Category Archives: Poetry

“Head Tree,” “Life On Mars,” and “Fitting” – Prose Poetry by Satoshi Iwai

A large pigeon had flown into her face – Charles Robinson, 1907

“Head Tree,” “Life On Mars,” and “Fitting” are three psychedelically surreal prose poems by Satoshi Iwai from our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

“Head  Tree” 

AFTER A LONG AND INSULAR COMA, sitting up in the half-melted bed, I find an apple tree has grown on my head. Each wall of the room is covered with the fun house mirrors which reflect the tapestry of deformed leaves. Thirteen years have passed while I had been sleeping.

The tree has a dozen branches which bear a hundred fruits. The shadow of the trunk tells me an eternal noon. Hiding behind the leaves, a wise snake tells me the sweet pain of molting. When a cool breeze comes I find that I have already gotten my ex-wife out of my head.

I wonder how many apples have grown to birds on my head until I die. Fishes die in the sea, but birds don’t die in the sky. Still, all I can do is forget every summer that has gone. When the warm rain stops falling, the first cloned passenger pigeon will fly away from my tree.

“Life  on  Mars”

YOU DON’T NEED TO WONDER why that old man can paint pictures so quickly, or why he and every old man appeared in his pictures look so alike. He doesn’t care about how his pictures look like, because he has lost his sight entirely since he was a little child.

The passersby don’t care about his blindness. They admire him just because he paints his self portraits without any photograph. At the abandoned bus stop, sitting on the half-broken bench, he depicts hundreds of his own faces under the sun, even under the new moon.

He is homeless, and he believes that he is homeless on Mars. Martians have three eyes, so he is confused every time when he can’t touch the third eye on his forehead. He is always in the dusk. Dusk is called mirrors on Mars. He always feels blue. Blue is called infinity on Mars.

“Fitting”

DON’T STAY TOO LONG IN THIS FITTING ROOM. The mirror in front of you reflects you wearing a white sweater and the mirror behind you that reflects you wearing a white sweater and the mirror in front of you that reflects the mirror behind you that reflects you wearing a white sweater and the mirror in front of you that reflects the mirror behind you that reflects you wearing a black sweater. If you answer your cell phone, someone tells you in a very, very hoarse voice. You are what you wear. Then, there is no one in this fitting room. The mirror in front of your absence reflects your absence and the mirror behind your absence that reflects your absence and the mirror in front of your absence that reflects your absence behind your absence that reflects your absence and the mirror in front of your absence that reflects a crumpled white sweater on the floor.

{ X }

SATOSHI IWAI was born and lives in Kanagawa, Japan. He writes poems in English and in Japanese. His English work has appeared in Heavy Feather ReviewSmall Po[r]tionsHotel AmerikaPoetry Is Dead, and elsewhere.

Advertisements

“Self-Adulation as a Note Accompanied with a Bouquet of Feathers” – Poetry by Wale Ayinla

The Shipwreck – Henri-Edmond Cross, 1907

“Self-Adulation as a Note Accompanied with a Bouquet of Feathers” is one of two surreal & spiritual poems by Wale Ayinla in our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

TODAY, MY BODY FLOATS IN MAGENTA AIR;
and everything around me is falling
like the words rolled under mother’s sleeves.
Imagine that I am returning to a fever;
of green grass soaked in typhoid bedspread.
My sight tightens mother’s lips
as music. Frail fingers squeeze
her palms into a collage of dark hooks
and sirens, while the syringe buries itself.
Sometimes I feel like I might fold the night
into my armpit and run the length of the
city as a ghost, nevertheless, something draws me
back to my mother’s words like a magnet;
like an oath. (Never leave a widow opened
as a window.) A chimney of old wears
sewn on skin made with footprints.
I hold this memory firmly the same way
God tucks his secrets above the sky
under His soles. One day I will
hold a country and name it dreams.
Look at me the way you look a river
traveling with your face with words
holding you to a grudge. Do you see me
holding the hands of a father who is a heaven
away? Come, as a river paddling the body
into a shipwreck. I live here.

{ X }

WALE AYINLA writes from the ancient city of Abeokuta in Nigeria. His work appears or is forthcoming in Takahe, Kalahari ReviewVagabond CityThe Rising PhoenixExpoundand Dwarts. He is @Wale_Ayinla on Twitter and the founding editor of Dwarts Magazine.

“Beyond Love” – Poetry by J. David

After the Death – Wilhelm Kotarbinski, circa 1900

“Beyond Love” is J. David‘s macabre yet moving poem from our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

                                 — After Emma Bolden

IF THE SAINTS ARE TO BE BELIEVED then this body is a thin line
we walk between dead children stacked like xylophones
across a sad and lonely street. I am the only throat in this town.
The lights have been out for years, whole blocks are built from paper-

weights— the kind of city you keep with an envelope and mangoes
on the dresser. Through the broken of the glass I can see the body
as a wire, tapped between two lighting poles I am always looking past
in the dark. I look at you and whisper fuck me till the sky turns blue.

Isn’t it magical how the dead can still celebrate? How I can still believe
in this body as the space I take up between you and what I lose
next. I do not regard myself beyond love, but we all imagine death
to be a kinder bed than grief. We all lack proof enough
to make us stay.

