” As he shifts in and out of the domestic and the divine in his poems, we feel a deep longing for kinship and connect with a speaker who is unabashed in his belief in what isn’t wholly known. Sometimes, we are located within a piece of art, and at other times, we are right in the middle of a myth or standing there, cooking in his kitchen.
All day I watch boats from the living room window. I do other things, of course, but I always come back to the boats—yachts, skiffs, catamarans. Occasionally, there’s even a dinghy, white or blue, with a small figure aboard, paddling madly.
I used to think there could be nothing lonelier than boating, but these days, I have reconsidered.
Warm, radiant afternoon after days and days of rainy gloom,
the girls bursting with born-again good intention.
“I want to eat more vegetables. Carrots and broccoli and green beans,”
Giulia announces from her car seat.
I wait. I listen. I look. Nothing happens. I think, so, this is hunting.
I should know/emergency/Call your/new/feelings
The Social Distance Reading Series
Brought to you by The Vermont School and Green Mountains Review
We’re thrilled to host The Social Distance Reading Series, a collaboration between Green Mountains Review and The Vermont School poets. In the wake of book event cancellations due to COVID-19, this pop-up series is designed to offer poets a platform for launching new collections of poems. At this point, we are focusing on collections by poets whose book events have been cancelled between January through May 2020.
Stay tuned for a new reading each Wednesday and Sunday.
–Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Kerrin McCadden, and Elizabeth Powell, series curators.