Posts by twocities

From Issue 15: The Wild Part

Barbara Carlson

To you, half-witted sleepwalker walking on stones along the river under a black wind, what is it that still lights the blanks between your dreams? The secrets that haunt your life? Kept in the darkness for your shawl? Is there a thread of inmost longing that guides your mystery? And will you let the shawl unravel to nothing? You, leaving your shoes on the shore of all that is empty & vast between lives. The shoes will hold rain & let night overtake them, shoes that once held you for all that you thought you were & could …

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From Issue 15: September

 

David Sam

So green goes
pregnant underground
or flies with wind—
divine botanical passion

We darken this
with restlessness
for other equinoxes

How to vanish
turning away from such
an unreliable map

Where in the end
my likeness
will walk without me
while the world has changed

 

David Anthony Sam lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. He has four collections and his poetry has appeared in over 70 journals and publications. His chapbook Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson was the 2016 Grand Prize winner of GFT Press Chapbook Contest.…

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Featured: The Material Things

Todd Mercer

Listen to the poem below:

 

We’re almost to the territory when the river takes our wagon.
Also swept downstream: two fine horses harnessed to it, the team
I’d planned to break the ground with on our homestead claim.
Susannah stands dripping on the bank, reaching for a fallback notion
that fits with the loss of provisions. She’s the brains in this operation.
The bad call to ford it here, that choice is on me. I know without it being said.
But the hands that plucked the children from the top of the rapids—
those were …

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Featured: At My Desk on a Saturday Night

Samuel Vargo
It’s ten o’clock
And I’m at my desk.

Again.

But I don’t know what to write.
Though I know tonight I don’t want to work

on the novel that’s working me.

And I don’t have anything to write about.
But for once, I want to write short. Concise.
Something with punch and flair. Something
Cool. That’s the winning writing recipe –
Like a poem that I wrote when I was 26,
And in love, and very, very drunk.

That’s how all my poetry started

that was accepted by presses years ago.

When the editors wrote back,

Telling me …

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Featured: Her Full Heart

Dawn Pink

 

Snap of the scissors
Around the frayed twine.
Yellowed card stock tag reading
KINDLING
Flits to the ground.
The brown sack’s mouth yawns
And sighs out bundles,
Hitting the carpet with the sounds
Of an August storm.
Ribbons holding the folds together
Every crayola color.
Dusted letters creak as they unfold,
The creases well worn
Out pours decades
Of heart’s blood and tears,
Bravado and tenderness,
To a name unrecognizable
Though the handwriting is clearly hers.
Hundreds of bows
Thousands of pages
Signed with her everlasting love
And never addressed.

 

Dawn Alicia Pink studied Dramatic Theory …

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Featured: 2.51pm in the wasteland

Sarah Grout

Listen to the poem below:

 

an aluminium can rolls
lacking purpose caught on an
intermittent wind, it moves
forward five paces, then dawdles
then rolls back slowly
the gradient of the road
unexpected without the wind;

misplaced, a flag flaps, torn to
immaterial pieces, but still hanging on
high, its purpose a series
of nods back and forward
across the steel pole,
clanging, asking the unwritable
question;

graffiti in block orange letters
spelling out death to immigrants
screams across the brick
walls, crumbling from the weight
of the concerns of the before,
but fluorescent, bright in …

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Featured: Waking Up

Seth Jani

Listen to the poem below:

 

It’s where the border breaks
Into a mirage of daffodils.

Where the water shines
Like stretched metal.

Where a blue finch’s whims
Leads you on a summer’s day.

It emerges from the fog-addled eye
Of the deep circumference,

A jolt in the brain’s machinery,
A passing through.

From the dark, collective waters,
The memory-voiding sea,

It gradually appears:
Green motes, neural tinge of light,

The beautiful vehicle of the body’s motion.
We move through the familiar space

Piecing together the painted fragments:
Trees, cities, your brother’s rusted car.

The entire wavering …

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Call for Submissions: Rural Writing for March Issue

Two Cities Review has a call for submissions fora special themed issue appearing in March. In light of the election, we wanted to tackle the divide between the rural and urban experience in this country. We are looking for stories, poems, and essays that capture rural or small-town life in some way, or engage with the divide between the urban and the rural. You can submit here: twocitiesreview.com/submit.

Many writers these days are city mice, but that’s not all that you write about. So if you have stories about the rural, please do send!
Our podcast is also growing …
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Featured: Home After Three Weeks Away

Tim DeJong

On a muggy August night
soundtracked by cicada choruses
we speak in nods and murmurs
as the children cling,
sleep-warmed weights against our shoulders.
The sprinkler system stutters its hello.

Later with drinks on the patio
we say little, if only because so
little needs saying after such
a long journey. It’s as though
these shapes in their familiarity
crowd out the need for words:
the porch lights, the gas grill, the patio stones.
Here where we left them
are the trappings of our lives,
and if whatever’s buried
under still-gleaming covers and screens
is trying to proclaim

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Letter from the Editors, Winter 2016, Issue 12

Dear Readers,

We’re going home for the holidays in our December issue. But what is home? And how do we get there anyway? Our crop of writers is conflicted about the nostalgia of homecoming and the sometimes dark places the journey can take us.

Winter in the city can be cruel. The writers in this issue expose us to the small and large sadnesses of people we pass in the street, whether it’s a woman wandering, lost in the throes of dementia, or a brutal subway accident that we wish we’d never seen. A bystander exhorts us in one poem, …

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