Welcome to the 30/30 Project, an extraordinary challenge and fundraiser for Tupelo Press, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) literary press. Each month, volunteer poets will run the equivalent of a “poetry marathon,” writing 30 poems in 30 days, while the rest of us “sponsor” and encourage them every step of the way.
For December 2012, our first volunteer was Rebecca Kaiser Gibson. You can read her full month of poems here. For January 2013, we had 9 volunteers: T.M. De Vos, Shannon Hardwick, Lindsay Penelope Illich, Mike McGeehon, Janie Miller, Nina Pick, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, Allyson Whipple, and Margaret Young. You can read their month of poems here. For February 2013, our volunteers were: Alison Cimino, Kate DeBolt, Lené Gary, T.J. Jarrett, Jacey Blue Renner, William David Ross, Joanna Solfrian, Dan Thomas-Glass, and Nina Israel Zucker. You can read their month of poems here. And in March 2013, our volunteers were: Serena Chopra, Jill Crammond, Rachel Fogarty-Oleson, Brett Elizabeth Jenkins, Kali Lamparelli, George McKim, Luisa Muradyan, Dan Nowak, and Emily Rudofsky. You can read their month of poems here. For April 2013, National Poetry Month, we welcomed 12 participating poets: Justin Boening, Flower Conroy, Lisa DeSiro, Holly Day, Naoko Fujimoto, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Kate Lutzner, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Melissa Reeser Poulin, Margie Skelly, Mattie Quesenberry Smith, and M. Clara White. You can read their month of poems here. For May 2013, our volunteers were Katy Chrisler, Christine Starr Davis, Donelle Dreese, Alan Kleiman, Desmond Kon, Barbara March, Colin Pope, Jo Vance, and Arlo Voorhees. You can read their month of poems here. For June 2013, our volunteers were Sally Fisher, Lois P. Jones, Janet Kenning, Jacqueline Kolosov, Lea Marshall, James Kirk Maynard, Heidi Johannesen Poon, Lisa Donne Sampson, and Larissa Szporluk. You can read their month of poems here. For July 2013, our volunteers were Risa Denenberg, Jennifer Faylor, Janet Ruth Heller, Catherine Keefe, David Koehn, Richard O’Brien, Claudia Rodriguez, Mobi Warren, and Nicholas YB Wong. You can read their month of poems here. For August 2013, our volunteers were Lynn Doyle, Karen L. George, Mariela Griffor, Rachel Kubie, Denise Rodriguez, M. E. Silverman, and Scott Whitaker. You can read their month of poems here. For September 2013, our volunteers were Janelle Adsit, Kathleen Balma, Stevie Edwards, Sina Evans, Anita Felicelli, Lucia Galloway, Charlotte Matthews, Peter Vanderberg, and Scott Weaver. You can read their month of poems here. For October 2013, our volunteers were H. V. Cramond, Melissa Cundieff-Pexa, Christine Gosnay, Laurel Kallen, Jen Kindbom, Laurin Becker Macios, Kara Penn, Charles A. Swanson, and Kelleen Zubick. You can read their month of poems here. For November 2013, our volunteers were Paul Brooke, Lisa J. Cihlar, Lisa Fay Coutley, Phyllis Hoge, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Erika Lutzner, Michael J Pagán, Bill Prindle, and A.M. Thompson. You can read their month of poems here.
Our ten volunteers for December are: Carolee Bennett, Kate Fadick, Anthony Frame, Yvette Frock Gottshall, Kyle Laws, Calvin Olsen, K. Alma Peterson, Kushal Poddar, Julianza Shavin, and Katharine Whitcomb. Read their full bios by clicking here.
Please follow their work (by clicking “Follow” on the bottom of the page), and feel free to acknowledge their generosity and creativity with a show of your admiration and support by donating on their behalf to Tupelo Press. (Click here to donate, scroll down to the form at the bottom, and put a contributor’s name in the “honor” field.) Just imagine what a challenge it is to write 30 new poems in 30 days!
If you’d like to volunteer for a 30/30 Project month, please contact email@example.com with your offer, a brief bio, and three sample poems and warm up your pen!
Day 4 / Poems 4
December Sonnet #4: A Saucy Advent Calendar for Your Man* / by Carolee Bennett
Some of me always wants to be swallowed.
