Tag: poetry (Page 1 of 8)

The Cult of One Mirror and You


When playing with yourself                becomes your       self
        & there aren’t enough           razors             in the medicine chest

to manscape your world    into    highways    &   bi     ways
            yes, the eagle has landed           but no            this is not a leap

for mankind       on to a lunar landscape       of love        this is
          the cult of         one mirror & you           as history blushes with

ecstasy’s shame      & the rain forest       burns        between your legs
         as your boa       constricts            for the third time      today
                      in this          your most global        hour.

Daniel Edward Moore lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. He has poems forthcoming in Weber Review, The Cape Rock, KestrelRed Earth Review, RipRap, The Timberline Review, River Heron ReviewPassages North, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Passengers JournalThe Night Heron Barks, and Sweet Tree Review. He is the author of two chapbooks, Confessions of a Pentecostal Buddhist (CreateSpace) and Boys (Duck Lake Books). Waxing the Dents is a full length collection from Brick Road Poetry Press. Visit him at Danieledwardmoore.com.

Summer Novel


Done, stand in the woods
pages behind you
insects screaming
like nothing has happened. 

(A bottle slips from your hand
Beer into peat, the trees
in German beer gardens
relish their hops.
leaves grow dense and shady)

It feels like a book,
thumbs scrolling through time
as if the screen is liquid,
and the characters are impossibly

(Pour the whole bottle out into the ground.
No need for the blurring.)

Behind you the house is lit,
chapters snapping like magna tiles,
slices of yellow and orange,
warm the rooms,
plexiglass attachments,
coming together with relief.

(Leave the bottle there
It’s degradable, and your own yard.
An awning of delectable shade will
shelter you.
Sand will return and all the pages
too will vanish.)

Hand on the knob,
return to the living
more and less human.
The children are sleeping,
you haven’t said goodnight. 

Thea Goodman is the author of a novel, THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE (Henry Holt and Co. 2013.) Her fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in this journal, The Rumpus, The New England Review and other venues and have been awarded a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and The Columbia Fiction Award. She’s at work on a new novel and poems and periodically teaches writing at The University of Chicago. 

Post Truth & I Watch the Fireworks


& so, it was as it always is
the beginning a little shaking
& the end an effervescence
before long no one talked about it
as they are trying to now
taking liberty by the lapels
one-part muddled mint
equal parts gin, shaken not stirred
a panatela between the fingers
observing the new world
a highly marketable machine
they are toyetic, but charms
like theirs come at a price
as much as a one-way ticket
to Mars, out of this town
out of this world, fast as light
temerarious heights, manifest destiny
they’re a go for launch, now or never
new frontier, finders keepers
a fuselage penetrating gravity
manspreading, breaking loose & free
conquistador, ahistorical, non-umbilical

Jasper Haze is an absurd logophile who lives in the Bay Area. He is an IT professional at Stanford University and holds an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. His work has appeared in the Cimarron Review, Barrow Street, Harpur Palate, and elsewhere.

To My Normal Sized Heart

BY: Tina SchumanN

That is what the x-ray said;
white script, bottom-left.
              It proclaimed you to be
of normal size. A neutral
designation – plebian, somehow
a disappointment. A less than
stellar organ, pedestrian
              at best.
Is your chamber a conventional shade
of red? Your rhythms all too consistent?
              Do you sit on the porch
                           of a shotgun shack
in some backwater town
              no one’s ever heard of,
living out your marginal life, never marrying,
longing for the boy next door?
              Or did you know better
than to pine for what is unattainable
              to the merely mediocre?
Do you count out your habitual days?
              Water the plants in the atrium?
Absentmindedly dust the aorta?
              I hear you pulsing
in the common room we share,
              pumping up for another day, pounding
another nail into the ventricle wall.
              I’ll give you this; you are positively pulmonary
in your duties, as only the normal can be.

