Stacey McKenna





    willowed, bent.  bend me.

    to be broken into.  look into me

    to be seen from the inside,

    beyond my

    soft science exterior

    to be analyzed/overanalyzed

    held symbolically upright pedagogically

    reaching, transcending the laws imposed


    theoretically, i should be standardized

    by some national bureau

    lost among the hypotheses explanatory.

    evidence lacking, constancy seeking.

    i want my rituals to be contextualized

    as i remain professional, strange

    lackluster but peerless.


    challenge the scientific

    method that created me.

    oh, to be wide eyed

    at your perspective

    at your interpretation of the facts;

    always unproven, only supported or rebutted.


    but i cannot be another experiment

    and i will not be another guilt ridden accident.


    i want to be hit so hard my breath stops,


    lit so bright, my eyes reverse dilate.

    written, test-tube blended

    shamanized for my liminality

    highwire walking in the face of gravity

    i want to fall



    "Living Foods"


    untamed food

    living diet

    my fingers,

    boysenberry colored

    from delving

    seeking to gather

    before moonlight wanes

    hunters cannot bring

    life back

    your lips frail, pink

    of cherry blossoms

    beneath which

    averted eyes sought

    to disguise longing

    for your sandpaper

    soft rose petal tongue.

    deftly you traced

    foreign shapes newly

    sprouted of goddess

    head stems and leaf veins

    popping in my mouth

    fruit flesh

    flooding my mouth

    delicious, quiescent


    breed in cranberry

    blood freshly tilled

    soil nourishing

    varietals of you




Ann Fraser





    Release all that is unfinished

    between us,

    empty of dreams

    and imagings,

    past recognitions,


    say something

    about death

    and pain,

    the lack of alternate



    Open your hands

    or close them,

    look away

    from me,

    pretend you are free.



    Travel by Car


    Air hissing

    through cracks

    of a window,


    insufficient light

    against a mirror;

    the study

    of lines and expressions.


    Eyes, a mouth

    slight closed

    or open,

    past miles of fields

    and fences;


    houses and gardens


    to obsure

    the boundaries,


    passage of dark or light,

    whatever comes

    from the sky,

    each season -

    all thing gone from.




Jnana Hodson





    Crossing XXXVI


    A green-streaked sentry flanked by thistles

    on every town common is more explicit

    than any boom box. Please, my darling, please

    don’t let carnal memories expire between us.


    I set forth at a disadvantage.

    Ribbons of baby oil. Snaking Chinese dragons.

    One flesh, lagoons. Trembling like the wind

    in shrubs and flowers. You chained


    criticism on my Academy of St. Martin

    in the wallpaper, provoking blatant spice factory

    peppers and cinnamon misrepresentations

    of common logic, as if you were running for office.


    Without proper camouflage, there’s nothing to repulse

    destitution overtaking military-issue fortifications.





    Crossing XXXVII


    Please don’t panic. Bullfrogs are crooning,

    thanks to you, and I am misled

    in directions to the Garden State Parkway.


    Oh, my darling, we are blown grain by grain

    toward ignition each time you intone

    sonorous folksongs or decisions I’ve come to regret.


    At last, swallowing how terrifying it must be

    to awaken in one day no longer a girl but a woman,

    I accept your tearful morning phone call to Brooklyn.


    Against all odds, you punt me into

    another prolonged stretch of involuntary celibacy.

    We vowed we would never resemble our parents.


    Once I believed our compassion was absolute and original.

    How could I have disregarded all the ways

    hand-woven Irish linen curtains obscure lusting?






Christopher Mulrooney





    In a western ghost town


    the never-figured forth

    figured very strongly

    as the black applies

    to any hearse or



    variorums of the likely happenstance

    migrate to these waters


    shipshape the very expanse

    of sky

    holds its own


    the purblind with tears

    stumble allusively





    The waterfront project


    oh they’ve heard all about you

    and your wish

    to see the fish

    leaping into airline cargo containers

    ice like snow

    on the asphalt


    how the buckets dip

    and go down into the sea

    you shall not see

    not if the rearguard consortium

    can help you now it is

    not the help it is made out to be


    paint the good coat of paint

    over the sides

    lest any see





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