Poems of My Own

I haven’t shared poems of mine yet here on GoodTasteBook.

These poems were published in Cold Mountain Review in Fall 2008Cold Mountain Review cover They are from a series of poems from a manuscript I call “Best Western.”  I also refer to them as the “Bridwell Poems.”  Several years ago in Bozeman, Montana, I saw Band of Horses perform in a little bar called the Filling Station, where I had found myself in a bottle of beer once or twice before.    Ben Bridwell is the ragamuffin lead singer, who doesn’t really know how to play an instrument, yet he does. He sings in falsetto sometimes; he has bad teeth.  But he is a indie rock darling, neck tattoos and all.  He has the edge that all women want to soften.   I thought of him filling up his gas tank in Rocker at the Flying J next to my mom.  Honestly, I think she would get back in the car and lock the doors.  He has this unattainable, bad boy appeal that, for me, became unexpected inspiration, a muse that appeared suddenly in the middle of nowhere.

I grew up thinking pain between people
made them more interesting.

I’d find love and invent misery.
I’d sew seams, then go back

looking for a way to rip them out.
Now, my body goes strange—

it loves Bridwell’s body.
In the motel he’s got me down,
and the border between us darkens,
a suture the length of both our bodies,

a crude black cicatrice
that never heals,

like barb wire kneading in. In my dreams
the director is telling us what to do.

I’m not faking.
Love the bad boy. And I do.

I touch his face
and lose my hands in his beard.

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Poetry in Review: Gust, by Greg Alan Brownderville

The debut of Greg Brownderville’s Gust leaves little doubt that the South is still the most innovative and diverse linguistic and cultural region of the country.  Part soothsayer, part omniscient narrator, part flirt,  Brownderville wields a deft hand, casting an intoxicating spell with these poems that rise from the waters of the Arkansas Delta to both baptize and bewitch. Continue reading


Things are
Disappearing Here
by Kate Northrop

Things are Disappearing Here
by Kate Northrop
Persea Press 2007
Reviewed by Jennifer Malesich

Kate Northrop’s second book of poems, Things are Disappearing Here, begins with a dream about a dog: “He comes leaping out of the closed door of my dreams–/a dark retriever.” From these actions of dream and retrieval, Northrop introduces the major themes of this collection: loss, longing, and disappearing. The act of writing prevents the erasure of memories by making their persistence permanent on the page.   The surreal quality of these poems explore other worlds while grounding the reader through images and narratives that echo through the four sections of the book.

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Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods
by Paula Bohince

Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods
Paula Bohince (paper, $14.95)
Sarabande Books, 2008
Reviewed by Jennifer Malesich

Avoiding the recent industry trend of single-word titles for first books, (Ruin, Crush, Frail-Craft, for example) Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods belies the lushness of its title with fierce, sparse lyrical poems that root Paula Bohince’s first book of poetry in the rural—a landscape of mud and muck, shrouded by clouds and flocks, and lit up by the occasional fox and the flitting red of robins and orioles. Continue reading