Sunday, May 30, 2010

Emily Kendal Frey


I got stuck in the bathroom.
When I came out I saw a sign.
Do you want to know more about birds? the sign said.


I feel sorry for people who fall in love with other people.
We wait on the boat's deck to see a whale.
What we see are waves.
Dead-hearted tomatoes bobbing up and down.
Ocean of hearts.


I kept saying It's from my childhood but it wasn't.
It wasn't something I'd ever seen before.
Why did I say that?
Why am I a red butterfly?

Emily Kendal Frey lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches at Portland Community College. She is the author of Airport (Blue Hour 2009), Frances (Poor Claudia 2010), and The New Planet (Mindmade Books 2010).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Abraham Smith



because you can stand on
a rotten moose liver all
day in maine in a big old
rain and i still love you
sheet shake flea bane rain
would love to
fatten you up to eat
you? to heath bar you to
heath bar wrapper in
the shit of a bear just that just wrapper
and berry seeds doing
the spangle squat gear
out there in front of
god and everybody because
bears are not toilet people
bears are honest americans we void everything
behind a white flag and a toilet’s
conversation with a septic
stopped outside
lost a whisker off the hair shirt of truth
with a truck with a man
made his fortune hauling
shit spits outs his window
lady didn’t see it fly
come home rust kids
with the papers to buy
the aerials of their farms
took the yearling flight
it’s nice to see us high
it’s good for conversation
that’s where we are at
where’s my heart?
barn or silo or house like
an eyelid on a sheep sly
little seagull with a belly
like a barn where were you born?
like a shoe in the road dozers
the mind toward bouldering
the septic pump bill in one
leap over the flaming candle kitchen table
that’s his revelation
there’s shit for money
i been thinking why don’t i build
houses with windows designed
to open out to pines
shallow roots sandy soil a good hard wind
and my windows would go the further
god bless the ten twenty ants with their thirty
forty legs stuck on
nostalgia’s sucrose cement
like eyelashes in honey in the car
finish wrecker sap off a creaky creaky snap snap pine
but then seeing goes south as ya grow older
still there’s a sandbar in every deep promise
so my windows take you further over time
right now pine sap candle slaps
them sapsuckers
hanging out there by willow
never call your kid by the name of a sad tree
parked by them damn dick drip pines what’s
the capital of thailand see and then i
kick you in the balls
with a jag of blind eye
and a pack of burdock cheroots my i
is in this idea i i.d. the line of them that picket
to bring back that window tax you’d think
as the kids fatten we’d be heading
that way anyway houses like vinyl beats
living in an elegy for trees and get this
the vinyl squeaks in a good wind a safe
cracking song guy’s getting paid good
to board up your seeing’s seats and this one
channel up high like 200 to show
what goes on outside it’s four guys with guns
a bird one poet guy or gal can’t tell
the channel’s like an ultrasound what
swings low? that a simile prone pencil
or a pack of smokes you save from
the rain with the denim lid on a pocket
and a bold cupped hand
there by the channel that shows you the freeway
old men can’t sleep wonder would the taillights
would the red lights light red if my eyes
didn’t burn for the gal in the grocery
maybe 22 that’s a gun am i fit for the
charnal or the carnal that’s a wash the
price of doing business with an indoor
flame try ombudsmen with burning sticks
milling in the library parking lot
touch a cloud tickler
tickling the prostates on them chinese
fireworks pointed out over the river
lord my heart is stuck to my ear
and my ear is just a wrinkly
extension of fear of
breaking bones on a radio
a western torture a fallen
horse dust was a breath mint
crunched by teeth evolution
took years to shorten our wider set
of hippo trending chompers
for fibrous matter once you are
into rotten meat and sliding
back up that cheetah tree teeth
slip small as half dissolved aspirin
as headstones via aerials
them three poking through
viva great uncle cretin clyde
tight as the space
between a rock and its mosses
two sister kin too took the
typhoid in ‘00 and ‘19 and
been mary huggers
ever since fat slob preacher
kicking my ass against a window
on a bus through curvy mississippi
i got a pistol and a bible in this
box and i am fixing to use either one
sooner stave the mary light
off the crouching passing
animal eye click of the
knife on the teeth his habit
when he’s thinking
bless the chord in the neck
of the running wolverine
plum the keep
deep the stranger
here we go
am i trying you
trying on coat or prolix?
here’s the butter so cold you
can’t cut it here’s a
grackle all spanish dancer by
the muffin crumb here’s an elegy
for gravel it goes ore villa one-stop shunt

