To those readers who have faithfully read along with us now into our one hundred and twenty seventh issue, and to those readers arriving for the first time, we thank you for making this third year of publication successful and enjoyable. With the holidays fast approaching, and friends and family taking time out of their busy lives to enjoy a few moments of rest and community, we here at The Offending Adam are likewise hitting the pause button so that we can fully enjoy the holiday season. Fear not, though, dear readers: TOA returns with punch and power Monday, February 4. Until then, here are a selection of works that we have published in 2012, to either read for the first time if you missed them, or to rediscover.
We are proud to announce our 2013 nominees for the Pushcart Prize: Amaranth Borsuk, Heather Christle, Louise Mathias, Oliver de la Paz, David Dodd Lee, and Eryn Green. We invite you to read or re-read their poems, and we hope that you find them as engaging and uncommon as we did.
"In the spirit of the election season (and also in the spirit of rebelling against the election season), we present a group of writers who both confront and reject politics through an aesthetic act..."
"The poem has to have, to make, some kind of appeal, to function as entreaty and enticement. I try the best I can to write evocatively, and to find and publish evocative writing, and what that means is a moving target. I’m not afraid of difficulty, and I’m also not afraid of clarity. Each poem, each project, each occasion for poems or book of poems, demands mystery and accessibility in different measure..."
"The poems this week challenge us to examine our own world, to see both the calamities in our personal lives as well as the global issues that create disaster and loss for multitudes around us. They challenge us to not remain silent, to instead cry out, to name calamity and be honest with the conditions of our world..."
"I remember standing on the beach as a kid and thinking that the rope used to tie the boat to the dock looked like a girl’s un-kept braid. It’s not a very original metaphor or anything, but it was a moment of realization for me. It changed the way I looked at the world and the way I searched for meaning in image. I used to take notes in my biology and chemistry classes in high school and try to find interesting metaphors or images to use in poems. All of that information was useful and interesting to me, but not in the way that I could apply it to science. I wanted to apply it to metaphor..."
"It often feels like I’m writing from a memory, or at least a vague, remembered mood. Sometimes these are actual memories; sometimes I mistake something imagined for a memory. In both cases, sight and texture are very much present, but sound usually isn’t. But it’s the auditory, it seems, that can contain the most mystery. Hear that wind outside? Rather, hear those leaves rustling because of the wind? Or was it something else altogether rustling the leaves?"
"I felt stifled as long as I believed I was limited by the written medium, but I don’t feel limited by medium anymore. Text is bigger than the written word. There are texts around us and in us if we are open to seeing them. Additionally, our negative limitations are generally self-and-culture inflicted. My work is, in part, about making negative narratives visible, like a scarlet A written upon a woman’s body in invisible ink, in order that we might no longer go around blindly bound to them. And then to create new texts we can later destroy when they no longer serve..."
"I think each format has more impact on an audience’s experience rather than on the work itself. Recently, I was considering format in relation to film viewing; how Casablanca is Casablanca, whether it’s viewed on 35mm film in a theater (perhaps a more ‘social’ scene?), or at home (with others or alone) on broadcast television, a VHS or DVD (rented at a store, or online, or purchased), or streamed. What changes is the viewer’s experience of that content, their place within that variability of connection. Perhaps there’s challenge or, rather, opportunity to make each experience unique, in whatever medium..."