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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Midnight’s Talking Lion and the Wedding Fire (Excerpts)

By: Adam Day

Not simply glances, tongue slips, implicit evaluations, stances,

“misunderstandings” are the existence evidence which should

be unnecessary. Michael Jordan didn’t Harvey Gantt against

Jesse Helms: ‘Republicans buy sneakers too.’ Poets are poverty

“fortunate” enough to be free from such pressing pecuniary

concerns (i.e. largely ignored by and have minimal impact

on larger issues). Free fortunate. One of the greatest impolite

Rights is the expansion of the penal state, a means

of managing the very floor, of those who bear penury

and geography, reverberates back out from broader society.

There’s denying timeliness of Brown and the Department

of report, composed of the disembodied.


Stream collage, working registers and dialects resonate

with, against, one another. Possible meaningful skill that allows

it to begin—like thought—one doesn’t plan next sentence out

mouth, per se, simply occurs, skill dictates. “Performers

material things in thrownness down together.” So, work

to indicate between reason and the demotic ensconced

in bedrock. Specious ‘...sugar and country-ass shit in the middle

of supposed to say what about the rock fights and language?’

There’s the sweet object of everybody’s third thoughts.”

Keeping focus of a tavern in early-mid New York City slaves,

indentured and poor whites, free blacks, and soldiers stolen

goods traded a foundation for insurrection citizens, regardless

of the body (of movement) within particular administered

world, and equally improved, or lack of dexterity

of performativity of language, lack gestural freedom.

And the enactment is in discomfort. Such liberty form might

in gender place among the fields of help. Identify, perhaps

much here, the not passive, less complex, ever cycle



Bound hand and foot retreat and hit out blindly the day

of magicians and fetishes. Then, perhaps, when your back

is to wall, you will let loose at last that new violence which

is raised up in you by old, oft-repeated crimes. But, as they say,

that’s another story: history of his mankind. The time

is drawing near, sure, when we will join the ranks of those

who make it.


“Happiness is what we were born to serve,” Wright

acknowledges that “the way there is far. Too far…

a commitment labor.” Precisely point a desire for personal

sense of purpose, some sense of more than what might

otherwise only suppose, is what ever-pulsing evolving

(or stagnant) lead one person to become jockey other activist.

“Just what relation of his culture says about that culture

is a very pretty question; all craft a how – one do ancestry,

opportunity, lack, Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A

Wedding, Big Box Store, Spring, Midnights, Fire.


These Talking Pictures end (often end) with long requests

for one to understand the source of our shouting. Fanon

intricacies in such an approach to “Today believe in the

possibility of love; that is why endeavor to trace its

imperfections, its perversions.”



Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, 2020), and of Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Award.

Interview with the Poet:

Cathexis Northwest Press:

How long have you been writing poetry?

Adam Day:

For about 32 years; since I was about 13, and it was for a middle school English project.


Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?


The first poem that made me fall in love with poetry was read to me by Galway Kinnell at a reading he gave at a local university to where I grew up. I don’t remember the specific poem, but the reading had a profound impact on me. If I had to guess, it was probably work from The Book of Nightmares.


Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?


First and probably foremost, Catherine Wagner. Also, Joe Wenderoth, Ted Hughes, Monica Youn, Dan Chiasson, Michael Dickman, John Ashbery, Darcie Dennigan, Fred Moten, Harmony Holiday, George Oppen, Larry Levis, Laura Sims, The New European Poets anthology edited by Kevin Prufer and Wayne Miller, Raul Zurita, Wei Ying-Wu, Philip Levine, and others.


Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in

the zone?


I tend to write when I’m actively reading (any genre, really), and/or taking in good, complex film.


How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go?


I let the poem tell me, usually.


Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice?


T.S. Eliot wrote: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal…”


What is your editing process like?


It primarily centers around cutting content rather than rearranging or adding to it.


When do you know that a poem is finished?


You just know that last line once it’s been written. Then it’s either a good or a bad poem, but it’s done nonetheless.


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