Poetry of the Non-Prose Kind

Flesh Fade, and Mortal Trash

David Graham

      Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; world’s wildfire, leave but ash

            —Gerard Manley Hopkins

Across the street roofers swarm over hot shingles
chattering in Spanish as they hammer or yank out nails.
I understand the details of their work as little
as I follow their words. It’s all tone, like praise
or chastisement to a dog. It’s a sort of song, lovely as flame,
and yes, I’m the dog. We’re all scurrying in the fire.

Psalm Against Weeping in Public

Peter Munro

A woman glides her body by,
a body built to sate her lover.
The weight of eyes rides her shoulders.
She’s dressed as if she lives skin tight
and likes it where the light hovers.

Lord, your light hovers me over.
Deliver into my palm the left
breast of her who longs for my palm.
We shall heft such weight as shimmers
between one skin and another.

I like my rum dark and sweet.
I have no taste for bitter beer.
The woman sways her body by,
her beat quicker than I can hear. Lord,
her tempo jiggers through my liquor.

Two Poems

Jack Darrow

 

two soft plums
stain the eggshell bowl
beside our bed

 

a sight for sore eyes
baby’s got her pain
dress on

When snow comes early

Mary Harpin

After Quinn Latimer

Leaves accept an early fate and privacies come bare.
There she is, in the naked broadleaf:
the hawks’ nest, the mother hawk, slender
eye, slender beak. We didn’t know
she was here all along, gone tomorrow.
What do you name the sacred
privacies of snow? Sorrow?

Flattened

Sabrina Amaya Hoke

The crystal shard, the door,
where you rest your hand.
The alternate dimension. Universe.
A slightly uglier version of
yourself.

Velikanova

T.M. De Vos

The brightest learned
to make chains, cliques of similars
who loomed heavy in that first atmosphere
where one amino acid began to mean another.
This is how higher animals began, and with them,
further metaphor, bad pastorals.

I was not one of those
who could make my chest swell with organelles
or corset myself into a fringy slipper.

I was a minimum, a single chamber:
I asked only waste, not the bright maki
of new cells. I kept matter only shortly
and released it, barely changed.

This is the model of your Annelids, those blunt bores
who pass through dirt like ether.
They are still going: simple orifices
and what is pushed through.

Weathering

Rachel Nix

By the bovine’s repose
I know soon the scent of petrichor
will grace the grassland;

and more, the verdure
will not be proof the season has tipped
in favor of cooler spells.

Graveyard Shift

Jude Marr

sleep fells me with a sucker punch
to the head: I fall for it
forfeit a waste of days in favor
of elephants dreamed—

a pachyderm herd
gray hides a tracery
trunks a tidal wave of gray—

awake: rays nail me to a pillow: yellow
spreads across my sham. Another damn—

egrets perch, smears of white
on swaying gray—elephants as fodder
for a bird of parasites: tusks
as weaponry—

my lids don’t close: I am nose to nose
with elephant: a tusk nudges
my skull: I am not
my scars, I say—

elephant’s eye-glint
impales. Her ear’s a ragged flap. Scars
are us, she answers back.

Red Rover

Amy Nash

That hotel I keep promising to build on top of some devil’s

backbone about to tumble into the ocean

is no brothel. No one

gets paid to discard used heroes into the fire               ring. Send them over.

January, Huddled

Jennifer Moore

The light is empty of stitching,
of bright weather, bees not opening
from a hole in a tree.

That tongue has a mouth’s worth of teeth
and each one hangs with ice.

In winter
I am the cat with three eyelids,
each one unscrolled to veil
a different feeling.

What I mean is,
the gallery exhibits its own empty walls.

What used to be a voice blew under the door;
outside, one degree of temperature

is a lonely thing to feel.
It’s a small world, after all.

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