I Keep a List of What I Must.

by Christopher Citro

 

By the bed and last thing at night, first thing

in damp daylight, I consult. On rare occasion

I might add. Making love in the long grass

near the river, a vulture’s shadow crept across

her face while I was in the middle of it,

and I looked away. That went near the top.

Those afternoons with everything crashing

around me, watching through café windows—

when I stepped outside, the smell of wet streets

and dripping trees. I did not inhale enough.

Years later, trying to recall it is like reading

through water. So I’ll have to forgive myself

for that, for letting the domino rally lull me

asleep. I saw a woman on the street yelling

at a man who did not step back. He opened

his arms, I’m a lover not a fighter, and hugged her.

Both drunk as September. Most of October,

me forgiving myself for being surprised.

Christopher Citro’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Salamander, Cream City Review, Los Angeles Review, Southeast Review, The Minnesota Review, Poetry East, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. He is a past recipient of a Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award for poetry. Recent broadsides of his poetry are available from Architrave Press, Broadsided, and Thrush Press. Christopher is currently completing an MFA in poetry at Indiana University. Find him at christophercitro.com.

The Second Coup.

by Christopher Barnes

Three shivered in grave clothes.
We were bent
Upon the noiseless foot of time,
Whispers under a kitchen table-cloth, repulsed
By a snigger sounding crystal, hail.

An act-a-part day’s meddling.
Money-s worth –
It’s unseasonable.
The moods in us snagged
In this racket-plague hospitality.  Stark,

Vaporous sunset behind curtains.

Christopher Barnes’ first collection LOVEBITES is published by Chanticleer.  He is a participant writer for http://www.stemistry.com/ and reads at Poetry Scotalnd’s Callendar Poetry Weekends.  He has also written art criticism for Peal and Combustus magazines.

 

Threshold.

By Joanna Valente

Something fell on Lincoln Ave / Mammoth teeth

in rock salt in lime in a whale’s belly / a wooden

chair breaks under weight /


Paid $25 for avocado n’ fish n’ yucca n’ lemons

to feed humans saying / don’t let me be lonely 1

when the tonality shifts / it is easier to be

evasive than to tell any truth /


& lack of truth can be blamed on brokeness

2 yrs ago was 2 yrs ago / not unremembered

in teeth / in tonal changes / over


landmasses, sea-stuff / Still I carry his name

in my cervix / at night peeling my eyes like onion

skinning off lost papers / they disappear /


hope they disappear / Cannot dream anything

in color except scribbled words (who’s biography?) /

red ink that writes don’t let me be

1.Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, An American Lyric










Joanna C. Valente is a MFA candidate in Poetry Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where she is also a part-time mermaid. She founded and currently edits Yes, Poetry. She can be found at http://joannavalente.com.

Salt

by Michelle Matthees


You’re nothing like a metaphor.

I shall compare thee to nothing.

I had an explanation. Of it nothing came.

You came. Maybe mirrors will be found

after black cloths uncover them.

Nothing was revealed. Ears looked empty.

The conversations continued. The salt’s not

snow. The not snow is not snow. Warm water

hits the house, unstained. Alas, Hermann,

perhaps we knew

nothing. We drink vodka of potato, eat

a green cucumber.






Michelle Matthees works can be found at PANK, Prose Poem Project, Proof Magazine, Cerise Press and a lot of other places. She is currently a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellow, and lives in Duluth, MN. She is also currently looking for a publisher for her full-length manuscript “Noctambule.”

Indian Summer.

by Adrian Brooks

Sometimes it seems we’re swimmers, adrift
and, so, guided ashore by moonlight alone.
Strange creatures cast up by midnight tides,
we’re borne on phosphorescent currents
but, once submerged, plumb caverns.

Treasures intact, we resurface on dark water
in a darker night- the zones of ocean or wind
indistinguishable, yet much more mysterious
for our attempts to unravel radial emanations.
Between us, nothing is absent; less left foreign.

Only nuance, a soughing silence seems apparent:
a non-invasive code whereby to sense sea change,
the miniscule cues in which we translate ourselves-
each to each- incarnate, then, through such efforts,
all of which only bring me up to Now.

