Posts Tagged: Poems

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 [...]


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?


A Poem By Kristina Ten


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 [...]


A Poem by Laura Eve Engel


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 [...]


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 [...]

A Poem By Lisa Lubasch

[come to me, sweet stranger]

come to me, sweet stranger, and make of me a moment, a nostalgia, to give to the wind, to give to the one, who is standing there, at the meeting place, where the safety is immense, and not to tangle with, where the sentence can arrive, as though through a spaciousness, surrounding her, through its particulars, through its split, integument, intangible, what she will take, what she will have, to wander, with, over the paths, with their names in tow, in time, a morning, a motive,

come to me, sweet stranger, and make of me a ruthlessness, out of the fatigue, a furlough or [...]


A Poem By Kirsten Smith

The Valley of I Hate Myself

After a few years of You can have me if you don’t hurt me and You can kiss me if you promise to leave soon, I pack my stuff and head south. I drive past the ranch style homes of I like to watch it burn and the freakish dust bowl of If I can’t have you no one will, and into the valley of I hate myself. Forget the bad weather and the dead weight of ghosts, the plus sides make themselves immediately clear: if you plant something, it is almost certain to grow, if you want to live off the land, there [...]


A Poem by Carina del Valle Schorske



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 [...]


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.


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 [...]


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


A Poem By Bo McGuire

Super Moon

i take the feeling of you—stomp it out with my black throat— throw it down the cement hatch

it bleeds in gold rushes

i’ll be up all night—moon headed—stiff as the wind i sniff until i have enough desert in me knifing the boy inside a man—i moan

this is how i know i am cowboy—my bones screaming a strut to the sinners’ shrine

in the barrio—ghosts i used to know who won’t moan me now—i’ve become the mirror i watch the moon pull back my skin


A Poem By Richard Siken

The Stag and the Quiver


Once there was a deer called stag. A white breasted, a many pointed. He refused to still when he halted, the hooves in his mind were always lifted. Everything comes close, the branches slide. In a clearing made of cleavings, stag sees another stag. They watch each other, they share no story. I will not cross you and you must move on. There is nothing else. It reminds me of some tale, stay with me to remember, it reminds me of where I was going without you.


The hunter sinks his arrows into the trees and then paints the targets around them. [...]


A Poem By Brian Blanchfield


Hallmark meteorology: a little what-if weather sworn over time to the ridgeline conditions the basiners downvalley to the lucky look of trouble. In an updraft apprehension replenishes the cloud, a steady sort of borrowing

against promise. Welling at bottom, a slow spring fills centrally where it plummets, a sump and font that fills

convexity out to its inky meniscus, whether there the landmark melancholy were owing to the mirror it lends the blotted sky or to the condition of abysses. A cygnet is drawn anyway, milky, apprehensive,

to water’s edge, to study his launch, and fixes his look across the curvature, a creature whose rarity may—look

again—enrapture each round-turning [...]


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—


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 [...]


Men Unsettled by Woman's Poems

Patricia Lockwood's new book of poetry, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, came out last week. There have been a handful of reviews in mainstream outlets, like in the New York Times, where Dwight Garner calls it "a satirical work that nonetheless brings your heart up under your ears." His criticism, such as it is, notes, "When her poems miss, which they frequently do, their ideas seem larval and merely cute." It concludes, "little hairs on my back rose often while reading 'Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals,' as if it were the year of the big wind. That’s biological praise, the most fundamental kind, impossible to fake."

But then are there some [...]


A Poem By Robert Andrew Perez


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.


A Poem By Annelyse Gelman


                                             after Anthony Opal’s cento sonnets

In the wet dreaming room seventeen and a half boys masturbate on seventeen and a half make-believe beds, sleeping hands tied round seventeen and a half blue roses blooming to the organ-grinder’s song. In every way, they are their sustained melodic breakdown, un-adorned emotion cast off outside our atonal scudding. O let me dream not the logic of boats but of rooms billowing with brackish wine, you and me lost at sea, reed-deep in the technical journals. We are a helpless make-believe presence deteriorating except in alcohol. Do you want me to take off my human myself? Sailboat, frail boat—ugly and marvelous body! There [...]


Two Poems By Aaron Fagan


Way before the title fights, I dressed in my older sister’s Clothes I stole and danced And hummed and kicked up Dust for neighborhood boys— As they sat in Hawkin’s field, Rolling corn silk in newspaper To smoke, while I, in reverie, Began a whorling version of “Are You Washed in the Blood?” For the last smithereens of me To be born beyond a god of mine.