A headshot of Poet Laureate James Rodgers
James Rodgers | image from James Rodgers

Howdy Poetry Fans!  We feel to be surviving this nuts summertime, at minimum so much.  This month’s Poet highlight is a poet really in close proximity to to my coronary heart, considering that if it was not for her perception in me, I’d really most likely not have a guide out nevertheless, and she has constantly designed me experience like I belong, when I have not normally felt that way in the poetry globe.

Meet Lana Hechtman Ayers

Lana Hechtman Ayers grew up in New York, a harrowing childhood with an abusive mentally unwell mom. Through this childhood, at aged 5 or six, she discovered poems that talked of surviving terrible conditions not in contrast to her individual, or even worse, and not only surviving, but thriving and living to notify of it. In this way, poetry gave her hope, brought her up out of despair, and saved her existence around and above all over again.

Lana moved from the east coast to the Seattle region in 2006. She was delighted by the flourishing poetry scene and straight away started off attending readings and open up mics far and wide. When she found the Auburn poetry scene, she understood she’d observed her real home in the weekly critique group that met Tuesday nights. A decade back, in 2011, she started MoonPath Press to publish some of the Pacific Northwest’s wonderful poets. Various of the Striped H2o Poets have experienced collections released by MoonPath, including James Rodgers, Brendan McBreen, Victor David Sandiego, and Jim Teeters. Examine out the web site at MoonPathPress.com.

A white middle aged female wearing glasses and a silver necklacesits in front of a book case.
Lana Hechtman Ayers

Looking through poetry makes Lana come to feel linked to the bigger human experience—across length, time, culture, gender, race, religion. The poetry of others presents insights into how to dwell as a more compassionate human being. Composing poetry is the way Lana can make indicating of her very own lifetime. “I generally learn what I feel and how I think and what I really do not know anything at all at all about but will need to understand when I delve into composing a poem,” she states. Some of her poetic influences incorporate Emily Dickinson, Octavio Paz, and Lucille Clifton.

Lana is at this time at operate on her 10th selection of poems. You can take a look at her on-line at LanaAyers.com, and look at out her monthly weblog there, wherever she reads poems she’s composed encouraged by prompts delivered by her followers.

Lana’s Poetry

Lana does not ever pull punches with her poetry, and I have normally appreciated her bravery and honesty, and most of all, her friendship about all these decades.  I hope you like her do the job as substantially as I do.  Here’s a couple illustrations of Lana’s expertise:

The Useless Boy Visits the Hayden Planetarium,
poem for my brother, Alan Hechtman (1956–2010), following he frequented me in a dream

which surprises me due to the fact
my brother’s funeral
was just a number of times in the past.

Tonight, he is listed here for
“The Beatles Laser Light-weight Show,”
and so am I,
and we are both of those by itself.

He is a several rows forward of me.
I really don’t know it in the psychedelic bliss,
until the show ends with “Let it Be”
and the house lights occur on.

The useless boy’s hair
is back to its slick, black fullness,
his skin is blush once more.

Good day, I connect with.
My brother turns.
His eyes are glassy.

You are here much too, my brother suggests.
as if it is almost nothing to satisfy like this
in a aspiration of Manhattan.

The place are Meryl and the boys? I say.
But the dead boy ignores me.

He claims, I remember I noticed this display
thirty a long time ago.
Assumed I’d see it
just one past time.

How ‘bout we get some coffee? I say.

No, it is late.
I have to get back, my brother suggests.

Back where by? I say,
not wanting the authentic respond to.

The dead boy shakes his head,
50 percent-laughs, fifty percent-coughs,
actions out the door
to the stone walkway,

the place I know
he’s now grow to be
moonlight.

[from The Dead Boy Sings in Heaven, 2018]

Whilst THE BATHTUB IS FILLING 

The mirror experiences that I am starting to
resemble my mom, the way she looked

that time I went into her bed room without the need of knocking,
noticed her breasts: two weighted-down plastic baggage,

bloated, slow-swinging pendulums.
I decided correct then to die at eighteen,

in the primary of perkiness and elasticity.
Previous year, my mother showed me a extra fat scar

exactly where her still left breast employed to be.
It appeared as if a crimson snake slithered

out of her heart and hid his head
in the brush of her armpit.

The more time I stared, the far more I regarded
the creature earlier mentioned her tummy for what it was: lifestyle.

Nothing about nakedness was ever that attractive.
My mother’s survived this halving,

that scar, a red brooch of honor
producing me very pleased to be a female like her.

In a minute, when the tub is ultimately entire,
I’ll neglect the mirror, all these musings,

lie again in the pale eco-friendly bath,
and truly feel the heat water operate its magic,

building buoyant, bobbing apples
of my two old gals.

[from Dance From Inside My Bones, 2007]

Pink Riding Hood and the Wolf Talk about Rothko 

 Time is white
     mosquitoes chunk
     I’ve spent my existence on nothing at all.
—Lorine Niedecker

They stand in entrance of Rothko’s portray
White Above Red.

The Wolf says, “What do you see?”
Purple seems deeply.

“I see two blocks of shade,
one particular atop the other.”

“Yes, but there’s a lot more.” The Wolf implores her,
“Look yet again, as if you are leaving.”

Red steps back, and as she does,
like Lot’s spouse, turns.
She sees that the base of the canvas burns,
the top gets a cavity.

Pink informs the Wolf,
“Inside desire’s many rooms
are many closets,
but all of them are empty.”

[from Red Riding Hood’s Real Life, 2017]

Did you miss our June Poet Spotlight? Examine it out now to learn extra about poet Jim Teeters. Then head about to James’ latest poetry.