Category Archives: Poetry

“The Virus Shaves Her Legs” – Poetry by Katie Longofono

Woman With Stole – Jean Dupas, 1929

“The Virus Shaves Her Legs” is one of four gritty & enthralling poems by Katie Longofono in our Spring 2018 issue.

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ITCHING FURIOUSLY TO BE SMOOTH
like every woman
on the subway, she soaks
for 3 hours and sands down
to the skin. The virus is shocked
at how much it bleeds,
like her shins are crying out.
Must take some nerve
to go naked after dressing
with such intention — she grew
a stole at first to repulse
desire, covering herself
in animal skins and furs
lusty for red paint, and kept them
for the luxurious feel. Slick
and wiry, a boar or a mink.
The virus was a crop
of cacti or dragonfruit,
whatever spike goes right
to your head, she was dying
to get under your skin. Now
she takes off the armor,
goes raw and rightfully
invites you, if you want to
come in.

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KATIE LONGOFONO received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, where she directed the 2014 SLC Poetry Festival. She is the co-founder and co-curator of WEIRDD, an inclusive monthly reading series that honors weird, rigorous poetry with loving kindness, as well as compensation for their art. She also co-produces AmpLit Fest in partnership with Lamprophonic and Summer on the Hudson. She previously co-founded and curated Dead Rabbits Reading Series 2014-17. Longofono is the author of three chapbooks:  Angeltits (Sundress Publications 2016), Honey and Bandages (co-authored with Mary Stone; Folded Word Press 2015), and The Angel of Sex (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). Her work has appeared in The Boiler JournalTinderbox Poetry JournalBOAATglitterMOB, South Dakota Review, Juked, Slipstream, and more. She lives in Brooklyn.

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“If You Water a Horse” – Poetry by Abigail Welhouse

Corncob Horse in Outer Space – Maria Primachenko, 1978

“If You Water a Horse” is one of three exquisitely offbeat poems by Abigail Welhouse in our Spring 2018 issue.

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IF  YOU  WATER  A  HORSE,
flowers will grow from its spine.
They will die if you pick them. If they live, they will grow
into water lilies as large as goldfish aquariums,
then into beanstalks you will climb to giants.

If you dry off a horse, the desert will give you a message.
You will know when you find sand in your boots.
When you empty them, you will uncover a tree.
The tree is a gift from the giants.

{ X }

photo by Jason Koo

ABIGAIL WELHOUSE is the author of Bad Baby (dancing girl press), Too Many Humans of New York (Bottlecap Press), and Memento Mori (a poem/comic collaboration with Evan Johnston). Her poems have been published in The ToastYes PoetryGhost Ocean Magazine, and elsewhere. Subscribe to her Secret Poems at tinyletter.com/welhouse.

 

“Disclaimer” – Poetry by Hussain Ahmed

Whispers of Desert – Nicholas Roerich, 1925

“Disclaimer” is Hussain Ahmed‘s shadowy, whispery, profoundly meta poem from our Winter 2018 issue.

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THIS POEM BEGAN AT NIGHT

it should be read in whispers

this poem is black and not dying

it is not meant to nurse a bullet wound

this poem is not brown

it did not scale through barbwire fences

only to be reminded of how burnt pasta smells

this poem has no voice

it’s the wind blowing over the face of desert

don’t look it in the eyes when it tries to speak

this poem is a collection of pixels

not enough to light up a grieving heart

this poem sings in many unknown voices

it has hacked through your system

this poem should not have an end

this poem follows no rule, you become aware of its meters

when it stings like anopheles

this poem was born amongst the click of empty bottles

it survived avowal sobriety of savvy imageries

this poem needs home; it’s been fed but it wants to stay out cold

this poem wants to live on bread and alcohol alone

but it does not mean it is yellow, this poem is colorless

this poem wants to be written on a rocket going to space

this poem needs space to grow

this poem should have no sexual preference; it has nothing to do  with God.

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Continue reading “Disclaimer” – Poetry by Hussain Ahmed

excerpts from “in her own words” – Poetry by Valerie Hsiung

Fate, Life, Truth, Beauty – Georg Pauli, 1905

From our Winter 2018 issue, here are four tantalizingly poetic excerpts from Valerie Hsiung‘s in her own words.

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TAKE THOSE HANDCUFFS OFF OF ME. All I hear. I am a penniless billionaire. I am the granddaughter to a squandered fortune. What would she say? She would say to not be so lazy today, tomorrow you can be lazy. She would say to walk clear into the burning fields.

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AND THEN. IT CHANGED… Became too quiet between us, what was left for us to trace went unfulfilled. The need to not speak too soon is the need to survive as prey. Cursed us all but not on purpose. Those are nice shoes! Oh no make no mistake, I was definitely flirting with you. So we’re both too old for this. At least me. All purpose flower. Black tea on an empty stomach kind of seasick.

Make believe. And later,       ropes them in.

