Dear God who lives inside the stag’s head
even after the stag’s shot and lies slumped and abashed
on the forest floor. Protect him.
Even after he’s been heaved onto the car’s dark roof.
Forest Green. Or Pacific Blue. Nowhere he can see.
His body stiffens like a trellis above the driver.
Help him. Hold him in your sight. [Read more…]
First, we’re skinny-dipping,
Sam & I, in a pond in Tennessee,
which is his idea, I should say,
& the tree with the rope swing
than the dark night sky.
Second, the harvest moon,
which we came here to see,
is nowhere to be found,
instead the sky burning with stars
I can’t see without my glasses [Read more…]
by Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Back into the body all the lightning goes
back into the body. Up through the crown
of the skull and round again like the Whip-It
at the fairgrounds. Pushing the boundaries
of the light body. Overloading the light
body. Silly bowl shaking above the bowl
of the skull, which is a bowl holding court over
bowl the brain. Bowl into bowl into bowl.
All the curves pressing together. Too much
light in the light body. Body of cattle after long [Read more…]
by Catherine Barnett
Floating above the gynecologist’s hands,
Dolor looks down at me
with her many expressions.
Someone sketched the eyes, the mouths,
someone pinned them up,
arranged the faces
so they softly say, like this? like this?
The doctor says to choose one,
but I’m no fool, I close my eyes [Read more…]
by John Biscello From his forthcoming collection of poems, Arclight, publishing this February by Indie Blu(e) Publishing ....................................... Dawn. The sea breeze, salt-fringed, rolls in through the opened glass doors, its damp fingers sifting and touching upon the cravings, rent and folds of our shared bare skin, It’s like home, you say, and this makes me dig my nails in deeper, [Read more...]
It sounds like someone wound up the wrens
and let them go, let them chatter across your lawn
like cheap toys, and from here an airplane
seems to fly only from one tree to another, barely
chalking a line between them. We say the naked eye
as if the eye could be clothed, as if it isn’t the world
that refuses to undress unless we turn our backs.
It shows us what it chooses, nothing more, [Read more…]
Forty eight days now–
since you fell into my arms as the sun rose:
I can still feel your weight
as it changed.
Spring now, and yet
my heart is still entangled
in bare winter branches–
a lifetime’s worth:
piercing yet beginning
to bloom in the light
of you still. [Read more…]
Aim behind the ear. Point blank is a mercy.
If this were sacred, we’d let it run freely as it dies.
But we are part-time believers and tie the legs. I fold
your recipe for mint jelly into the crane’s blue paper.
A group of geese is only a gaggle on the ground.
In flight, they become a skein. A lamb is a lamb [Read more…]
by Terrance Hayes
It feels sadder when a black person says Nigga
Because it sounds like Nigger. It feels sadder
When a brother or sister says Nigga because
It sounds like Nigger. I have never heard either
Word in the mouth of my mother or father.
Once I had a lover who said neither word
Out loud. I used neither word for years.
It feels sadder to hear a nigga say Nigga when
It sounds like Nigger. Nothing saddens me more
Than nigger, one whose master has no Lord.
No word leaves me more graced by shame.
You will always be my nigga, I say to the mirror
Because it is a dark water the temperature
Of a blade, the yellow flower stalking a dream. [Read more…]
From Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995 (Copper Canyon Press)
No one disputes that sex
is a condition in the world of the couple:
from there, tenderness and its wild branches.
No one disputes that sex
is a domestic condition:
from there, kids,
nights in common
and days divided
(he, looking for bread in the street,
in offices or factories;
she, in the rear guard of domestic functions,
in the strategy and tactic of the kitchen
that allows survival in a common struggle
at least to the end of the month). [Read more…]
From Charles Bukowski’s just released collection of rare and never-before-seen material — poems from obscure, hard-to-find magazines, as well as from libraries and private collections all over the country — Storm for the Living and the Dead.
if we can’t make literature out of our
what are we going to do with
beg in the streets?
I like my minor comforts
just like any other
son of a
Each word dies as you read it
and floats behind in a wooden canoe
that covers itself with itself
to make a coffin. A white, historical plane
knits above the dead word to shroud
and replace it. The poem before (this) point
is streaming and invisible. The rivulets
on which the coffin boats float
move backward forever. That last word (word)
and then (last) (that) (forever) (backward)
(move)—you killed those words. [Read more…]
A new day comes
like something you cannot name.
And perhaps because once again,
you must bend yourself
to the task of living
you begin to hack your way
through the mute glyphs
and weird print of your own thinking.
Searching among the splayed alphabet
of time and space
for the word’s cordite shape. [Read more…]
Figures of our mind
Bereaved and contorted with guilty awareness,
Witnessed through the keyhole of truth.
Illumined by the soul of a warrior of thought,
Illustrated with the voice of a true sage.
Caught in shameless acts of belligerence and conceit,
An homage to our world of damage and decay. [Read more…]
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Again last night as we slept,
were falling from the sky.
So many of them–
eyes wide as darkness,
glowing lifeless palms. [Read more…]