In Itaparica, the beach broods
under ruddy sky. Two fishermen
and I search waves spitting
shells: ribbed green, a crown
for a queen; a conch; an obelisk;
a whorled shell; a thin swell
pink modica of a disc.
Here it is, the final Friday Reads of the decade! This month, we’re sharing the audiobooks that have entertained and challenged us this year. If you’d like even more listening material, check out The Common Online’s Poetry Recordings here.
Recommendations: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks; Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A poem can’t tell you what it’s like to be 83 and seven hours deep into a Christmas Eve shift at Walmart, cajoling beeps from objects like the secret name each of us will never be sweetly called, can’t show you her face and eyes like the night sky, or the white-haired man wearing reindeer horns, mumbling into his collar’s static-y radio-gadget; a poem can only mention her eyes, shocking blue, like desert pools, the red & white of her Santa hat, or take note of the little carts carrying each beached customer to the doom of their product; but a poem can place thiscurse upon the Waltons: that they be given her job manning the conveyer as it rattles its barren Torah through miles of product, or be given a list of every item they sell, and be made to wander like Israelites back and forth through their endless stores until they find them, until their heads and toes grow lighter, and Christmas music lifts and carries them & lifts and carries them, like each one is a burst suitcase of money blizzarding open.
December 2019 Poetry Feature: New Poems for the Holiday Season