Category Archives: Poetry

“Kiss With Recorder and Killer” – Poetry by Jane Ormerod

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Dorothea Tanning, 1943

“Kiss with Recorder and Killer” is Jane Ormerod‘s hypnotically surreal & musical poem from our Spring 2017 issue.

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FLOWERS, THE COINS OF THE DEAD,
We take on all that is thrown
Flowers, the corn of the dead
We take on all that is thrown
Flowers, cauldrons of death
We take on all that is thrown
Flowers, the call of the death
We take on all that is thrown
Flowers, columns of death
We take on all that is thrown

thump

 The link of mustard to egret
The minus and forgiveness of bone
Coin purse, the flower, meander
All is away, to take, donate
Cease and care less to the letter
The flowers of postponement
slinking to yes days of shit and anger

thump

There is rainstorm     thump
Longer days, shorter fights
A sweater with back-burning buttons
There is rainstorm and man-known complexity
Hostage scenarios     thump
The dead daubed fluorescent again     thump
The uniformed and uninformed and beautified
The blue, the blowing, the yet-to-be healed
Himberama, the past revolves
Ideals drawn willy-nilly from the box of
do-gooder illusion
The thump on the way to the inside and insiders
The coils, recoils, the insiders left in the cold
The recollected elevation, the rainstorm
Roof tiles, hooves, a mineral-hard memory
of a herd mentality

Himberama
Himberama
Him-himberama
Our light forced rectangular     thump     again
Go out? Maybe not? Maybe drink at home beside
the silencer. Sketch extra lines on the night horizon
Drink so you are simply out of reach
Stop. Stop. That’s right.
Dream of crinolines, baking apples, your numerable mind
Count and then counterweight the past
Your mind made-up like a bed with hospital corners

Happy days?
Do you savor or sweeten them?
Those spoils of the wonderful and blessed
thump
I love to carry half-eaten maple cake, business cards with
misleading detail. The fold of an egg, the average family and
the average goodbye. The average six-thirty pick-up
outside work, the average rib-eye, chops galore

I carry smoke
I carry good
I carry vegetable
Hotels that lose a star every year
This is a big and damning city
Even a small-stringed instrument cannot find a home

These are my keys
thump
These are my personal flowers
thump
I drink in a house mentioned in pages 23, 29, and 95
I sleep in the house mentioned only on the third-to-last page
I will die in the house mentioned early in the second volume
The thumps remain the same

{ X } Continue reading “Kiss With Recorder and Killer” – Poetry by Jane Ormerod

“A Cat Maybe, Or Breaking” – Poetry by Michael Díaz Feito

Cat Eating a Bird – Pablo Picasso, 1939

“A Cat Maybe, Or Breaking” is one of three fantastically feral poems by Michael Díaz Feito in our Spring 2017 issue, now available in print for $6US or PDF for $3US.

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SOME PIGEON’S WINGS REST
ripped,
                  framing an empty
oval of sidewalk where its
body would be.

                                    Food, the
stripped joints even gory
like that look like food, I
feel,

          but the feathered arcs
splayed seem living like they
would fly at a touch,
                                              or react
to another thing’s movement,

the cold maybe, or barking.

It’s singular, worth a nod.
                  (See the space between, and how
                  easy, violent the crack along
                  that fine cartilaginous border is.)

Then today I stepped into a
stringy crunch,
                                    and stuck
to my step lifted a smaller
pair of otherwise
                                        identical
wings except younger. I
shook them   off the tread
and the question, Is what

kills the birds watching now?   passed

into then out of my mind,
                  because I was so late for lunch.

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MICHAEL DÍAZ FEITO is a Cuban American writer from Miami, Florida. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Axolotl, Big Echo, The Future Fire, Hinchas de Poesía, Milkfist, and Petrichor Machine. You can find more of Michael’s work at michaeldiazfeito.com and follow him on Twitter @diazmikediaz.

“The Last Cuban Militant” – Poetry by Juan Parra

illustration-to-for-the-voice-by-vladimir-mayakovsky-1920-11
Illustration To ‘For The Voice’ By Vladimir Mayakovsky – El Lissitzky, 1920

“The Last Cuban Militant” is one of two fiery & evocative poems by Juan Parra in our Winter 2017 issue.

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MY FATHER IS THE LAST CUBAN MILITANT.
Raul Castro is shaking his ass to hip hop,
And my father is still wearing his black beret, and green fatigues.
The cafés are jammed with clean-shaven youths
Whose heads are gel addicts, and bodies crave
The sexy stroke of European soccer jerseys.
A blind woman wants to discuss Rembrandt and Van Gogh with him,
And he doesn’t even want to believe that the lips that gently kiss
His swollen feet under the covers is Christ pranking him.

The Americans will bomb us one day; I’ll hide in the jungle.
The Europeans will have orgies on our beaches; I’ll pretend I’m blind.
I have a limited edition Makarov PM and a Mayakovsky poem,
I’ll fight the war being advertised for the last 50 years.

{ X } Continue reading “The Last Cuban Militant” – Poetry by Juan Parra

“Terminal” – Poetry by Ron Kolm

Grand Central Terminal - Max Weber, 1915
Grand Central Terminal – Max Weber, 1915

There’s a good old-fashioned New York City panic goin’ on in “Terminal,” Ron Kolm‘s riveting poem from our Winter 2017 issue.

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IT’S A QUIET DAY
In Grand Central Station
And I’m killing time
At the information counter
Looking stuff up
On the bookstore’s computer.
There’s a sudden commotion
Outside the front window
As a crowd of people
Runs up the ramp
Towards 42nd Street
Yelling and waving their arms.

Something must have gone
Horribly wrong
In the terminal—
Maybe someone has a gun
Or a bomb.
Perhaps it’s the terrorist attack
We’ve been anticipating
For so long.