Abraham Smith hails from Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Action Books published his Whim Man Mammon and will publish his Hank in the coming autumnal season. Smith's recent performative laurels include stints at the Academy of American Poets Rooftop Reading Series and Opium Magazine's Literary Death Match NYC. He teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at University of Alabama.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jacqueline Waters


a plugged-in glow globe throwing

              thumbprints of land, islets of the outer Pacific

              over snow

              stuffing up gaps

              in the hospital hot/cool unit.

no sleep at first, dream

about a patch of bog

paved over by the wide margin

Thoreau loves to his life:

“I love a wide margin to my life” – Thoreau.

it was lovely to say

                        that it was raining

             and to mean

                        that part of you was low: half

                        was suspecting yourself

                        on to something: the rest

             fell from following

             the first half’s lead:

             opening a book on the bar

             in front of each empty chair:

             setting yourself

             at the bar’s far end

             till night, your own cloud of it

                         ran right to the orbs of your eyes.

             No emotion is pleasing!

             Each must be rejected

             replaced by an opposite

             rejected and replaced by yet another

             vast strain of undifferentiated sentiment

             till longing collapses

as its silvered edges

             ebb themselves equal, eager

             to stand there lapsed

                        by the great lapses

                        you find in your way

                        until you find your way

             or till you find your ways

             have rearranged you slightly

                        as a mirror rearranges slightly

                        what has mostly been lived

                        by sight.

Jacqueline Waters is the author of a book, A Minute without Danger (Adventures in Poetry), and a chapbook, The Garden of Eden a College (A Rest Press). A new book will be published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2011. She lives in San Francisco and is an editor of The Physiocrats, a pamphlet press.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Brian Henry


My mouth makes ice cream from mulch,
I reach the farther shore. Come, I motion,
& you follow, skidding across the surface
on your homegrown skidding thing. It floats
along famously, as well as any ski.
After a casual assault, the sun retreats.
My elbows have gone all naugahyde, knees
skinned to the bone from the day’s begging.
I bury my nethers in the sand and wait
for your journey to be complete, sand fleas
scatter as if I’d brought a rod & hooks.
The ice cream is gone but it was good.
I nod off & doze, missing the moment
you go under. The skidding thing skids


That’s a baby
you’re holding.

Brian Henry is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Stripping Point (Counterpath). His translation of the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices (Harcourt) appeared in 2008, and his translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things is forthcoming from BOA Editions. A Serbian edition of Henry’s poems will appear in 2010.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Amber DiPietra

after 1


remove contact
night glasses

mon-oculate at
K’s mouth,

just a
black hole
in his face.

Dream I ate his brain,

diffused our fight
by morning,

bytes in

Our brain,
the cat puts a parasite in

so we love
him more, suffer

litter with some
on the rug.

Shadow, the oldest
of 4
K brought
to apartment
and a corpse
under the

Electric composter
doesn’t belong in tiny
old Victorian.

I like Saturdays,
over and over scarred wood.

Will the machine eat its own cord?

heart heart
burrow in
become zero

Amber DiPietra is a poet and disability culture worker in San Francisco. Her interests include tracking the orthopedic body in real time, personal fossil records, ¡accion mutante! politics, and warm waters. Poems and prose pieces by Amber have appeared or are forthcoming in Make, A Chicago Literary Magazine, Mirage Period[ica], Tarpaulin Sky, Mrs. Maybe and TRY!. Visit her blog at