Featured Poet

Mark DeCarteret


( Stratham, New Hampshire )

pastoral (in need of fattening up)

your tongue studded w/sound
sprays my face w/more outbursts
about pastures deliberately yellowed
& the speech of more lost sheep

me Iím settling into new bones
after being held under all spring
trying out every breath once again
w/as near a mechanical panic as Iím able 

now this meadowlarkís knee-deep in muck
& a pregnant cow attempts to get comfortable
as I swipe another of your conversions from my face
& more mornings are brought to the chopping block

x said it best

his silence is deemed fiendish
even factoring in the rain

but then Iíve heard of such phases
where there isnít any use for such words

where weíre led out our parentís palms
like ghosts pinched between fingers

blaming the wind for the buttons gone
the tongued blues of our absences

so more doors & then so what
was once a near-epicís now paperclipped far above us

that paraclete coveralled in futility
groomed into our likenesses

a world lived & why not
nothing ever more smug than its darkness

where more memories ask of the snapshots
how is it our lives never crossed here before?

imp lore

beaver skirting the road
more sunshine on a stick
all of this disgorged for me
pins left in a shirt
bird raking its message on sky
why this can never be human
rain steadies mountain
gagged black-backed gulls
she shimmies up the rays
clouds held up w/hooks
hot air from the dryer vent
the day goes down on me
we wiretap Eden
something dusty sucks a teat
the softest maniacal snore
bleached chimera
waiting on a chair for my cue
near-speech & a scrimshawed back

pay heaven (no mind)

o divine grind of teeth
& blessed asterisk!
Jesus pays no mind
to most my sins
o the mischief I got in
once someone had 
mistaken my brace
for a playing piece

that bird out backís
been trying to put me
in a trance again
& if the sun sits just right
& the windowís all light
maybe Jesus does slip 
later into slots where 
the stars had been
w/my tongue half-convincing
me to lie to Him again
re: the unintelligible dance
of which my nameís
become recently tied
now this second batís
coming for its shadow
here & elsewhere
where thereís always
some sign on the road
that Iíve already sampled
in another poem some
where a different mistake


o blessed paraclete
my most touching of nuisances
you alone try convincing me
of that fact Iíd once been

entertaining oneís inquisitive self

just like these racks full of blank books
my thoughts have been marked down again
& given their very own mascot
who will wait for the penís intercession
or its stomach to finally kick in again
more factories force feeding the heavens 
& breath dismissed by this blasphemous cold
when once I would liken my best lines 
to my tongue being yanked into action
now Iím clearing my throat most discreetly 
any messes swiped up by the always good linen

I - The Curve of Smiles
II - To Sleep Inside a Scream
III - Minarets, Incense, Beggars

Current Issue - Winter 2008