"Trumpeters' Song," "For Immediate Release," and "Poem In Which I Call Out Fellow Poets for Painting Abuse As Sexy"

Trumpeters' Song

                                                                     i.           ii. 
iii.       silhouetted against the marbled horizon      America your politics unmoor me
                          a golden eagle or juvenile bald      your democratic mirage
                               hunts atop a wintry thermal      your tweets and caws
                           blackened shape carving itself      when the clouds blitz
                                     along the tyranny of sky      heat hemorrhages
                                              sidesweep of wind      and morning brings its cloak
                                        now hunter now blade      of false and fleeting diamonds

 

 

For Immediate Release 

The glaciers are going on tour.
NASA announced it today:
a littoral circuit, coastal and global.
We’ll flood your cities
with surges of music to last the ages.
Coming soon to a shoreline near you.
The tour lifts weight off the plates,
who are soon expected to announce
their own hard rock tour. Promoters predict
worldwide response will be tectonic,
shifting the poles of music trends everywhere.
From Norteño to Southern Rock,
Delta Blues to New Wave:
foundational changes launching
a tsunami of sound.
Get ready for the storm!
And save your seats now.

 

 

Poem In Which I Call Out Fellow Poets for Painting Abuse As Sexy

I was almost seduced by wet metaphors
with thick drops of thumb-smudged honey
across a poetic line
                                of swollen, half-parted lips

and how every woman who ever tripped down
your stairstep of stanzas had a voice
dry as a martini
                          sipped by firelight, but

now spilled across her hunger torn open
and those sultry lids, that gaze plunged deep
in the flesh of rough-
                                   cut, over-ripe melon.

Yes. Almost. Though excuse me while I clear
my throat, while I push aside the ever-present
imprint & sting,
                          the stain of the blow you bear

from her kiss, her glance, her unrelenting
depiction by you as still marred, tender and sexy
as the slick of ink
                             pouring from your pen

after her lover’s last thrashing
while you—our somehow bruised poet—
sit soused
                 in echo and ache.

 

 

Jill McCabe Johnson is the author of the poetry books Diary of the One Swelling Sea, winner of the Nautilus Book Award in Poetry, and Revolutions We'd Hoped We'd Outgrown, plus the nonfiction chapbook, Borderlines. Honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, an Artist Trust Grant, and an Academy of American Poets Award, plus the Deborah Tall Memorial Fellowship from the Rainier Writing Workshop where she earned her MFA in Poetry and the Louise Van Sickle Fellowship from the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, where she earned her Ph.D. in English.

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