My heart echoes these old haunts. Your words are stretched to impalpable deeds. Yes, flame can produce ash—leave a trail of soot in my mouth as I try to find my way through these catacombs— When skeletal figments dance in your reflection, tell me there is no lie or jest. The path treaded is marked by poetry that falls within each step of your movement, so please be true.
Tonya Eberhard recently graduated from the University of Missouri. She currently lives in Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Fauna Quarterly, Algebra of Owls, The Commonline Journal, Dirty Chai, Yellow Chair Review, Open Minds Quarterly, and many others.
“Reader” first appeared in First Literary Review–East.
and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana,
solitary in a wide flat space,
uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not
Oh, Sunflower (for Lang)
socket clear & skeleton thick–
w/roots every which way
in tin cans
to gently stew in…
the foto finish shows
you’re black & white,
a stalk in the night,
you stood alone
with it all running through,
a rail yard,
a bottle cap,
were big enough for two
& two more.
You led the pack
your beard pointed.
Even with strangers,
you were never alone,
On the bus.
Trailing the tears.
lines of smoke
into a hat.
It was a party:
Lang gone wild.
Take your stalk & go.
back into family,
forward into history,
with a paper bag
that stars fall out of
Look, there’s a penny.
No, it’s a dime.
I’m not going to write this poem,
I’m through writing poems,
I’m leaving this poem
for someone else to write,
I start by burning to change the world,
now the world changes around me
in strange and unexpected ways,
I refuse to write this poem,
let it write itself in blood and anger,
I’ve done the readings in backroom bars
the M1 hard-nose hitchhike down to Soho
done the cut-&-paste riot punk-zines
with real scissors sniffing real glue
done the getting high and all the lows
the bare-floor cold beds and overnight girls
the acid folk-rock bi-friends with benefits,
the solidarity for this protest against that
the jazz Beat gurus and Dada-shock porn,
the new worlds of sweat and BeBop wired
to cellular connections into eternity,
but I’m not gonna write this poem,
I’m through writing poems,
words won’t come together
they retch like vomit in my throat,
in a time of darkening dreams
poems must ignite the sky, but
it’s time for someone else to write them,
I’m not going to write this poem…
Andrew Darlington is a poet and ephemera bloodhound residing in Ossett, which in the first millennium was part of the Kingdom of Elmet.
Jim Lang passed away some days back… he gave art tours at the Cleveland Clinic, which is one of the best galleries in the nation. He published a considerable amount of rags and bag-o-zines, rethought what a book was back at Coach House in O Canada before settling in Columbus then Cleve. he threw pots, practiced the art of Raku and took photos of countless musicians, artists and poets in – or passing through Cleveland, spanning many a decade. A memorial of sorts here…pass on by and drop a line or twenty.
A tuft of hair From a Halloween wig, Something dropped, Perhaps, Not an egg shell, though If I took my glasses Off I might have believed, I might have even believed That the grass Wasn’t littered with dusky Flowers, tempered In their whiteness By the burnished nub Of their stems And as the light fails On this day Of Independence The lightning flickers, trumping Our fireworks, The leafless tree in the distance On the other side Of the iron fence, not Dead, but Passing through its own Lifelessness Like a wall, Its lowest branches Too far out of reach To hang a sign Because climbing Is finally hopeless, Playing the piano Is finally hopeless, Picking a flower Is all we can ask for So I stand And open the screen Door, My chest rising To the occasion Of blue
Tom Rechtin is a poet-lawyer (but mostly a poet) who lives in Fort Myers, Florida with his wife, two kiddies and cat named after Frieda Kahlo’s worser half.
way laid, in the fields of nobodys vison,
you turn me on and i let your
hands wander where. my
heads comfy in the crook
of your arm. you said go long and i caught it easy.
pigskin never felt so good in the hands. yore tales of
the QB hart attack halted me in white deer tracks.
i want to be your three times girlfriend
hawks flying over while the quiet traffic
lands everywhere and we wonder has
anyone lain here before, just like this
wandering us in the grass.
tulip oak and beech leaves
frame ringlets of both of our brown hair that
wide sky reveals a thin lip of
cloud pressed pink by the cheek of sun rising
that little want you now foster,
a still wet field, our own for it is
early, and what is more sure, for it?
the hot august pavement?
the punishment of waiting burns some real
serge gold along our prone imaginations
i notice each myriad leaf points up
innumerable hands cupping
i am mystified that each rough side
faces us and you read my thots,
you say, as a child (to another child),
its going to rain, and i bury my face
in your dry hands.
Bree‘s latest book is And i Am Also Invasive (Birds and Bones 2017). She made a calendar of her collages and a book of them is forthcoming, thanks to the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Dark wood and bright brass,
a still cross or propeller,
the fan I watched
hang from my ceiling
for years is my father.
Glad for our existence,
we stare past homely walls,
ignore who we are, center
on something under stars.
I killed him once, my father,
with anger hammered into a tree.
Surely that let him know me.
Since he died, I don’t hate him,
rotten fruit that spawned me.
My ceiling fan doesn’t have
a bald head and greasy neck.
It is elegant, a hand me down.
My father wasn’t elegant.
I looked past him most
my life. I find that sanity
kills our Satans and death
kills our devils, but
love lasts, laughing.
The same wind that pushes clouds
across the river clears the sky.
The yew and holly dip and drop
caught snow. The wind blows
straight over a curved plane; hope
mixes with futility, colors on a palette.
The day seems to move, or does our planet
wobble, diving always out to space,
drawn back in by gravity? It’s serious,
this mill. We infest and call it glorious
existence. It is both depravity and joy.
I do not live by life alone, growth
and atrophy. Without the finite soil,
the beaches, canyons, mountains, space,
I am not fed. Allowed to prosper
through these seasons, we erode
but we are filled with possibility.
More than that: actuality, a force
so massive that it doesn’t move,
a cloud containing wind, that
shifts and folds back on itself,
the kitchen counter, bowl, and spoon.
Rae Cobbs is a prolific published and performing poet, educator and freelance writer in Louisville, KY.