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Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

At my request, the NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: Lesley Kimball, Portsmouth

Lesley KimballThe early images for After came in the afternoon, in the bed I was sharing with my new husband – images that draw on the senses and memory to describe feelings that I had no words for.  As the poem emerged, I tried to include all the senses in the images and in the experience of the poem (“buzzing”, “infinite crystal”) as well as maintaining the early connection to the natural world, an appropriately wild context for sexuality.  Despite the first line of the second stanza, I didn’t anticipate the stillness at the end of the poem.  Sometimes, the poem knows more than we do.

Lesley Kimball is the recipient of an award for the collaborative project “Borderlands” in the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program’s “Voice and Vision” public art project.  The interactive poetry sculpture is permanently installed at the Portsmouth Public Library.  Her poem “Devotional” was featured on the Web site and widget for the NH Center for the Book during National Poetry Month 2009 and her poems have appeared in The Café Review, and the anthologies The Other Side of Sorrow and The Longest Day.   Her poem “The Missing” will appear in the September issue of JuiceBox.   Lesley lives and writes in Portsmouth NH with her husband-poet Adam and their pixie-daughter Amalia.  She emcees a ridiculously well-attended monthly poetry reading and loves watching poetry connect people and grow more poetry.

                (for Adam)

I am bowed over,
heavy with spent desire;    
A milkweed pod split open,
scattering seeds;
the peony,
spilling ants

I am hollow:
A cracked pottery bowl,
a stony summer stream bed.
My singular purpose
to be filled,
filled again.

I ring at dog frequency,
could be used to tune pianos;
wet fingers on the rim of infinite
crystal glasses.
The underground buzzing
of yellow jackets
shimmers on my skin.

I am built of the scent
of August marsh,
wishing well verdigris pennies,
the first turn of leaf-molded dirt.
Tongue-rich smells
permeate my fingertips,
behind knees, inside elbows.

I am nothing:
inside-out, undone;
the undeveloped negative,
the impression on the pillow,
the stillness of the curtain.


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: November 4, 2009

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