June’s “Corridor” is OUT

You can find it in local shops around Bellingham starting this week.
Volume 3 featured poems

FIGHTER PILOTS OF THE APOCALYPSE
TRICK RIDER

Denise du Maurier, Washington/Minnesota, U.S.

AT THE DROP OF
C.J. Prince, Washington, U.S.

THE VIEW
GANDER
YES AND

Duncan Shields, British Columbia, Canada

THE MAESTRO VISITS FUKUSHIMA
threat
“Body/Today”, Published 2020
Kathleen McKeever, Washington, U.S.

FOUR MINUS THREE
THE BACK OF MY HAND
“You Love Me, You Love Me Not”, Published 2019
Soundtrack available on Bandcamp & Amazon
Shannon Laws, Washington, U.S.

Corridor Zine Seeks Poems

After two months and two editions, the zine “Corridor” is off and running! Have you found a copy yet? Here is a peek at the covers. Please send in your original poem and/or art by June 15 to be in the next volume. Read up on the details in the post below or click this LINK.

“Corridor” Zine Needs You!

Do you live along the I-5 corridor? Do you write poetry? Do you like to help people? Answer yes to any of those questions and we got lift-off!

I have a simple vision. A 12-page, 5×7, staple bound, free zine sitting there, waiting to be discovered. It is casual, it is no drama, it is free and it says “I love you, you got this.” You have coffee together and it follows you home. You become best friends. Then, a month later, another zine, a new zine appears… How will you break the news to last month’s friend that you found a new friend? Hey, it’s OK. Corridor the zine says, “We can all be friends. Love us all.” See. It’s easy. No drama. Just a little monthly collection of 10 poems to help us during this transition out of isolation. Easy.

THE DETAILS

What: a limited edition coffee house monthly zine called “Corridor”. It gets its name from the I-5 corridor that mimics how thoughts travel through highways of the mind.

Each edition will include 10 thought-provoking poems selected by the Corridor Collective. Each poem should be in a shorter format, no more than one page, with 12 point font maximum, please. If you have “safe for everyone” original print-ready art that would work on a 5×7 format you are welcome to submit it. Submission does not guarantee publication. Poets selected will be notified and receive an electronic copy of the final zine.

I am not going to mass email the zine. The zine is designed to be discovered in a local shop. The zine is stress and drama free.

-me

What is a zine: zines are non-commercial, self-published booklets that are typically reproduced using a copy machine. They provide a safe space for their creator to freely express themselves and share their art, words, and thoughts with a chosen (and often niche) audience.

Type of poems the Corridor Collective is seeking: Poems that provoke deep thought, offer encouragement, entertain, share a story. Content must be friendly to all ages and lifestyles. Poems and art must be original and created by the submitter. Submission does not guarantee publication.

How will people get this zine: The zine will be distributed by hand to various local shops around Bellingham, WA by me. The first edition will be about 40 copies. These are Easter Eggs. These are hidden treasures. These will be cherished works of art beloved by many owned by few. If you want to distribute them in your town, message me.

What should I do when I find it? Please consider supporting the local cafe or store that has copies of “Corridor” when you stop by to get a copy. Even a purchase of $5 is helpful to the brick and mortar and other local businesses during this post-covid transition.

Where do I send my submission: Please send it to shannon dot chickadee at gmail dot com. If you have a specific form, such as a waterfall poem, I suggest sending it as a PDF. I will also take WORD or copy/paste it into the email. I will ask questions if any come up, but I want these zines to be quick, accurate, & easy. 
The poet must tell me how they would like to be acknowledged, how the poem is to be referenced and/or book cited, etc., otherwise it will be marked “anonymous”.

Is there a deadline for submissions: No, not really. Deadlines are so stressful and this zine does not subscribe to stress. The goal is to produce one zine per month and distribute them to local shops and cafes between the 1st – 10th of each month. Submissions that are not selected for one month may appear in the next month. However, if you can get your poem or piece of art to us by the 15th of the month, you have a good chance of appearing in the next month’s edition. Poets selected will be notified. Please send original poems and/or art anytime to shannon dot chickadee at gmail dot com. The Corridor Collective will try to put together random poems that “fit” well together. But that may not happen, and it’s OK. Why? Because it is a no-stress endeavor. We are trusting fate and happenstance, and the suburb science surrounding the coinkydink.

