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Hilary Sideris reads from The Inclination to Make Waves

I had wanted to hear Hilary Sideris read with Jeff Wright a few weeks back, but I missed that, so the next best thing was to have her come over to my place. Both of us worked for CUNY, and actually both of us still do; Hilary is a teacher who thinks about teaching and watches other teachers do it, giving advice and curricula. I’ve worked with her, but I didn’t know her other work, her poems.

I really liked and enjoyed discovering each of Hilary’s poems, and the idea behind them as well, in this new book just printed by Big Wonderful Press, The Inclination to Make Waves. Hilary chose four letter words in English and wrote about them, meditations full of little epiphanies, or realizations may be a better way of explaining what happens when we think and thoughts appear and become words. Good poets are good teachers; we learn. I will type out the first three poems that she reads, which are incidentally the first three poems in the book; they’ll give you an idea of what I (she, they) mean.


Report card B, commodity,
food long in the fridge,

unspoiled. Antonym and origin
of evil, grade of kisser

in the kissed mouth’s mind.
The news I’m leaving,

you decide what kind, what
for, assign the qualifier:

pretty, very, no. You
never had it so.


What woolens do
slowly in summer, planets

around suns, tearjerkers
and homewreckers,: cause

arouse, sell merchandise
There’ll be no more dwelling

on eviction. Even at a loss,
now everything must go.

Wise, to hire a lawyer.
Smooth, across a dance floor.

Meaning of excuse me
on a rush-hour train.


It got too smooth, too
even, but we lacked

the inclination to make
waves. Across a range

of frequencies, it stayed
the same, below true

pitch in song. It was
one story in a house.

I lived with you.
It went like that.

The Inclination to Make Waves is published by Big Wonderful Press. Check them out:




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