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Showing posts from March, 2019

Chuka Susan Chesney

Runaway Blues Does Momma know I jump rope behind trees? she hunts for me she’s got the whip she wants to kick me in the hip but I slip ’n slide to neighbor’s gate if I’m not too late I’ll hide and seek She is moaning her eyes rolling like dice I switchback trail Spirograph through deer uphill under sycamores like G.I. Jill I shimmy the chimney incinerator see View Master slides of houses below I hear her shrill, her Gumby legs splayed  Barbie Doll wig unnaturally askew The pool is powder  a Kool-Aid blue  lemon bush abuzz with creepy crawlers I stay away until it’s cool as marbles Then in obscurity I boomerang stand on balcony see her wax lips   she speaks & spells Ephesians under solitary spot her mirthful mood afloat in magic 8-ball I tinker toy through basement she doesn’t know I’m here lock the doorknob to my bedroom  now she’s jigsawing a puzzle If I hear her bobby pin the keyhole I’ll have time to slinky

Mari Deweese

Freebleeder I used to think that  bleached and processed tree pulp would  be enough to catch and carry emptied contents of my womb. But I am older now, accessing and liberating  the wiser pain.  I let flow a funnel into the world, knowing what I did not know,  that words, like blood, don't belong in a can, and only cling to inside walls  for so long before the source goes septic. Mari Deweese lives outside of Memphis, and dreams of a place with an actual autumn. Her first book, Kinky Keeps the House Clean, was published by Nixes Mate Books in 2017, and her next collection of poetry will drop from the gibbet in fall 2019.

Amy Holman

My mother made herself the deer with a broken leg  We saw a deer through the pane into someone else’s yard. The leg moved like a tube sock pinned to the hip  and half filled with sticks. I did not like to see it suffer, either. She was upset —my mother —that no one helped  the doe. Was it a mother, too? As if we were the first to observe the scene. We weren’t. All had been told to let her be. My mother had suffered a destruction  of the self, a divorce, and no one cared. That wasn’t true.  We were grown, on our own. I agree it was hard. Yet  in those moments of a cold November day, we watched  a doe, disabled and enduring, walk across a yard and eat  a hedge. I wish she could have seen it like that. Amy Holman is the author of the collection, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone (Dream Horse Press, 2005). Recent poems have been in or accepted by Blueline,

Tobi Alfier

Loving Emily I went to her house. You were lounged on her couch in a jacket I didn’t know you owned, feet up on her shabby table, reading in silence. I said let’s call Emily , swing by her man’s house and all meet for dinner . You said something I don’t recall, and I went for the phone. On the floor, four perfect stapled pages, lined like your beloved yellow pads. The heading said: “The Week of Loving Emily” Four pages of poems I didn’t know, sent off to journals obscure to me, the last two to the army. I knew Emily’s man, a caber tossing roughneck of a bloke, did not write these. I knew they were yours. Emily answered quite chirpy, got less and less so as she explained that no, it would not be a good idea, her man was playing music with friends, did not want company — I was sad, got more and more down as she spoke. I knew you were not coming home with me. Emily had a Scottish accent, you did as well. I just lef

Dennis Mahagin

Asterisk when the bongos  go missing, some thief  made of alter ego and afterthought brushes the yellow Cobain cowlick out of his eyes, ducked down  behind the side door of a Portland pawn shop  —this percussionist  who sneaks around wearing the torn  to shit lumberjack  shirt, holding on to a fifty  like a heart beat in the stiffest breeze, and his guilty glance , simply a squeezed frame, it says these beats  basically the same, yet gone now and forever  gone, the beat like an add-on that the dead can’t put their finger on—go ahead, switch  to castanets  instead, I say,  and bottle caps—tubular bells  such as them that exist in The Exorcist, a thousand little whispers  like pop rocks from the backfire  of a flame, and a hearse: they say we missed you today in church, we missed you we missed you, astral  projection that floats,  couple inches behind a Venice boat —dead reckoning in the star-charred  emptiness