What if the poem I want to submit is old and/or was published: Many things get better with age. If you own the work, then please submit it. Also, remember to tell us how you would like it cited. Example:
Author last name, First name. “Poem Title.”
Book Title, Publisher, Year, Page number(s).
Used with authors permission

How rich will I get: no money is involved. There is no money.

How easy is this: It is easy. It is nice. It is fun. It is an opportunity for the right poem to find the right reader in some random act of kindness way. Easy. As easy as a cat falling asleep on your keyboard.

Poetry Club Talks…Sylvia Plath Pt1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-svhn7-118d091

Topic: Sylvia Plath Pt1
Host: Mike
Poem: “Mad Girl’s Love Song” and “Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats”
Recorded: January 20, 2022

Sylvia Plath Poems

This week Poetry Club takes on the work and life of Sylvia Plath, an American poet (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963).  Poetry Club looks past her “sad girl” persona and rejoices in the craft and construction of this mid-20th century poet’s marvelous work.
The range of her work is explored as we compare the energy of “Mad Girl’s Love Song” to “Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats” in the first of this series.  Plath’s word choice, rhythm, hyperbole, and images are examined.  Join us as we dive into the Queen of Confessional Poetry.

sylvia plath 1

“In 1950, Plath matriculated at Smith College, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1955.

After graduation, Plath moved to Cambridge, England, on a Fulbright Scholarship. In early 1956, she attended a party and met the English poet Ted Hughes. Shortly thereafter, Plath and Hughes were married, on June 16, 1956.

Plath returned to Massachusetts in 1957 and began studying with Robert Lowell. Her first collection of poems, Colossus, was published in 1960 in England, and two years later in the United States. She returned to England, where she gave birth to her children Frieda and Nicholas, in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

In 1962, Ted Hughes left Plath for Assia Gutmann Wevill. That winter, Plath wrote most of the poems that would comprise her most famous book, Ariel.

In 1963, Plath published a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. She died on February 11 of that year.

Plath’s poetry is often associated with the Confessional movement and compared to the work of poets such as Lowell and fellow student Anne Sexton. Often, her work is singled out for the intense coupling of its violent or disturbed imagery and its playful use of alliteration and rhyme.”
https://poets.org/poet/sylvia-plath

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions, located in Bellingham, Washington, USA.

This podcast is FREE for all to listen to. Please consider a donation via PayPal or become a Dollar Donor at Patreon.  Thank you.
PayPal Chickadee Productions
Patreon.com/PoetryClubTalks

Poetry Club Talks…Seamus Heaney Part 3

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-pph5t-117c468

Topic: Seamus Heaney Pt3
Host: Mike
Poem: “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”
Recorded: January 6, 2022

Heaney_St. Kevin and the Blackbird

Mike puts on the host hat in this third discussion on Seamus Heaney’s poetry, using the book “Seamus Heaney” by Helen Vendler as a guide.  The poem this time is “St. Kevin and the Blackbird”.  Heaney documents the folklore of a monk with intense control over body and mind that he held out his arm and opened his hand to be used as a tree branch for a nesting blackbird.

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and Professor of Poetry at Oxford and Harvard universities, Seamus Heaney was perhaps the best known and most celebrated poet of the last fifty years. His death in 2013 prompted tributes from across the world.

Heaney_book_cover7x62b.jpg

“Seamus Heaney’s development as a poet is inextricably connected to the violent struggle that has racked Northern Ireland. Vendler shows how, from one volume to the next, Heaney has maintained vigilant attention toward finding a language for his time—“symbols adequate for our predicament,” as he has said. The worldwide response to those discovered symbols suggests that their relevance extends far beyond this moment.”

Purchase Helen Vendler’s book “Seamus Heaney” here: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674002050

Watch/Listen Seamus read the poem on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wKGmQcSFbMc

Poetry Club Talks is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Love Poems, Frost and Pastan

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8umfb-1137205

Topic: Love Poems Featuring Frost and Pastan
Host: Ron
Poems: “Love Poem”, “The Telephone”, “Two Look At Two”
Recorded: November 13, 2021

Poems for Discussion- Frost and Pastan

mathew-schwartz-3SWQCLmxH1U-unsplash

Ron hosts this stimulating discussion seeking the answer of what constitutes a love poem.  The group considers three unlikely, not typical love poems by Robert Frost and Linda Pastan.  What elements tell the reader they are about love or expressing love?

