Archives for January 2017

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

A Memory of the First Battle

Xujun Eberlein

At first our city’s two Red Guard factions engaged in “civilized struggle”—using brush pens and words, big-character posters and leaflets, high-pitched broadcast and public debates, loud diatribes and, occasionally, fists to attack each other—until one side started to frequently parade the streets, shouting insulting and damaging slogans such as “Blah-blah is doomed,” and that nettled the nerve of the said faction, middle and high school and college students who had successfully forced the city government to stop classes, so they could carry on the Cultural Revolution, and so they charged into the city’s firehouses, where fire-fighters had been told not to resist the Red Guards, filled fire engines with sewage from big cesspools of communal toilets, drove to the streets, and sprayed their parading opponents—who might have been able to stand up against water cannons but ended up fleeing helter-skelter from the overwhelming foul smell—making the streets stink for days, so badly that stores stayed closed. That was how piss and shit and fire engines became the first real weapon in our city’s “armed struggle,” preceding steel rods and spears, which would, in turn, be replaced by rifles, machine guns, tanks, even warships, all supplies from arsenals stocked to aid Vietnam’s resistance of the U.S., and when those weapons drew blood we’d hear stories such as friends of an injured student tying a towel below his leg wounds, a first-aid method they thought they had learned from war movies, until the boy shed all his blood and stopped breathing.


M. R. R. Gutierrez

The temple is almost gone. Its remains settle snugly into a niche surrounded by grasses and poppies. The sun is so hot it turns the sky white, burns the chlorophyll out of the tops of the plants, putting all the colors together and makes everything seem bright and otherworldly. It’s like finding an old shin bone in the grass. In many years, the stone will have worn further, time folding it gently back into the earth. All the while—if we have stayed away—the poppies will have claimed everything, falling into cracks, stretching their arms out, running over the hills and bones, spots of blood on a handkerchief.

To Burn the Night

Christopher Morgan

from “Two Young Lovers”

It takes

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

my experience,
a sharp   startle

he   terrified that

My   experience   was
a sensation of being followed
at night

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

[view original erasure]


Karen George

pollen glasses dark
rust shimmers the universe
lies charcoal the nest


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.


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.

It All Depends

Brad Rose

Admiring the corporality of animals, we’re parked in the ghost car. I have an indoor question: How many misspelled thoughts must I have, anyway? There’s nothing more beautiful than wanting the impossible to be true, especially when it is. Time passes faster in the mountains, than it does by the sea. Like a drowned body, the sky’s blue prairie floats overhead. Wind light as confetti. Maybe we should take a drive to the beach; go for a swim? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I can tell you it’s a beauty. No one attends their own funeral. Know what I’m saying? By the way, that outfit looks good on you. Although, it all depends on how you look at it.