[four poems]

Bob Heman

inserts words
into the field
the others approach

the meaning there
nothing more
than their experience


they were repeated
where the sky
was empty where
the trees ended
where even the
bears had machines


this was
how they
went away

a door
in a field
of flowers


predictable words
arranged upon
the ground
they walk upon

they are removed
if too much
meaning gathers

Excerpts from Translations

Benjamin L. Perez

The endless other
Of the void’s silhouette.

Infinite winding-sheet
For a stillborn god.

Sanguinary summit;
Executioner’s block.

if a body is bound

Kristen Renee Miller

i. if a body is bound

—yet is not a book
(weird inner stringing)
call it hate, sprung
from under sodden, salten
fear, a kind of failure
open, given

one’s best hid under,
working, see—
I’m dust and full of sight


ii. if a body is bound

—but you’re here on invitation
dear, so we decorate
and minister

embitter these
in greater numbers, O—
behind this roar, a door

binary be shade again
send in the gradient


iii. if a body is bound

—I’m right to object
to die of wonder
creating under unseen welts
and trending sins

a sister dies—
her object was
a little darkness
not a book
not in the usual sense

Neither Sun nor Death

Howie Good

They are beating the cars with metal bats. I think, “Am I supposed to be here?” That thing is on fire in a big way. I don’t get outside as much anymore. An illegal string offset “echo” has disappeared into the archive, to be handled by only people who wear white cotton gloves. I’m left to just cry. You need to be careful in interpreting that. Every day I confront the same choice: stay inside or perish. Somebody grabs Suzanne’s hair and twists her neck. We make eye contact. I know tulips aren’t spelled two lips.

concīs Spring 2017 Season Anthology!

The concīs spring 2017 seasonal anthology (PDF) is out, featuring Brad Rose, C. Kubasta, Caitlin Scarano, Christopher Morgan, Dylan Krieger, Eric Pankey, Feral Willcox, Greg Lyons, Jaime Garcia, Jed Myers, Jennifer Atkinson, Jerry McGuire, Jonathan Jones, Karen George, Kelly Fordon, Lana Bella, Lorene Delany-Ullman, M.A. Scott, M.R.R. Gutierrez, Margaret Turner, Mark Budman, Maureen Alsop, Mercedes Lawry, Monica Rico, Phoebe Reeves, Richard LeBlond, Robert Hamilton, Robert Miltner, Rose Knapp, Samuel Rafael Barber, Sarah Puschmann, Spencer Shaak, Tammy Robacker, Tricia DeJesus-Gutierrez, Xujun Eberlein, Yuan Changming and Christopher Lee Miles!

Cover: “Inspiration” by Amanda Lo

Meditation On an Unnamed Island

Jennifer Atkinson

No one asks who dropped the first shell,
when among the mangroves’ arched roots,
out of the heaps of oyster shells, fallen
and crushed to lime, the snags and shoals
of random tide-flung bits and silt-on-silt
accumulation, new land rises up.

We love the idea of the world as a sudden
paradise created whole on purpose for us
to lose by being human. Or the other idea
of the world as envisioned designed garden
toward which it studiously evolves.

Meanwhile, here on actual shell-by-shell-
by-mangrove created ground, the raccoon
philosopher turns her mind to pleasure,
to work—shucking oysters, digging clams,
combing her tail of fleas and burrs. All around

the rack and weave of mangrove, mudflats
marked with slicks and shallows, decomp
reverting and recombining. And overhead
the fish crow flies from bay to bayou,
the sun-silvered eel in its talons writhing
(what if it were?) in a sideways figure eight.

Valentine Sonnet

Jennifer Atkinson

for mine

We’ve never tasted Sinai manna or truffles plucked
from the tip of a leashed boar’s tusk or dipped our straws
in the mumbling hive and drunk. Nor have we ever

sucked on glacial ice that sizzles still with ancient air
or yet have breathed prophetic Delphic fumes. Maybe we’ll never
get to Lindesfarne, Compostela, or Everest.

Never mind the coral reef off Queensland, Machu Picchu,
Lhasa, Easter Island… It’s too late already for old Timbuktu,
Ajanta and Ellora fade, the Giza Sphinx’s eye is blurring

closed, and the green Maldive Islands slide away
toward lost Atlantis. All that can wait—and the briar rose
it’s said burned unconsumed for Moses—Love,

those other far-off pleasures can some other time their treasures prove.
Right here’s a fine and private place for all our love’s long lazy day.


Tricia DeJesus-Gutierrez

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

[Interactive Objects]

C. Kubasta

Both place-based and place-less, this is a poem of great disloyalty. These are interactive objects discolored by the touch of people’s hands.

It is time to look at the concentric rings of once-whole wood. Here is the drought that starved us out. Here, the fire that barely killed us.

We contract the disease that killed him —remember which salad dressing to order, but not the man we cherished like a vow.

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