Tina Schumann is a Pushcart nominated poet and the author of three poetry collections, Praising the Paradox (Red Hen Press, 2019) which was a finalist in the National Poetry Series and Four Way Books Intro Prize, Requiem. A Patrimony of Fugues (Diode Editions, 2017) which won the Diode Editions Chapbook Contest, and As If (Parlor City Press, 2010) which was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize. She is editor of the IPPY-award winning anthology Two Countries. U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen, 2017). Her work received the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal, finalist status in the Terrain.org annual poetry contest, as well as honorable mention in The Atlantic. She is a poetry editor with Wandering Aengus Press, and a graduate of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Her poems have appeared widely in publications and anthologies since 1999, including The American Journal of Poetry, Ascent, Cimarron Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Nimrod, Parabola, Palabra, Poetry Daily, Poemeleon, Rattle, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.


Judith Perfumes Herself

— after Judy Chicago’s Judith setting at “The Dinner Party”


What exhilaration to tell a God approved lie,
Judith thought, bejeweled and holy scented,
as she beheaded Holofernes and saved her people.
An honored place at “The Dinner Party” has been set
for her now in the 20th century, a Last Supper
for the foremothers, a hand-painted porcelain
plate, a blooming floral vulva, layers of shadow
and light, her goblet full of the blood of Holofernes.
The elegance of ritual. In another room, her maid
from the 1610 Artemesia Gentileschi painting
waits to come to the dinner party carrying
a bowling ball bag with Holofernes head in it,
expression still and looking like it had been
mansplaining the desires war makes on men,
and on Judith who had come bearing
her fragrant skin, newly perfumed, like a soul.
Her country besieged by the Assyrian army.
Judith’s prayer was adequate to the day:
Please Lord make my lies believable.
You only get so many windows.
Sometimes truth is a parable embroidered
with the finest stitches of Bethulia
on a table runner saving your place in the story.
Sometimes the truth is a triangle,
a symbol of strength sewn into our fabric
with the gold thread of the dowry maker.
Judith said: This, this is my body
and this, this is your blood, as she raised
a goblet to Holofernes. To defeat
the enemy we must entertain
our wild archetypal essence. But what is it
exactly? Judith’s fancy dress and gargush?
The way coins are sewn into the table runner?
The mystery scent of royal ferns? The altars
prepared with frankincense to appease the God
we want to make us good liars? To be a wealthy
widow means you can save your people. Judith
raised the mighty sword, thrust through his neck,
her maid straddling him like a bull in a rodeo fight. 

Elizabeth A.I. Powell is the author of three books of poems, including the forthcoming, ATOMIZER (LSU Press, 2020). Her second book of poems, Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter: Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances was named a “Books We Love 2016” by The New Yorker.

Her novel, Concerning the Holy Ghost’s Interpretation of JCrew Catalogues was published in 2018 in the U.K. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, Alaska Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, Ecotone, Forklift, Ohio, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Seneca Review, Ploughshares, Plume, West Branch, and elsewhere.

She is Editor of Green Mountains Review, and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Johnson State College. She also serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.



clear and so close

BY: DS Maolalai

before storms strike
at the mountains south of Dublin,
the mountains south of Dublin
come in clear
and so close
that you could touch them
if you wanted to,
like reaching in a river
and scraping slime
from rocks. here
we are sunk up
in green all over—carrying on
up Camden St
you can still look up
and remember
that there’s forest
everywhere. sometimes,
you can even
pick out houses, and the white gleam
of wind turbines. but around
it’s dirty brick, metal
and car exhausts. Dublin—
a plate of salad
which slips
and shatters on the patio
when the weather suits
for dinner in the garden. 

DS Maolalai has been nominated four times for Best of the Net and three times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).


BY: Athena Melliar

Ηere, here on the inside I see myself as she
arrives distilled through the alembic of seas.
Still lake, dead calm, sunk land, imbued my past:
swirl, wave; rage, wind; rise, reef and rim me. 