And that is only Day One. It is followed by
a day of scratch and dent and another dedicated to
the different properties of drawstrings. By Day Four
I want to know what we will do with reindeer antlers
and every other kind of animal bone. During the second week,
we’ll explore how taste works, throw away all good manners,
test the mysterious powers of shellfish and undress
other strange couples, pairings like enjoyable complication
and poisonous workmanship. At a certain point: danger,
an assortment of field notes and a day for the device.
As the twenty fifth day approaches,
I will have made of your rib cage the crawl space prayed
and fasted for: arrival, my lovely accomplice – coming.
*This begins with a line – “Some of me always wants to be swallowed” – from Jamaal May’s “Masticated Light” published in Hum, and the title/concept is inspired by Advent Calendar for Your Man: Naughty or Nice blog post from the Thrifty Ginger, a fellow 518’er I recently discovered. As with my poem for day 2 of this poem-a-day project, I used phrases cleaned out of the spam filter for a blog I manage.
Lectio Divina II / by Kate Fadick
-for the poet in Toledo
I read your poem
of neon signs
and faded constellations
fall back two decades
onto the snow-covered
path through blue cedars
only the silence broken
as the monks who live there
chant O Magnum Mysterium
and stars die once again
Nine Trappist monks lived peacefully with those around them in the
mountains of Algeria. Seven were assassinated in 1996.
Turn this Poem Upside Down and It Becomes More Postmodern (But It Also Becomes Harder to Read) / by Anthony Frame
I’ve heard that every good book should
end in a bedroom. Or maybe I read it in
a dream, the words blurring like sheets.
This morning remembers the furnace
clicking on and off during the night,
all our old appliances lonely as we sleep.
The smoke from my cigarette is not
a cloud and though the sun scatters
through the blinds, the shadows are
not bars. Here, a bedroom, two lovers
huddled against the cold, the traffic-noise
interrupting the silence by finding cracks
in the foundation, drafts around windows.
Hold me tighter, honey, because the day
is coming closer. It’s too cold for the birds
in our bird-feeder yard, too cold for
the frogs in our frogtown city. Too cold
for the ancient swamp to thaw. Smile
as we wrap ourselves tighter, warmer,
longer. The furnace clicks again, I feel
your hand holding my arm as I stare
out the window. Our toes long for
each other’s ankles. Can’t you see
how jealous we make the naked trees?
Anxiety / by Yvette Frock Gottshall
A thrum running through
Being chased by empty rooms
The ‘pams do not help.
I’ll Call You Back / by Calvin Olsen
—For Danielle (You asked for it.)
Certain duties have me
Restrained for the time being.
After dinner I was forced to
Poop in someone else’s house.
Ordinarily, I’d stay on the line, but
Ring me in fifteen?
Going here is all off. I’m impeded,
Every side an obstacle: a crotch-encroaching sink,
Toilet paper disorientation, texts.
Oh, my feet have fallen asleep
Five minutes sooner than normal.
Fear settles in. Is someone outside?
That was a footstep. They know I’m here.
Hum and haw, run the water, pray it doesn’t
Press forward, push onward, forget
Or repress the phone-sized splash in my panic:
The door isn’t locked.
The Etiology / by Kushal Poddar
What the dog holds in its fore paws,
not its head, not one red and white ball
but the etiology of love.
And it desires that you will make
it chase an illusion. You will.
You throw the world out of world, let
the dog lurch and scuttle beyond
so you can remember what love
does not feel like, that December
your father kissed your head and left
the main door ajar behind for
you, your mother, both asleep and
awake, to find the draft’s origin.
Counting Downed / by Julianza Shavin
Another night squandered
in feckless trials of sleep.
O we orphans of night,
of glary days that scorch
the flowers of our eyes –
a quandary of stars
piques our chemistries
and we are lost in the light
natal in the night
tossing our bibs about
like blind bargains
in rumpled beds
Omnia Mutantur* / by Katharine Whitcomb
I read a beautiful story about a boy who could find lost
objects or people by listening for them in the air;
he said everything expresses longing and confusion
when away from what it loves or what it knows
even transplanted trees mutter to each other
in dismay at the smell of strange rain or the new dirt
in which they find themselves. When traveling for work
I used to dream that an enormous god might pick me
up and carry me home if I got too tired to drive.