{ X }

J. DAVID is from Cleveland, Ohio and serves as poetry editor for Flypaper Magazine.

“Thirteen Reasons” – Poetry by Matthew Meriwether

Pure Reason – Rene Magritte, 1948

“Thirteen Reasons” is one of three trenchant yet tender poems by Matthew Meriwether in our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

BECAUSE ALL MY MONEY IS MADE OF MY DEAD SKIN

Because I am still trying to tell a long story to the dinner guests with a fly buzzing around my hair

Because I run toward the mirror every time I think I might look like a person

Because I’m still making eggs then throwing them in the trash, their bright yellow like daffodils or a girl in a dress laughing in a closet

Because it’s fun to pretend to have courage

Because it’s fun to pretend to die

Because I prefer spinning around an empty house

Because I wear a dress in the summer to trick all the dirty boys

Because my bucket of treats for the boys is a pile of my dead skin

Because I have sewn my skin into dresses, for tricks and for spinning around as if I were dumb

Because it’s fun to pretend you’re an unknown genius then vomit in the champagne bottle you brought with you

Because it’s fun to think of yourself as already dead, or as not having a body

Because I run to your house every time I think I know my name

{ X }

MATTHEW MERIWETHER is a writer and performer living in Fort Wayne, IN. He writes and performs music under the name Fresh Tar, and hosts events in cities across the country, including the reading series ‘Life is Sad, Here is Someone,’ and ‘A Party for All of Our Questions,’ an experimental social gathering. Matthew is recently the author of Knock Knock, a chapbook of narrative prose (Dandelion Review, 2018).

“omen” – Poetry by Monica Lewis

Winged Creature on Silvery Ground – Vajda Lajos, 1938

“omen” is Monica Lewis‘s beautiful, blooming poem from our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

A FLUTTER OF WINGS CAUGHT
stuck inside a rain soaked gutter
i count the seconds between
each beating

the tree they thought dead last year
now specked with tiny blooms on every arm
a hundred branches splitting themselves open
to flower the life that though
encased, all winter months,
never stopped breathing

this land where beauty lays herself
out like an easy lover, but
between every blink, she reminds,
for every inch given there is an inch
taken, and the seconds between
grow longer,
the beating of wings
grows weaker

he steps out into the mud, sweet, slow
heavy boots toward the life caught drowning
as five turns into ten turns into twenty seconds between
my own beating turns to a bleeding
and the gray fog clouds the mountains until
they are sucked into sky

and i can no longer see the blue or the green

but he returns
points a thick, steady finger to the elm tree
just as the night is all i start to see, i hear,
“there, there, there she goes” and a bird,
not our bird, but a bird with unwetted wings
flits, flies, and flutters above

and the branches are blooming
and the gutter is silent
and i remember amy’s words:
“the woman on the ledge will
ask herself a question, the
question that occurred to that man
in Bogotá. he wondered, how we know
that what happens to us
isn’t good?”

{ X }

MONICA LEWIS lives in Brooklyn, New York and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Both her fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Apogee Journal’s Perigee, and The Margins, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Boiler Journal, PUBLIC POOL, Yes, Poetryand(b)OINK, among others. She is a VONA/Voices alumna and has been twice nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017 and 2018. Her full collection of poetry, Sexting the Dead, will be published later this year by Unknown Press. Follow her on Twitter at mclewis22.

“The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” – Poetry by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain

The Voice – Agnes Lawrence Pelton, 1930

“The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” is one of two fantastically freaky poems by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain in our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

THE MOON WILL ALWAYS BE PRETTY WHEN IT’S OLD,
at least until it breaks the earth into pieces.
Flings more grappling hooks into each of our eyes.

It all ages quickly. Tomorrow is the day the leaped will
invade my larynx and contribute
to my paranoia. How are we supposed to know
what constitutes a healthy or unhealthy
size or shape of our own voice box?
How do we know if it’s even our own?

Sometimes I wonder where my voice comes from
and where it will go next.
My stomach keeps gurgling like it wants to be my voice.

I don’t think my stomach can handle American Cheese anymore.
It feels loaded with toxic chemicals.
When she asked me if she could change my voice for me,
I was not suspect I was grateful I am tired of this thud.
She got out a large carving knife.
What was she going to cut out

and what would it be replaced with?
Maybe she would somehow ascend
the tired parts of me to the moon

{ X }

Continue reading “The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” – Poetry by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain

“Flu in the Time of Allergies” – Poetry by Juan Parra

The Ninth Plague, Darkness – Gustave Dore, circa 1877

“Flu in the Time of Allergies” is Juan Parra‘s darkly infectious poem from our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

PLUCK OUR EYEBROWS IN THE DARK.
Stare at the horizon, that place where
Another place is born away from our dark corner

Yield.
Dig furrows and
Lick each other’s knees and elbows in our dark corner

Dance.
Cast voodoo spells on the rotten berries
Love me in our dark corner

Grind the dead skin from the souls of my feet on my shadow.
Incite nightmares to suicide using our umbilical cords
In our dark corner

Sneeze prudently so as not to wake the doves
Sleeping on the homeless dog
And kill the fever with a cold shower in our dark corner

Hold your breath
Transform from flesh to ashes, from ashes to specter.
Play like old people disguised as happy in our dark corner.

The morning that is born
Lame, heels broken, bruised limps
Hush its tears and lure it
To our dark corner.

{ X }

JUAN  PARRA is a Cuban-American poet. His work has featured in the Indiana Review, Basalt, The Lake, Pear Drop, Driftwood Press, 4ink7, FLAPPERHOUSE, and REAL.