Poetry of the Non-Prose Kind

Association

Tricia DeJesus-Gutierrez

There is erogenesis
a slit between
mint and molar
the throwback
safety of innocence

designated hitler

Dylan Krieger

never trust a pitcher who refuses to hit his fair share, whether fair or foul, or else you’ll end up whispering your wedding vows to the outfield, cleaning up after the septic run-on sentence of your body—fainting spells, blood-caked toenails, rose-gold swellings jetting pus around the five-pointed star of your breast. different from the rest, he told you the story of how he became designated hitter in college, adopted a fake name you remember (perhaps wrongly) as tucker, and somehow mustered the guts to face each pitch stone-cold sober—swearing off the devil’s water, leafy greens and LS-dream fodder, not to mention children’s tylenol, atenalol, pain relievers one and all. that’s the kind of teetotaling ragdoll i would have let tattoo my forearm come fall, had the lager not robbed me of my faith in man and god. that’s the happy-go-lucky glad-hander who threw the first pitch in the dirt, so it wouldn’t hurt as much when its stitching ripped apart and left the earth

Hanalei Bay, 1971

M.J. Turner

Tourists wade at the edge of the surf,
white swollen knees hover above the clay-
colored foam — blimps following a parade.

Sand pours out of bathing suits shucked
outside the backyard shower: bare flanks
breaded like chicken cutlets, waiting. Yellow
grains scratch the painted floorboards again.

To the South

M.J. Turner

Five borders, three languages: I’ve left
slate roofs and sausage rolls behind.
In the empty compartment, the bed

stretches out – whiter than home,
starched, almost the smell of bottled
clouds – shuddering at each unnamed
stop, squealing by the late-night sidings.
When magenta and chrome yellow
hang in the windows, fields
colored like cheap calendars taped
to a pre-school wall, I’ll step
into the train station and speak
its language like a toddler,
with a wallet and a full set of keys.

Compartmentalization

Samuel Rafael Barber

Fifty-eight percent of the men and women at whom you smile while grocery shopping say the torture of suspected terrorists can be justified “often” or “sometimes.” Fifty-seven percent of the men and women who hold a restaurant door open for you say harsh interrogation techniques can provide information that can prevent terrorist attacks. Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 reads: “Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.” And yet.

Silo

Caitlin Scarano

the year I spent eating

eyelashes suckling

a hangover hippocampus

slamming on & off like a stagelight

I couldn’t stop watching

that trashbag caught in a tree

 pray for a break in the blight

how many people won’t

speak to you now

there was a silo I knew

that burnt down and what remained

was a cement ring this

is autopsy membrane

fixation in all my territory

I find so little tender

One Saturday Afternoon

Tammy Robacker

I watched my mother
(Who had grown
All of her fingernails
Very long) choose
Not to dust or clean
The house that day

Instead she polished
Each pointy oval tip
A bright candy pink
Twice over then added
A translucent topcoat
And let them air-dry

While she eased back
Ignoring everything:
The kitchen, my father,
Even me, and leisured
To read Prisoner of Desire
On our old green sofa.

Perverted Karma

Tammy Robacker

My mother passed down
your 18 carat pinky ring.

An heirloom showpiece.
Thick-built manly thing

boasting a square-cut garnet
that crowned dead center.

But I sold the gold
to an old fogey

at a curio shop.
He pressed and pushed

his thumb clean through
the rear end

until the gem broke free.
Then dropped

your popped cherry
in my palm for keeps.

Anagrammed Variations of the American Dream

Yuan Changming

A ram cairned me
In a crammed era [where]
Cameramen raid

A dire cameraman [or]
Arid cameramen

[Becoming]

A creamed airman [or]
A carmine dream
A minced ram ear
[a] maniac rearmed

As freedom turns into a dorm fee
Democracy to a car comedy, and
Human rights to harming huts

Side Arrangements

Jed Myers

Carbon, what’s left after water
vapor’s risen along with smoke,
the fire’s remainder a blackness

of orphaned atoms. Carbon, chains
wound up inside us, thirsts and murders
its side arrangements, braided fuse

igniting the present’s spark-light
in the black of was and will be. Carbon,
footprint of our fumbling, our cutting

down our origin’s columns
to stoke a stone hearth. And a diamond—
hard dry tear of still here,

a long-ago life pressed pure
in the dark under a forest, pick-axed
by a hard-worked dark-skinned miner—

you’ll wear it, held by a few silver
prongs to a silver wire to ring
your thin slow-burning finger.

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