How long have we loved one another this way?
How far since an ocean alluded to alien coasts?
How deep this sea with its pearls? its sunsets?
How high the moon or its guarantees of dawn?
I ask fathoming only what I find when cast away
to moor again in you.






Adrian Brooks (b.1947) is a poet, novelist and non-fiction writer.
He is also a playwright, a theater artist and a world traveler.
For more information see: adrianbrooksblog.blogspot.com

Occupy My Slumber Chamber, Wild Bird.

By Robert Herbert

Buzzard pecks the glass pane that frames outsides.

He is pretty pissed about something.


I let him in, he beaksnaps my smoking jacket.

“Say something, you stupid bird, bogle me

less at such an hour as this, the gay sun

is still to galivant this way and you


should be nesting.” He perches on the shelf

for the poetry books and squawks, livid,

stomping now like a trooper. I could kill

him, and as I guage this ill, it becomes clear,


he is comparing the vague emptiness

of my bookshelves to a totalitarian regime.

He wants me to flail freestyle for freedom,

to scorn my propaganda in a false past,

to write better poems, that maybe outlast

links I like, I post, on Facebook, about David Graeber.


Robert Herbert’s debut collection of poems entitled, Pangs! & Intermittences, is forthcoming from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. The poem presented here is an Intermittence. Other works have appeared in Stop Sharpening Your Knives 3 and 4, Kritya, Magma, Gallous, Poetry Proper, Ink Sweat and Tears, Brand, and 3am Magazine. He solicits poems for the e-zine, Digital Behemoth, see http://digitalbehemoth.tumblr.com/ He has performed his poems at Wells Poetry Next The Sea, Flatlake Literary and Arts Festival, The Poetry Library, and The Seamus Heaney Centre.


A Desert Poem.

by Jane Macavay

If this were the desert,

a separate sea,

what then of that drum we left sitting on the bench that day in Tyman park?

Do you think it decayed?

Broke down,

skin first,

then the bells?

Did anyone try to save it?

Who cares?

 

Left over: a feather, slick and a little greasy,

rested on the edge of that sad instrument,

trembling in a hasty breeze.





Jane Macavay is an musician and writer born in Baton Rouge. She now lives in New Orleans with her sister and three parrot’s. She has been published in various small reviews and magazine’s and her forthcoming book of poetry “If it’s not for Breaking, Is it for Smashing?”  comes out in the Summer of 2013.

Fear.

by Corey Mesler

“He who has been bitten by a snake
is frightened by a rope.”

~from the Talmud


Fear is a tarbaby, pitch

and loblolly center.

Is the imp at the end of

the bed, the one

still there after the night-

mare. Is a microphone

left open, waiting

for sin. I know these things

because I am Fear too.

Because I am the thing in-

side and out of

myself which can kill me

but will not, which

can garble all that I say

or try to say or do

or, with you, Love, canker

the excellent proffered heart.




COREY MESLER has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published five novels, 3 books of short stories, numerous chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. He has been nominated for a Pushcart numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He runs a bookstore in Memphis. He can be found at www.coreymesler.com

Kids.

by Peycho Kanev

I remember in my youth how we played

hide and seek and

how we killed doves and sparrows with

slingshots;

and how the sky was different then and the air

and the sun.


But now all the young boys

play Crysis 2 on their computers and

chat on the Internet with little girls that

are so far away.


When I was a boy all the women in the streets

looked like my mama,

but not any more,

not any more.


All the young boys today

want to fuck Paris Hilton

instead of looking at a picture of

Gertrude Stein.


I can’t blame them all.






Peycho Kanev is the Editor-In-Chief of Kanev Books. His poems have appeared in more than 500 literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, The Monarch Review, The Coachella Review, Third Wednesday, Black Market Review, The Cleveland Review, Loch Raven Review, In Posse Review, Mascara Literary Review and many others. He is nominated for the Pushcart Award and Best of the Net and lives in Chicago. His poetry collection Bone Silence was released in September 2010 by Desperanto Publishing Group. A new collection of his poetry, titled Requiem for One Night, will be published by Desperanto Publishing Group in 2012.