New Poetry Series

To celebrate Walt Whitman’s birthday today, S4N Books is announcing their new series, Pocket Poems. It will feature classic long poems and books of poetry in small pocket-sized editions. The first three volumes are now available: the 1855 and 1892 editions of Whitman’s Song of Myself, and Alfred Tennyson’s elegy, In Memoriam. Future titles will…


J. S. Belote (5 Poems)

Five poems from J. S. Belote now up on Underfoot–

Underfoot Poetry


Snowmelt mangles
gray potato fields,

oxcarts rot & sink
by dung heaps,

& month after month
the heaps rise—
I don’t care.

Again the sky is
opaque. &, still,

wizened, Andrei
goes on

painting icons. In one

he gives Christ a cloak
the color of earth.

He hangs it nonchalantly over
His left shoulder, & leaves from His face
any discernible look.

There’s not shame, or pity,
or anger there.

What is there, he would tell you,
is another world
this world is

redeemed by. Which means
suffering is
a disease of perspective.

Which is true, of course,
to an extent.

But I choose to keep my rage.

I choose to hate my father.

I can still see him there
on his deathbed.

The dark blood & puss.

The boils in his armpits
forcing him

to lie spreadeagled.

The hut reeked
of urine.

& what I begged him…

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David Cooke (6 Poems)

For the metallurgist in us all, six great new poems by David Cooke are now up at Underfoot—please pass along & enjoy—

Underfoot Poetry


Its lack of reaction has made it unique,
that and the way it can magnetize fools:
forty-niners, Midas, the futures mob—
so gung ho, yet always dazzled by it,
like urchins dreaming of gilded pavements.

Locked in a vault, it validates paper.
It’s what the rich cling to when the bubble
bursts, smiling at the rest of us, our mouths
agape, who wonder why what’s left
is fool’s gold, when the real stuff vanishes.

Acquaint yourself with history, the endless
grubby tomes we’ve filled. From the Age
of Gold to the Age of Iron the avalanche
of grief it’s caused would make you think
we had gathered mountains of it

when, if we had managed to find enough,
we could divvy up into shares for all.
So trudge across the moonlit ploughland
with a metal detector, unearthing
hoards of coins so hastily abandoned.

Crack open the mausoleums of men

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New Poetry Blog

I’m happy to announce the launch of a new poetry blog I’ll be editing, Underfoot Poetry. It will include original, unpublished work from poets around the world, as well as a series I call Forerunners, featuring influential poetry from the past. The first installments of both are up right now: six new poems from the…