The Poetry Section
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A Poem by Dorothea Lasky

The Static Nature of It All

I wake up in a house full of trash And eat some cheese before I go out in the heat Everything just doesn’t move When you can’t make it to Another day, another let me think about this But you don't call you don’t write you don’t care You don’t want to see me I want to see you so bad But what is the trees that give shade Even in my own voice I am calming But what are the glowing yellow bunnies I kick around You know what is going on Still you stand there stand there Even though I am the [...]

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A Poem by Debora Kuan

Mantra

My husband didn’t like his mantra. “Shirim” or “Shring” or “Schwing,” something to that effect. My own mantra was much longer. “It is only money.” I chanted it in the shower. I whispered it into a mussel. I shouted it from the fire escape to the ramheaded gargoyle across the street. I think you’re doing it wrong, my husband said. Your eyes should be closed and you shouldn’t be shouting. I ignored him and continued my diatribe, shaking my fists at greedy little ghosts. You don’t control me, money! No, you don't! Then I went inside and fried up a $50 bill with sauerkraut and ate it with a [...]

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A Poem by Carina del Valle Schorske

Hemisphere

*

I came from winter in the north to summer in the south. Does that follow?

The plaza turned pink with flowers as though a goddess were expected by evening. I waded through the pools of perfume

and passed the empty steakhouse where two busboys were kissing on a table full of folded napkins.

Time had begun again.

*

A crowd gathered at the city limits: women on foot and a brown girl-cow dragging her rope in the foul crook of the curb. The flat bone between her eyes

shone like a plate of copper in the sun. The border patrolman waved her back with his [...]

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A Poem By Amit Majmudar

The Star-Spangled Turban

Hot pink frosting on my chocolate- cupcake noggin,

switched-on lightbulb- yellow, tulip- bulb topheavy

orange, sky-blue, bruise-blue, navy thought cloud, darkening:

Any towel, any shawl will serve as well to

bind this open wound atop me, mark me off as

not quite level- headed, tops on any watchlist.

It’s Old Glory that I choose this time: I pleat her,

sweep her, set her on my head as reverently as

any U.S. M.C. honor guard triangle

on a coffin.

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A Poem By Kristina Ten

Lazy

I have too many bones in my feet and I have too many teeth in my mouth and I put too much clout in follower count and you, my belly my lemon my grove

This house is split by computer cables This house has tables that drop every plate This house is thigh-chafed sun-spoilt and Christ-cradled and you, my wet mozzarella my love

And you, sugar pill pilled sweater sweet jam And you, my jelly meat suckled and shorn And you, my kill and my kill and my kill and my

City’s dumpling makers all went on strike My city is spite gold brass Stoli commercials My city is [...]

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A Poem by Andrew Zawacki

Dixie Pixie Sonnet

Solar panel, a Fresnel lens, 5 lb bag of M&Ms & we could 3-D print a clone of you

Pell mell all hell & ill will will break loose If you don’t wear your cheap synthetic, frilly fuchsia princess dress, Faux glass high heel sequin slippers clacking on the tile

In your lifetime, the Arctic will have been

You’re a frog no you’re a frog

To conjugate in a future imperfect : will have been ongoing, once

Daughter you’re borderline pixilated, perhaps from the Swedish dialect pyske— “fairy,” ca. 1630—or Cornwall Celtic for “pixie-led” : confused, bewildered, unbalanced, astray ; or an actress as stop-motion marionette, in [...]

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A Poem By Robert Andrew Perez

ode

on film, it’s a fountain lit from behind erupting or a story-high wave’s motion barely foiled by indifferent coastline. that is, always water, always upward then the inevitability of gravity, always light then always less light.

not in the movie, what is bright is internal. usually in a dim room, though sometimes pitch dark, the brightness can never be seen.

perhaps that’s its source of power: an unseeable phantom with unmistakable presence, a presence that violates the peace of the body then leaves, abruptly, only an asymptotal approach to numbness we call linger.

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A Poem by Lisa Cattrone

Trash Talk

Your mother could pull a fresh squid from a lumberjack.

Your mother took a train to Milpitas.

Your mother is so dumb she unearthed Spinoza’s glass joke box instead of Spinoza.

Your mother took a whole hour to run blue veins in a vinegar wash.

Your mother folded the liver of a sparrow.

Your mother couldn’t help me find Orion.

Your mother has a burnt-out black-light in her mouth.

Your mother came from the north where the geese run wild.

Your mother is not a stranger to me.

Your mother could have slit solar [...]

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A Poem by Laura Eve Engel

Escape Hatch

Was thinking escape hatch is what I’d require. I think escape hatch to myself in the park and see it slink on its two good legs away from view, leaving me with this turned- over feeling. So long, hatch. Hello. For a while now I’ve been hiding the news from myself, but sometimes thoughts try to locate the exits while I’m sleeping. I wake to the notion of taking someone’s hands in my hands putting on its shoes in the dark, making its way to the door. Come back, hands in my hands. Sometimes my thoughts ask for gratitude and I become furious. As far as I know, [...]