I used to wear a man’s hat to keep my hair from my face
while I smoked cigarettes at a rickety park picnic table
in Ontario, light all night, loved ones sitting by me,
the aurora borealis a wheeling dreamscape. I used to wait
out thunderstorms on a porch swing with my husband
in a green humid city high on the bluffs. We found one cat
in an alley and another in a barn. I moved my books
to California, to Vermont, from ocean to ocean,
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, whatever it was.
By accident once I turned down a wild
grassed-over farm road in Wisconsin I can still see
as clearly as when I wanted nothing but for us
to love each other in our short time, but nothing will stay still.
Day 3 / Poems 3
December Sonnet #3, starting with a line from Corey Van Landingham / by Carolee Bennett
[The comet] survived an estimated 2,200,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It whipped around the Sun at nearly 1,000,000 miles an hour. [But] the vast majority of sun grazer comets do not survive their close-encounter with the Sun. They end billions of years of existence in a fiery grave. (from Fall of a Thousand Suns by Kevin Curran)
I name every injury like it was a comet:
What hurts. Who did. When likely again. Love –
an orbit, pinched circle. Distance, time relative, but in it
this is known: we disappear a long while, do what
we’ve always done, fall in, fall in, fall in. And with its repetition,
music, the emphasis of certain beats. Today alone,
100,000 in the chest loop the blood through the body three times,
12,000-miles daily. And you thought you had far to go
and little time. Halley’s comes ‘round for everyone at least once,
but Lovejoy, perihelion to perihelion: 622 years. The heart
repeats because it doesn’t know how to stop. Or maybe
it doesn’t know what it knows. Before we knew,
we were less cautious. We dove. We grazed the sun.
*the borrowed first line – “I name every injury like it was a comet” – is from Landingham’s poem “The Louse” which appears in his collection Antidote. Heart stats are according to PBS/NOVA’s Heart Facts, and comet stats are from universetoday.com and fallofathousandsuns.com.
Self-Portrait as Julian of Norwich / by Kate Fadick
as if on cue
from the darkest
moment of night
of jeweled boxes
old and made of fabric
hundreds of them
on tables at an art fair
inside each the same photo
of the green-eyed Afghan girl
taken almost thirty years ago
I lay listening
to the dark silence
where she is now
think come easy
and drift back into sleep
Julian of Norwich lived during the rampant plagues of the 14th century. She is perhaps best known for her saying, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”.
Blatta Orientalis / by Anthony Frame
Even though they have lost the will to fly,
male oriental cockroaches maintain some connection
to their airborne ancestors, their useless wings solid
above their hard black abdomens. But the females
have abandoned the air, left with just nubs. Nubs that
flex with the wind, nubs that feel but can’t camouflage
against the spiders waiting for protein. Nubs like
blinded eyes. Like shoulder blades. I rub my coccyx,
I search for other vestigial structures. Oriental cockroaches
have two cerci protruding from their abdomen, two tiny
shovel-shaped tails that feel the air circling their bodies.
When they stir, does she think of the wind beneath
her genes, the ecstasy of falling, the burden of landing?
Who would give up flight? The flutter, the breeze,
the god’s-eye-view of the world? Who would choose
to be trapped on the ground like Whitman? Grass, not clouds.
Dirt, not sky. Worms, not stars. Who wouldn’t prefer
to look down? Oriental cockroaches are best known
as waterbugs. Maybe that’s how she survives
the urge to fly, the fall, the dance. She can’t
so she swims. I rub my shoulders and consider
the raptor hidden in my chromosomes, the feathers
falling at my feet, the air pulling me up, up, up.
Bound / by Calvin Olsen
The crosswalk lines, newly painted
in a warmer month, dissolve.
That is no way to say it
but to say decay is too much
against the shadows stretching
into what was once an afternoon.
I am the only quiet thing
left in this city. I want to sleep
the way I always sleep: curled
away from nothing or something
without a heartbeat. Not now.
Around the corner a house (not yellow
enough to be yellow, too yellow
to call it cream) sits. That is all.
