James Robison( Florida )Susan Tepper, Two PoemsThe Failure of ClawsHe flung the straw hat to skimming hops; it leapt across the sea, in bounding touches going, over sun lines on water sewing, cold water slamming on sand foaming, on fallen eyes of mica glowing. He saw the hat, with its red band and basket thatch bop above the turtlesí snap, the mermaidís grasp, into an eagleís clasp, and off it went. Up. And up. Up some more. Fast. Big eagle carved for perfect flight, took the disk of hat on up beside clouds. Nothing was better for that whiffle-waffling hat than that birdís tower and to be torn by claws to shreds to pad a nest atop a column of eagle power. But. She dropped the skimmer. Loose, it cut an angle on the day, before excited blues, taking its careless summer time, getting down and down. A philosopher asked her prof if things love to be useless like her. Like you. Like me. Like falling hats, straw and round and round.
( New York )Sara T. EinhornSolstice, 2008Dark are the spaces in between looking and remembering You wish for light aimed in points off grass, the fence edge, where the roof angles down on your knees bartering for time some sun and overgrowth along the path your shoes cutting blisters when you tried walking too faró Tell everythingó before night is early sweeping across turning the windows blackShutYou come creeping to my door Springtime and the first trilling I sleep through with the windows shut and hammered shut From all that touchesó The way rain blows curtains into a room damp and reflective moonlight spotted with trees( New York )Rich IvesNew/OldWith spring rain And greening buds Remembrance Of the one before And before Musky scent of New leaves Each birth With possibilities Filtering sunlight Before dusk Foretells in shadow( Washington )Bobbi LurieEnoughShe was carrying a single tomato in the left cup of the turquoise brassiere she had removed. There was a pair of bright yellow underwear in the pear tree. She had not yet realized she was going to leave the husband with a mind like a bulldozer and a heart like a wren. She was summoning the green creature inside. She was acknowledging the violent sunset and feeling without thinking that between her legs lies the happiest dockside dive on the face of the earth. A delighted raunchy exuberance. What did his mother tell him about this? Without a single word, she sat, self-satisfied, behind the door he had taken a lifetime to open. Could he offer anything without shame? The compact and delicious affluence overwhelming her. He can think of it only as loss. Exile. An exquisite Argentina of the throat overthrows the explanation, to which he still clings.( New Mexico )Gary Percesepea forest of not listeningashes are bodies babbling in a stream of smoldering fire they are branches where the birds perch until winter they are the remaining shadows of a friendship the woman unable to erase what she has written he is a forest of not listening crushing the paper of hatred beneath the feet of his she cannot see is the same earth but distance is carried inside us he shall keep his reasons for leaving her a secret she tries so hard not to inhale the smoldering mistakes in this fate she is forced to follow( Ohio )Bill Yarrowanother love poemthere are things that cannot be understood she appeared as if summoned from the city of childhood memory an e-mail tapped in dark trance of morning you pray every prayer you know small steps toward each other the delicate dance of fear & hope & disbelief what he said, what she said across miles of flyover earth and air and unseen water to never be caught hoping again was that the mantra to be discarded as you wrote long into the night but replaced by what? you didnít know and she wasnít saying the dazzling dialectic poets speak of has finally arrived and we are so ill equipped but what you want is this: to shampoo her hair over this white porcelain sink to hold it in your stunned fingers yes then place them in the small of her back yes and turn her to face what is coming what cannot be stopped( Illinois )Meg PokrassThe Knitting NeedleIt was early in the morning when Lucien Carr stabbed David Kammerer in the chest with a Boy Scout knife, dropped the knife into a sewer, the body in the river, and buried the dead man's glasses in the park. It was later that afternoon when Lucien Carr went to see The Four Feathers with Jack Kerouac, walked to the Museum of Modern Art to look at the Legers and turned himself in to the skeptical police. It was a grey afternoon when Lucien Carr holding a torn copy of A Vision by William Butler Yeats pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to a reformatory in Elmira, New York. The odor of William Blake hangs over this narrative. Opposition is true friendship. Eternity in an hour.( California )The Fist as a Unit of MeasurementShe loved his old pillowcase, the one with bloodstains on it from his childhood tooth extractions. He looked stiff in old photos, the ones that she saw, they all saw, in the photo collage at his mother's house. She thought about the toast she would have made him, the way it would pop up perfect and golden. How her own kitchen appliances might have warmed to him, like the moon, or street lamps, making things between them comfortable. She wondered if he would still move inside her exactly like a train, and she wore lavender lipstick to remember that kind of being together. Still, nothing prepared her for the way people glanced at their wrist watches on the platform, or the sly October light on the tracks. His pillowcase was folded neatly in her backpack, her eyebrows arched and sewn, when she heard the sound.
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Current Issue - Fall 2010