Poetry

The Lesson

By DANIEL TOBIN

 

Or else swoon to death, the young poet wrote,
    though these in the seminar’s steadfast room
appear to want little or none of it,
    however coddlingly the professor prods.
They are the poet’s age at death, or almost,
    but do not find “relatable” these words
composed by one who knew his passion hopeless—
    especially the sleepless Eremite,
belonging to another world and time,
    and even his fair love’s ripening breast
conjures only suspect looks, withering stares,
    or now and then a tolerating nod.
Of course, they must assume their own bright stars
          will rise aloft some digital empyrean

The Lesson
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Loneliness

By JOHN FREEMAN

 

Sundays I’d walk down the hill toward the green four o’clock
   dark beginning like a rumor—
always she was leaning over the counter, head tipped toward
   a tiny phone,
her husband turning the pages of a 
Daily Mail like a man
    whose suspicions of human nature were 
    being fed fresh evidence.
Stale fryer fat, ale, black and tans in the fridge.
They knew I’d be there before the match started.
You alright yeah 
Every Sunday a matinee I attended for three years
as volcanoes exploded
and she died,
white slipped into my beard
wars began and others ended.
Each Sunday the words gathering new weight 
 strangeness
as words do when you repeat them.
You alright 
I didn’t know but by halftime if I wasn’t too pissed
I’d walk home in the furred darkness before the beer wore off
and a sudden gust of wind could blow cold air on my heart.

Loneliness
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Terror

By TOMMYE BLOUNT

 

“Made of cotton Jeans, red cotton cord
and one cotton tassel. Price, each $5.00″

from Catalogue of Official Robes and Banners, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

Inside the discourse, our course—the walk
in the tattle, the footwork goose stepped

Terror
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“Can’t you see I’m a fool”

By LAUREN HILGER

 

I was once in a denim skirt and cowboy hat, spilling milk in a grocery store.
How many songs did I learn to sing I was the fool?
I am a fool. I know I have been a fool—
these are the early future concepts out of which I turned into myself.

“Can’t you see I’m a fool”
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Nine Twelve Poem

By ANACAONA ROCIO MILAGRO

 

Dedicated to Reina Yolanda Burdie

I was in Egypt nine months before the towers fell.
The people spoke to me in Arabic  Roh Rohi 
but I spoke back in English   so they called me “American”
             /I never called myself American. 
                 America never called me American – not without a hyphen. 

Nine Twelve Poem
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Suppose You Were a Bad Ghost

By MARCI CALABRETTA CANCIO-BELLO

You tried so hard to be good, turning 
the shower on when no one was home,
brushing your teeth so inaudibly 
that even standing in the hall with an ear
pressed to wood, no one could hear you.
The sun could not freckle through you,
but each morning you pressed your palms
against the wallpaper as if you might 
one day slip right through into daylight.
Once, you went so long without laughing 
you forgot how to start altogether.
You watched one scary movie per year
to insist you knew how to be brave,
because you knew you weren’t
transparent enough to pass through
when those hands came spoiling at night.

Suppose You Were a Bad Ghost
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Galleria

By AUSTIN SEGREST


                   
Power, which hides what it can
                                —George Oppen

1/

A kind of hangar by the mall. 
Propulsive dance hits 
looped like the 80s never ended—
B-b-b-b-b-baby, I-I-I-I can’t wait…

Galleria
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