Sunday, August 26, 2007

Laura Cronk

Toward The Waterfront

To be too at the mercy of human interactions makes it difficult to be a student of human interactions.   I want to be the soft hand of Marlon Brando, heartbroken, softly pushing the gun away.   Because I want to be that much man and that much woman all together- I need to have the power to punch through the window to unlock the door and also to be able to softly, softly push the gun away.   He would be as I would be - someone's pet - but I mean dangerous pet – exotic, a lion in the house.   When you turn and give a dirty look, I'm too at the mercy I've been all my life too petalish not lionish enough.   I've got to become in part that part of Marlon Brando that is so hard as I feel right now the part of Marlon Brando that is so heartbroken, so terribly soft.

In the Middle

I awoke in the middle.
Apple trees were rooted visibly,
rotting apples and new ones
amid exposed, numerous roots.

The smell of rotten apples and new ones
was heavy and sweet or light and sweet
depending on the wind.   When the wind stopped,
the smell dropped in and was heavier.

Though I knew
the farmer could appear,
I knew, along with this,
that I was quite alone.

Birds clamored
in the way of birds
listening to other birds,
with nothing lurking.

My mother said instantly,
though I thought I was alone,
always pretend you're a tiny animal.
You are prey.

You should be alert
in the natural way
when you are alone.

I considered her and went half back
to being myself-
my legs beginning to chill,

my back against the knotted trunk,
the sky holding onto its blue
in the late afternoon-

Dining With The President

What death is, for one thing, is not enough food.   I am not dead.   I am dressed for dinner.   How Eva Braun to be in this dress, bright and floral, to be wearing this turquoise necklace, to have smoothed hair and coral lips.   Like her, I've wanted beautiful moments.   Unlike her, I hunch over my plate.   The legions of dead offer us their food.    These aren't vegetarian meals.   This isn't aesthetic eating.    If I weren't so hungry, I could dish out seconds for him; pass over half of my dessert.   With his mouth is full of pistachio halva with Persian honey (bee keepers dead, their bees, our bees dying or dead) while his mouth is full of something expensive and sweet, I could have some sway.  I might persuade him out of his blind spot.   But my greed is unified with his greed.   I am an abomination in a suburb of same faced abominations, in a cosmopolitan streetscape of same faced hunger, in a pastoral field alone in my greed only because no one else is around.  This companionable avarice, how on earth to give it up?

Passing Unmarked

She worries about a horse charging past.
She would be able to stand as it approached,
the earth changing fast under its hooves,
the body slick, enormous.
She wouldn't flinch.

But even if she thought in quiet,
long after the horse had gone
shrinking up over the hill,
she wouldn't know that
the body of the dream of God
came close enough to graze her.

Laura Cronk
has published poems in Barrow Street, Conduit, LIT, Lyric, McSweeney's, No Tell Motel, and other journals. Poems anthologized in The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel and Best American Poetry 2006. She is co-curating the Monday Night Poetry Series at KGB Bar in Fall 2007 and lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lars Palm


over the mountains
on rocky roads
not to dublin nor
over the top in
any symbolical sense
on a bicycle
stolen from
raven who had
bought it from
a siamese twin
cat who built
it in a boat
shed in some
central european
wasteland where
a fish might have
found it useful


i think you
better stop. now
look down the
other side. then
slide a few yards
to find firm footing
for your slippery
sandals. the scandals
are not yet written
or even invented
though the light
bulb needs some
serious re
thinking. shrinking
or drinking or
even blinking the
shrink winks &

The author of three currently available chapbooks, Lars Palm lives in Lund, in the south end of Sweden & edits the blogzine skicka .

Friday, August 10, 2007

Niels Hav


You can spend an entire life
in the company of words
not ever finding
the right one.

Just like a wretched fish
wrapped in Hungarian newspapers.
For one thing it is dead,
for another it doesn't understand

Visit from My Father

My dead Father comes to visit
and sits down in his chair again, the one I got.
"Well, Niels!" he says.
He is brown and strong, his hair shines like black
Once he moved other people's gravestones around
using a steel rod and a wheelbarrow, I helped him.
Now he's moved his own
by himself. "How's it going?" he says.
I tell him all of it,
my plans, all the unsuccessful attempts.
On my bulletin board hang seventeen bills.
"Throw them away,"
he says, "they'll come back again!"
He laughs.
"For many years I was hard on myself,"
he says, "I lie awake mulling
to become a decent person.
That's important!"

I offer him a cigarette,
but he has stopped smoking now.
Outside the sun sets fire to the roofs and chimneys,
the garbagemen make noise and yell to each other
on the street. My father gets up,
goes to the window and looks down at them.
"They are busy," he says, "that's good.
Do something!"

-Translated by P. K. Brask & Patrick Friesen

Niels Hav is a Danish poet and short story writer living in Copenhagen with his wife, concert pianist Christina Bjørkøe. His new collection of poetry We Are Here is published by Book Thug, Toronto (, and a selection of his poetry from the early years, God's Blue Morris, was published in Canada in 1992. He is the author of five collections of poetry and three of short fiction.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Heather Green

Let us try for once not to be right

If all of them are right and if all pills are Pink Pills, let us
try for once not to be right.
          -Tristan Tzara (tr. Robert Motherwell)

I laughed and clapped
As my dog shat on the
Neighbors' daffodils    I thought
When spring pushes, push back

It was March I was still here
Stitching up a small tear
In my heart    It was hard

Like sewing a button on a shirt
While you wear it
Like ironing a shirt
While you're wearing it
Using only the steam

When spring pushes push steam
Push pause push the door of the
Bedroom shut and mend

Tzara you were right the pink
pill is ubiquitous is meaningless
is All    The pink pill is the tear
pushed from God's eye as he yelled

Up, whorish daffodils!
Sun, turn snow to rain to steam!
And humans my puppets, laugh & clap!

Heather Green lives in Nebraska and works in Alabama. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Pilot magazine, Boxcar Poetry Review, and The Cupboard Pamphlet.