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A Poem by Sara Sutter

The Changing Snow Chicken

A type of grouse. A game bird whose  name originates from imitation   of all the grumbling he does—“his  song is more like a croak”—thus few souls go   within earshot. The Changing Snow  Chicken lives in the Arctic and changes   “from brown in summer to a nice winter plumage in winter.” “Naturally,”    he explains, “this helps me blend in- to my environment, which I refuse   to leave although it’s the harshest tundra on the planet.” This, he tells you   while wagging his comb—his sole ornament, big as a half-closed fist—

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A Poem by Maureen Miller

Voices from the Field

He reigns over me like a meadowlark in the meadowlands. Underground wiretap. They buried my heart under the stadium stands. Some of us have to work for a living. Saviour, my sin, my paisan! Pobody,not even the nerfect,has a fetish for his peeling calloused hands.

He sticks it in me with his workman's hands. I want a man with a ruddy tinted hand. I want a man with a slowhand.

Do you venerate your dad? Who watches Watchung Avenue? My prayer hands fuss Holstein Manti mantilla. Squawkbox mezzo soprano while I kneel at altar rail bands.

My turnpike binoculars see the ancestral homeland tenements. Semper sperans. [...]

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A Poem by Alexander Chee

I DON’T EVEN

I don’t even know what to tell you about the fog or anything else for that matter what did you think was coming what did you think mattered        what did you think there was something we were all going to do right something we made in pieces in the dark we kept it secret we said it would be better that way we didn’t even look we forgot the way that was better we forgot all the other ways too even all the shitty ones but the pieces are there

what would it take for you to really give up on someone I wrote this in [...]

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A Poem by Laura Eve Engel

MY BODY IS AFRAID OF YOUR BODY WHEN YOUR BODY

My body is afraid of your body when your body moves to move away. My body is a theme party that’s found a deeper way to care about its guests and when they leave. It’s me and not my body that gets the words of the song wrong, My body lies over the ocean, though it’s my body that gets up now to turn off the television. On it, two bodies who aren’t your body read news that pertains to other bodies and are proper inside their clothing. I or is it my body knows when it’s time to make [...]

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A Poem By Susan Lewis

The Original Self-Pleasure Equation

& other inconsiderate lilies. Or any mineral aspiring to ambulate. Which is not to say living in close quarters. Leaves rubbing & rustling, promiscuous breeze egging them on. To carry on tastefully until the bitter end. To stay on the lookout for aught nubile in negligée. Not to be neglected like the young & juicy fancy their feelings (to the swell of strings). In other words America & its discontents, table of. Quantity, quality, & other mysterious divides. Yet another veiled Islamic reference. No rest for the wary. No wrest for the offended infidel smashing bottles on officious effigies. To be faithful & timid, to redirect [...]
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Visual Poems by Anthony Madrid and Mark Fletcher

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A Poem by Timothy Liu

Fucking Ass in the 19TH Century

or doing it with a sheep could land you
 
in jail.

A penis was required to get you
 on the books. Girl and girl was beyond



unspeakable. Legally, it didn't exist.


Debates ensued: was penetration enough or did one have to come? Didn't matter


if it was man on man or woman or child 



but the hole you found yourself stuck in 
and whether or not someone would



report it. No mention of gay, straight or bi


in any of the books. Looking back, the laws
 seemed fairly clear: a white man fucking


a black woman was fine as long as [...]

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A Poem by John Ashbery

The Undefinable Journey

Where do you think you’re going to get lines to punish the stranger with? Cursing, destiny's piñata; it’s a surprise! (Partly sunny.)

O neat-o friend of mine, to add a central target to the mix is not to chase sea monsters, real or imagined.

You drop the floor. Small white chicken friends, like life itself over time last night… And, what have you done with this one?

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A Poem by Mark Conway

in head stones

the sun is real but lies :: it’s much older than its age; by now the excess visions have all been booked / the best are overused… the river runs through dinkytown accepting all its slops our town fish live – celebrities – scavenging on chemicals and tripe / what they eat helps them eat up what they eat: sweet genetic engineering; we posit they prefer this rise in appetite… anymore there are no visions / no visors needed neither nor sun screen to block the once- anticipated vision burn / oh shit mon petit there simply isn’t time: the sun runs like honey through the molten [...]

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A Poem by Sophia Dahlin

When Relinquish on a Star

Of June singing, of Monday singing, of losing you by the wayside singing I never noticed losing you Monday in June, tra la Of March singing, of relics singing of bringing it home the first time singing I invited you home to worry my mother, tra la Sweet treats in the crisper, lo mein on the counter for hours biscuits I punched out of dough for the house to devour Of Rebecca singing, of the concert singing of losing you at the concert singing Intermixing too rapidly for my sexual attention span tra la of quickness singing, of sinning singing, of a longlost girl Friday [...]

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A Poem by Max Winter

Ebenezer Makes a Prediction

The light goes on The light goes off A man sells a banana A man sells a pear The weather is fair today Tomorrow it might not be so fair You are singing You are eating You are disrobing You are sleeping The world is turning The world is drying up It is forgetting It is remembering There is a small beep After the beep is silence