Sunday, December 25, 2011

A.E. Watkins

TO CALLISTO, WHO WAS FIRST A GIRL, THEN A BEAR, THEN LATER THE BEAR CONSTELLATION


If I peel back the wallpaper of this world, Callisto, will I find
myself in your age? Will I be

closer to you? If the crows show as chips in a pale sky, does it mean
you still decorate the distance somewhere? I know here

holds my face like some motel’s portrait hung
in the lobby of each day, and the night’s room

has curtains I pull back to see if your slow gait in stars still
crosses my latest black window. Sometimes

I imagine us as the sole cast in Arcady – the gods unwritten,
without us. It is for spite that they spell our bodies

in animals, that they turn us to wonder
where we go beneath our coarse hides, our coats growing thicker

with each passing winter. And your groves grow odious,
my rooms in the city speak

as though they don’t know me, as we walk the freshly painted halls
of each year. But if I were a bear, Callisto –

you among poplars, myself nearby the populace –
how I would tear through this world to companion.


A.E. Watkins is a graduate of the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California and currently attends Purdue University’s Graduate English Program. His first collection of poetry, Dear, Companion, is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press in 2012. Individual poems can be found in Barrow Street, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Handsome, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christopher Kondrich

from CONTRAPUNTAL


That beautiful melody? It is already within us
Tim was sorting through his compositions

                       we need to find a way to bring it closer
                       to brush our end against its end, but we must remain

and regardless if I am satisfied with it
I have to abide by the metronome

                       I want to study piano because in doing so I will destroy
                       my discreteness. One is always concerned with one’s discreteness

this tiresome harangue of mine, would you believe me
just as I was reaching the terminus or whatever point

                       in the mind that receives it. Listen to this, Tim said
                       playing nothing. Do you hear what I hear

I would have to do it myself
with my own hands, Tim continued,

                       sometimes I am struck, my chair a closer
                       companion than anyone I know.



Christopher Kondrich is the author of Contrapuntal, forthcoming in the Free Verse Editions poetry series. He is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Denver.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

MRB Chelko [Part Two]

from  M O T H E R   M A Y  I


have

something like a mystery to solve, not that

a floppy straw hat

to organize the light, it falls all over me like this isn't New York

you wouldn't understand, how darkly my sunglasses sit

on the ground arms folded

this concrete is sand

no parking sign a love letter

right? scrawled

in lipstick in blood

let's romanticize everything

glare like you want me



MRB Chelko is Assistant Editor of the unbound journal, Tuesday; An Art Project. She has poems in current or forthcoming issues of Indiana Review, POOL, Washington Square, Forklift, Ohio and Verse Daily among many others. Her second chapbook, The World after Czeslaw Milosz, is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

MRB Chelko

from THE MARCH


The airless blue
to wake alive

again
place no thought no finger on

that miracle
life

ha
to get one

and discover work
music

the snow melts
reveals it's been collecting

bones
death I tear from my dog's throat

the way we want to eat each other up
the way we lick our swollen lips

our chapped lips
I'm alive

I tell my shirt because I want to take it off
when I talk about love I mean

am I the only one
this will need to be revised

I will need to be forgiven
and locked inside for some time

to wake alive
to sit at the table

stare at an open kitchen drawer
and think

never close



MRB Chelko is Assistant Editor of the unbound journal, Tuesday; An Art Project. She has poems in current or forthcoming issues of Indiana Review, POOL, Washington Square, Forklift, Ohio and Verse Daily among many others. Her second chapbook, The World after Czeslaw Milosz, is forthcoming from Dream Horse Press.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adam Fieled

#1200


She asked me how I did it,
I turned my arm over, said
look at these veins, I write
with them, they are a well,
she said well that’s all very
dramatic, but those veins
should be used for life—

if your blood is working
double-time, your heart will
only get half of what it
needs. She hurt me, I said
leave my blood alone, you
can never understand, but
her full house beat my flush—



