And the stars, the stars
- Vincent Van Gogh
A weight of fire slipping away behind them.
Hung like lanterns from boats over the dark water,
The griefs of evening settled over us,
A weight of fire slipping away behind them.
My breath held in the tulle, blue pools of your heart.
The griefs of evening settled over us,
Always mauve beneath a pink seam of sky.
My breath held in the tulle, blue pools of your heart
Looking up through the haze of quiet at the night.
All was mauve beneath a pink seam of sky.
The hills shadowed from purple into gray,
Looking up through the haze of quiet at the night,
Far where twilight’s laid to rest with the stars.
S.D. Lishan is an associate professor of English at The Ohio State University. His book of poetry, Body Tapestries (Dream Horse Press), was published in 2006. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in the Arts & Letters, Pedestal, Kenyon Review, Boulevard, Another Chicago Magazine, the American Poetry Journal, Bellingham Review, XConnect, Barrow Street Creative Nonfiction, ForPoetry.com, and other literary magazines. He lives in Delaware, Ohio with his wife, Lynda, and their English Setter, Laddie.
in the Age of Joan
Today’s monarchs don’t have heads, or faces, either... Their castles have become databases.
My poem is a public-private partnership.
“I believe that behind every great look there should be a great shopping experience.”
Color printing for the deaf has been underwritten by. . .
And then they said. . .
She was all the rage.
Turning the crank
on the microfilm reader
down here in the dimly lit basement.
And then they said Is this the place we were heading?
SF title: The Age of Joan:
A pattern of motion.
Spacemen dressed in medieval armor.
The Viper TA (Time Attack) spec-package designed for extreme performance in a
special road course focused handling package.
The new Swedeheart micro barrier.
She was all the rage until.
She was all the rage until that other one came on the scene.
The war on the human attention span continues.
No problem is insurmountable to you and your amazing –
My amazing what?
Waterproof mutton, porkipedia fries, all the modern convenience foods.
This segment is brought to you by Trader Joe’s now offering frozen steel pickles.
Check Out Invisible Stylized Window Treatments said the story in the Modern
Living section of my Sunday paper. Why not, I thought, sounds like just my style.
New jobs: Legislative rent vector.
WE’RE FEELING RICH AGAIN proclaims USA Today.
Expect no help from this side of the river.
Greg Farnum has been a soldier, factory worker, ad executive, editor, and (following one of the many recessions) a pizza delivery person, finding enough time to write to create Doctor's Testament, a collection of poetry; The Event, a novel; The Pizza Diaries, a memoir; and The Celestial Railroad, an experimental narrative. He is currently at work on a new novel, Farther Than I Thought.
Pay no attention to the ornithologist behind
Things and their correspondence to acoustic
Degrees of delusion
Binge to feel full
Then make myself empty
To feel empty
Spiral off into abstraction instead
The world smells like my upper lip
If I protect the inner machinations of the
How much of the space inside my skull
Mike Tyson has my brother’s eyes
2. 21/3/13 12:15
It’s hard to find an ethnic tongue among
Throaty chorus nations
Earth-orphan borne in the belly of a colonial
may May flower?
Ice whispers, "spring eternal"
Persephone dyes pastel eggs, carefully, with
The snow melt, outside.
Couldn’t afford Manhattan anymore
Call it tuition inflation
Sink your teeth into the tambourine
Forgive the camp
If you could
Take the world by osmosis
Leeching up through the basements of
Justine Hope is a recent graduate of Columbia University, New York. Her poetry has largely to do with her journey from rural Oregon to the bustle and lights of the City as a failed attempt at spiritual homecoming.
the earth never tires of dissolving these Badlands
carving the Grand Canyon that someone once saw first
what did he think, who did he tell
the labor of this goes on forever
and I think he probably kept it secret
when he walked across the plateau pasture
filled with purple cacti and mule deer
to the rocks at the edge of the earth
and saw the Colorado River below
I went there and came back
and felt the wind tossing me around
and felt the labor of the sun on my skin
it only diminished during golden hour
when the earth lit up the purples and dulled the greens
and the sun rested below the blanketing dark horizon
Stephanie Schultz is a poet and marathon runner. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. Her work has appeared in Paddlefish, Diverse Voices Quarterly, tcmevents.org, talk.brooksblog.com, and the anthology, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku and Haiga.
against the white and blue
of the delivery room
waters that carve
David Radavich's poetry collections include America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007), Canonicals: Love’s Hours (2009), and Middle-East Mezze (2011). His plays have been performed across the U.S., including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe. David has been president of the Thomas Wolfe Society and the Charlotte Writers’ Club. His latest book, The Countries We Live In, will be available this fall.
of approaching ecstasy,
what the gulls
are crying for,
Let it be from living whole
that all that is left
softly in the tide.
