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My poem, “Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome,” has been published in the summer issue of the Irish journal, Crannóg, available in printed form only. Alas, I was unable to attend the June 30 launch at the Crane Bar in Galway. Maybe next time!
Who you are not seldom rises
sum: one strand thrown over
another, looped through
and pulled taut, achieving
tension and a sour taste
at the back of your throat.
Everyone believes this
doesn’t bleed. I lock the
windows, draw the shades,
twist the cord. Even distracted,
nothing comes undone.
“Knots” first appeared here in June 2016. It is not included in my forthcoming collection, From Every Moment a Second, available for preorder here.
Dani, from Only Books and Horses, has reviewed my 2015 micro-chapbook, You Break What Falls.
You Break What Falls – Robert Okaji – 4 stars
‘You Break What Falls’ is a quick little poetry collection which you can access (for free!) here. It consists of six little poems, and guys – I would suggest it’s worth a look!
Each poem is succinct and thoughtfully crafted, grounded in tangibility, and yet light with abstraction. Although there were points where the philosophy felt a little heavy-handed (especially in ‘In Praise of Rain’), as a whole the collection was delightful to read. I loved the almost haiku-like simplicity of the lines, and the way each poem focused on specificity without running out of things to say.
My particular favourite of the collection was ‘Mirror’ – it was so perfectly contained that it left me wanting to give someone a sincere yet animated high five.
The other thing is, Okaji excels at last lines. Every single on of…
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My poems “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn” and “Scarecrow Believes” are included in GFT Presents: One in Four, a semiannual, print literary journal published by GFT Press, and available for purchase here.
Currents of breath, the slight curve and lift
within a single motion, once
poised then released as if to say
the wind is mine, or wait,
I am alone –
the story we most fear, not height nor gravity’s
fist, but to exist apart, shadow and
mouth, rain and smile, feather
and sun, all denials reciprocal,
each tied fast and renewed.
“Icarus” first appeared here in April 2016, and subsequently was published in The Basil O’Flaherty in November 2016.
It seems I’ve won LCk Publishing’s Inaugural Spring Poetry Contest. Let the festivities begin!