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Machine as Ghost

Robert Hamilton

Each fallen god looms larger just as
the windmill blade on a flatbed seems

taller than the windmill and the bough
the gale cracked off, wet and black on the

ground, is tree enough and more and
the Ding an Sich is not for you; you get

only one of its narrow dendrites, filament-thin,
reaching high, hungry for signal.

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.

Why My Life Still Revolves Around an Old Man From South Korea

Spencer Shaak

Because he tapped me on my shoulder in the PC Bang and said, Do you want to go to ping pong room tomorrow? Because in the ping pong room we talked over instant coffee, and played Beatles music together. Because he asked, Do you want to go to Amen Church with me? And because I said yes and I sat with him in the chapel pews with his Korean-English bible, reciting Korean. Because he introduced me to his friends, culture, and way of life. Because he gave me hope on Sundays when I was alone. Because one night he said, Duck, let’s eat, and I said yes because I never had duck in another country, or soju to wash it down with. Because he slapped my back when a bone was caught in my throat and we watched it fling in front of us like it a slingshot. Because we couldn’t stop laughing about that. Because he showed me pictures of his son and daughter who are married and have their own families in Seoul. Because he’s a proud father and he inspired me to be like him, except perhaps with a little less of the late-night gambling, soju, and cigarettes at the PC Bang. Because I hugged him before I left South Korea. And, because it’s hard to hug people these days.

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.

The Myth (4)

Jerry McGuire

The Company of Wolves, “The Story of Grandmother”

All the pretty girls in their bright red hoods, against forest green, blizzard white, diamond mine, pure flame. Each her beast of cunning oncoming, filthy blast of desire, lostness of love. The dance behind everything a stumble through the woods, strut down a narrow path, fumble at the door. Behind it, always, grandma in grandma drag, rocking, knitting, humming a pop song, cuddling her Bible, cradling her shotgun. The guts in jugs on shelves, ferocious tease of teenage nipple, the cunt you never see. Everything turns from cartoon to feast of horror and back again, looping forever, origin story to grind of endtimes, sacraments of warning, damnation, redemption, salvation. The woodsman who comes chops everything up and stacks it in neat piles smeared with granny, the wolf, the girl. That he himself escapes is never in doubt. She forever puzzling over path of pins, path of needles, he confirmed and solemnized in path of axe.

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.


Ephesus

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
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

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