A flower becomes a telephone with a direct connection to the person you are thinking of.  Does a love poem need to be about romantic love?  Tone, imagination, the figure of speech, and rich imagery all play a part.  Please join us for another tantalizing talk.

Poetry Club is produced by Chickadee Productions

Poetry Club Talks…Jane Hirshfield

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-6j5ys-10f6763

Topic: Jane Hirshfield
Host: Ron and Betty
Poem: “Optimism”, “Things Keep Sorting Themselves” and “A Blessing for Wedding”
Recorded: September 3, 2021

Jane Hirshfield Poems

JaneHirshfield_NickRozsa

Ron and Betty host the discussion on Jane Hirshfield’s poetry.  Ron shares these notes:

“In past meetings, we have discussed several theories of poetics, including
Zapruder, Poe, Wordsworth, Rilke, and others. Other theorists employ
explanation as to their primary technique. JH’s passage is representative of her entire book; it relies heavily on poetic technique to convey poetry’s special use of language, its intentions, and impact. Does her method clarify sufficiently, or, to use her term, does it “satisfy”?”

Touching on these topics, we select three of our favorite poems of Jane’s to discuss.  Join us for an exciting look into the poetry of Jane Hirshfield.

 

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To learn more about her new book and to purchase a copy, please visit this site:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/229023/ten-windows-by-jane-hirshfield/

 

Poetry Club is produced by Chickadee Productions

 

Au jus

“A French dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef on a “French roll” or baguette. It is usually served plain but a variation is to top with Swiss cheese, onions, and a dipping container of beef broth au jus) produced from the cooking process.” -Wikipedia

I post many first and second drafts of my poetry on this site. The illusion of “public posting” develops a type of creative wall for me. Provides just enough pressure to help me work out the kinks.

Today I would like to share will you some raw stuff. I’m a story telling poet. Most times my poems are generated from a real life experience or observation then I attempt to carve something tangible from the block of emotional marble, if you will. I’m guessing most creatives, do not know exactly where inspiration comes from or where it goes once it’s released, but this marble metaphor is what I’m going with for now. However, the backdrop for this poem is not what most marble is used for, a god in crisis or an ancient emperor. Instead it is a four hour visit with my mom at her cabin, watching her cook a simple roast beef lunch. Ordinary and extraordinary all at the same time. Love does that.

So, I had an amazing experience and I thought I should do something with this. This is a poem, a poem I would like to share. Driving home I used my cars hands-free system to record to my phone. It’s a type of “moment capturing” that results in RAW free form poetry, or spoken free verse.

Above is the recording, below is the recording transcribed. The finish product may end up in one of my books some day. Hope you enjoy this little insight into my process. -Best wishes always, Shannon


Au jus
by Shannon Laws

she asked me if I would like some Au Jus
Ya that sounds good I haven’t had that in a while
what kind of cheese would you like on it?
and for some reason I said Jarlsberg
she toasted it up on a bun
and cut it on a long diagonal
easy for dipping

at the cabin, we didn’t have the proper bowl for the au jus
and she said well we have too small of containers
or we have too large
shall we go with too large or too small?
and we both said too large

She toasted the bread just perfectly
crispy crust on the outside
and soft in the middle
and we talked

We talked as I was raised to talk
to talk around the dining table
about common things
and happy things
things that will not
disrupt digestion
and I wondered if it was because she was
raised in Minnesota
or because she grew up on a farm
or perhaps because she didnt get
her first television set until she was 18
but she is such a good conversationalist
I appreciate that about her
and I realized it is a true art form
I saw it for the art form that it is
conversation
good conversation
over good food
it does something to you
it heals the soul
it is good
good times
good people

it did even more than that
it reminded me how much we all need each other
and how much I needed her
her in her late 70’s
me in my early 50’s
We don’t have much time with each other
maybe 20 years who knows