And just like that
They all come running
Back down, still shouting,
Just like in a Marx Brothers
Movie, and this finally gets
The manager’s attention.
Now even he knows
That something bad
Has occurred

As panic sets in
He gives the order
To evacuate the store–
We ask the customers
To please leave quickly.
A guy I work with
Pulls me aside and says
He’s going to slip out
The rear entrance
Fuck everyone else!
I follow him
Through the tunnels
Over to the shuttle
Where we exit the station.

When we reach street level
I see a horrendous sight:
The sky is blood red
And though it’s summer
Snowflakes are falling
And coating everything.
I figure that a plane
Must have crashed
Into a nearby building.

All I want to do
Is flee this nightmare–
But we’ve been told
That if disaster strikes
We’re supposed to assemble
On the corner of 43rd
And Madison where
A roll call will be taken
To make sure
Everyone got out ok.

On my way there
I stop in a bar
To watch the news on TV
And finally find out
What really happened–
A Con Ed steam pipe exploded
Just a couple of blocks away
And shot debris high
Into the surrounding sky.
I toss back a few
Glued to the screen
And forget all about
The bookstore.

Days later
Con Edison announces
That the snow is asbestos,
And sets up a collection point
Where contaminated clothes
Can be dropped off
And put in garbage bags
To be buried somewhere–
But I can’t afford
To trash mine
So I simply wash them
And hope for the best.

{ X }

Continue reading “Terminal” – Poetry by Ron Kolm

“Send in the Clowns” – Poetry by Chris Muravez

Noah's Ark - Edward Hicks, 1846
Noah’s Ark – Edward Hicks, 1846

“Send in the Clowns” is Chris Muravez‘s vivid & irreverent poem from our Winter 2017 issue.

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PATROLS OF POPPY COLOR AND
kicked up under boot there
was once life no sunlight
in grand emoticons slightly bored
by rumors or mirrors.

Nothing. Not flower panties in early
morning sex scenes pursed for fucking.
There is no revolution. Deception by desire
and i fucking hate how sloppy my agency has become.

Flying fish stargaze briefly like mental notes
of we who have escaped the anthropocene.
Art is the new ark. Data mining and limp
dicks can’t stop it. Two breeding pairs
of every unstable mammal. They’ve covered
their perfection from shame. They’re as
invalid and embellished as a family of rabbits
praying the rosary
asking god and jesu christo
to clean this poet’s filthy mouth.

Tempus Fuckit.

Sideshow clowns squeeze through spandex
so sad they’ve lost light like genocide
and everyone in the museum is so white
so sans jouissance
so sans petit mort.

This crusade of fun passes out
piss cups for communion
for throats so rich with blood
their owners beg their rotten guts shut.
The body ceases to function
but they’re already dead.

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CHRIS MURAVEZ is a veteran and a poet who is tired of his own petulance. He is working on his MFA at the University of Notre Dame, where he spends most days locked in a dungeon waiting for the end of the world.

“The Number of Grains of Sand on Earth” – Poetry by Matt Alexander

The Abundant Earth - Diego Rivera, 1926
The Abundant Earth – Diego Rivera, 1926

“The Number of Grains of Sand on Earth” is Matt Alexander‘s epically awesome poem from our Winter 2017 issue.

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I GRAZE ON BEEF-FED GRASS.  Four packs
of cards left out. The clubs curdled,
so they’ll need to be discarded.  Diamonds
were fine over night; they last forever.
Retain the offal and you may find yourself
a soul departing.
Withstand enough peer pressure and perhaps
you’ll capture one as it flees.  At least
sense it.  What is it to be alive
if not to be sensate?  Life’s a game
of spades.  One pass through
the digestion system is never enough.  Sixty-four years
later and it’s never enough.
I’m sorry.  My language
has over sixty-four words

for a snowball’s chance in hell.
One for each year.  He loves you,
now, but the only way to know
if you two will make it for sure
is to appeal to sabermetrics.  Take heart:
the regressions look good.  They project
many years into the future.  Strategically adjusting the R2
results in our crossing the Rubicon
of significance. Traditionally, hell was depicted
as a cold place.  In Svalbard the candles
are expected to last only one night
but routinely last eight.  Miracles do exist.
They are called forests, and my language
has over sixty words for the way atheists
disavow them.  I appreciated your interrogation
very much, but I already discarded
all my guilt.  You won’t find my prints on it

Continue reading “The Number of Grains of Sand on Earth” – Poetry by Matt Alexander

“Aftermath” – Poetry by Anthony Cappo

Resistance, or The Black Idol - Frantisek Kupka, 1903
Resistance, or The Black Idol – Frantisek Kupka, 1903

“Catalogue all you resist / and call the wrecking crew / to the walls,” declares “Aftermath,” one of three trenchant poems by Anthony Cappo in our Winter 2017 issue.

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the only thing to do is simply continue
is that simple
yes, it is simple because it is the only thing to do
can you do it
yes, you can because it is the only thing to do

                                    –  Frank O’Hara

 

CATALOGUE ALL YOU RESIST
and call the wrecking crew
to the walls

When your ox is gored
on all sides
the kingdom isn’t come

The confectioner has taken
his whisks and mixing bowls
clean out of town

I’d rain elegies
in sympathy but I’ve
become so

shallow lately
I screw my muse
to the sticking point

roll over and fall asleep
Unbuckle your holster
We’ll broadcast our griefs

to the sky    Just because
I’ve sniffed out your tricks
doesn’t excuse mine

Somewhere a mighty engine rumbles
a curtain is rent
But here the air’s still

The ground a trembling silence
as scathed we set out again

{ X } Continue reading “Aftermath” – Poetry by Anthony Cappo