Audio

Work with audio narration or other accompaniment

Exit Music: Microcosm

Nate Maxson

 This country/ it’s the little things
 This planet/ the street you grew up on
 This moment may be/ your most recent lover’s choice of soap
A haunted house/ if you look close enough
But I’ve got my own/ their stage-whispering obsolescence
Rickety mansion full of ghosts/ it’s circling a black hole
And the living/ I am a black hole circling
 I keep it in my jacket pocket/ like a music box
Sometimes I peer in there/ oh my snowglobe
Watch the little haunted people/ turn the key for a song
Burning the furniture for warmth
And making flutes/ a bigger black hole
Out of one another’s
Tiny bones

[We grow away from strangers]

Jude Dillon

We grow away from strangers
remain unsolved

by a bramble-shadowed stream
grey rock turning black in a sudden field of snow

your distance I wonder at
tightens the loveliness

reaches in
to lead us out

Soundtrack

Florence Lenaers

In the space between hearing and listening I’m stuck. Imperfect soundproofing hands me half an earful of narrative straight from another kitchen sink. I should listen away. Can’t. Sleety sound effects, trickles of dialogues seep out, soak in my low-quality socks. Downstairs as downstairs neighbors are supposed to be, they lift the lid of their domestic music box, lift it with the very tips of their voices. Humming thrumming drumming. I make out few of their words, high volume helps, & ■■■■ is an easy one. The others wade beyond recognition, end up moving like shadow puppets made with mittens on. Their mouths are not the only ones talking. Their TV set has a loud flush. Their chair legs sharpen their claws on the tiles. Their cigarettes hiss by the window. Huffing puffing. Their trained bed comments upon whatever love they are making. Their doors slam themselves to sleep. Their arguments run in red high heels. Babbling. Their baby girl must question the ceiling every time my pile of books tumbles to the floor.

Dutch Tilt

Jennifer Handley

Dreamed I was in the back seat of a car with Robert Downey, Jr., a big black Packard like in a James M. Cain story. We’re making a movie, we’re making out; we’re being filmed through the side window by two guys crouched behind an old-fashioned camera shaped like Mickey Mouse ears. Robert wears a white shirt. He bends over me as I fall back against the vast upholstery. There is a driver, black suit and skinny tie, half turned in his seat. He gestures, and we look behind us, and framed in the back window is the top half of a huge rising moon, craters visible on its surface, moonlight shining in so that Robert’s white shirt glows and glows, the light nearly shattering the blue glass of my eyes.

The Red Disk

Tim Adams

—for Joan Miro

one does not
blanch
a river’s
milk in
a trench

The Cheated Will Shape It So It Fits

James Blevins

she—he—& me:
three little glooms

three wounds corralled

I will drink to that
& to hammers
& to their flat, red impacts

Wheel

Jari Chevalier

Weeds blow
among ruins. Stones
cut to fit tight, fortress
razed to three
stones high.

People selling antennas,
fried bananas,
brooms, scratch
their chigger bites.

Cuenca’s cathedral,
where I place my running
shoes on the steps for someone,
light a candle.

Ornaments, vessels,
tools for killing or making music . . .
Incans lived without the wheel.
Vendor piercing

the square with ice cream
cries. Little hands,
sticky with ice cream,
washed in the colonial fountain.

In the market,
so many
chickens on spits
and a girl sobbing

beside a wire bin,
so overbrimmed
with chicken heads
they slide right off
the edge of the rim.

Mosquito Logic Three (We the Help)

Jake Edgar

Emerging from your chrysalis, you were welcomed by an ignition of light that caught you and held you there. The warmth of crossed hands, pudgy and sterile. Is this true? Can belief be found in a place full of failed attempts to coalesce?

Peter says that he really just misses his kids and thank GOD for those emergency workers for talking him off that roof. You think sort of less of him each time he says the word God.

You’re waiting for the coloring session to end, to show a blackness sans blackness and then he brings up his kids again, each time he says kids he blinks like a falcon.

A Tiny Crown

Martha McCollough

O Bug bug bug bug bug…
—John Hollander

Little musical hairdressers, His
favorites sing with nail and comb,
natter rhythmic clicksongs in His ear,

so many variations after the first
essay: pool skimmers to slide over
shady waters, little kitchen demigods

ruining the flour, nano-lumberjacks,
and you, assiduous worker, proud
to roll your ball of dung in the broad

field of His approving gaze: a God
so plainly fond of you if otherwise
unknowable, capricious, obscure.

Paradise

Christian Tanner

Christian Tanner Paradise
{{svg_share_icon}} {{heart_svg}}
css.php