Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#BLauthor16: Paul David Adkins

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After a little break, we're back!

We have just a few more authors to feature during 2014, and a new project on deck for 2015--but you have to stay tuned for that. 

First up in the home stretch of this year is #BLauthor16, Paul David Adkins.

Paul David Adkins lives in New York and works as a counselor. He served in the US Army for 21 years. His chapbook, The Upside Down House, can be found at Yellow Jacket Press.

For now, check out a new poem by Adkins, and enjoy art by TJ Walsh.

I Get Jen Bervin’s Poetry Book Nets While Serving In Iraq

I get it. I get the girders she bared in the sonnets
"Forest I," by TJ Walsh

to expose their rusting underpinnings

just as the Humvees we drove
were stripped of anything soft,
anything but the mechanical rattle
you‘d expect in a war machine.

I get the bleached bones of it.

She burned the tents
down to the frames.

     Bring only what you need.

I get the skeletons
collecting themselves,
moonlight gleaming off
their cranial helmets,
concentric rings of their ribs
like stacked halos.

     Who has need
they sing
     of the worthless drapes of flesh?

Co-editor Quinn Fairchild on "I Get Jen Bervin’s Poetry Book Nets While Serving In Iraq": The word, the title, the name Iraq is a weighty one to hear these days, with its recent (and recurrent) history of foreign occupation, the very public beheading of its late dictator, not to mention its present struggle to unify and thrive amidst battling factions and ideals. Paul David Adkins takes us right to the turbulent heart of this country amidst “the mechanical rattle/you’d expect in a war machine” yet much of what we read here is unexpected. We skirt any scenes of battle or attack, we side-step the mortar and snipers we might expect, and instead are transported to a ghastly world that stands as a representation of Iraq, the war experience a murky image as reflected by the mirror of Jen Bervin’s poetry. The landscape and its inhabitants consist of little more than their mechanical frames, having long lost the flesh that would mark it as living, and the reader is left with the haunting notes of a dirge sung by the dead. As the poem itself, Adkins strips thin and bare the connotations Iraq brings up, leaving the reader holding a poem heavier than it looks for “the bleached bones of it.”

About the artist: TJ Walsh is a painter, curator, creative strategist & catalyst. He received his BFA Graphic Design/Painting, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. TJ is currently obtaining his MA in Counseling Psychology at Eastern University. Walsh has written on the topics of art, culture, faith, and the intersection of all three. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. TJ's work as a painter has garnered acclaim at home in the Philadelphia region as well as across the country and overseas. He has a very active painting studio in Media-Aston, PA. Please see his work here

"Searching," by TJ Walsh

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