I thought about my friends whose mothers
have already passed
and they all have said
I wish I could just call her up on the phone
sometimes and talk
and here I am at a table
in a cabin
with my mother
having an au jus sandwich

we talked
we shared
we laughed
we had a wonderful visit

a four-hour lunch is a good time
When I left she said
Oh I’m going to take a look at your new car
and I opened it up for her
she looked inside
and it made me feel better about my choice

and I want to tell you
confess on paper here today
no, it’s not a confession
It’s a question…
Have you ever seen your mother pray
have you ever looked at her from across the room
when she knew you weren’t looking at her
and you saw her lips move
and a subtle hand gesture
maybe she looks up to heaven or
off in the distance at nothing in particular
and her lips move slightly
and there’s a smile on her face
or something and
she just kind of glows for a moment
and you know she is praying
you don’t know the words exactly
but somehow you sense the love from her

I started my car
left and drove off
she glowed

##

Ghost in the Hall

Do you have dreams about the home you grew up in? I can see my childhood home in my mind. The typical three bedroom west coast rambler; living area on one side and a looong hallway to the bedrooms on the other. As a young kid I was pretty sure the place was haunted. The creaky floor didn’t help.

Ghost in the Hall
by Shannon Laws
Odd Little Things, published 2014

When I was a child A Skeleton Ghost would walk
The bedroom hall of our home  
Afraid of the dark I would sleep with the light on
My door open just enough to keep out the trouble
Ghosts are everywhere when you are four.  

Often the ghost would wiggle its way past my door
Steps heard creaking across loose boards
Creak.  Creak.  Creak.

Down the hall slowly it walked   Skeleton heading for the kitchen
To fill up its ribs with mom’s pork chops
Then fiddle its way back to bed After the meal was consumed  

One scary night before this mystery was solved
I slept between my parents for protection  
Bookends of adult and authority on either side
Defense from anything ghoulish
Each parent rolled over facing the walls
As I lay blinking at the ceiling.  

2 a.m. is Skeleton’s supper time  
Down it came toward my parents’ room
Bones walk lightly when there is no moon  
Closer.  Closer.  Closer.
 
From the ceiling my eyes followed
To see what stood at the foot of the bed  
Its frame wiggled trying to materialize
To grab hold of me with solid hands   
Dad sighed in his sleep and the ghost misted away. 
Scared off by the possibility of his waking
I waited.  Waited.  Waited.  

My father was a quiet man, little brought out
his anger, looking back I think dad was
The Skeleton Ghost walking the halls at night
His spirit jumping out, looking for food for his soul
Wandering around for morsels of encouragement
His bony frame proved little return

Wherever he is, I hope there is a table before him
Every morning set with enlightenment, curiosity, love
I hope he found peace because
With one soft growl
One scary night

He save my life



You can get your copy of Odd Little Things from
independent book store Village Books
https://www.villagebooks.com/book/9798743768806

Poetry Club Talks…Rita Dove Part 1

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jfk76-109c269

Topic: Rita Dove
Host: Shannon
Poem: “Rusks”
Recorded: July 24, 2021

Rita Dove – Poems Discussed

Shannon hosts the discussion on the well-known modern American poet Rita Dove.  Playing “devil’s advocate,” Shannon asks, “Do award-winning poets write amazing poetry—consistently?”  Perhaps you’ve wondered this yourself while reading a famous poem? If you remove the famous name from the poem, is it still a “good” poem?  Dove’s poem “Rusks” appears on all the top ten list of her best poems.  Poetry Club tackles it line by line.  Does it hold up or fizzle?  Listen to find out.

Dove_Rita

BIO

Rita Frances Dove (b. August 28, 1952) Born in Akron, Ohio, U.S., as an American poet and essayist. From 1993 to 1995, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She has the distinct honor of being the first African American and the youngest person to serve as poet laureate of the United States (1993–95).  In 2018 she was named poetry editor of The New York Times Magazine.

President Bill Clinton bestowed upon her the 1996 National Humanities Medal, and President Barack Obama presented her with the 2011 National Medal of Arts, making her the only poet who has received both medals.

“There are so many casual pleasures in Ms. Dove’s poetry that the precision and dexterity in her work — the darkness, too — can catch you unawares.    

Ms. Dove’s poems have earthiness, originality, power, and range. Despair and loss are among her central themes, but so is the hunt for bedrock human pleasures.”

-Dwight Garner, for the New York Times, May 31, 2016

All poems copyright by Rita Dove.
Please visit her webpage at the UVA to learn more: https://uva.theopenscholar.com/rita-dove

Poetry Club Talks… is produced by Chickadee Productions