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Noon Edition

The Stacks

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"When we looked around, we noticed that the only ones still laughing were the old radicals, the poets, the mothers who still believed in the world as we could dream it, shooting stars of imagination and ambition--sparks of creativity, of joy."

-Ariel Gore

Denise Breeden-Ost wrote her first poem—a riddle about a Crock-Pot—while walking home from kindergarten. A few decades later, her first novel, Making It All Right, can be found at Clockflower Press. Denise lives on a ridgetop near Bloomington, Indiana with a small family, a large garden, and innumerable trees.

Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Denise, what poems have you brought for us today? 

 

One Hand

 

One hand clutches hope hard, knuckles fisted white.

One hand aches to open, spring wide, join the applause.

 

One hand needs to know what it will meet.

Needs to know its gesture matters. Needs to know it matters.

 

So much absence and noise. So much goes unheard.

One hand wonders what it might lose.

 

Behind the biting nails, safe in the palm's dark warmth,

One hand's courage gathers drop by drop.

 

 

The Stacks

Herman B. Wells Library, Indiana University

 

1

Looming stone blocks sky, bulks blank

above an oppressed concession of window.

Inside, I was an outsider, rattled

ball bearing in a blind cube maze.

I fled that dread weight clutching treasure

like a tomb robber. 

Breathed again.

 

2

Sunrise on the east face. Every brick

of limestone its own ancient color.

Percussion of shadows, fortress jazz.

Rhythm I can't play, wall I wouldn't build.

Beauty I can see, from this distance

with the sky behind me

and no want of knowledge.

 

 

Painting

 

Orange snakes thick onto white,

black edges in sideways.

Painting is squeeze and smear,

wash, daub, feather:

Verbs, not nouns.

 

A noun means it's over.

The end: A painting.

Others look, feel, wonder,

discuss, judge, buy.

The painter tries to look artistic.

 

Meanwhile, painting

mashes a thumb into the tube of red,

slops turquoise, chops purple,

squeegees kelly green.

Painting

paints.

 

 

Three Haiku for Gabe

 

light looks different

and worms, and white butterflies

after your poems

 

your memorial service:

round church window

full of ladybugs

 

still, every spring

thunderstorm skies light the leaves

just like you said

 

 

Supply List for the Writer Mother

 

Pen.

Paper.

Two earplugs.

One locking door.

 

It's true, you have to choose.

But not once and for all.  No.

You have to choose now,

and Tuesday morning, and next year.

Nobody can do this for you.

 

Several white handkerchiefs,

for days of surrender.

 

You'll need

to let your heart bleed through,

your two loves color each other.

 

Faith that this matters.

Stubbornness, and

gentleness.

Paper. 

Pen.

 

You've been listening to the poetry of Denise Breeden-Ost on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.

Herman B. Wells Library, IU Bloomington

Herman B. Wells Library, IU Bloomington. (Vmenkov, Wikimedia Commons)

"When we looked around, we noticed that the only ones still laughing were the old radicals, the poets, the mothers who still believed in the world as we could dream it, shooting stars of imagination and ambition--sparks of creativity, of joy."
- From Bluebird by Ariel Gore

Denise Breeden-Ost wrote her first poem—a riddle about a Crock-Pot—while walking home from kindergarten. A few decades later, her first novel, Making It All Right, can be found at Clockflower Press. Denise lives on a ridgetop near Bloomington, Indiana with a small family, a large garden, and innumerable trees.

On this edition of the Poets Weave, Denise reads "One Hand," "The Stacks," "Painting," "Three Haiku for Gabe," and "Supply List for the Writer Mother."

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