Adam Fieled is a poet based in Philadelphia. He has released five print books: Opera Bufa (Otoliths, 2007), When You Bit... (Otoliths, 2008), Chimes (Blazevox, 2009), Apparition Poems (Blazevox, 2010), and Equations (blue & yellow dog press, 2011), as well as e-books like Beams (Blazevox, 2007), Disturb the Universe: The Collected Essays of Adam Fieled (Argotist e-books, 2010), and Mother Earth (Argotist e-books, 2011). He has work in Jacket, Cordite, Pennsound, Poetry Salzburg Review, the Argotist, Great Works, Tears in the Fence, Upstairs at Duroc, and in the & Now Awards Anthology from Lake Forest College Press.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MC Hyland

SWIM-CINEMA & YOU


your skin
in the flame falling
the lightest snow
in rhythm

are we in a new
kind of beach
clouds refracted &
static as though

my eyes only watch
the boat devoid
the gate placed by
sur la côte d’azur

& the slow drift
from the hillside
how the names
beach this water

forehead crease
waves gently upon
the light in the
woman & boy

& now leaves
winking & reflective
within a jar
the man crushed

a black cloak the
madonna these walls
& an arrow
in the din & dim fog


MC Hyland is the author of Neveragainland (Lowbrow Press) and the chapbooks Every Night In Magic City (H_NGM_N), Residential, As In (Blue Hour Press) and (with Kate Lorenz and Friedrich Kerksieck) the hesitancies (Small Fires Press). She lives in Minneapolis, where she runs DoubleCross Press and the Pocket Lab ReadingSeries, and works at Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Caroline Young

RECONSTRUCTION FLYERS


Because birds do not wait for insurance agents,
I assess

the mother as she settles on the Elm
eyes over broken limbs

drops and bombs, sizing twigs by beak.

Dwelling under fallen trees
her silence

keeps things simple. The adjuster whys over
every brick, measures life

in shingles, chimney, sheetrock, boards and nails.
I review my coverage.

Overhead, the harbingers drift.
Beneath, the street life lies: eyes negotiate

lines down, sidewalks strewn in reconstruction flyers
remains are not to be removed

by firemen, lawyers, photographers, anyman
with a chainsaw.

I count torn gutters to resettle.

Where trees once lined the street – a sky
beneath, a row of brittle homes

strip-searched by the storm.

Amid the rubble, nests are born
of insulation, splintered beams.



Caroline Young has grown increasingly tired of our culture’s persistent cat/dog debate. Both animals are masters of the kill shake, so what is there to discuss? If someone wants to write a poem about this, she will read it. Otherwise, she’ll just keep putting her faith in trees. Thanks for reading the work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

J. Michael Wahlgren

WIDE MARGINS


yes
I conflux into me, the person
I’ve longed to be most
days I quiver mostly
away
from hex
hours,
the lemon branches
leave waters sour.

That winter,
The suits & shovels
arrive
with elegance:
fashion: long
long boots
strut a mile
until us through,
no.



J. Michael Wahlgren is a publisher for Gold Wake Press. He is author of Valency (BlazeVox Books, 2010) & Silent Actor (Bewrite Books, 2008) & an unpublished collection entitled, Chromatography.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Topher Hemann

MATERIAL SHIFT                                   

for Matthias Regan


thinking thru things
the material of it
what I thought

it would be was
more solid, more

like this voice is
almost an audible
pressure behind ear

drum—it's a click
thinking thru light

switches the ease
with which faucets
expect water

every thing broken
reveals its utility

a hammer bare to tang
returns to its
unhandleable lump

but not its purpose:
thru new verbs material

shifts as a mind
grapples not so much
with what it is but what

the word for it does
pressing against the ear



Topher Hemann grew up in rural New Hampshire, where he worked as a stonemason, landscaper and gardener.  He graduated from the University of Chicago's MAPH program in 2006. He has lived in South Korea since 2007 and teaches in the College English Program at Seoul National University.  His poems have recently appeared in The Cultural Society

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Kate Schapira [Part Two]


SAFETY FACT 5

You cannot always hear a train coming, especially high speed and quiet electric trains!