It sits. On the other side of a fence
two tennis nets sag, the weight of color
lifted long ago, the way it leaves
the beards of young men and every tree
that has not learned of permanence
through release. I am nearly home.
There, where the yard starts, movement
pried my gaze from the concrete once:
I thought it might have been a bird
choosing not to fly away in fear.
It was a leaf, something heavier
holding it down just enough, too much.
Last of the Leaves / by K. Alma Peterson
Lost in last night’s bluster,
the maple’s pale-orange leaves
wind-strewn on a still-green lawn.
Climate change has bleached
a firebrand tree the pale orange
of pastel sunsets in old postcards.
Change of climate needed: beaches:
seagrass, sanderlings, royal terns —
suggested shapes in old postcards.
I’m at my least flagrant, sketching
sandpipers and royal terns, seagulls
wild to share their small despairs.
I’m at my least frantic, sketching
on a shell-strewn, wind-carved beach.
Staring past my dwindling share
lost in last night’s ocean bluster.
We See In Black And White / by Kushal Poddar
A tram car, black, runs over an absent mind, white.
The blood, white, runs to the blades of grass, black. Whispers,
We can change our hues between us, and so they do.
Now the grass, white, and the blood, black, stare at the scene
as men, white, remove the details, black, one by one
the way our adults hide their words from us. They turn
their heads, black and black, as if they can see us.
They cannot. We have no color. We can walk with
our bare selves showing, and no one can discern us
from the grass or the blood.
The Square Root of Chair / by Julianza Shavin
Out of habit, she asked herself trick questions
and answered incorrectly for two reasons
one of which was that it wasn’t possible
since part of her said everything is possible
though another part disagreed while another said
what does it matter when nothing matters
and another part rode the butterfly’s wing to
everything matters and the other countered
then nothing does, does it and another insisted
that if nothing matters the fact that nothing matters
cannot matter, while another insisted that
self preservation matters, instinct not choice,
and another blasted there is no choice
and the other sniped the other chose belief
in lack of choice while another suggested
trick answers just in jest and another
thought this a marvelous thing though another
found nothing funny and another said the future
is unknown, the core of humor is surprise, thus
everything is funny, while another sighed
then nothing is
and she grew weary
and slipped into a dream
of velvet sun
the shape of angst
and woke refreshed
to trick herselves hacked kestions.
Exordium* / by Katharine Whitcomb
through an old square of an old city in a landlocked country swathed
in conquered lands old men walk their skipping grandchildren home
shopkeepers watch the crowds slide by with ice creams and parcels
as the sun circles the statue of a saint by the repurposed mosque
the old city where we lived for a while had fountains fashioned
from colored glass made in the factory for which the city was famous
our old street name meant where the nuns walk and on the corner
a triangular shop housed a marzipan museum with a life-size candy Elvis
all October stayed warm as summer and I ran on brambly dusty trails
up the mountain that rose like a hulking giant in the middle of the city
but November rained the gray old rain of the old world and there was nothing
really to say so I read the five books of Game of Thrones on my Kindle
straight through to the end on trains and in cafes but mostly with my face
turned to the window, cheek on the scratchy blanket-draped couch
every morning he would leave early alone though we worked in the same
building and every evening walked ahead half a block for all the world
what this sounds like is close to truth and became Ljubjana, became Venice,
Istanbul then home to the new world again and yet so far from that place
*an introduction to a treatise or discourse
Day 2 / Poems 2
December Sonnet #2: May Your Penis Hurt When You Make Love* / by Carolee Bennett
If not anger: what, exactly? And when it persists?
Excess, damage. Like cheap, plump poultry, for instance.
Like messy breakups. The Earth can only take
so much! May your penis hurt when you make
love. Damned be. And let them eat. A curse upon.
And a plague. Hex and scourge. Blight and swarm.
Engine failure after manufacturer’s warranty.
Every complaint stuck in Senate committee
which has adjourned. The heart thickens, aches,
despite trimming fat from breasts before they bake.
The length of the union was a factor and some
idea about where the children will be. And income.
Damage and excess. Force-fed poultry. Messy
breakups. If not anger: what, exactly?
