June 2021 Poetry Feature

Our June Poetry Feature includes new poems by our contributors: LISA HITON, ROMEO ORIOGUN, PATRICK RIEDY, and CORRIE WILLIAMSON.

Table of Contents

Lisa Hiton  |  “Sodomite”

Romeo Oriogun  |  “The Unsung Shore”

Patrick Riedy  |  “Ice Fishing”

Corrie Williamson  |  “Kissing the Good Green Earth”

Sodomite

By Lisa Hiton

what is fastened by
    the lover to the body
      then fortified by

    having been fastened to
      be copious, be deep
and can this have been

between only men
    or could they be women
      or have been feminine

imagine the world to be
    this too: copious, deep
      water, just like a great lie

still on the top when riled 
    beneath, and heaving
      at the tide change when

below the surface static,
    mundane, non-love,
      unmoving murk of post-rain

we had once been yoked: 
    exacting, platonic
      never ending

in action, though below 
    us, copious
     amounts of igneous rock

fortified, so one could walk
    through the water
      in whatsoever form 

it may take, intrusive body
    that pluton-
      lined orb divined 

for even the righteous
    whosoever, by what term,
      fasten themselves

to anyone else
    by design

 

The Unsung Shore

By Romeo Oriogun

 

                               “songs sung by captured Africans
                                still echo on our seashores, listen”

                                                                       Grandma

Within the forgetfulness of the mind,
a ship arrives, proclaiming the violence
of ship maps. I wait for the unravelling 
of its meaning and in that moment 
of loneliness the shoreline sings, those captured 
toward slavery are still singing the night, 
are still here, still waiting for boats to turn 
toward land, away from ships, away from ledgers 
of the slave master. The land, inheritor of our pain 
speaks in the wailing of winds. All the dead in me 
are always arriving, all the dead in me are waiting 
by the seashore, I do not know how to sing,
I only walk toward them; I only walk into water.

 

Ice Fishing

By Patrick Riedy

Groping at vapor shrouded
elevators and Erie’s eastern break 
I sense you before me, comfort
of cement, rock, planks’ jutt into water 

I dare not approach. All’s
blanketed near Cargill; sound
asleep, now a half century. No
more wheat, I repeat, only dredge
until frozen, 

when ice fisherman, like you, dad,
popped tents and silently sat,
waiting for a catch. Who does that? 
What must go through your head? 

Granted it’s one way out the house,
reckless. I imagine little fulfillment
besides booze and smoke 
without your boys as witnesses. 

I remember I’d fight heavy
lids until your return,
wondering 
how many and how big,
amazed at possibilities offered. 

When you packed and left 
with auger, skimmer, jigs— 
alien gear I knew nothing of 
and am too fearful to learn— 

memory fogs. Who you went
with, How long you’d be gone, 
I recall a weekend, but could be
wrong. Nevertheless, I waited. 

No older than six. 
Anxious. 
You, near break wall, 
popsicled.

 

Kissing the Good Green Earth

Corrie Williamson

     for Jennifer Boyden

You lamented the absence of a human sound for longing, 
like the loon has, like the wolf. I think of you reading 
to your donkey the day he died, the passage where Odysseus 
kisses the soil, how the beast moved away from you,
stood quietly in the clover, then returned, 
wet your wrist with its bark-gray snout. The vet
was on his way. 
                       Recounting this story, I saw
how you knew, beginning it, that it would leave you 
weeping. You smiled, went on with the telling. You 
didn’t say it but I imagined you fed him something 
sweet, then, a squat crystal cube, an apple, and leaned 
in to catch the music of it, the thin sound like silk 
of the inner lip against your palm, the rasp and 
crunch of life’s sugar dissolving, seeping, as you bent 
your fingers backward, tight together, to avoid the teeth.

 

 

Lisa Hiton is a writer from the great state of Illinois. Her first book of poems, Afterfeast, comes out at Tupelo Press in October. She is the founder and co-director of Queer Poem-a-Day at the Deerfield Public LIbrary. She’s a poetry editor at the Adroit Journal.

Romeo Oriogun was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (University of Nebraska Press). His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, McNeese Review, Bayou, and others. He currently is an MFA candidate for poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Patrick Riedy was born in Buffalo, NY and lives in Providence, RI. He has an MFA from Brown University and teaches creative writing in Connecticut.

Corrie Williamson is the author of The River Where You Forgot My Name, a finalist for the 2019 Montana Book Award, and Sweet Husk. The recipient of the PEN Northwest/Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, she spent nearly eight months of 2020 living off-grid in the woods. Recent work has appeared in The Southern Review, Ecotone, and Boulevard.  She lives in Montana, where she’s at work on a new manuscript: Your Mother’s Bear Gun.

June 2021 Poetry Feature

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