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imaginary morning glory :: c. d. wright

Whether or not the water was freezing. The body

would break its sheathe. Without layer on layer

of feather and air to insulate the loving belly.

A cloudy film surrounding the point of entry. If blue

were not blue how could love be love. But if the body

were made of rings. A loose halo would emerge

in the telluric light. If anyone were entrusted to verify

this rare occurrence. As the petal starts to

dwindle and curl unto itself. And only then. Love,

blue. Hallucinogenic blue, love.

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tomorrow and tomorrow again :: craig morgan teicher

Of course I don’t know what
happens to us: if we survive in the
hands of love; if Cal, if Simone
and all the trembling answers
those questions entail; whether
by time or by disease or by
an atom bomb right in the eye. Is it
possible death could be thrilling
and fun? And after could there be
something somewhere and what
will we do if we see each other
there? Will the same songs stay stuck
in our heads? Will medicine
succeed in making life so long
we will beg for medicine to end it?
One cannot lock eyes with a bird,
its eyes vacant as ball bearings, but
mustn’t there be some recognition
in everything? Some fury, some
questioning? If one phrase could echo
throughout eternity, would the ear
on the other end return
a word? But what am I asking?
Will I ever see a whale
as I’ve hoped, and will his size
compared to mine be a true
form of knowledge? Loneliness
has depths writing fails to indicate.
I could be clearer, say more, but
it wouldn’t mean as much. Mother
will I ever find you again? Is fear
of spiders justified? Is a power
above minding the scales, be it
science or gods or the weather,
and can they be tipped toward
balance from here? Is beauty more
than another form of pleasure?
And what is better?

why I’m in awe of the spiral :: thomas centolella

When, in the science museum, I arrive at the overview
of our galaxy, with its tiny arrow pointing to You are here
(which really ought to be We are here), and see
that the two to four hundred billion stars of our local cluster
are drifting or chasing or dreaming after each other
in circles within milky circles, I can’t help but think

of those ancient paintings and rock engravings,
discovered all over our celestial body,
of that one line which begins at whatever point
it can, then curls outward, or inward, toward nothing
anyone can define—the oldest shape revered
by Aborigine and Celt, by mathematician

and engineer and Burning Man reveler alike,
and even accorded a place of honor among the mess
of thoughts on my desk, as a nifty paper clip of copper.
But it’s already there in the florets of the sunflower
crisscrossing with the precision of a logarithm,
and in the pin-wheel shape of the Nautilus shell,

and in the coiling neurons of the cochlea
that let us tell Art Tatum from a three year old’s improvisation.
Call it what you will—“God’s fingerprint,” “the soul
unfolding through time,” “the passageway into the Self”—
I can’t help but admire, even fear, something as mundane
as a flush of the toilet, when its swirling is a variation

on our sidereal drift, our existential pain.
And then there’s that famous falcon, “turning and turning
in a widening gyre,” a portentous symbol of our own
circling into some dread, some pernicious chaos
we thought we had just escaped, one town burning
a decade behind us, a millennium before that,

and into next week, next year, next whenever.
And when the two of us took that winding road
an infinity of others had wound down before us
and would wind down again, our spirits hushed
by the crosses and bouquets at each dead man’s curve
and just burning in the dry heat to touch each other,

wasn’t that a wondrous and terrible turning?

wherein space is constructed that matter may reside in… :: michele glazer

The weather forecast that snow would fall from the sky.

(The architecture of snow was like the architecture

of the storm itself, and of the landscape.)

The weather forecast was that snow would fall.

We are like snow he said.

She understood her heart was cold.

And that if the walls could not be breached by rhetoric

or conjecture, still they leaned, comfortably

perhaps, one against the other,

an aggregate of disturbances, rust

that in the meantime corrodes, makes beautiful.

You are like snow. She thought,

but I told you that before.

The architecture of loss, the hand of a loved one.

You are not like other weather he said.

what I mean when I say I’m sharpening my oyster knife :: eve l. ewing

I mean I’m here
to eat up all the ocean you thought was yours.
I mean I brought my own quarter of a lemon,
tart and full of seeds. I mean I’m a tart.
I’m a bad seed. I’m a red-handled thing
and if you move your eyes from me
I’ll cut the tender place where your fingers meet.

I mean I never met a dish of horseradish I didn’t like.
I mean you’re a twisted and ugly root
and I’m the pungent, stinging firmness inside.
I mean I look so good in this hat
with a feather
and I’m a feather
and I’m the heaviest featherweight you know.
I mean you can’t spell anything I talk about
with that sorry alphabet you have left over from yesterday.

I mean
when I see something dull and uneven,
barnacled and ruined,
I know how to get to its iridescent everything.
I mean I eat them alive.
what I mean is I’ll eat you alive,
slipping the blade in sideways, cutting
nothing because the space was always there.

“No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” – Zola Neale Hurston

whether by drowning or by stars :: mark bibbins

When everyone was granted their childhood
wish for invisibility, it turned out

to be less erotically useful than we all
had imagined. Since then the first

legitimately wild idea I had I tamed
and named Thom Yorke, after a pony

who’d clomped among the precincts
of my visible youth, refusing

to be rode, my use of the word first
also proving to have been based

on an unfounded sense of possibility
that ill-defines my generation still.

Hidden message: we cannot measure
the corruption of our age

but we can make the heat of it
ever hotter by leaping onto the pyre.

On hearing the kvetching of coyotes
in an August night, my doppelganger

climbs up out of the lake
and into a constellation—when light

and death both want you,
one of them might not get its way.

I’ve given names to a dozen other ideas
and deleted those names

because who could they ever have saved.
Impossibly sweet and recalcitrant

old Thom Yorke though,
best pony anybody knew.

summer in the ordinary :: william logan

Eppur si muove

The iris wavers as the fox trots by,
mornings in paradise, or what pretends
by any other name to smell of meat.
What were we then that we did not become?
The water touched the image of the beast;
old factories of iron muted the plain.
They were of no consequence, those sun-dark days
before the word fell hard upon the ear.
The Indian corn, I mean the poppy fields,
carpets of color sown and yet not sown,
ideas that rose to metal and to brick.
That too was passion. Naked, in need of need,
we had heard of passion. We knew ourselves
that first first morning when we woke, and died.