Poetry

On Confessionalism

By JOHN MURILLO

Not sleepwalking, but waking still,
with my hand on a gun, and the gun
in a mouth, and the mouth
on the face of a man on his knees.
Autumn of ’89, and I’m standing
in a section 8 apartment parking lot,
pistol cocked, and staring down
at this man, then up into the mug
of an old woman staring, watering
the single sad flower to the left
of her stoop, the flower also staring,

Avery FarmerOn Confessionalism
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Bounty

By RICARDO ALBERTO MALDONADO



21 de septiembre de 2017: “pero estamos vivos”

One: home
Two: home                  dos tres dos tres          two: Mother.

One lápiz. One pen. One ocean between us. Six: Home.

Seven: FEMA: four thousand more,
I recite.

I state I am large; we are to be
larger.                          Uno dos tres siete dieciséis cuatro mil
más
I begin with. I begin dentro de mí, dentro

de nosotros.

I accuse one man. Two men. Three men. Men men. State
men. I accuse whomever I find

I found. I found. Mother, I foundered.

I wanted that truth: one ocean more, one home more
than a wave is glass.

I am one man, more large and savager.

Two men. Three Men. State four, mother. State five. State

state. State, dios te salve, en mí, madre. En tí, dios te salve.

 

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He is the translator of Dinapiera Di Donato’s Collateral (National Poetry Series) and the recipient of poetry fellowships from Queer|Art|Mentorship, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and CantoMundo. He is managing director at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center.

 

[Purchase Issue 16 here.]

Emily EverettBounty
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Captain Bê-Ðê

By BINGH

(following Frank O’Hara’s “Captain Bada”)

Yeah, the promoters in full force, yeah, hustling virtually every, yeah, club on Avenida
Revolución to get el capitán and his tres—el capitán and his tres amigos—to enter

their tequila-steeped discotecas. Yeah. “I’m in luv with Tee-ah-won-nah! Luv luv
Tee-AH-won-nah!!” Bê Ðê’s singing high praise mingling with the gray smog.

Avery FarmerCaptain Bê-Ðê
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They Won’t Find Us in Books

By WILLIE PERDOMO

And after we officially gained entry into the Brotherhood of Bad Motherfuckers, what could our mothers do but lose sleep, wake into prayer, prepare herbs & apples, cursive the names of our enemies on loose leaf, & let their names dust in the sunlight.

Now everything is clean, rezoned & paved, tenements abandoned like whack parties, what is left for us to do but summon bullies from their graves & liberate ourselves from influence.

Avery FarmerThey Won’t Find Us in Books
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In the Wake of a Disaster

By OKSANA MAKSYMCHUK

A flash of light—
out of the corner of my eye.
Fireflies, the thought flicks on—and dies.
Outside, the night air slaps my face
like a sheet of ice. Tufts of grass
crackle underfoot, porcupines
crawling up my spine.

The power goes out at night.
The house grows colder, its walls
begin to shiver, and we, its organs,
organize. My little son arrives
at my bedside, breathless,
in an inflatable boat.
We go to the window and search for signs.

Disorder everywhere: suitcases
strewn all over lawns, baby carriages
spilling bottles and toys, towers
of books toppling in the driveways. But the sky’s
perfectly ordered, still. In my chest I grope
for a moral law. And I find—
beating powerfully—a starfish.

Oksana Maksymchuk‘s writing has appeared in Words Without BordersPoetry InternationalModern Poetry in Translation, Los Angeles Review of Books,New Orleans ReviewSalamanderCimarron Review, and elsewhere. She won first place in the 2004 Richmond Lattimore and 2014 Joseph Brodsky / Stephen Spender translation competitions and received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently, she co-edited the anthology Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine. Maksymchuk teaches philosophy at the University of Arkansas.

[Purchase Issue 16 here.]

Debbie WenIn the Wake of a Disaster
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Handwork

By TINA CANE

Lucid dreaming is not a job     but a steady occupation

 

I do not have a big dream     they are only little dreams 

                               and right now I cannot think of one

 

My father read the paper      while my mother scrubbed the floor

I pay a woman $100 a week to help me keep my house clean

Avery FarmerHandwork
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Francois Villon Begins His Journey

By DAVID LEHMAN

[in memory of Paul Violi]

In this my thirtieth year,
Drunk and no stranger to disgrace,
I grin like a fool from ear to ear
Despite the trickle of tears on my face,
Clown that I am, condemned
By Thibauld d’Assole’s command,
Threatened and even damned
By the faker with the crozier in his hand.

Isabel MeyersFrancois Villon Begins His Journey
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