Little thing in the night returning
from your travels. You are looking
for the wisdom that I couldn’t find,
which either the old books or
the full glasses couldn’t give me.
Then why is it so strange that:
a) I’m trying to find your bright light
into the darkness
b) I’m trying to uncover your blackness
into the blinding glow of the candle flame
c) I’m trying to put on the counter scales two
equal pieces of your flesh but I always
manage to get to the sanctity of the morning
with a smile on my face. Is this the secret
I’ve searched for through these words?
Everything leads to that thing in the night.
And here on the wall, I have one blurry picture
in a frame that I sometimes pray to.
Peycho Kanev is the author of four poetry collections and two chapbooks. His collection, Bone Silence, was published by Desperanto, NY and Уиски в тенекиена кутия (Whiskey in a Tin Can), Американски тетрадки (American Notebooks), and Разходка през стените (Walking Through Walls) were published in Bulgaria. Peycho has won several European awards for his poetry, in addition to having been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Translations of his books will soon be published in Italy, Poland and Russia. His poems have also appeared in more than 900 literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Columbia College Literary Review, Hawaii Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Sheepshead Review, Off the Coast, The Coachella Review, Two Thirds North, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review and many others.
I don’t have to fool anyone
between because of & in spite of.
Dear Husband will say I’m wrong.
He loves me because. And he does.
There’s still something that causes
me to point out a woman on the street,
Are her arms bigger than mine?
A woman in a picture on Facebook,
Does my belly do that?
I’ll write you now, poem, in spite of
not wanting to admit remaining insecurities.
(I never did before, but once it was real,
the bluster was gone.
I couldn’t even fool around with the lights on.)
I’m that girl who did get married.
I didn’t say yes to dress shopping,
so much as I gave up
on muumuu frocks online.
I didn’t step out of the dressing room because
my back was exposed,
the samples scarcely covering my sides,
white clips under my arms.
Yes, come, poems I’ve feared, come.
I’ll let you look at me in bright light every day.
Come & tell me to take a deep breath
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the author of the chapbooks When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications, forthcoming in 2013) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Stone Highway Review, 5AM, Main Street Rag, Jet Fuel Review, Amethyst Arsenic, and Mead, among others.
More grist for the mill. The palm trees weep at dawn. The stupidest things trip you up, what's
left of windows backdropped by the moon. In wide open spaces where once you wore hats,
rain compels a blur of overreach, an epidural of accumulated stains with a side of whiskey, the
variables endless. Up through the western sky, high into hills tilting towards stars, a distant mist
lingers, clinging to strange birds.
Scott Stoller's poems have appeared in many online and print journals and anthologies including Weave, Prick of the Spindle, decomP and Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka. He lives in the west suburbs of Chicago.
Che (who was never here)
at the bright electric
of the market women, market men,
wearing dust skins of powdered concrete, turmeric,
dried scales of fish.
There are piles of chillies, waiting
like pockets of juju candies that you mustn’t touch,
ten to a pile,
and there are the tiled tables where
the new fish and bare chickens are
quartered amongst the hot-eyed flies.
Their juices run down the cracks to the dust,
clear like semen, and sticky,
searching for a warm hole
to soak in but finding
(only the grey ditches that run to other ditches and then to nowhere).
And the women, men, children
sort the piles, cut the flesh, and don’t give a damn (but, then again, do)
what Che or I, or you sitting in your chair (reading with your mind open like a dark cave)
My grandmother’s Kenya
is a laced-up Englishwoman,
blushed and tight with the roundness
of memory and forget.
Seas and years away, her and I
stand on the edge of frost-damp New Zealand hills
where builders have cut red-dark clay squares
through the flax.
Here, because the wind finds people in many places,
my grandmother says she can remember things like
baby names, posho the maize porridge,
and samaki— the Swahili fish.
And here, with the view of our Ben Nevis
(head covered in snow and goats),
and the smoke-skinned blue bay
to the left,
sometimes she can make me remember too.
We wonder whether the white clouds
pinned to the stacks of the MDF plant
are smoke or steam and those clouds
become the words
that will tell my own someday children
of a Kenya built in the air.
