It’s ten o’clock
And I’m at my desk.
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 …Read article
Snap of the scissors
Around the frayed twine.
Yellowed card stock tag reading
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.
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
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 …
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 …Read article
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
Olivia Vande Woude
Listen to the poem below:
Wears a Nike hat
Scar on his left wrist
3 centimeters long.
Inserts the key
of a chain with a yellow pig dangling
5 carefully serrated pieces of gold.
We are a lot of people in this country,
I am from the Northern part.
Likes the quiet
says it’s good for old people.
Told him I do too.
That’s good, that’s a great feature.
Yellow wool lined teeth
Camel colored shirt, striped
Coffee and cigarette breath
on the floor.
Clock …Read article
The last train is waiting at the station
With all tension, all motion stilled
On this night of grey- ice, hoar frost,
Sometimes it is enough just to exist.
On the longer journeys time stops
Is as fixed as every station clock
Under starlight, when nothing stirs.
Perhaps you were the green eyed girl
As if weary of life’s travails
As if weary of all your lives?
Briefly we shared
Our parallel lines.
Perhaps on some other track
We know each other?
Have shared our dreams
And sit together
Watching the snow flurries …Read article
I said you were like a horse who was an old zippered suitcase & when you asked why, I said it was because when I was massaging the musculature under your skin, imagining how those parts must have once performed astounding feats & carouseled from caravan to caravan, I thought about what must have happened out there under the billow’s blow because I could feel your muscles flexing for the suspense of a suspended fall in the shroud of a shadow of a circus whisper,
& your nerves —those bundles of fiber— told my prying fingers of …Read article
Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios
Who would believe they could swim
in warm waters with us
brushing against our legs?
Who would believe
that they are so winged and fierce,
to peck at our bones?
They crack us open to the light
to burn away fat satisfaction.
They are the water-wings,
the darning needles, the measuring stick,
the constant tick of the clock at midnight.
They are the broken dolls, the extinguished candles.
the suitcase packed,
the train dragging its long syllable over the hill.
They live in our palms and behind our knees,
at the bottom of our prayers.…
W. Vandoren Wheeler
Read the poem below:
My first time
on a motorcycle,
just after I found
the heft and swoop
of its balance, a wasp
struck, clung to,
then crawled inside
As I wobbled the machine
onto the narrow
shoulder, the insect straddled
my left eyeball. Its legs inter-
laced with my lashes.
I can still see, but
every other thin thing
looks half wasp.
My new wife, mid-sentence,
walked out—our first night
apart. I can’t sleep.
I tangle our sheets imagining
her swerving, bleary-eyed,
through our neighborhood,
through a guardrail…
Insect feet prick
my eyelids …