“The Whale” Reviewed in the Wilds

Reneé Bibby has reviewed my Moby Dick-inspired poem, “The Whale” in the WILDS, and I couldn’t be more pleased and grateful! Here’s just a snippet of what she shared:

…Line breaks and caesura evoke the voice of an animal, an ancient creature of the deep, breaching the line of water to sing a response, an ode to the inextricable intertwining of fates between animal and man.

You can read the full review here, and if you missed out on reading the poem itself before, you can wander over to Frontier Poetry to read it here.

I’ve also noted that a couple favorite lines are making the rounds on Tumblr (oh my goodness, nearly 1000 likes??), for which I am also quite grateful! A poet always hopes her words will inspire others! ❤

“The Whale” (Frontier Poetry)

One of my personal favorite poems, “The Whale,” has been published by Frontier Poetry here. This is what they had to say about it, which just makes me incredibly happy!

Cassandra Farrin’s poem rustles with the sound of waves and devils. “The Whale” is exactly how you make surprising a literary figure so well known as to be automatically cliche in lesser hands. Let the lines fill your mouth with brine and flame, the white space like gaps between the waves, the Whale: freshly ambiguous.

And here is a small excerpt:

Born bright, a lemon jarred     in brine and oil pales;
so it was with me     in the deep,
but this is a darker matter.     Say of me “men dream and drown,”
an unfathomable vastness, adrift.     Who lives who impales the moon?
Continue reading…

Thank you to Frontier Poetry for publishing this poem about one of my favorite literary figures of all time!

“Elijah” & “The Arrival” (Heartwood)

My two poems “Elijah” and “The Arrival” have been published in Issue 4 of Heartwood Literary Magazine, which is run by the MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Elijah

Sere bends the light
where no dew pearled
this morning
and won’t the next—

[Continue reading…]

The Arrival

Whatever it is,
hold it like the pope
is bleeding in Constantinople,
like Pompeii
in the hungry hours.

[Continue reading…]

Both of these poems are part of a larger project of retelling early Christian apocrypha, myths, and so on, which someday I hope will become a full book of poetry. “The Arrival” was drafted in one of the poetry workshops I attended at The Cabin in Idaho, inspired by my visit to Pompeii back in 2008 during my Fulbright year. Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting my work!

“Grass Fire” (Kettle Blue Review)

My poem “Grass Fire” was published today in Kettle Blue Review with amazing poems by Maggie Smith, Francine Witte, and other poets I admire! To say I’m pleased to feature in an issue alongside them is an understatement.

Ovid should have written into his heavens,
how fire gathers wind
fiber, thread, and strand
and snaps it rhythmically in taut cords over chastened fields,
an industrial grade cat-o-nine
hissing through the atmosphere…

[Continue reading]

This poem is based on an actual grass fire on my mom’s farm. The photo on this blog post is also from that fire, which was terrifying. Never underestimate how quickly a fire can move! Thankfully my mom didn’t lose her house, in spite of the damage done to the rest of the land around it.

Notes on a Modern Cinderella (concīs)

My curious little prose poem, “Notes on a Modern Cinderella,” has been published in concīs today! You can read the full poem — and hear me read it aloud! — by clicking here.

This version will not be as ugly as poor Berlioz who slipped on sunflower oil at the turnstile, the one who fell under the train steered by a Komsomol girl. Let’s say worse than the Grimms’ toes but not so horrendous as heads. … continue reading

This was a poem composed in workshop with the lovely Kerri Webster, who challenged us to write a meta-poem about another writing project of ours. Thank you as always for supporting my work and one of my favorite poetry sites!

Screaming Bear (Auk Contraire)

My ekphrastic poem “Screaming Bear” was published this month in Auk Contraire‘s NO/WHERE issue, which you can read online here. You really should take a moment, too, to view the full image of Adonna Khare’s stunning & incredibly moving piece, Screaming Bear, an homage to her father during his illness and suffering from a brain tumor, along with the rest of her artwork here. I had the opportunity to view her work at the Boise Art Museum.

Farrin-Screaming Bear poem only

“Autopsy of a Stillbirth” (Progressing Spirit)

I am grateful today to be sharing a poem from my growing Nag Hammadi collection in the Progressing Spirit newsletter (subscriber access only). Here is an excerpt from the poem, which juxtaposes some of the difficult experiences and questions around miscarriage with verses from the apocryphal Gospel of Truth:

You loved her.
The book of her life cannot be read with the naked eye.
Her holy Word, a folded wing, rustles between the atria.

This broken filament you place inside
your lover’s cavernous ventricle.
Together, you are defibrillating the dark matter.

Is she the voice of God?
You already know. Still, you trace her
through microscopes and hadron colliders,
listening for a wingbeat,
the First and the Last.

This poem, along with two other poems I drafted this week during a workshop at The Cabin literary center in Boise, have now raised the total pieces in this collection (tentatively titled Apocryphal Monologues) to nearly 20. However, I’m hoping to compose at least 5 to 10 more pieces before finding a publisher to give it a home.