Instead of payments in this time of uprising against injustice, when others are on the streets working toward greater recognition, understanding and ultimately freedom, anyone requesting a poem should first donate to a bail or bond fund – a great list here – and share your receipt of donation with me along with your poem request.
I’ve launched a new service on this site: Poems by request!
Whatever the occasion, be it poem for your father’s birthday or cousin’s wedding, we will work together to create the perfect poem for you. You’ll provide the necessary information and context. I’ll write the poem. Check it out at my Request a Poem page.
Gift your boyfriend with that sexy villanelle he didn’t know he needed!
Originally the last poem I wrote (in the summer of 2013!) for Going Fast in Loose Directions, I held on to (R)ejaculation because its format wasn’t working. The poem has traveled several versions, receiving crucial feedback from several poets and editors. I landed on this edit and format late last year. The time from start to finish proved beneficial – lots of details about our digital lives and the structures supporting them have been revealed since 2013, adding new layers to the poem.
Funnily enough, (R)ejaculation now sits near the end of Twang, the second half of which functions almost as an unofficial sequel to GFiLD. Circles and loops, kids, even if time is a straight line that breaks on occasion.
Apologies. Happy May. I spent most of April/National Poetry Month in Teams and Zoom meetings for work. I managed to complete a NaPoMo 30/30 challenge – I’d guess about half of the drafts are salvageable. We shall see. I had to cancel Poetry Afield 2.0. Hoping to make it virtual soon.
A few poems were published: “Patient” and “Dead Uncle, 1979” in A&U Magazine. “Lover” and “Uncle Mike” in DIAGRAM. You can find the links here. I participated in the Wild and Precious Life Series with a virtual poetry reading on May 6. They will be posting video soon.
I finished my new chapbook, tentatively titled Back Holler Magic. Poems inspired by Appalachian folklore and superstition. “Will / Inherit” and “Giving Up the Dew” come from this collection. I didn’t finish in time for several April 30 contest deadlines though. Oh well. Next year, lol.
That’s about it. I’m doing well under a stay-at-home order. My entire second decade of life was a stay-at-home order – on the farm, pre-internet, no cable tv, no neighbors who weren’t family – and I experienced all the pent up frustrations, crazy thoughts and bad behavior that time. Now, I am fine to sit on the sofa and watch movies I’ve never seen and read books.
Stay safe and be well!
Check out my new poem at Vagabond City Lit!
Suddenly / late summer / shirtless in the loft / he watches me / surmount the top rung / Soft timothy exhaling June / The twine breaks / spreading blue / purple florets on which we lie / about men / the Virgin / glistening skin / senators and welfare / other things we cannot carry / like pistols / plastic bags / creek mud when it floods / uncovering July’s empty cans / our fathers’ distal bits / shredded mineral deeds / gold watches and fillings / silver rings my nephews will inherit / as we leave / behind nothing
Ben Kline lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, writing poems, telling stories, drinking more coffee than might seem wise. His chapbook SAGITTARIUS A* will be published in 2020 by Sibling Rivalry Press. He is a poetry reader for Flypaper Lit. His other work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in
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Greetings from COVID-19 Isolationtown. Hope everyone has found their quarantine groove, made playlists, binge watch agendas and progress on that stack of unread books on the end table.
I’ve had a few new poems debuts lately. First, “The New Math” debuted at the awesome Juked. This poem opens Twang and manages to touch on many of my favored themes. Second, “Covenant” – also from Twang – debuts in issue 7 of the always amazing Impossible Archetype. Mark does an spectacular job of gathering work from a broad range of LGBTQIA+ contributors. Really, mind boggling yet spirit lifting!
Meanwhile, I’ve been anthologized again. This time, in the first ever Bending Genres Anthology 2018/2019, from the team at Bending Genres Journal! My poem “Me,
Too, Once , and I Could Only Make an Outline” appears on page 21!
Stay safe everyone and keep reading!
I love this poem: “Giving Up the Dew” comes from my unpublished chapbook Back Holler Magic, which is finished and submitted to a few publishers, even as I write more poems for it, lol.
I can’t thank Alien Magazine enough for publishing this poem. It’s traveled through many versions and forms, but its story, interior struggle and dark magic have remained the same.