Table of Contents:
—You Are Now Interacting as Yourself
—The Subject Line
—An Empire in the Ground
You Are Now Interacting As Yourself
By TINA CANE
Sheila had IHOP delivered to her apartment in El Alto, NY
on January 6th so she could kick back self-proclaimed terrorist
that she is and eat pancakes while watching white supremacists
storm the Capital on T.V. a coup for the gig economy
plus chickens come home to roost whites afraid of whites
two birds one stone we joked
as mind control like trying to read the wind this influx
of information You are now interacting as yourself platforms
tell me as if my mind were a private kind of charm offensive
against limitation what else am I
I used to say fall but now I use autumn because I want language
to save humanity as if not speaking something into being
isn’t a tautology in and of itself
happening though and after two years of daily walks
in the woods I’m more akin to a tree than ever before
more open and like time tangled up with eternity
Sheila visits from El Alto we head for the woods
its brisk cathedral of leaves and bracing wind perfect
for spontaneous confession
keep turning beneath our feet I keep walking
and Sheila keeps growing hungrier for life’s blood
of poetry that’s how I know we’re onto something
with the terroristic pancakes our movement and the wind
The Subject Line
By TINA CANE
The subject line of the email message
from the corporation posing as artisanal craft
asks if I am Feeling Nostalgic? I generally don’t
name emotions so much as embroil the motions
of understanding the arc of my life
I could be a Republican strategist for all the blood
lust I feel around this email I refuse to open my nostalgia
so persistent even corporate America is onto me
nostalgia leads only
to suffering and he’s right I didn’t really like
1982 and neither did you so let’s not lie about time
as a linear thing let’s call it a series of planes
not the kind
that fly in the sky
but the dimensional ones that make the actual
sky of everything so pervasive nostalgia warps
into a time-elapse panic attack I must breathe through
alternating the shallow
with the deep
would that I could keep everything yet remain
attached to little except for the part
in the middle I’m calling now
By MYRONN HARDY
In a field of asters I find you in blue.
You are watching something fly something predatory.
The sky is some version of violet
like the asters. That symmetry haunts.
It’s a well into the well I don’t see
but know is there. The water beneath
us in us in the asters in the sky.
How the wind bends through
the field your hair the thing that flies.
You don’t know I’m here. Too transfixed
on wings the patterns moonlike. Don’t you know the moon
knows nothing feathers fall when they’re plucked?
I’m not the fall but the always.
Don’t you want to fly?
An Empire in the Ground
By MARC VINCENZ
for the people of Ukraine
Linen stretching mound to mound,
The heat of the day passes through the ceiling.
A row of soldiers. The cold air plucks at threads.
Manikins here and there, washed in soap and lavender;
A weasel creeps into the picture with fish in her teeth.
Useful, they say, eons away. We shall have our crest
Of arms. Don’t all armaments need alms?
My friend says (at least I think it’s him), adjusting
His gas mask. His filter needs to be changed,
His eyes and thyroid are running out; surely
The blood-sugar levels too, wiping away
Any trace of what came before.
Somewhere in this rubble
A mouse is fishing for stale bread.
Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she is the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. Cane is the author of The Fifth Thought, Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz, Once More With Feeling, and Body of Work. In 2016, Cane received the Poetry Merit Fellowship Award from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and, in 2020, was a Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Tina is also the creator/curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread. Her most recent poetry collection, Year of the Murder Hornet, was released from Veliz Books in May 2022, and her debut novel-in-verse for young adults, Alma Presses Play,(Penguin/Random House)was released in September 2021.
Myronn Hardy is the author of, most recently, Radioactive Starlings. Aurora Americana is forthcoming this fall (Princeton University Press). His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, POETRY, The Georgia Review, The Baffler, and elsewhere. He teaches at Bates College.
Marc Vincenz is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor and artist. He has published over 30 books of poetry, fiction and translation. His work has been published in many journals, including The Nation, Ploughshares, Raritan, Colorado Review, World Literature Today and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. His forthcoming books are: The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (poetry, White Pine Press, 2023) and Three Taos of Tao (fiction, Spuyten Duyvil, 2023).