Poetry

Playing Proctor

By STEVEN LEYVA

 

“… and there is promise in such sweat.”
      —John Proctor, from The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

Given this ruddy, straightened wig no one could place
my face on a spectral scale of “ethnic.” I slid

on and off stage. I spoke plain. I didn’t name names. Some 
audiences mistook me for Muscogee Creek. I spoke

in first person. Under that wig I wore cornrows 
in Oklahoma’s emaciated winter.

Playing Proctor
Read more...

The News

By BRUCE SNIDER

 

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay are being abducted, tortured and even killed in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya…
—CNN

Looking out at the blue sky 
we listen to news 
of men in Chechnya. Touching 
counters, our washrags move like ghosts.
You sweep the kitchen. I tend the cry
of the washing machine, the low roof 
that is our only roof.

The News
Read more...

The Mermaids’ Cry

By LEONARDO TONUS
Translated by CAROLYNE WRIGHT

they say that the most impressive of all crossings
is not thirst 
or the fear
afterwards.
The humiliation
no longer wounds
what does not exist
                        they say 
bodies in a boat 
of bodies 
veins 
eyes 
skin 
penis 
nails
vagina

The Mermaids’ Cry
Read more...

Enter Different Electronics (II)

By RODNEY A. BROWN 

 

35 Enter inhale. Enter time. Enter inheritance. 
Enter or else. Enter doors with handles,
without handles, manually manipulated. Enter alone 
feelings. Enter tension. Struggle entering 
bitterness enter. Love turning towards lust enter. 
Historic languages enter. Human conditions of
oppression enter. Enter roadside assistance. Enter 
talented man killed too soon. Gravemarker write 
L.O.W. Enter near Dayton settlement but 
specifically at Englewood location. Enter chirping 
bird sounds out of the ceiling again. Enter your 
own music mixing up into the chirps of birds. Enter 
memory again. Enter thought again. Enter more and 
more gunshots. Enter yelling. Enter empathy and
critical engagement.

Enter Different Electronics (II)
Read more...

Kikawa

By LANDA WO

“Grief is never more than a house being rebuilt.”
Ntolle Mbuyi1

Little Cabindan history 
All the Cabindan strategies were there
To mount the portrait of a free Cabinda. 

The historic chief discoursed on education
The Cabindan earth sketched a faint smile.

Kikawa
Read more...

The Couple

By KC TROMMER

 

Louise Bourgeois, MASS MoCA

Inside the bounded mercury,
we keep going. All circuits that close
make serpents of us, constrict
and envelop every tender corner until
         only a small portion
is distinct, our feet dangling like the end of a
sentence. We suspend ourselves
in a room full of light but take none in.

The Couple
Read more...

Gródek

By BRUCE BOND 

 

When the smoke cleared and took with it the sirens
        and the uniforms strung across our sofas, 

what remained were rivers, mist, whisper as a habit,
        red dawn in the eyes of the sleep-deprived.

In the brush, here and there, beside the highway,
        the revenant scent of metal and decay.

Gródek
Read more...