Poetry of the Non-Prose Kind

Chapter Fourteen: Follow Here

Phoebe Reeves

All things are under the wings of doubt—
cattle and the fruits of the earth,
 men and women,

the menstrual flux, the flow of milk
and infirmity.
 Between her legs,

with her hands, she summons her health
as if it were flowing from the knife,
 alone without

the foundation of loss.
 Some men came to a stream.
One of them took off his clothes

and went into the stream
and tasted it and declared that it was true.

Without words, action is secret.
Out of the water,
 the man’s hand suddenly burned.

Under the threshold of the door,
 the bones of a name said
I have my own hands, and a little hole,

unknown to touch or look.
 I have seen the fields, the air,
and been within the year to prove this.

Make Wings

Monica Rico

They shit too much,
the swallows nest
above the mail box
with black eyeliner
or wings on the eyes
of Elizabeth Taylor
who would be jealous
of their blue brilliant as a
bought jewel from the
mouth of Richard Burton.

They strike in dips
and ignore the beautiful
women who catch them
and use their forked
tails to pencil in eyebrows.

spice

Ferral Willcox

hiked skirt, alert
atoll, coral lace bleached to pieces
blasted to patches of cover, duck
under the fabric of safe damask
hidden features of the past
spiked earth coerced
from circle to interrupted girth,
fetish of flash, of fried fish
spurted to Piscean heights
shattering glass,
ceilings of an active sex
dispersed. She was a pretty young thing,
the earth.


Familia Crest

Rose Knapp

One   Medieval value
Papal   Borges Loyalty
Submit Two Prince Jon
Pre printing press Brut
Of course   of coarse
Finally fallacio   is free
From bastards &fallacy

To Burn the Night

Christopher Morgan

from “Two Young Lovers”

It takes
rest

This   all day
low point

ignore the hate
he paid for it

the money   extravagant
his language

I   see
the man
and walk
down   toward   him.

I have
come back
to burn the   night

the work
won’t be safe for
the children

I’m sorry   Listen.
this mess is
the only home I’ve ever had

[view original erasure]

A Sharp Startle

Christopher Morgan

from “The Pink Lady”

distinct   the feeling
I could neither move nor speak

he was gone.

I had   fallen silent
as if
That night
had actually happened.

I stood out
bare

my experience,
a sharp   startle

he   terrified that
home.

My   experience   was
a sensation of being followed
at night

My
mother experienced this many times
It became   common for each of us

[view original erasure]

[haiku]

Karen George

pollen glasses dark
rust shimmers the universe
lies charcoal the nest

Leeches

Greg Lyons

A leech floats along a pond
like a man’s flaccid penis
who is enjoying a hot bath
and the sight of his member
poising. A leech, though,
has circular saw teeth, genetic
hardware for creating instant
glory holes. Its spit and mucus
slobbering—sticky and wispy
like Jell-O shots—seals out
any feeling as each frill
of its head distends and
ebbs. Gulp. Gulp.

Crickets

Greg Lyons

Through the window of a childhood
home, crickets filled the air with bubbles
that they plucked, stridulations. A rapid-fire
of vanishing rainbows popping
into chirplets. My grandma used to sing
 Good night, sleep tight
 don’t let the bed bugs bite
 if they do, promise
 to catch a few
 and we’ll cook ‘em up
 for the morning.
On a clear summer night, the wind keyed
across the trees, rolling the leaves
like a tambourine. Jingles falling over
dreams. Bubbles floating across the bath
of my eyes, cavitations. I was an audience. Why
wasn’t that enough?

Tuvan Lullaby

Sarah B. Puschmann

Because he can no longer sleep, Roy spends nights
seated against the fridge, which is the least of all
the strangeness that has bubbled up like swamp gas
since he lost his lover. He sees a spider with cinnamon
stick legs, two city workers shove the sun down a manhole,
and other such delusions. Besides rest, Roy just wants
to walk a bridge that doesn’t turn to dragon. He doesn’t mind
the Tuvans, though, three men in silk who huddle close
and sing from their throats. It is a comfort to have them near
when a radish becomes his lover’s eye and blinks.
At the Laundromat, Roy’s Tuvans rescue him
from a Mariachi serenade, blare tone over tone
under tone until the Mariachis stagger out, stunned.
And although it’s unlike a delusion to cook a stew
and wash the pots, that’s what his Tuvans do back
at what has become Roy’s apartment, his alone,
a sight stranger than the rest. At night the Tuvans lay
Roy down, sit on his bed and sing of horses or melt water
or sun, Roy doesn’t know the words or how to sleep
but the song is a hard bridge and his steps steady.

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