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A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper

29 April, 2021: A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper

Read a Poem

A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper

By Zach Savich

Like any children’s tale
the afternoon begins
with a character you cannot tell
from you. So many beliefs
notable today only
for how one cannot retain them
yet can say little else.
Sawdust remains my signal.
Radios rarely on now
except in unfinished homes.
Meadow in every
leveled plot. Riddle: what’s
moving in the trees? The leaves,
and two birds.
 
Beloved, you don’t need to know
the language to know it’s language.
Or once a bird sang in the boughs
and you swore a flock lives in the boughs.
 
“A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper” by Zach Savich, from Daybed. Black Ocean Press. 2018. Used by permission of the author.
 
Bio:
Zach Savich is the author of eight books of poetry and prose, including Daybed (Black Ocean, Press, 2018) and the memoir Diving Makes the Water Deep (Rescue Press, 2016). His work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Open Award, and Omnidawn Publishing’s Chapbook Award, among other honors. Recent poems and essays have appeared in the Cleveland Review of Books, Kenyon Review, the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. He is an associate professor of Creative Writing at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Write a Poem

Choose three phrases from a favorite contemporary poet and work them into a poem of your own, agreeing, contrasting, or arguing with their phrases, which you mark with italics or quotes.

 
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Sierra Polsinelli
The Green New Deal
from Paul davis7

Green and greenishness
lying between yellow and blue
GREEN IS THE COLOR OF LIFE
OF HEALTH
OF HOPE.

the heavens opened
and the grass greened
SEE THAT LIGHT GREEN
IT IS NEW GREEN
ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME
WILL IT BE SEEN.

common, common parks lined
with trees to green leaves and
sage leaves
THE SIGHT, THE SMELL THE TOUCH
OF LIFE THAT IS GREEN

green sparkling like an emerald
green
4/29/2021 5:41:00 PM

Tovli
RE: A Smear of Paint to Test the Paper
By Zach Savich
such a gentle, little poem--it seemed to be so forgiving and filled with hope. Imagery was fantastic and most successful. Favorite line: "the afternoon begins
with a character you cannot tell
from you. "
4/29/2021 11:46:20 AM

Tovli
POETRY DAY 29: Choose three phrases from a favorite contemporary poet and work them into a poem of your own, agreeing, contrasting, or arguing with their phrases, which you mark with italics or quotes.

Visiting

(Phrases are from poet Felipe Garcia Quntero)


“They sit on my palms”….just above the knuckles.

I’ve arranged for two days to end—
at least two, maybe more.
No matter.
Nothing’s ever misplaced. Air begins again.
It starts over, far from here. Sunrise inspires continuance.

“They drink the water…”

like eating, when nothing’s left.
Just say it: someone took your eyes away. Or,
try this: I misplaced my tears.
Yes. That’s better. No sorrow to cauterize;
just fingernails of nationalism fighting the curled fist of world
mindfulness.

Ignore the stranger wearing Converse tennis shoes,
the one who shoved his hands into his pockets,
beginning an hour of meditation
without sound,
no chairs to sit in. There’s never anything there;
nothing worth discovery.

“Oh, the happiness!”

Myriads of unplowed fields, family disappearing
into shadows along the tree-line,
stretching like fingers into smiles…
…look carefully, there’s your grand-father;
a sleeping mother, a few children.

I was there too,
but only twice. It was lonely. I kept no pictures.

Actually, now that I stop to remember,
It might have been the sky,
vast, way too blue…
it made for a land

unknown; way too silent.

© Tovli 2021
4/29/2021 11:42:48 AM

Mary M Chadbourne
This is such a comforting reverie of thoughts, evocative images moving from self to another--perhaps to all others in those last lines: "Beloved, you don’t need to know/
the language to know it’s language./
Or once a bird sang in the boughs/
and you swore a flock lives in the boughs." A piece that takes me to a calm and still place of my early years. Beautiful.
4/29/2021 10:24:19 AM

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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.