A dead one doesn’t know anything anymore
She doesn’t become a spirit with the right to hold
or invite herself to tunnel through you
If the train got me I’d be just like most people



Most speeds are high, most times cut in half
Keep coming back or reverting to undergrowth
and other things people have built—
the awkward but accurate position of “we”
destroying “ourselves” to build the railroad
I haven’t liked to pretend to be big
when I know I’m small



listening for the sounds of great violence approaching
Listening to you and the sound of movement through you
The movement we belong to like a border
between the planet’s hot history, magma states
soft ball and thread stages and the way
when the water touches us we roll up



We leave the water more full of water than ourselves
Sink gently because when you’re relatively small
gravity is not your most important force
Forces will take ownership of our surfaces
and our one day dead material
bursting with lionfish-like lights



Kate Schapira is the author of TOWN (Factory School, Heretical Texts, 2010), The Bounty: Four Addresses (forthcoming from Noemi Press before year's end), and two more books forthcoming in 2012 from Stockport Flats and Horseless Press, as well as chapbooks from Flying Guillotine, Horseless, Rope-A-Dope and Cy Gist Presses, and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. She lives in Providence, RI, where she co-curates the Publicly Complex Reading Series and teaches writing to college students and 4th grade scientists.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Kate Schapira

SAFETY FACT 4

Railroad tracks, trestles, tunnels, bridges, yards and rail cars are private property.


When I can’t see the family of a person
I can imagine they’re their own property.
I can go wandering over your bridges and trestles
your lonely but in-constant-action tracks and yards
and weeds and tags your body’s the entrance to.
A person can be owned but not own or
the train goes the other way toward
the opening point I linger near.
Bodies are mutually exclusive—this not that—relax—
that’s the way to love them mine including yours—



The tracks stretch night and pale day.
I feel like I’d be moving in the right direction
if I were behaving in the bravest way
my bravest self imagines:
magnetic explorer! Congress of crossings!



Friction is one way to generate heat
whether you want it or not
what’s the biggest gift
a train can give us?
I don’t think it’s safety
It might be electricity
It might be outside the soaked tradition chest.



Kate Schapira is the author of TOWN (Factory School, Heretical Texts, 2010), The Bounty: Four Addresses (forthcoming from Noemi Press before year's end), and two more books forthcoming in 2012 from Stockport Flats and Horseless Press, as well as chapbooks from Flying Guillotine, Horseless, Rope-A-Dope and Cy Gist Presses, and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. She lives in Providence, RI, where she co-curates the Publicly Complex Reading Series and teaches writing to college students and 4th grade scientists.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yvette Johnson









































Yvette Johnson is the author of three chapbooks. Her poems can be found in the DMQ ReviewGlitter PonyChaparral and Bateau. Work is forthcoming in Octopus and Lines + Stars. Thanks to poet Claudia Handler for the notes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

John Stovall

STUCK


| couldn't get the tape
           
off the bottom the door

wedged shut from the inside, even

that | couldn't shake loose in the back the drawer

caught on itself wouldn't open

everything was in there  my shoes, my keys, my word, my

dark secrets | was ready to free,

light, burdens, potency, exceptions, fucking

hammer, my out, my there, my analogue,

my

analogue's analogue, the reception, and the receiving, the deceiving

was in here how many corners were there

on all the surfaces forced to stay still

| moved, finding a familiar place in this

world of closets and rooms.



