Sunday, March 26, 2006

PR Primeau

Casual Things

the plane floats by
one hundred
maybe one thousand

who knows?


the sun glowing
    christ white
    like a new syringe
  we walk thru
      the park swan drunk
on chi rho powder

      plastered spread
      to the victory rose
which dips so ill
        into sea-blood

No Telephone in Heaven

to suffer

hide it

  where is

? taken
  the skin

Relative Valentine

      space is curved
                    is love?
      we arrive back
      at the start
      four years later

PR Primeau is the editor of Persistencia Press. He lives in Rhode Island.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chris Tonelli

Why Poems Can Be More Like Paintings

The present murders us for the past
having barely grazed the word.

The word—a seagull, high against
the overcast sky, winking

like a fake moustache. It thinks
the factory is the sea. A river-

bed: great depths to receive, great
depths to give away. To the ocean.

for George Mazzoni

There is a place
I can't get to
because he is dead.
I want to live at
the ocean because
he did. I will go to
his town even, his
house. But what
will I go there to
receive? The junipers
unpruned? We think
of trees as places
and as defining
places. I had never
thought of him as
defining a place.
Maybe people should
have been trees.

Bedroom in Arles

My friends say that they
would like to see different
furniture in my poems. That
after the umpteenth bird
or tree, they start to feel
less and less for them. I
think of Van Gogh and how
my friends must be right—
it is nice to see a bed
once in a while. A chair.

Chris Tonelli lives in Cambridge, MA. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Verse, LIT, GutCult, New York Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Sonora Review, Asheville Poetry Review, and Redivider. His chapbook, Wide Tree, is available from Kitchen Press.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sawako Nakayasu

Girl Talk

We are sitting around the table eating and drinking and exchanging stories about flashers, gropers, underwear thieves, your general assortment of urban perverts. When I tell the story about the man who came up to me and opened up his bag and offered me one of a teeming million wiggling ants in his bag, the whole table goes silent and I am reminded all over again how hard it is to get along with the women in this country.

An ant in the mouth of Madonna behind locked doors
for Reiko Hagiwara

is there, is there, is there but can’t prove it to anyone, is small, is glistening and black, is determined, is hanging on, is at a loss for a good perch, is wet, is blown by the wind when she takes a breath, is happy, is uncertainly happy, is ardent, is devoted, warm and plenty full of courage, is going to write a Moby Dick-length book about this upon returning, is unsure, is still looking to perch, is unable to see its own feet, is developing a relationship, its first adult relationship, is in a wet place or a hard place, is not strong enough to hang on, not even to the backs of her teeth, is hardly noticed, is tentative, is shy, is timid, is sweet, oh if only it could prove it, is waiting for its chance, is waiting for a big break, is going to show those folks back home, is feeling the slightest bit homesick, is determined to make it, is determined to go down in history, is determined to beat the odds, is casually hoping to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records for the Longest Time Spent in Madonna’s Mouth, is an optimist at heart, is fearful at the moment when her breathing gets rough, is shaking, is shaking, is shaken, is having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, is, after all, an ant with a fairly short lifespan, is gay, is not gay, is female, is black, is uncertain, is nothing compared to the giant scale of all the people who surround her, is everything relative to the other organisms inside her mouth, is big-hearted, is open-minded, is sweet, really, all it ever wants is for her to, for her to, oh, and then she comes, and the ant is, and isn’t, and is as it ever was.

Sawako Nakayasu crosses the Pacific Ocean on a regular basis. Her new book Nothing Fictional But the Accuracy or Arrangement was recently published by Quale Press.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Teresa Ballard

Woman At the Door

Blessed art thou, woman at the door,
strange machine, empty bed,
ringless finger.

May I call you virgin?
Sleeping wonder, dark
hall, may I call you.

Light, may I alter you
woman, wrecked.
May I?

Constant, Steady

The girl dreams without hands,
a mouth still intact. Her wrists are forgetful.

There ought to be a sign, something in the mind,
red and octagon. A noise perhaps, a clear shrill
but not a hum, please not the constant steady hum.

I’d rather have my hands than ears, my eyes than toes.

There ought to be a list—
choose what you can live without.
Blue, today blue but what of tomorrow,
what of green?

When to stop loving, to say this is enough—
I have no hands, how I am to walk?
I gave my life for the color green, my eyes are aching.

Blood and seawater have identical levels
of calcium, potassium. I am the ocean,
you do not see.

Here’s the list: 206 bones exist
in the body; half are in the hands and feet;
one for reaching, one for running away.

There’s no way to leave you.

Quiet now I’m dreaming.
It’s silly really to want more,
to think that you will wake a handless girl.

What will she do, roll over and touch your face?

Teresa Ballard’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in:
Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Drunken Boat, Comstock Review, Paumanok Review, Tryst, Three Candles, as well as other literary journals.

In December of 2005 she was chosen by the Mid-American Review as Editor’s Choice for The James Wright Poetry Award. She has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Award and is currently working on her first manuscript of poetry.