Cezanne’s Still-Life with Skull, Candlestick, & Book
Poor Yorick would speak a speech about fucking and how to run balls-out into the sea; how the rose once moved
this way and that in the breeze and how the pages were always turning towards the better future (and they were)
yet there’s no light half as true as the guttered candle; that’s the luminousness around the shadow which is a fact
or something dope like that with memory’s stagecraft here stupefying all vanities— Jake Kennedy lives in the Okanagan, BC. He and his BFF, poetcomicartfool kevin mcpherson eckhoff, are compiling a collaborative community western novel entitled Death Valley.
It was obvious. By March 2011, I was not projecting into the fourth quarter.
That very day, several juvenile delinquents kicked the locks off the shed door where I lived and I dragged them
all in by the ears and showed them Magritte’s umbrella collection. Then, from behind the rusty chipper, I revealed my “associate”
while puffing on my own gentlemen’s brand of cigarillo.
First Letter to David Berman and John Hodgman
Dear David Berman and John Hodgman,
In Bulawayo the bon-bon trees laugh and dance and smile in the happy giggle sunshine pavilion as the candy corn fields blush and bloom.
In the late afternoon, school teachers in white paper cones decorate the white paper cones they’re wearing with potato prints of cornflowers stained with oolong flavorings.
I sit nearby pretending not to notice.
Would it surprise you to know I wore a barely discernible worldly half-smile?
I installed a park bench out in the bush beneath an acacia tree boiling with black leather squirrels the size of Jots and squinted my [...]
Bitterness in the Mouth
When did the word for stranger and bitterness in the mouth come to mean a kind of audacity? I’ve seen in some men a distinctly American gall— they glide over the rest of us in their socks like we’re one long hallway and they’re late for a banquet in their honor. Shameless they tell us they’ve done us a favor. We needed polishing. They needed traction. Frotteurs work like this— we come away wondering if we’ve been screwed, gorge rising as a hard little stranger gets off. Leslie McGrath’s Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage was a finalist for the 2009 Connecticut Book Award in poetry.
I am going to tell you who you are. That your voice, claimed as mine, will drown. I wonder about the weight of your voice versus mine. I wonder what it would feel like in my hands. Would it be a suitcase of mirrors or a glass box full of lead? Would it be a sheet on which you painted all of your wrong thoughts—the ones you had candidly in the night, behind your eyes, unuttered as your limbs twitched? It was a dreamless night. All the houses went black. Words are something that can be applied after the fact: the fact of two people crossing the street. [...]
green bulb green eye green red light hangs in the neighbor’s window green issue shakes out green rugging
vie lets I could verge you vices I could kiss
yellow honey of the knot yellow tail not the rumble
blue clear linden in your blue in fired blue car our first car blue fullness of fired pointed blue raving
orange flowers in the grove orange sun do I dare
red paper tonguing the sun red and full and then material red bird endlessly flying red bell heads Douglas A. Martin’s books include Once You Go Back (Seven Stories, 2009), Your Body Figured (Nightboat, 2008), and In the Time [...]
Someone No One Everyone Anyone
and I put all this blood in, but things just get sticky No one’s a mess anyone
wants to pick up after, so I marched my ass down to the shack that flashed
LIVE MODELS in red and asked if they needed someone good with light.
Everyone was bronzed and someone was covered in glitter.
“Here,” I said, “hold that glow
lower” and motioned to someone who shone a weird green
light too high the shadows made everyone’s eyes onstage look
like pulsing suckholes. Limbs in that angle
seem tentacled with darknesses. I tsked, “That’s no way to shine a body.” Paula Mendoza's poems have [...]