Sunday, October 25, 2009

Patrick Culliton


She wears summer, a bird
on her clavicle, and combs
the day thin with rowdy
arms. Triangular and sailing,
she unlocks the pages of distance.
Pipers mobile her solitary umbrella.
How she stays when a storm turns

over the bay. The slow knife,
the kiwi, and the rubber band wrist.
Lightning pings, clouds change gowns.
Warning pulls the plug and the sand drains
of goers. How she remains,
silent and right, her face
lit by the sun’s slow soap.

Patrick Culliton lives in Chicago. His poems have appeared, or will soon, in Coconut, Conduit, The Hat, The Journal, jubilat, Rabbit Light Movies, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. He teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago and has a chapbook forthcoming from Octopus Books in Spring 2010.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jennifer Nelson


summer answers with a chainsaw no a circle jerk
of slow and rusty chainsaws try
to be the opposite of birds the children sweet
droolbags stopped the village streets and lo

a lamb born in the castle with the head of a castle
the nursery full of squirmy towers no children
but quiet melters into drool
then the enclosed garden

the unicorn’ll tell you shaving horn’s like shaving teeth
your pretty shard path
totally worth it
like chewing totally worth it

like if you’re ready to be naked
insert your pretty brain, I’ll break it

Jennifer Nelson writes about Northern Renaissance art, and maintains a blog of speculative and parodic art history at She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Timothy Yu


Here we are
“east” of something

see orange
slow down
save lives

of grief and rage

ha ha girlfriend
in the show

How can I write

devoid of contempt

A smell of cars gone to ground
A platform elevated by human legs

You might truck in oil for sweetness
It’s a job—land for sale—here

I want to know what has happened to my vision
of a devastated bulb protected
by a cage of shadow

an oat stuck in my teeth

You have exactly 13 minutes to circle
the drain of a different culture
doors open on the left and right

awareness week

your dad’s house in Milwaukee
your step sister’s down south
no bids

I could just eat like crazy
a red mass pierced by cutlery
in the 24-hour hotel room
of my heart
                        and then I
am back in school like a half-hour special
riding a Vespa through the empty halls
of California

there is a what I cannot tell you
this warmed-up gazpacho of many doors closing

oh and then Nick said on email that he had a big car
an open 40 behind the angled screen

I still want to drive
I know it’s wrong
I have a little car

Timothy Yu is the author of the chapbook Journey to the West (Barrow Street) and the critical book Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1965 (Stanford University Press). His poems and prose have appeared in SHAMPOO, Rabbit Light Movies, Boog City, and Chicago Review. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hazel McClure


These days won’t abide – my slung love,
my tutor, my boyfriend, my crush. Do you
resist reporting? Are you the detective, leave-
taker, the empty-eyed got? My simplest questions,
church bells threatening the air.


‘It’ never occurred. Play this jump. Preserve
your loneliness. It never occurred
to me—sing—in crooked time. Refuse
shelter for
little sparks at your wings. Every turn
along the trunk is possible
until tunes lose homing vision.
Mom is wiping flour from her hands,
her gold straining at the neck to be precious.
I never noticed the doorway
behind my shoulder until a stranger walked through.
Up in top nooks there’s a cliché looking down;
That’s also yearning, and only that from outside.

Hazel McClure
wrote Nothing Moving, a chapbook from Lame House press. Her work has been published in Mirage #4/ Period(ical), the tiny and Coconut. She lives and writes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she is a librarian.