Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amy Berkowitz


I put my wet socks on the radiator and take my dry socks off the radiator. Outside, it’s still snowing.

It’s snowing. All of us buy the same black coat. Leaving parties, it takes us a long time to figure out which black coat is our black coat. We go to a lot of parties because it’s always snowing.

The socks on the radiator are dry now, and warm. I put them on and put wet socks on the radiator.

It’s snowing and the snow covers the ground. On the way to a party on White Oak, we get stuck behind a salt truck and creep along behind it, watching the automatic mechanism swing left and right, shaking big grains of salt on the ground.

The party is terrible. There are blankets on the floor and there’s no whiskey. We would leave the party, but it’s snowing and we need a ride.

Snow falls in shoes hanging from telephone wires and makes perfect snow molds of the shapes of the insides of shoes.

Snow collects in open mailboxes. Snow carpets the steps and makes them soft.

Snow covers my porch and my welcome mat and nobody knows how welcome they are.


The traffic stopped us
So we stopped.
We were near Gilroy
So we got off at Gilroy.
The streets were lined with antique malls
So we each bought a felt hat with feathers
And a delicate smell of the past.
The diner had Chinese food
So we tried it. The diner
Had a bowling alley, so we bowled.
We found a box of clothes so I wore a blazer.
When it got cold, I bowled
In the blazer. When we got bored the traffic
Had moved on. When we got lost
We called a number. When we arrived
A guide met us by the road.

The hot springs were hot so we got in.
It was quiet so we were quiet.
The guide was young
So he got in with us. We were hungry
So he unlocked the kitchen. There was
A separate walk-in fridge for fruit.
The fruit fridge was full of fruit so we took fruit
To eat with the pulled-pork sandwiches
From the normal fridge. The ground
Wasn’t too wet so we sat on the side of the hill
And looked out at the darkness
Which had the feeling of water.

Amy Berkowitz is from New York City, and currently lives in Michigan. Her work has appeared in CoconutShampoo Poetry, and Spooky Boyfriend and is forthcoming in 751 Magazine and L4. She is a founding member of the Washtenaw County Women's Poetry Collective and Casserole Society, whose first collection of collaborative poems is called The Feeling Is Mutual

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tomaž Šalamun


Sleep pours in on the Polish hills,
an arm grabs a golden stamp.

A squirrel dies in a bag.
A cricket flies over a clearing.

We know where the sword of the brave is from.
The mutation of the eye is the secret.


The lion, which falls on its face, bends the little girl.
Red blood spurts.


The game is death. Husk before death.
In euphoria there are the blackest flowers.


You are my angel.
Mouth strewn with chalk.
I am the servant of the ritual.
White mushrooms in a white field.
In a plain of fire. 
I walk on gold dust.

Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry.  "Fountain," "'The game is death...'" and "'You are my angel'" from Sonet o Mleku (Sonnet on Milk), 63, 30, and 26, respectively.

Tomaž Šalamun has published more than 37 books of poetry in Slovenia and 11 books in English. His many honors include the Preseren Fund Prize, a visiting Fulbright to Columbia University, and a fellowship to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He also has served as Cultural Attaché to the Slovenian Consulate in New York. His poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages around the world. Woods and Chalices, translated by Brian Henry, appeared from Harcourt in 2008.

Brian Henry's sixth book, Wings Without Birds, will appear from Salt Publishing in April 2010.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paige Taggart


There are gaskets inside us, turning movie reels. In the box office, two nights ago, I had meant to say, I collected all your pictures and hung them inside my head. Without further attention this amounts to: I won’t ever have to look at an image of you, in order to imagine you. This is the same feeling as standing really close to a tree and smelling its bark. There is one bird’s nest close to my house, made of hair and Coney Island salt. Someone should tell the island they worship that they are coming home. I am looking past myself. Past the point of batting the air.

I think lying down, sorta in the light but also among beautiful objects spinning around. I don’t want to recycle anything. I would never let go of a balloon.

Paige Taggart lives in Brooklyn. Her chapbook Polaroid Parade is forthcoming with Greying Ghost Press. She has an e-chapbook, Won't Be A Girl with Scantily Clad Press. She's a 2009 recipient of the New York Foundation of the Art’s grant. More poems from To People Who Sometimes Read can be found or are forthcoming in Raleigh QuarterlySink ReviewNo Tell Motelpax americanaGlitterpony. Check out her blog:

Monday, March 08, 2010

David Highsmith


a blinking star
the germ of  it all
to hatch lines parallel
& crossed

a scratching within
l’oeuf cosmique
St. Johns’s shadow
in a lithograph by Durer

a grammar of escape
& detachment
a hymn
sung above the winepress

it’s what it means
to batten down
retreat to a bubble of air
within water

& then to claw
against containment
to peck this hole
& walk through it

to fly  toward sleep
as if to trace
this constellation
under glass

David Highsmith lives and works in San Francisco, and hopes to retire to Casper, Wyoming.  He currently organizes poetry readings and other community events at his store in San Francisco, Books & Bookshelves, for which he has received The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s coveted “chain alternative” award, 7 x 7 Magazine’s Best of the Best award, a personalized martini shaker from the S.F.Weekly, and the Bookstore Poet of the Year Award from the glade of theoric ornithic hermietica blog.  His latest book is your wilderness & mine from BlazeVox.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Catherine Theis


Bring me my spring cups,
fill them with thrum, with spring
crocus, hailstorm, foxglove.
Bring me those purple flowers
on tall spikes, drooping
and tubular, no—
bring me the nectar.
Let the cups be contrived
of white petal,
of coma-inducing digitalis medicine.
Put the jewel heist
in my spring cups.
Retching on the clover,
the clover comes
into focus.


Shitty sun my own kind
You hate to touch it
Until you do

                     The Insects in the Insect Trees

Catherine Theis is the author of The Fraud of Good Sleep (SUN SUN SUN Press), and her new poems are forthcoming in Action Yes, LIT, Sonora Review, Volt, and New Pony: A Horse Less Anthology (horse less press). She is the recipient of a 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council.