by Sean Denmark
A field disgorged,
to the bishop led there
by a star, a saint’s
remains, a shallow
to attract ever more
distant folks until
the catchment of
St. James’s bones
& more & more
farmers along the way
through their wheat.
Pilgrims attract coins
& miracles attract
pilgrims & a solid
miracle—a healing, say,
of some medieval’s
a little chapel along
the path its wings, to flourish
& to crow, till some
fresher miracle erupted
somewhere, draining off
the blessing seekers.
Whoever has will be
given more & whoever
doesn’t have, even …
Olu thinks it’s funny how hard white people try to avoid calling someone black.
It is normal to have no faith in the justice system
And nice to be surprised
Although that is not what happened today.
I go to the Bronx in my best white guilt
Convinced everyone black hates me. Why not?
Just the other day I was walking Charlie
And a black man approached me quickly
With his hands in his pockets.
I was scared.
Charlie wasn’t scared.
Charlie sniffed a bag. Ayanna gives me a ride to
The train station because it is dark …
Off Church Ave, old men do cartwheels
on the asphalt of a middle school playground.
When they begin their Tai-Chi, they remove
jackets, & smooth the wrinkles out of the air.
I come courtside with Anthony- tarnished skills,
freshly inflated ball. We lay our jackets & keys
on the fence beside our water & any pride,
trying to recall the form & follow through.
Our opponents are ourselves, until three
ten-year olds demand a game. They talk smack,
have handles, rebounding elbows, cursing
like those they’ve observed, but play hard, fair.
A good shoot-around follows, as pigeons, the …Read article
So green goes
or flies with wind—
divine botanical passion
We darken this
for other equinoxes
How to vanish
turning away from such
an unreliable map
Where in the end
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.…Read article
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 …
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 in …
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