Sunday, March 25, 2007

Deborah Poe

Cobalt-Blue Chuchoteur

My cobalt blue chuchoteur.
This is how.
Or how I see you
from the inside out.

Two discussions.

One, rained asphalt waking
that between my dreams and your reason.
And the staggering rain which stammers.

Cerulean hands bold at the neck.
Braver still at the back.

Fingers the blue jean small.

The architecture of air is invisible fragments
silicon or binary circuits untangling
their way through the broken.

You could be a blue room.
You could spread out, place your things.
I could place things ringing inside you.

Linger is an ease through whispers.
Wooden floors. Indigo floorboards.
Cobalt blue cream.

My blue chuchoteur.

This is how I loved you

from the let go inside out.

nick of the woods


you are, as always, something
to read

you are burning arrow in the rain

you are an ambush
from the injun's perspective

peaceful obligation
never stops ticking


an adverb creeping
in detestable woods

you could tell the truth
you could tell

                            you are

the advancing Shawnee

the novel one

yet entirely alone


tell grandfather's cherokee grandmother.
or his wife's choctaw great grandma.

tell yourself there are friends
religiously similar and wide


but let's get strung up
in the laws of settlements

it will make us feel better

it will be like the half comma
the poet sighs is line break


oh authority neither horse
nor cow nor dog

you will not break
nor will I

the uproar and collision
produced by every gust.

Deborah Poe
's work was nominated for Pushcart Prizes this year and last. Her writing has appeared recently in Drunken Boat as a finalist for the Panliterary Awards, Anemone Sidecar, and the anthology Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora. Her manuscript Our Parenthetical Ontology is slated for publication in November 08 with CustomWords. Her chapbook and zine, ,,clitoris,, ,,vulva,, ,,penis,, and (W(e)a(St) Solo, were published in 2004 by furniture press.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Julie Doxsee

Dear Xylem

Your bells
unyellow as they fall,

hollow out a song
to fill with splinters.   The minus-sign

on the coastline wants you, but in
January buses don’t run

before a naked man brings
your stalk to where

his body & a snow
bank melt.

Dear Halo

On this day
I take a bite of

glow & become
part of you. I eat

a fireball in someone
else’s wooden yard.

When we fissure
smooth water

with fishhooks
I am handed the

legal pad of words
you hide in. You

are a lizard in the
headlight but I see

only angel & tail.

Xylem Tour

February exits
protecting rain

& army jackets from
sullen hikes in the

ice-cream snow.    This
is about melting

the new year onto
confetti the serifs

shrink. The word year is
curled up on a snow-blind

sheet or is typed onto snow
waiting for a large person

to watch it sparkle.

Julie Doxsee lives in Denver, Colorado, where she is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Her chapbook, The Knife-Grasses, was recently published by Octopus Books, a new press launched by the editors of Octopus Magazine. Other forthcoming publications include two chapbooks, Fog Quartets (horse less press) and You Will Build a City Out of Rags (Whole Coconut Chapbook Series), as well as a book, Undersleep (also from Octopus Books, Winter 2007/2008).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ari Banias

The Brother

I’ve made a mistake.

I’m an only child,
but here is the brother—
a good head taller, bony-shouldered, awkward, wide.

Somewhere in Kansas, we’re sitting in a diner.

The booth’s peach vinyl
shell-pattern blares his outline.

I tell him,
         “I don’t have a brother, man.”
         “You aren’t mine—I’m not yours—”

But his face, hair
like mine—

the rumpled shirt missing
a button; how he bends
over eggs and sunken toast.

My coffee goes pale in its chipped white mug. My foot taps.
They give away free pens at the diner

when you go up to pay,
pine tree scenes on them, starlit
lakes. Are there any

trees at all in Kansas? Or just these

endless yellow wind fields, nowhere,
no damn place
to lose a brother.

The Other Language

I love this sea, animal of complexity—
serene and wild, pebbled with color.

My shawl drags, fisherman’s net
snagging a few thin things.

Air passes through its many holes, it unravels.
Absence pulls in it like a tide.

At times I want to cast it off
but then who would I be?

In each hole: thoughts in this language,
grandmother’s heavy steps, the spring harvest

(small this year), the air
of pine, oregano, chamomile, salt,

and the other set of bones
hung in the wardrobe

beside her mourning clothes, the suit
no one I know will ever see me in.


Things happen—something breaks, breaks open,
that isn’t supposed to—the way

families get angry—
the hissing charge finds its fuse

crackling, sparks to rage—or ragged
shouting, stomping off scorched,

the house echoing slammed doors.
Everything quiet,

then the crawling back.
Like the quick

two-handed work of a clock,
a ticking charm, that pattern—Yelling

and soothing, yelling
and soothing. Things happen. Another

someone is born; another
chance, like the door

to a world, standing open.
Behind it, quilts you

pull again and again
over a body so much like your own,

shelves you paint over
until thick continents loosen,

fall away. What gets built
gets broken;

sewn then frayed:
things happen.

As hard as possible, slam
then gently open the door.

Standing on the other side,
eyes level with your eyes,

in quivering reflection—
who is that?

Ari Banias lives in Brooklyn, NY and studies poetry in the MFA program at Hunter College, where he also teaches undergraduate creative writing. Recent poems have appeared in Pocket Myths and Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture.