Winter 2016 Season

Work from the Winter 2016 Season of concīs.


Theodore Worozbyt

The black Bell telephone rings. That sound had lingered. Outside, throats hidden beneath a leaf, faces blunted, the toads have stopped waiting to be collected. Slowly then, as though my queasy blank might meet itself and soar deep into the blue invisibility of a Northern sky, Isabelle Faust draws her bow across a charcoal portrait hanging in my mind. Ones appear in such gaps as the eye provides and the ear can’t ignore, if not their expressions. They stay welcome but stay alone, and sing their sighs through spaces between forgettings. Only grief hears them out. The violin is not higher than the viola; it is smaller. Each note contains a fingertip touching something so like itself there remains no distinction in the echo.

we know how it is with windows

Melissa Atkinson Mercer

how that night

mother opened them and slept
heard girls singing // to each other in the olive trees

heard her own lung // gnawing its way through rib

crawling along the blue walls // out into the miracle
of the night’s only wolf // and waking

how she could only // breathe half the air // speak

half the words she knew // a beast born to beasts
into a morning black and hot as a rabbit’s womb

into a shirt pressed wet against her skin

Dear Trud,

Matthew Johnstone

To empty at / the bursted pollen, onto unevenly lit slabs,

head filled / with shade, how a currency of years in space

to close performances / attached. My hid specified from

work / & uninvolved in shippings of myself, less amid body,

my inventory / omits over counted shadows. It was warm

where you wane certain to / obsolete, still your earth tells

me that some proximity sifts / us through breaking grades.


Ivy Alvarez

Spine of the world: its curvature: sheer. Here. Consider each tangle. Impossible at this angle. A honeyed slickening, skin scaffolding, thin viscosity whips falling, how much vertigo our earth diverts, divests for the ceiling. So crystalline. Everything begs for a licking, a taste of armature, pure musculature, sweet architecture. Such a candied, candid space between these buildings. A teeth of stones, shadows, signposts. Blinds. A muscled bite. Concrete bones beneath each bright surface. Right. Simply scurfless. Open doors to cavities, decay, every roof shiny with condensation, haze. Let’s scoop the drops, boil it up. Reduce. Evaporate.

Night Prowl

Ion Corcos

I am a rattlesnake, wrapped in a purple blanket. A route over water and mountains. The forecast is for snow, half a world away. I am human with fire in my belly, burning wild. A mad dog, prowling the streets at night. It is raining now. It is snowing. My house is on fire. I am a tree holding a nest of eggs. A rattlesnake comes. Steals them. I will not hold fear, tend to it like a baby. It is snowing now. I hold a broken umbrella. An umbrella is a tree without spirit. There is someone in the dark.


Alexander Dickow

The best grace falters is true twice.
The stammer in conceit delights.
Wonder is a perfect drunkard.

Practicing in Snowshoes

Sonja Johanson

Focus your gaze
 on fur rippling
around your vision

 Heels press down
ovals of ash-splint
 sinew underfoot

Mittens, boiled wool
 caked in white crust
fingertips burning—

 Stone chapel, closed
c’est L’eglise
 the arched red door

Look up; snowflakes—
 they drift in,
settle on your boots


Caitlin Scarano

mother made of moles
hereditary cluster discolor
my back but she
stepped on another crack
vertebra snap clenched
wineglass my mother stole
my mirror for her scratching
post my next lover pocked
with fingerholes tears
in the corners of my mouth
babies in my teeth is every
shame sexual knees between
tall grass many organs
mutate father in his fist coat
wiping oil under
the archway caged bear I
revere claw luck talon
tuck Is it strange
for me to tell you
to make it hurt?

so big this deep reeling,

Annie Grizzle

 and   no   place   to   put  

it there was a wall I once miss find in difference over

ice and sweet easy

I hope I do I disappoint you

again and again and in seen through the straw

green fix at the site

of my legs in a towel

the gnawing has nowhere to climb anymore please

a million need looks confirm sea in me

Ariadne on Naxos

Eric Pankey

She hears the goat bells descend. It must be nightfall. Fireflies, little lamps snuffed and relit, survey the woods’ depths. The cloud-fed mosses on the ridge-edge grow inky black. Thumb-struck, the match flares brighter, noisier than it ought. She closes her eyes, untangles a maze’s abstruse distance into a line.