This is farther than I think I meant to take us, but that’s okay because in many ways—ways like this way or that way or maybe some way that no one has thought of yet, because everyone knows this way and that way—this was exactly as far as we were supposed to go when we went, and we went and went because going and having went is the way we say it’s us together and no one else is here and we love each other and I love you and you love me and screw the rest of everyone back at the place we left because it was a bad and terrible place with nothing for us.

 

POEM WRITTEN WITH LI CH’ING CHAO

 

Tears streak my rouge

and outside it’s raining

motionless rain the air

will carry me away

or I will become so drunk

I’ll forget all my passwords

and never stop talking

of their beauty.

For reasons unaccountable

I am ill, combing my long

hair exasperates me

in my hair dreams.

In the morning I have

no hair, Spring is late

only 1 or 2 people have viewed

my latest post.

What is your favorite word?

Tangerine

 

How do you describe yourself in two adjectives?

Creative, receptive

 

What is your favorite topic of conversation?

Tell me about your dreams. Learn how to interpret dreams and apply your knowledge in waking life. Dreams are creativity in its purest form. The world of dreams is pure consciousness. Pure thinking. Pure creativity. I imagine that the reality it forms is much like the state of death. Take care to liink reality with other realities and present perception / feeling as an independent reality.

Talk to me about food, recipes, traditional dinners, corn, platanos, beans, tagines & couscous … Talk to me about HUITLACOCHE.

Gone are these camps, smooth-floored
clear of tents and all that filled them.
Desolate the realm of the departed
brimming is the wind that rings of
war cataclysm and buoyant love months.

 

Why did you write Ways of Looking at a Woman?

I was working on a dissertation and I needed another way to procrastinate besides cat videos. I also wanted to explore some pressing questions I had about 1) women looking and being looked at, 2) how film and literary theory could help me answer these questions, and 3) how mothers fit into all of this.

It electrocutes me in the best possible way to watch the thoughts marching from afar like a terrifying army.

What’s this sick compulsion to shatter the celluloid that encases me, write my way out with a lyric essay, pervade, project light through light, wrap my head around what I am: a movie in the shape of a woman, seeing and being seen, writer-mother, a mixed genre, a person with another person growing inside her?

And what will happen if I can’t? Will my skin curl, crack, and harden till I’m mummified, bundled beetle-like in my own ambition? If only someone had told me early on, “You will never get the orange peel off in one clean spiral, but more haunting shapes will come out of it in the end.”

Four Poems

By Nathan Dragon

Poetry

 

And Every

 

He met his friend at the shop where his friend works and his friend asked him if he wanted to meet him at his house after work. After work, he met up with his friend at his friend’s house and at his friend’s house, his friend asked if he’d want to meet up the next day at the shop where he works. So, the next day, he met his friend at the shop where his friend works and his friend asked him if he wanted to meet him at his house after work.

Yeah, see you then. Each time.

He doesn’t mind anything and it’s easy this way.

Three Poems

By Cam Scott

Poetry

 

UKULELE MUSIC

 

Two types of people occupy a cloud—

One off-punk, the other oversharing.

An enormous scaffold out of nowhere shears

The cloud in two, they drift apart.

 

That’s sort of what it’s like moving cities

In your smart blue jacket, making enemies

At breakfast over hash browns, onions, brash opinions.

Morning bubbles burst above the marsh.

St. Augustine

By Mike Andrelczyk

Poem

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S.

They’ve got the fountain of youth

I almost made it down there once

But there was a hurricane

And I was driving my ex’s car

And she got scared so we turned around

And went back to the hotel

And that was more than 10 years ago

Now I’m older and she’s gone and her car is gone too

But I was thinking about St. Augustine again this morning

My wife and I were doing the crossword puzzle in bed

And I was wondering if we’ll ever have a kid

And the answer was 86-down

 

Two Poems

By Charlie Dulik

Poetry

 

paul millsap

 

the sun exploded one night and invented a bunch of new colors on earth

and i was like hey, that’s pretty alright

 

me and jackson are watching some basketball

and paul millsap had a double-double

and i was like ‘nice’ and jackson was like ‘nice’

 

So, can you tell us something about the title? I know this is your third collection of poetry to be published and I’ve always wondered about how authors choose a title. Your other two were interesting.

Well, like my previous book Moth Wing Tea, the title was actually taken from a chapbook I put together

probably over fifteen years ago. I didn’t realize it then, but these chapbooks were like wishes flung up to the stars. At that time, getting published was just a dream, and well, getting to put those old titles on an actual book is realizing that dream.

topical

By Dennis Cruz

Poem

the specter of death
smiling,
Cleopatra
uncrossing her legs.
just a small glimpse
into the infinite
then it’s over,
a bad dream
lingering
like egg yolk
or menstrual blood,
on your tongue.
I wonder what
the apostles
imagined
when they
masturbated?
I wonder
if they were
dreamt up guilty
and shameful
like everyone
else?

perhaps.

we promised to come back for it

everyone had been to prison except me

my skull was a heartache

lightning was burning down the dance floor

my mouth was a copper runoff

i received a text saying the weather had gout

we built a box drain in the new cul-de-sac

with our nerve endings and bone concrete

T said don’t fear the machine

i was promoted to motherfucker

he got 900 gallons on pump 4

with an unleaded gas station croissant

someone said where the hell is 12 o’clock

T told the story of his divorce and we all cooed

he picked lunch from his teeth with a box cutter

a lifeline danced across my throat

we contemplated a tide of quicksand

becoming one with the f450

i saw a frog trying to find a stream

behind the big city houses

i tore the river down with a garden rake

and made eye contact with the crisis wolf

everyday i die and it gets so boring

 

This Big World

By Devin Kelly

Poem

 

for Bud Smith

 

I have been in debt for a long time. Some afternoons, I sit on the windowsill & take the risk of thinking I could fall out of it & fly. Everything is loud & mostly beautiful. It’s not a matter of perspective. If you look at a building upside-down it is only a building upside-down. It’s not standing on its head. It’s better to see it right. The chicken place across the street serves chicken & people walk inside & come out with chicken. We got some things right: best friends, slow cooking, glass-bottled Coke, remaining wingless & rooted to other wingless beings who leave us slowly or not slow enough. Heartbreak is one way of knowing you’re alive. Compiling obscene & ridiculous amounts of debt owed to a strange & robotic voice on the other end of a phone is another. But debt owed to a friend is a simpler kind of beauty. Like sharing french fries or saying just get the next one, next time. There’s too much I love about the world to think of leaving it. My own lunacy. The way I am still here, sitting by the window. How I can take the risk of thinking I can fly without the risk of flying. I’d rather watch the birds, those little masters, who make big geometric shapes out of one another & head off in flocks to find a beach, another summer. It’s winter here & everyone deserves a big coat. Something to smuggle inside of it & share, yes, with the people who have been smuggling you from each day, like this one, into the next.

Like those corduroy knee patches on my favorite fifth-grade jeans?
Or Portland raindrops spattering coffee in a recycled-paper cup.
How about a faded Pine tree freshener dangling from the radio knob of an RV.
A tuna-noodle casserole in Corning Ware cooling on a Formica countertop?