Category Archives: Poetry

“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.

{ X }

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.

{ X }

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

“Evolution” – Poetry by Francine Witte

evolution-of-man
Human Evolution – Octavio Ocampo

“Evolution” is one of two brilliantly biting poems by Francine Witte in our Winter 2017 issue.

{ X }

FIRST, THE APE,
paw-digits poking
at sticks.  Monkeybrain
seemed to want
a fire.

Later, early
man.  Thin coat
of intelligence against
the cold.  Someone stumbled,

flint against rock
and sparkshower tumbled
into the unlanguaged night.

Now, there’s us.
Filthy with fires
and bloated with words.
We are scorched with war
and we say nothing.

Future man
looks back on us
and shivers.

{ X }
Continue reading “Evolution” – Poetry by Francine Witte

“evermore” – Poetry by Lonnie Monka

Eternity - Mikalojus Ciurlionis, 1906
Eternity – Mikalojus Ciurlionis, 1906

“evermore” is one of two edgy & profound poems by Lonnie Monka in our Fall 2016 issue.

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PRAYING FOR LIGHT
                while pooping in the dark outside
                                 a car approaches
people often anger
                in an inverse proportion to their true faith
& faith can’t help
               but support absolutely everything
just as G-d’s footprint must be too big to see
              realists don’t think
they are just sub-conscious statisticians
              trying to be helpful
so what is eternity without thinking beings
              forever trying to understand
the end of time
                 the bottom of the sea
                                  no toilet paper?

{ X } Continue reading “evermore” – Poetry by Lonnie Monka

Our 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominations

Two and a Pushcart - Kazimir Malevich, 1911
Two and a Pushcart – Kazimir Malevich, 1911

Our nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize, which will honor work published by little magazines & small presses in 2016, are:

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“The Cake” – short fiction by Jonathan Wlodarski (FLAPPERHOUSE #12, Winter 2017, coming December 21)
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Congratulations & best of luck to all our nominated writers, and thank you for contributing your phenomenal work to our weird little zine!

a prose poem by Nicole McCarthy

Memory - Rene Magritte, 1948
Memory – Rene Magritte, 1948

From our Fall 2016 issue, here is a poignant prose poem about the peculiar powers of memory by experimental writer Nicole McCarthy.

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I WANT TO TELL YOU A STORY. Or maybe
a   memory.   When  I  was  a  child  I   built
forts     out     of     couch     cushions     and
ratty      blankets.     I     packed   food  and
flashlights     and     books     and     stayed
quiet    so    no    one    would    find   me.  I
stowed   away   stacks  of   coins,   beaded
necklaces,     love      letters      and      diary
entries-    things    I    needed    to    protect,
or    to    hide.

Overnight    the     clips       would       snap.
Blankets     would    lose     their     footing
under    boxes.    Holes    in    my    fortress
would    appear,   and   I’d    be    revealed.
I    sat   exposed,   in   the   middle   of   my
ruins, wondering what I did wrong.

{ X }

I   built   a   fortress   in  my   body   out   of
words       and       cement.       Incantations
reinforce          walls          composed          of
affirmations.         Graffiti         scars         my
intestines        like         stretch         marks—
remnants   of    damage    left    before    the
partitions went up.

A    city    of    memories    hum    in    a
molecular cacophony.

The   blueprints   of   my   body   are   filed
away   for   safe   keeping.  Memories   are
currency,       we       exchange       one     for
another.

To get closer or to pull away.

To heal or to harm.

{ X }

“Would you ever consider memory
suppression?”

“Is that possible?”

“Maybe. Through therapy, or trial
drugs, or shock treatment.”

“You’d be willing to damage your
body to clear your mind?”

“I’m just asking would you do it.”

“I don’t think I have any memories
I’d need to suppress.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

{ X }

You kiss my knees to part them and
whisper “what are you hiding?”

You outstretch your hand and enter
without a map.

Once inside, you search through my
blueprints, in nooks and valleys,
down short hallways to scale, for
what is bitter on my tongue.

How long will you stay now that
you’ve opened the vault?

Do you see yourself, anywhere, in
the city of memory?

{ X }

Continue reading a prose poem by Nicole McCarthy