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DECIDED NOT TO CHUCK IT ALL AWAY AFTER ALL. But, the offer
may still stand… And…sometimes, it’s good to let yourself be bad… She smiles.
Paper sails mean paper moon.
Can you picture it? She sits at a desk, and then
she gets up from it, the desk, smiling, identifying the source
inside her, both old and violent or nostalgic and haunting inside as a river or jukebox or when pharmacies still sold ice cream, yet on the outside, all you see
is something timeless. She cannot see this. She feels she is vanishing
before them, before herself.

{ X }

WHEN I LIE, EVERYONE BELIEVES ME. Because that’s what they want to hear,that’s what they’ve always. wanted. to hear.

But when I tell the truth?

everyone begins to call me a liar. Their liar.

That’s when the poison begins to take hold.

{ X } Continue reading excerpts from “in her own words” – Poetry by Valerie Hsiung

“The Dead/s of My DNA” – Prose Poetry by Nooks Krannie

The Past – Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, 1907

“The Dead/s of My DNA” is a surreal & evocative prose poem by Nooks Krannie from our Winter 2018 issue.

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THE SUN WAS INHABITED BY A THOUSAND FOOT HUMAN SKIN, spinning charkha and bottomless teeth. My father a baldness in cotton tents, spun orange. I stole a wild tire gum stick flavored with artificial liquor squeezed from a plant based gelatin. Pictures of a green skinned parent cursing an awkward smile, a fork in both eyes. It’s radish stew for dinner. When I was 3 I kissed a stray cat inside my mouth, my father fished out a dog spirit from the garden hose, yellow udders in pimples of charcoal areolas. My first dog was called Tommy and he was sold into slavery before the malignant carved a C soup inside a bald man.

Mother, mother, I yelled, there’s a plastic tub swallowing bouquets of pubescent flowers on my laptop. Mangoes are humming between tart gums and threads of nature are lost like kites in a midsummer god race. Mother, mother, if you have a face, feel free to breathe on splendid carpet, the stove is your mecca taught in Farsi script. Mother, mother, your mother is hanging out in the bathtub of the 70’s, silk blouse and cashmere saree in red velvet icing, her hair is an allspice fashion and the doctor said she can rest no more. Mother, mother, save me, your sister said I stole her lips, she’s feeding me shrimp pasta and her skin burnt in the sun for money.

Parents manufactured in 4 inch hands, a logo of far east on the wasted back. Flash off. I lost them ‘rents and now a silhouette by Michaels gel pen is all / I found a mouse in my closet with my 4 inch hands, it had pink ears and its tail was a 40 year old janitor, I left it there and closed the door. It’s been years now and I swear it lives under the false promise of my mirrored gush, neat and fallow like the names of me before me.

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Continue reading “The Dead/s of My DNA” – Prose Poetry by Nooks Krannie

“Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War – Salvador Dali, 1936

“Facebook – 8/21/17” is one of five fabulously dada-esque poems by William Lessard from our Winter 2018 issue.

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AMERICA’S LONGEST-RUNNING WAR? /the Civil War, my lovelies

                        anyone who thinks otherwise is misinformed by #fact

*overheard at DUNKIN’ DONUTS this morning*       i hate when people do things, and they work out                                                                                         it makes me feel like i should do things

                        someday the robots will do the Civil Warring for us             until then, history falls down the stairs carrying a tray of shoes for lunch

=========>the Civil War franchise, mansplained as your dad eating Pepperoni Combos—

  1. in the original movie the Confederacy lost then put up bronze participation trophies in all the parks
              B. like Star Wars, all the sequels are the exact same movie, just played in reverse

                    i like my Civil War with cheese                      you prefer yours on a Kaiser bun

America is loath to let a profitable franchise go, but sometimes not-dumpster-fire life events
                    do happen:
                              your dog barks into an Amazon dot™, buys you a Prius
—or, on an evening when you see ghosts turning in the snow outside your window,
                                        a wife/husband/lover/stranger
                                                                                                        turns
                                                                                a key
                                                  /key that only they can see

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Continue reading “Facebook – 8/21/17” – Poetry by William Lessard

“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp

Apollo 10 Earthrise – NASA, 1969

“Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” is one of three cosmically creepy poems by E.B. Schnepp in our Winter 2018 issue.

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THIS ISN’T A SONG THAT LEAVES YOU, it’s a virus
entering ears only to settle in your bones, Houston,

it rings there, this black hole cry—we’ll hear it
long after we’re planted back on earth. Houston,

at night it will leave you pacing dark halls waiting
for whatever is calling to find you. Houston,

the captain said it was a song, slow pitched rock-n-roll,
but we both know it was a scream. Houston,

it’s unlike anything heard before—but
we can’t tell you this, you can’t hear us, Houston

we’re orbiting other-sides of space, we’re unsure
we’ll ever hear something human again. Houston,

we’re crying for you, deliver us
from this dark, deliver us, Houston

from this radio silence, its static
pop and wheeze. Houston—

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Continue reading “Apollo 10: The Dark Side Tapes” – Poetry by E.B. Schnepp