*NOTE: According to 17 Bizarre Sex Facts You Probably Didn’t Know (The Huffington Post), “May your penis hurt when you make love” is an inscription found in 2008 by archaeologists in Cyprus on a 7th-century lead tablet. In addition, the poem contains a couple of phrases from a spam email I cleaned out of a blog filter. It began, “When I on track my messy breakup with cheap chicken.” I borrowed a version of that, as well as other phrases/words, including “persists,” “trim away obvious clumps of fat,” “what exactly,” “extended manufacturer’s assurance” and “approval by steering committee.”
Lectio Divina / by Kate Fadick
Just before dawn
about the revolutionary
poet whose words flame
in the crowd
the one whose body
is pulled from the river
throat cut voice
stolen I gasp
when the bird strikes
my window its beak
splintering the icy film
as if swords
could be beaten
Syrian poet Ibrahim Qashoush revitalized an old folk melody with rhythms and words to create the revolution’s anthem. He was murdered in July, 2011.
Colony Collapse Disorder / by Anthony Frame
The disappearance of honeybee colonies, which has been on the rise since around 2006, has been attributed to a number of possible factors including parasitic mites, interbreeding between wild and domestic honeybees and global climate change. Recently, a new class of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, are under increased scrutiny as a possible cause of colony collapse disorder.
Today, I’m taking all
the blame. Match the
carbon footprint of my
work truck with all
these classes of pesticides
I can’t even pronounce.
The honeybees never
had a chance. Maybe
if humans had evolved
into a super-colony,
maybe things would be
different. Maybe, out of
would have protected
our pollinators. Maybe
we would have wasted
this world that much
quicker. Maybe I just
don’t want to worry
anymore, accept my fate,
our fate, as the world
drips into the cosmos.
Or would it evaporate?
And will the sun condemn
me? Will my final
ledger read murderer
of tiny species and
burner of planets? You
can take the catholic
out of the boy, but
the guilt remains. So,
goddess, will I ever
redeem this sin of
bad stewardship? Who
knows how much damage
I’ve done? I’ve lost count
of how many hives
I’ve destroyed. Treated,
that’s the professional
term. I’m at your feet,
sun, asking for forgiveness.
Maybe it’s time to lay
your scorched hands
on me, on all of us.
If you can’t treat
this plague of humans,
maybe it’s time to
collapse, to burn us
all away. This world
without bees. Amen.
Cover / by Calvin Olsen
A song that is not your own
picks its way through a crowd
almost shrouded at the edge of one
fire’s reach. The outdoor amphitheater
lends itself to leaning forward,
a patient strumming at the tipping point.
This is all of us: landlocked.
Here the boundaries are built of dirt,
there are two tomorrows, stars
in their normal places and farther
downhill and through the trees
more stars bounce off the lake.
Between verses I remember
you are left handed: some would say
your guitar is strung backward
but your fingers fit the chord
without a first glance, the way the blind read
braille, another language we don’t speak.
A song is no religion, but close
enough to soften rocks
or at least coax them from the water
you have chosen for your backdrop.
Silence keeps the secret of itself
in the tree line. The fire burns.
If we waited long enough
you could show us the size of darkness.
On The Mercy Of An Ex / by Kushal Poddar
as I grow old here – Kate Fadick
The nest on a serpent’s tree
holds the murmur. A white goat
who survived several festive
seasons stands on the path of winter.
And years wait for the company of years.
That way you let me grow old,
on my flesh, gnarling; let me
survive your winter hunger
and those celebrations of one.
A Glorious Ambush / by Julianza Shavin
You needn’t cut yourself
when others will do it for you
once numb you can feel beautiful
of morphing wholly back
to sweet wine of a Lord’s perfect pear
green blood is what they covet
their words more brittle than air
go as ghost, that laureate lover
one cannot cut the wrist of a severed
For Sale by Owner: Price Reduced / by Katharine Whitcomb
3-bedroom house on corner lot of cul-de-sac. Very near the university.
Irrigation ditch bordering to the west, called by locals a “creek.” New owner must have flood insurance. FEMA in dispute with insurance providers over classification of flood zone. Expect vituperative letters with FEMA letterhead to arrive every year in August suggesting urgent action of an inexact nature.
