We’ve asked our authors to submit highlights from their reading this year— anything outstanding they read during the year and want to share, whether published this year or not. As a countermeasure/contrast to the typical year-end Best Of lists compiled by various mainstream media outlets (which are often linked to ad buys, or shared parent companies, o did you not know that!?), expect these personal lists to point in less expected directions. We’ll be posting our poets’ picks as they come in over the next week or two. Enjoy. —Bloof
Catie Rosemurgy is the author of two books of poems, My Favorite Apocalypse and The Stranger Manual, both from Graywolf Press. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Pew Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at the College of New Jersey. First the Burning is an excerpt from a longer book in progress, The Forthcoming Disasters of Gold River.
Bloof published First the Burning in our handmade chapbook series earlier this year (and there are only a handful of copies left).
This poem has been my 2018 anthem, incantation, spell, mantra:
Opening of “Prospekt” from Some Beheadings by Aditi Machado
Every day I wake & my life is private. I see a sun. A coiling memoir. There is anaphora in the sun. There is a sun, it has brightened. A loss in this unyielding every day I wake— there is privacy. A mirror brightens the fascist in me. When the speech is made the proscenium erects everyday theater. I make a kind of debris. When I speak the fascist in me speaks: O countries & natives, o wordless obeisance, o privacy coiling in the memoir— a great book I will write is not my private life. A tornado is simply warning for nothing that appears out of chaos. A sun in the fascist, in the hard cold private life of the citizen, I make a breakfast. There is a sun still. There is a house I move through. A bracken, a tongue meet. A bracken, a tongue. A bracken, a tongue. A tongue, a tomb I move through to arrive at word-like edifice. Gingerroot, canna, asparagus, iris. There is a room I cook in. There is a sun outside of it. I empty a vase, I fill a bowl, floral notes, spice. The throat is a corset I wear, I tighten, from which I exude. I eat, I speak, it is sexual. Prep work, like eros, is in the minutiae.