“adorned with laurel and lightning bolts”

If I could get all y’all to buy one poetry book in the near future (say, in celebration of spring, or National Poetry Month), at the moment it would be Alison Luterman‘s See How We Almost Fly (Pearl Editions, 2010). Today I quote to you from “The World Card,” which begins:

I always wanted the World card,
naked androgynous figure striding the globe,
adorned with laurel and lightning bolts…

and builds and builds to

…I wanted to cross the sky and come back
bearing dead stars in my hands, fossil fuel
for poems. I wanted to inhale God’s breath
till it singed my lungs; to be used up by love,
to hang from a tree by my heels.
“Be careful,” the old fortune-teller advised me shrewdly
at the shop where I paid her ten bucks
to turn the deck over in her ringed, swollen fingers.
“It’s not always a good thing, you know –”
but I wouldn’t let her finish. I didn’t want good,
good was too small. I wanted the world.

Speaking of Tarot cards, the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has a new series to benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot. I associate BPAL with poetry in part because many of the fragrance names and descriptions borrow from Poe, Swinburne, Keats, and others, and the CBLDF series is associated with Neil Gaiman. I should also note that, over the years, I’ve received some incredible responses to BPAL scents on me, and some fond memories (as well as a few “OMG scrub that off NOW!” moments — no risk, no reward) — a vial of “Embalming Fluid” came to the rescue in a too-small ScotsRail compartment after a too-long day sans showers, and there was an elevator ride where a stranger exclaimed “What IS that?” in a happily gobsmacked way in reaction to the Nanny Ashtoreth.

In other news, my sometime partner in crime Greta Cabrel has a new poem up at Thirteen Myna Birds, I have a booklet of hay(na)ku available via Open Hand Press (all proceeds donated to Haiti relief efforts), and last night I read Wendy Babiak’s The Uninvited Guest, thanks to a rec Joanne made on Twitter. (And speaking of Joanne and Twitter, I really like today’s tanka by Peter Newton on 7×20, the zine she edits, which incidentally is open to submissions…)