Hospital (1)

Matthew Johnstone

There is a wall I lean
at       when
the ice breaks apart the house.

Heaving

knives of wood rum
and milk.       I bite hands.
Clean in planes       intimate
with hooks       pounded
falling air. Sun went badly hail
slapped up       asps. There just

are no straight lines left.       It
loved the earth but could not say.
Pianist

could not type. Or axe
shut from peeling bark.

Burning

Bobbi Lurie

The arms of the trees open wide
We are here for such a short time

Do not imagine this dream is yours

The Codroy Cobblestones

Richard LeBlond

Near the wharf in the southwestern Newfoundland outport of Codroy is a small beach where the ocean stores cobblestones. They look like huge gray potatoes, their surfaces, angles, and corners smoothed and rounded by the constant rolling. One can hear a thousand disunited voices saying “cobble” as each wave rolls them twice, once coming in and again going out. One can also hear a thousand wooden shoes walking in a tunnel walled with stone, or a ruptured storage bin in a bowling-ball factory, or a thousand skulls rolling down a bedrock slope in a catacomb.

Initially I thought the cobble sound obeyed two pulses, the faster pulse with the waves, and a slower one with the tides. On a return visit I was greeted with silence at the cobblestone beach, and assumed I would have to wait for high tide to hear the knock-about rocks again. So I interrupted three fishermen working with gear on the Codroy wharf to find out when the next high tide would be.

“Looks high now,” one of them said, his tone indicating the conversation had run its course.

But I was not deterred. “When I was here last year, the tide was rolling the cobblestones on the beach below the road going up the hill over there.” As I pointed towards the road, I realized I was on the verge of profound silliness, but could not stop myself. “It was a wonderful sound, and I was hoping to hear it again. I thought it happened at high tide.”

“Those was probably storm waves rolling the rocks,” said another fisherman, the look on his face suggesting he was working hard at sounding normal for someone who wasn’t.

My Sad Farm

Susan Kay Anderson

My sad farm was never funny
just tons of work. Work we finished
too early and too late. In the summer
we were cowboys loading white-faced calves
at cow camp up in the mountains. In winter
we shoveled and chewed all over again.
Our inventions actually worked. Well.
One poem didn’t let go of another.
Each tractor parked next to the next.
I thought it might have something to do
with wild ponies just like in a song
about them. But that spoke of nothing.
The stuff about all those wild ponies
and their mannerisms. Their behavior
needing taming and how. Tina said
I should spray her wicker furniture under their
credenza. The last time she spoke to me.
How it was important to have a clean driveway.

Get to it. The neighbors are waiting. They never called.
Only to find out when we died. And how.

The Forbidden City – Beijing, China

Deborah Guzzi

Beijing’s north wind skewers bundled tourists rushing through the gates of the Forbidden City. A late afternoon, mushroom-orange, smog descends upon the capitalist infestation. Bug-eyed, the travelers scatter as parade troops enter: link arms, push them under eaves, and against walls. Make way, the leader growls, important people coming—not you, as a diplomatic entourage rolls past in flag-waving Mercedes. A riotous veneer of red-lacquer anxiety crackles through the gilt of the courtyard; a Kafkaesque scene unfolds.

bile rises
in the back of throats:
goose-steps ring

The group’s whisperers animate when the military leave. Elderly women peek into non-public areas behind grime-etched windows. They cluck, and tut-tut, at the pieces of teak furniture piled high, draped in rags and dust. The guide gestures toward the grand courtyard where “The Last Emperor” was filmed. The artful elegance of what was, now, a carapace, valueless to its owners, except for the yuan the gwai lo tourist trade brings.

The late start limits the time which can be spent in the hollow undecorated rooms. A New York Indian couple bemoan the fading sunlight and lost opportunities. Dwarfed by the architecture of the building, and the entering police cars; the group scatters, disturbed like wasps in a hive. The guide’s attempt to lasso the laggards meets with only minor success. Reality has, yet again, not lived up to the New Yorker’s imagination. They are hesitant to leave without their rupee’s worth.

speakers blare on
the police car in the park:
the bus is running

Kentucky Coal Mines

Maya White-Lurie

littered with canary bones, feathers and beaks swallowed by asthmatic shafts. Abandoned mine land’s muscles lean close, fingers curl into palm, never let go. Where birds kept singing, tunnels stretched deep, wooden support forests grew so well in that dark. Children heed stay out stay alive, magnates wind through sediment toward swelter.

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.

Winter 2015 Season anthology

We’re pleased to announce the release of the Winter 2015 Season of concīs. Many thanks to our stellar authors and artists: Amy Nash, Anny Ballardini, Caroline Brooke Morrell, Cintia Santana, Daniel M. Shapiro, Halvard Johnson, Jack Darrow, James Cervantes, Jeanie Tomasko, Jee Leong Koh, Jennifer Moore, Jessy Randall, Joshua Wann, Jude Marr, Katarina Boudreaux, Lori Brack, Lorraine Schein, Louis Bourgeois, Mark Young, Mary Harpin, Matthew Dexter, Maura Stanton, Maxianne Berger, Melissa Kwasny, Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois, Philip Kobylarz, Rachel Nix, Richard King Perkins II, Robert W. Fieseler, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Ryder Collins, Sabrina Amaya Hoke, Sarah Gajkowski-Hill, Sarah J. Sloat, Scott Wiggerman, Skip Fox, Stanley Jenkins, T.M. Devos, Theodore Worozbyt and Wendy Taylor Carlisle.

If the embedded issue below takes too long to load, try this direct link.

And don’t forget: there’s still time to enter our Winter 2015 Celebration Contest.

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

css.php