Tag: Toti O’Brien

Poets Read: Toti O’Brien

We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series in honor of National Poetry Month 2019 and will run it throughout the month of April. 

Every day in April, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment. 

Today’s poem is Slashed by Toti O’Brien and it appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Gyroscope Review.

Slashed
by Toti O’Brien


1.
The horizon spread left to right, quick
a thick line, and dark
like a sentence typed on a defective machine
wildly sputtering ink
like listels hemming obituaries
on newspapers
singling them out in sadness
like the mourning bands 
men pinned around their sleeves
over regular clothes.

2.
Scissoring the ashen sky, the horizon 
split the lone tree imprudently erect 
on the left, naïf, dreamy
perhaps absentminded. Snap. 
Beheaded without the time of a sigh.
A belt whipping sideways
slashed the crown, now suspended
aerial, an ill-designed cloud
scrambled bunch of twisted squiggles 
penned by a too nervous hand.

3.
Underneath, the trunk hasn’t wavered.
It stays perfectly upright. Maimed, it ends 
in flat nothingness, bared, exposed, mortified.
Its roots till the soil, fingers 
playing an underground keyboard
drilling a tune no one hears but 
the subterranean dwellers, moles
worms, insects, some deaf, irresponsive
some intent at their duties
dull, eternal, unsound.

Toti O’Brien

About the Poet: Toti O’Brien is the Italian Accordionist with the Irish Last Name. She was born in Rome then moved to Los Angeles, where she makes a living as a self-employed artist, performing musician and professional dancer. Her work has recently appeared in Spectrum, The Capra, Colorado Boulevard, and CultureCult Magazinehttp://totihan.net/index.html

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National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Toti O’Brien

Each day in April, in honor of National Poetry Month and our third anniversary issue (find out how to get a copy HERE), we are running an interview with a poet who has been published in Gyroscope Review. Read on.

National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Toti O’Brien

Poet Toti O’Brien

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? I pick a couple of readings in town (or out of town) where poets I love are delivering, and try to bring friends for the ride.

Pen, pencil or computer first? Pen or pencil, on scrap paper and without reading glasses.

Who/what are your influences? ‘Who’ is a zillion. First names coming to mind: J.L. Borges and Fernando Pessoa. ‘What’ is displacement. Switching languages many times in one lifetime. Loss of language creates a thirst for poetry.

What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? Any topic becomes instantaneously hard if I “have to” or “decide to” write about it. Otherwise, any topic can tricks its way in. As long as they (the topics) can say they freely chose themselves.

What was the worst writing idea you ever had? It didn’t happen yet. I am trustfully waiting.

What authors do you love right now? Oh so many. I have recently liked the poetry of John Gallaher, the stories of Alice Munro, the novels of Herta Muller.

What is the most important role of poets in 2018? Keep writing as if nothing had happened.

Where do you go when you need to recharge? Home is a great recharger. Nature is a superpower. Dancing and playing music with other people, anywhere, is practically a re-birth.

What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? A very small glass of Moscato. Moscato must be cheap and glass must have a handle, like a tea cup.

Toti O’Brien lives in Pasadena, California. Her most recent publication includes Mother Tongue in Panoply. Visit her website at http://totihan.net/index.html

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