All posts tagged: Issue 22 Poetry

Apology to My Daughter

By TOM SLEIGH

“Life is not a walk across a field…”—Pasternak

For ten years, Hannah, the world convinced me
that thorn trees, desert, Land Rovers tricked out
with CB radios, machine guns and armor plate,

grew more real the harder it became
to fulfill my nightly promise to rebar and rubble
that some final vowel would reverse time

Apology to My Daughter
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Khobar Spleen

BY NATASHA BURGE

 

We were born here so we know how to do. This is the way you walk when you walk. An engine of engines. A glitter of glitter. At the corniche we gather by the sex to watch the constellation of earth. Force and proclivity, tingle and strip, all the whole day is before me. Also, it is not yours. 

The departure of myth is something we count—a tickbox for each missing hour. Any memory not capitulated is likely to reform. It is forsaken, this tally. The formation of expatriates requires a mobile constitution, a tendency to ruminate, and general indemnity from causes. A coalition of glass bottles rolling up a hill. 

Khobar Spleen
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The Streets These Days

By J. KATES 

 

The life-size and realistic bronze has stood on its parklet street corner for so long that no one remembers whom it represented or what it memorializes. The sculptor had done a good job. It looks pleased with itself, proud of its accomplishments in life.
 
Someone’s hat, an ordinary tweed cap, green and brown, not even worth describing, has fallen off, blown away, and come to rest upside down on the pavement underneath the bronze. Slowly the cap is filling up with coins and bills from passers-by. Clearly, they think this is not public art, but a street-artist slathered in metallic paint from head to foot, holding a pose. And the cap must be his.

A man has stopped to look. He is underdressed for the weather and disturbingly unkempt, talking out loud with nobody to listen. In the old days, we would have taken him to be schizophrenic. Nowadays, surely he must be wearing earbuds and conversing with his girlfriend. We do not give him a second glance. He continues exchanging messages with his teeth. 

The bronze figure looks pleased with itself.

We drop a quarter in the cap.

The Streets These Days
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Opulence

By RICHIE HOFMANN 

 

The night river calms me with its slow dirty movements.
I walk home briskly, in a black baseball cap.
I work at the fringes of the day. I write poetry in bed
and criticism in the bath.
Among my friends here, I have a man
who calls me love names
in four languages. Once, in a moment, I thought I wanted to die
of his pleasure, but that was a wound
speaking. The history of this place
abounds with wounds.
Mobs of vandals have ransacked the villas.
A very rich man on his deathbed
from a corrupt family who loves the arts
was fed a medicine of powdered pearls.

Opulence
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