John Stovall has a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia. He curated the Dog Ear Poetry Series, was the Editorial Assistant at Verse, and is currently working on a series of "poems of addiction." John currently resides in Athens, GA and is the Assistant Editor at the Public School Risk Institute.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monica Mody

from THE LOVE BOOK


A flower burst in my head speaking in a fever tone. “Fever,” flower said, sobbing from the deepest gifted source. “I miss your far-fetched
report.” Rainbow from deep-love singing & singing. In deep-love we sang from a broken bowl. In deep-love our bowl misted many times over.
O deep-love o deep-love you sound like a rubbed blaze. Rave, a bloodless rave, with a-nus for lips, red-tinged, tinged red until headlights shone in its heart. Its heart sang & it reached for lungs
to laugh their way to martyrdom. A peacock ran with his wolf to the top of the pack. I swear my pack lay flung to the core. Lay flung to
the side of the dazzle. Misty blue sky that fills my lungs until my
lungs breathe, until the lungs breathing fetched a love in their 
midst. My love spoke of so much. Hey bonnie bonnie, red ribbon pabst blue plunking at my heart. You called for a prayer-shaped hull and I crashed into you, head bent, legal only unto you. Tender rights
intact. Tack-tacking out of my teeth, snar-gum fitting its way into my heart. My love My love: this is how you came through. Like a lap // 
like a wave // like a slap // like a slave: I hear water dribbling
into your head. Must it always end so in // dread? A crack of thunder
righted itself.


Monica Mody's work was featured in the Boston Review Poet's Sampler (introduced by Joyelle McSweeney) and has also appeared in West Wind
Review, Nether, Cannot Exist, Compost, horse less review, and apocryphal text, among other journals. She is the author of a 
chapbook, Travel & Risk, from Wheelchair Party, and has a book
 forthcoming in Fall 2012 from 1913 Press.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Farren Stanley

FROM LUCIO FONTANA'S “SPATIAL CONCEPT, WAITING” (1960)


The surface cannot hold so just
give it a little tap

tap tap  

The shape in the distance stretches and sighs, suggests
a mountain, the fin of some predatory

fish, the encroaching tooth, a horizon  

(trees, corn) (razed fields)  

by destroying the document you can force the eyes behind,
and through

the document becomes artifice and the wall, performance

here you can find a muscular red expanse and  
off-centered, the slit, one freedom contaging
into another,

or  

document of violence. (I used

to call you the Big Bad Blond Wolf.) You could
think: streamers twisting in a birthday wind. You could
think: the empty chorus mouths, you could  
think: curtains you could turn sideways and  

slip through. Behind that red curtain waits Abraham,  
your lover, a commuter rocket to Mars. Flack mouth in a  
Red world. I will meet you there.


Click this link to view Lucio Fontana's "Spatial Concept, Waiting."


Farren Stanley's place-of-origin is Santa Fe, New Mexico, though her heart has followed her body to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she is a MFA candidate in Poetry and Editor of Black Warrior Review. She lives under a massive Magnolia tree with a dog, a cat, seven orchids and the occasional lizard. Her work is published or forthcoming in Marginalia, Caketrain, H_NGM_N and at Greying Ghost Press.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Brian Oliu

BOSS BATTLE: MY BROTHER WHO CONTROLS THE WEATHER



When I arrived, the music changed—all notes go silent:  the only thing audible is the hum of a soft rain, constant though we are inside, and for a moment it is peaceful, something we can sleep through, something that makes us turn off everything else so we can hear water on windows, on slanted roofs.  You appear in a flicker, fast strobe first, then slowing to a gentle spin, arms out stretched and palms upward like you are receiving something—that someone who loves you will place a gumdrop into your hand so you can close your fingers around the jeweled sugar and place it between your teeth in a dirty scarfing.  


This is where the lightning starts:  dry heat from the sky and into your hands leaving burn marks on skin, smoothing over heart lines like you have no heart, though I know it is there.  The bolts, jagged like raised veins come together in front of your stomach and slice towards where I am standing, speechless.  The outcome is uncertain:  the voltage runs over my body like a pulped orange turning everything I am into something I am not, or it doesn’t.  The current springs back upon you, knocking your helmet off of your head to reveal a face like mine, or it doesn’t.  The wind changes direction:  I know this because I cannot stand still—I must pick up what is left, I must hold your blackened hands.  I know this because for once I can see the rain slanted downwards:  falling in grey lines like the ghosts of our loved ones shooting towards the earth.



Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey and currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  His work has been published in Hotel Amerika, New Ohio Review, Ninth Letter, Sonora Review, Puerto del Sol, and elsewhere.  His collection of Tuscaloosa Craigslist Missed Connections, So You Know It's Me is available through Tiny Hardcore Press.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jessica Millnitz

NOTES

So it's motorcycle on the city jail at half past after all like birds' nests. Ice cream calliope. April. Floods over onto sidewalks and stalled waiting stoplights crosswalks, paying attention poorly only to the way potholes erode, all winter, down to the cobblestones. Magnolia tree and windy. Monochrome and not all there. Or it's carefree weather and careless, brick walls and concrete, digging in my heels.


NOTES

It’ll be back to brick blockade if anything. It’ll be bicycle coast into no truck with cobblestone, iron manhole-covers. Clogged out on stuck friction loosing the construction citing old hat path ways. Padded for class. Hand break the wind, tunnel under an overpass downtown. Copper grating over sides walking or back pedal. Stocking slip a hard hallway or two. Imagine a mandatory coda. It keeps you in its cross-hairs.



Jessica Millnitz assists in the appraisal of commercial real estate. She earned a BA in English and film studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was an editor of the  journal Laurus from 2006 to 2009. Recently she’s become a partner in Sp_ce, a writing studio and art gallery housed in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska’s Parrish Project collaborative.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Jennifer Kronovet [Part Two]

A PERSON


We made ourselves through words
for each other for years. Like trees
almost make the sky. But now—
not words—just their effect.
Acting out being a person
who is excited about dogs.

Acting out eating while
eating, touching. This sounds much
worse than it is. More like
how the car makes the road.
Or the runner across the field
in the park—I love him.


Jennifer Kronovet is the author of Awayward, published by BOA Editions. She is Writer-in-Residence at Washington University and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jennifer Kronovet

MAINE


There is culture
and there is The Culture
of a place making you
friendly, wearing your
sense on your sleeve.

Here, on the page, we
always want to talk
about beauty. Out there—
out the window—we leave
a mattress in an empty lot.

Don’t make me find you
beautiful. I say that
to the ocean. It keeps
giving itself away
like the girl I was in HS.

The internal culture shifts
too slowly to see like mold
grows. I have become
myself again. Again,
the sensible sand.



Jennifer Kronovet is the author of Awayward, published by BOA Editions. She is Writer-in-Residence at Washington University and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heidi Lynn Staples [Part Two]

PSALM 74: 16-17

She prays drift’s bride,
Earthite estoile drift’s bride:
Agrope five hundred years

Feather-like
Amant
Nun. Agrope hand



PSALM 45: 7-8

Substance ambergris, fixing the scentedness:
Polar Pod, prey Pod, has lower jaw of teeth single nostril
Economic expansionists prey for tallows. You prey arms against squid
Reservoir, man wants nose,
Man’s castles lit, petrol now

What bright lamps
How seas culled
And
Let,
Earth’s dive wave’s heave wake’s forehead.




Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of Dog Girl (Ahsahta 2007) and Guess Can Gallop (2004). Her poems have appeared in Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Women's Studies Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she is finishing up a PhD in Athens, GA.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Heidi Lynn Staples

THE ART LANDS

In the beginning was now, dreaming collarless
streams like a couple straying together into

mold rage. We whose first names are.
We, whose? Same zip’s ode. Uncertain’s weather.

Ore’s knot. The sky in knots weight for anyone;
The ground, slow river, is and uttered star’s green.

As I was. Fraying. A torn anecdote
hit my mutter’s vernal core, ripped dawn here’s

fence. Nobody was her. Are you glistening through me?
Do you even core what I’m a keening? I don’t brink

you flew. Dear, my puns and homing too ripple of,
every sing leaks the filial truth: we will go supped in flumes.



Heidi Lynn Staples is the author of Dog Girl (Ahsahta 2007) and Guess Can Gallop (2004). Her poems have appeared in Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Women's Studies Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she is finishing up a PhD in Athens, GA.