Ηere, here on the inside I see a self, she
rims my past in Aegean blue, and from the vast
I necromance, ‘What am I, that is to be 

purified by the alembic of seas?’
The water speaks of women and wombs massed
at the bottom of the sea; they look at me, 

they look like me. Ηere on the inside I see
Aphaeans underneath. Aphaean, how fast
you breathe your pranic plea: ‘Remember me.’ 

Filtered through the alembic of seas,
memory changed: behind her face there is a cast —
past and apathy — of Smyrna fire, of Syri- 

an scene. Here, here on the inside she
touches me and I bleed: drowned children glass
themselves in blood distilled through the alembic of seas.


*Aphaean from Greek Aphaia, meaning ‘she who is unseen’

Athena Melliar is a feminist poet. She has earned a degree in Philosophy and Psychology. Her work has appeared in The Menteur, Dark Marrow, LEVELER, So to Speak: a feminist journal of language & arts, Moonchild Magazine, and other literary publications. She has been profiled in Maudlin House. (she/her) 

Twitter: @AthenaMelliar, Instagram: athenamelliar


Bright Pain

BY: Maxima Kahn

The gold prickled ball of the gazania
             enters my eye like a pain
being absorbed. A few bright wrinkled
             petals droop from this spiky net
for catching sunlight like withered fingers
             gesturing in sign a fervent language.

What I want to say is
             how the coleus’ variegated leaves of
green and—what is that color?—
             some shade of coral ripple
in a passing breeze. Not that,
             but how it pierces me. Not
the things themselves in their outrageous
             simple glory but the sharpness
with which they enter me, the quiet
             decimation I wish I could detail.

The bee crawls over the gazania,
             tiny legs working, translucent wings
quivering. Light slopes over the curved
             back of a patio chair, designs
of deep shadow make an elaborate
             modernist brocade. How far beyond enough
that is. How sunlight warms each
             living thing, dried oak leaves braid
a lavish carpet. And this
             one bird whistling breaks my heart.

Maxima Kahn‘s first full-length book of poems, Fierce Aria, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in Summer 2020. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The Louisville Review, Euphony Journal, Entropy, Citron Review, Sweet, Wisconsin Review, and Spillway, among many others. A recipient of fellowships and scholarships to the Vermont Studio Center and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she has twice been nominated for Best of the Net. Having taught creative writing at the University of California Davis extension, she now teaches and blogs at BrilliantPlayground.com. You can follow her creative process at Patreon.com/maximakahn.


BY: Despy Boutris

I love you big-time long-time
all the time I love your mouth
I love the wind of your breath
your eyes your scars the long
parabola of your neck and shoulder
the length of your body the backs
of your fingers brushing
against thighs I love your hands
your earlobes the snow
of your inner thigh I love the scent
of you the taste of you the burn
of your lips I love the scald
of your skin the angle of your jaw
the sweet heat of the bend
of your knee I love you neck
to navel curl to curl I love
your thumbs I love your bedhead
I love your leonine half-wild hair
chestnut curls I love your calves
your crooked smile your hollow
of throat I love you hard-hipped
warm wet rough I love you
split-lipped lead-lidded barebellied
I love your breath I love you cell
by cell I love your arching hips
I love you I love you much I love
you more.

Despy Boutris is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

Dead Deer

by Lauren Rose

burnt bush skeletons like a haze of
unbrushed hair

a dead deer, she says
as we drive past it

and never think of it again

Lauren Rose was born on Misawa Air Force Base in Japan in 1999. She is a senior at Sierra Nevada University studying biology, creative writing, and outdoor adventure leadership. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. Her previous work can be found in issue six of Burnt Pine Magazine and will soon be available in the fall 2020 issue of Peregrine, the 2020 issue of Ricochet Review Poetry Journal, and the Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories Volume 4, Book 2. She has been recognized by seven Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Follow her on Facebook at @lauren.rose.102 and Instagram at @rose_lauren.e.

Related Post: “Pray for us Sinners” by Lauren Rose

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