Monday, November 18, 2013

Everyday Genius Update

Molly Brodak edited Everyday Genius in October and did an amazing job. The work, almost exclusively poetry, was of a subtly unified tone, and if you followed along daily, or if you go back and read them in order, I think you can determine an arc to the month. At least she repeats forms in similar places, and themes recur and intertwine.

So below are all the pieces, in the order that they were published, each with an excerpt. Putting this together, rereading all the work, was itself like a writing exercise. Choosing excerpts in poetry isn't easy. Like with Weatherhead's poem, I am not sure that pasting in the climax like that will make any sense. And can you appreciate the snipped from Jenny Drai, so sonically pleasing, so evocative too, without the intricate puzzle it locks into? The hardest was Kimiko Hahn's, her poem essayistic, but--I think--poetry based on some process, so I chose a line that followed the ones around it nicely.

And doing that, I began to see different threads from poem to poem, less like a rope ladder and more like an atlas. This way, poetry began to leave the page in a way that originally drew me to the form, and which I haven't remembered viscerally in too long (even during one boozy conversation with Molly, Blake Butler and Amy McDaniel, when they teamed up against me to prove the importance of poetry in a world with good TV shows). The poems this month, taken collectively, are interconnected, and the breadcrumb trail of excerpts I selected highlights one path through them, but there are many more--not just more ways that it could be, but more ways that it actually is.

And by "it," I mean everything.

And at the end of the story,

Those who love you most will kill you.

Life is living, and who can survive it,

and the winds around your mind torment you.

There's a quiet sound I'm trying to find.

It's almost like nothing, but it's different.

She says

things like that all the time. And:

I'll get a flu shot if it kills me! In

addition: Emily Dickinson, like

the moon, had Asperger's. What

the hell are you talking about? is

what Elliot counters

it's an honest joy

to be shocked by beauty

in the 21st century

Think of my heart

like a hose

with too much pressure shooting

through it.

air is wet wrung things

I commit to writing

something real. I am

taller than my mom.

Alex is taller than

my mom. I am taller

than Alex and Griff.

John is taller than me.

Pat is taller than John

and Brett is tallest

of my close friends.

None of them

can save me.

and the warm quadrangles of sun

on the carpet are beautiful too

and red berries on the gray bush

and the mail as long as it lasts

and beauty is what beauty does to you

Movement's what's called

the heart palpating.

Even for the blue whale

the scant Awareness is mainly green.

In the belly of a great whale

I lived in myself

"She told me I need to have hope. I have nothing but hope.

When you fuck me, we're definitely


The clouds were busy being men. They corroded the space to fit room for when the eggs hatched and the bodies began fucking. Once the world began the laughter ceased.

and you feel

(as an individual) annulled, given a role

of predictable passage

as though you were their weather

Robbers love clouds

because clouds hide their heads

like breasts.

whoever touches

another body

touches life & death both

whoever touches

my body touches

his or her own

I hate war

& peace

I must to certain

greater forces present myself

at the end of the day.

When I have our home, I will think

of a moment: Let it be, let it die.

When that is a moment.

No more bargain-bin

hallelujahs; no more feigned shapes. Simply, an awake.

(I'm tiger when designated, other

times I clam and shell out

what's given)

I spoke up

come by wind &

lectured the orchards:

what's needed is

no longer not so much.

At cookie time we go to the cookie tent get another new ipso facto another.

A hospital bed and ICU equipment was moved into the magazine's office building, alongside a commercial-grade fragrance machine that spouted puffs of coconut-scented air. "The odor of death is so sour," she'd often exclaim.

That, class, is how you do it. Huge thanks to Molly Brodak for the amazing month.

Now, November's issue is being compiled by the editors of Artichoke Haircut, a Baltimore-based literary magazine (named "" in 2013) and reading series. They'll be asking previous contributors to their magazine to send new work for a special month of Everyday Genius: Genius Haircut.

As always, find everything you want at , a literary journal that is updated everyday, Monday through Friday.
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