My grandmother’s words fill me up
until I can believe in that Kenya and in
breathing red dust and the moist black
bodies of flies.
When we pick up stones left by the builders
and rub the dirt under our fingernails to make them ache,
she tells me that when it rains here,
like in Kenya,
it rusts the flax leaves stiff,
stiff like her knees and a young boy’s dick.
that women like us mourn everywhere for lost places
and always will.
We stand on the edge of those hills,
(women remembering women)
thinking of steam
which is all that is left of my grandmother’s Kenya—
the land of her lost words and sometimes mine.
Bonnie Etherington is a New Zealander who grew up in West Papua, Indonesia.
mother machine runtime error
the thing about being pregnant with ghosts: you don’t
feel it when they nose their way out of you & nothing
to suggest you’d lost. anything worth the pain of giving
birth cries out, has a name that tastes like something
new, & your abortive newborn halfways have their way
of melting together like ice in reverse. immaculate means
messy, submerged in gore, & jesus christ himself left
a saint-shaped stain on the dirty straw floor, so how
do you figure your baby can save you unless it takes
your insides with on the way out? you’ll know when
it matters, when you have to make good, & the sound
had better be loud enough to thunder through the fog
of mouthless hungry things that weren’t worth a name;
there’s no better midwife for the one that finally matters
than the empty space surrounding it like a family portrait
Ryan Boyd graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor's in Creative Writing. His work has been published in Literary Orphans, Stirring, and The Bacon Review. He lives in Los Angeles and he never sleeps.
As the night fiddles itself away, I weigh the grey,
the middle string.
How can existence, with all its anomalies,
be a sum of averages?
That deep-cloaked man,
stern as if to satire,
wraps those flawless fingers, like chariots,
round my neck.
I am bruised from inside out.
The doubters live from fork to spoon,
awaiting their various and moderate ransoms.
There are now caretakers staffed to the corner of our alleys.
They keep us from ourselves.
A laborious reality for the keepers of tidy rooms,
where not even the air is free
and fiction parades as reality.
A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, Jamin Casciato wrote this poem and others while living and traveling throughout North Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East. He recently worked as a teacher in Iraqi Kurdistan and traveled extensively throughout the region.
Even for a mouse, it is small,
the soot on its whiskers
not dislodged by its twitching.
I think of all I’ve put in that trash can—
three or four days of tea bags, tissues,
parings and greasy napkins—the stew
this mouse finds so alluring. Such velvet fur
and tiny busy heart—
I want it out, want it
never to have come in.
Chewing and chewing the rubbery
sea creatures in this risotto, my fierce
appetite curdles. Tentacles and suction cups
surface in the tomatoey sauce.
Shoving the plate away
only moves it closer to the mouse.
We measure each other, calculating—
my nausea, its bright eyes.
Kelly Lenox's translations and prose have been published in Ljubljana Tales, American Journal of Nursing, Raven Chronicles, Third Wednesday, Cave Region Review, Stony Thursday Book (Limerick, Ireland), Dirty Goat 20 & 23, RHINO, Numéro Cinq, Hubbub, The Drunken Boat, Summerset Review, and elsewhere. She is co-translator of Voice in the Body (Ljubljana: Litterae Slovenicae, 2006); Six Slovenian Poets (Lancaster, U.K.: Arc Publications, 2006); and Chasms, a chapbook, by Barbara Korun (PM Books: 2003). Kelly received an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and work for Oxford University Press in North Carolina.
Full of air:
the empty bowl,
the shimmering matters,
both rock and tree
assume a heart of bone.
If they do,
(and they probably won’t)
the sun will rummage
among the clouds
for a moment or two
with the horizon
where pink and orange dissemble
and joyfully remake
death, life, truth:
all that matters to you and me.
Be kind to the boss in your chest.
When all that matters
is the rush of blood
feeding vital extremities
such as hands or feet,
the pumping heart fulfills
its destiny as chronic overachiever
and CEO of the body.
Buy stock in the company of life,
and you will be rich.
Encourage the boss’s celebrity,
and your existence will be autographed
by a neat and legible hand.
Sonja James' new chapbook, Calling Old Ghosts to Supper, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Her poetry has appeared in FIELD, The Iowa Review, 5 A.M., Beloit Poetry Journal, The South Carolina Review, Verse Daily, and Poet Lore, among others. Among her honors are two Pushcart Prize nominations.
Scott T. Starbuck has other audio-activist poems at OccuPoetry: 1 < http://occupypoetry.org/