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Poetry - page 3

Here’s a list of our recent selected poetry. We prefer poems with these qualities: innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating image, subtlety, and point of view; a surface of worldly exactitude, as well as a depth of semantic ambiguity. Before submitting, please read these poems and our submission guidelines.

The Architecture of Love Memory Death and Desire and Other Poems, by George Wallace

in Poetry by

THE ARCHITECTURE OF LOVE MEMORY DEATH AND DESIRE

There’s no use crying like an idiot child, life is an assassin, chewing on a toothpick, wearing a film noir raincoat and grinning like Bogart and Bacall, and beauty walks by on crooked feet, finger on the trigger, ready to shoot you up or shoot you out of its mouth like spit, and love is nervous as a cat in the southern zone and I am looking for evidence of the sacred in the flesh, and love is always right there behind me or right around the corner, ready to brain me with a cobblestone or the butt end of a handgun

and I worship you publicly and in secret and alone, and memory is time and time is an oppressor, and time is a tyrant and a dead-end alleyway, and life is sacred as bread and spills like milk, and the smile which lurks behind the drapery of flowers is a dynamic music and a bashful woman is always pouring out sweet wine and inviting me to walk with my own shadow,

go blindly, she says, walk through blindly, do not turn back
and the architecture of love memory death and desire is a shadow
and I have loved many women, and only one woman, and you

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Stems and other Poems by Martina Newberry

in Poetry by

STEMS

On the window behind her,
the stems of palm trees were reflected.

She thought how they could scarcely
be called trunks. They were, in fact thick stems.

Pigeons gathered at her feet
(“rats with wings” her uncle said, “just rats”).

She had a vision of them
involving real field rats, garter snakes,

and owls. She had long since moved
beyond the reach of family, further

than all their words. She had moved
beyond her own premonitions of

what her life would be. She had
been out of sync with the flesh-colored

world of the living and now,
more familiar than she imagined,

came the quiver of knowing
and the narrowing silence beyond.

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Con Los Muertos and Other Poems by Mark Nickels

in Poetry by

CON LOS MUERTOS

I’m with the dead today. It is true they smell like
creek flow, mildew, church wood, & funny their
funny names, “Lord Byron”& “Myrtle Bump”.

And what to say about their faces that gel in darkness,
turning mineral in color, glowing blue in the mind,
flesh emblems in a dry box, distant, morphing

into a piñata in cold confinement. They don’t beckon
from the ground until you think of them,
even for an instant. Think of them but once

& they are on to you— you are on their radar, so to speak,
so lonesome they are, their faces lighting
the coffin lid, traces of love in a vast underground net,

batteries of love of a very low voltage, sensitive
to the living & the pitch of interest or ardor
popping off all over the globe. The blinking dead

sparking in the rain, like when Petula Clark goes down
town. Very nearly festive, this opulent blinking. How
they need us. How they need not to be forgotten.

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James Goddard photographs

in Art & Photography/Poetry by

UNSEEN

Red, yellow,
the colours of spices,
the colours of nature,
dust, burnt orange, umber,
brown, green,
sky blue, water flowing,
ice cold, air cold,
people talking, voices, music,
silver, gold, the colours of greed,
withered black the colour of seed
wanting needing all that is,
sweat on skin, the colour of skin,
red, yellow, white, brown,
red, red, red, red,
blood only has one colour,
bodies together, performing acting,
never, never, all is real,
stories whisper, memories whisper,
tears congeal,
footsteps echo, life in transit,
ideas die, nowhere to go,
stars shine, sun shines,
light blinds,
I see nothing….

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Chanukah Lights and other poems

in Poetry by

Three poems by American poet Richard Levine selected for this issue by Djelloul Marbrook:

Portraits of Unrequited Love

What of the woman on the park bench,
staring up, her face an inflated tear?
Of all the mild beasts in our community,
her story grieves me.  I think heartbreak.
I think loss.  In my mind, I write her biography
of unrequited love.  I don’t know anything,
but writing hers keeps me from wishing
I was happier with my own heart’s chapters.

In that way, at least, she is so good to me.
I see the age-sag of her breasts.  Other than that,
what can I know of or hope for her?  I jog
by, but she doesn’t notice me noticing her.
How can she know how much she has
meant to me, or what I’m running from?

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Glossary of Loss and Other Poems by Dean Kostos

in Poetry by

THE TENDER

a small boat that ferries people to a port

A bed sails down a river, a name carved
into its headboard. Floating
from Amherst, Emily Dickinson unlaces
her coutil corset with a quill, scrawls:

A bed is not a boat, twinned
in water’s reflection, but a vessel
into Mind. When hallelujahs echo
from distant hymnals,

she recalls mulberries
in May, fingers blued. Today, she tastes
the burn of absence, metallic
on her tongue. Dust darkens

beveled windows, ghosting panes, each one
a quatrain onto Paradise. Squinting
through history’s glass—future,
past—she knows the bed

will arrive, sheets embroidered
with eglantine. Unbraiding
her hair, she’ll dip its strands
to inscribe her stanzas in water,

words that will unwrite themselves.

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