My Dearest Best American Poetry and/or Coconut Reader, if you’ve ever connected to the World Wide Web over the past five years, you surely recognize the name of Rebecca “Reb” Livingston, poetry’s most forthright and sparkly blogger, editor of one of the world’s best poetry journals (http://www.notellmotel.org/), book publisher extraordinaire, author of the fantastic Your Ten Favorite Words, the first-ever Coconut Book, along with lots of other world wonders. What most amazes me about Reb is that she never does anything in an ordinary way: No Tell Motel is one of the rare web journals that rejects the issue format (Dan Nester’s Unpleasant Event Schedule is another) in favor of a poem a day; when she and I co-hosted an offsite AWP reading last year, Reb kept pushing the format into the now famous Micropress Poetry Pageant; and her forthcoming book God Damsel, from which the laments below spring, is unlike anything I’ve ever read — a sexy, multi-toned rhetorical fugue. She’s famous not only for her inventiveness, but for her ever-grounded, ever-honest, ever-direct perspective on contemporary poetry and poetics, the person more than any other who brings listserv disputes back into focus. No one else has Reb’s energy; no one else has the same mix of hilarity, brilliance, and sexiness!! & she’s a great mom!! I adore her like no one else!!! Reb’s poems first appeared in Coconut 12.
-- Bruce Covey
Lament for Bust
"Because his language mistreated me, I once suckled a shepherd like a woe-dodo competing with a miscreant. My tenderness consummated fracture, birthed my alien nation. Because there was a tempest in my meadow, I bleated into my cleavage like a love-struck lamb bleeding; and my vessel ceremoniously packed with princely trinkets; and a gigolo rose among tomatoes. Because the language of the Tempest was abandoned and slack, I undreamed the entire event and weeped "Greeny trespassers stole my utensils! Oh darling spatula!" The Tempest's poised speech flattened, relieved.
Lament for Must
The Sultana, after she scribbled the poem for her thinking thingamabob, her one-time hearttrob, she scatters humbly a lament for the dead meadow, her home dubbed asylum: "The Tempest who introduced himself – his language flabberghasted. Compelled to buckle because of the Tempest, I am the Sultana for whom the Tempest thrummed to be – his language mistreated me. The macabre Tempest scrubbed in hush, I numbed for gust but did not depart. Because of this vantage Tempest I could not salvage a beholder, not one Savage beheld."
-- Reb Livingston