Southern exposure backyard with deck. Twelve mature cottonwood trees in full leaf provide psithurism for months to be enjoyed from chairs on the deck and even inside the house, due to the high winds of this valley. Deck was not complete when bought by current owner, now surrounded by wire netting to keep out raccoons. One such raccoon the owner named her Yamaguchi for her ninja-like stealth. The deck is frequented by Yamaguchi’s progeny, so do remember to pull the boards back over the spigot hole.
Quiet neighborhood. If potential buyer owns a cat, be advised that neighbor’s “zombie” orange Persian has fleas and seems prone to spontaneous high-pitched battles with all comers. Front porch lights are not operative. Beware the wasp nests if investigating. Automatic garage door disengaged after owner’s car hit door. Door works but is not automatic any longer. Manual heaving open and closing is inconvenient but not dangerous.
Large French door refrigerator with bottom drawer freezer. Loud grinding sound sometimes erupts from fridge, though only if groceries are arranged to disturb the secret matrix. This secret matrix is a mystery. Though many copies of house keys have been made, the owner has only the original, with the red paint on it. She apologizes. A short-lived ex-boyfriend claims his copy is lost. Key-bearing cat sitter friends may stop in to watch Netflix; they are nice.
The sound of the rain on the deck through open windows, and sun on the ochre-colored walls made the owner to love this house. She did not divide the iris bulbs or weed very well or fertilize. She lay on the deck sometimes in early May with all her work clothes on to feel the heat of the sun again. Her cat slept in the sun here too.
Not included: White rose bush planted after the owner’s mother died. This yard is good for roses and lavender, but owner will take the rose with her.
Day 1 / Poems 1
December Sonnet #1: Garland / by Carolee Bennett
Here we are again, rationing the heat, uncertain there’s a next
chapter. We cannot assume the Earth will self-correct
and aim us again at the sun just because. And so: open
boxes of small lights. And so: untangle strand and strand and
strand. We are only what we pull out of the night:
full-color dreams, silk scarves from The Magician’s sleeve.
And the snow: each flake circles like the white tip
of His black wand until invisible is
the road. And though it could end there (and does sometimes
end there) by some dumb luck, a new love’s behind
the wheel of a massive plow. And lane by lane
he rewrites the path, the cursive of his metal blade
shaving pavement so closely sparks surrounds him.
Bright and hot, red loops around the mountain.
With A Nod To Wallace Stevens / by Kate Fadick
clear sky at hard dark
and a mind of winter
as I grow old here
Love, Big As / by Anthony Frame
“Give me love, big as a beach ball”
-The Dave Matthews Band, “Beach Ball”
It’s hard among all this light pollution
to remember how small we are. Only
the moon seems stronger than the lamps
of the world. Does anything exist beyond
this city block, beyond these billboards
and neon storefronts? When these nights
lack both clouds and stars, I wonder if
anything exists beyond our bedroom walls
where the sheets curl around our toes and
your hands casually tickle my stomach.
Let’s look out the window, my love, see
if we can see our constellations, your twins
and my bull so faded it’s hard to know
who we are. How much we give to these
streetlights. And what do they give back?
Neither the crickets nor the cicadas hum
and the fireflies are weeks late this year.
Which makes it so easy to forget the kakapo,
so close to extinction each one is named.
Easy to forget the comet ISON as it fights
off the sun’s pull. But still, love, even here
with my chest warming your back, I want
to feel the weight of ISON’s journey across
the galaxy. I want all the lights to shut off,
if only for a moment, so we can never forget
the moon. Our love could be like the moon
but, no. Tonight, let the moon, if only once,
be just the moon. There’s nothing wrong here,
this smallness, this false insignificance.
Tonight, let our love be as big as you and me.
Sand Wedge / by Yvette Frock Gottshall
Chuck said it was the ships that brought
the news so long ago. He said this in the eighties
(before Lady Mary, Lady Edith & Lady Sybil started receiving
their bad news via telegram) and Larry Mize
used a sand wedge to make an amazing
sudden death chip shot against Greg Norman at the Masters’.
You can still watch that shot on YouTube today. Chuck
taught me the word maudlin when I got that way
while dusting Bobbie’s Turkish knic-knacs and thinking
of my mother and how long it took us to hear that they’d
found the missing plane’s wreckage. I taught Chuck the word
dross. Ironic that. He built porcelain crowns in his home
lab while I cleaned. If anyone should know from dross,
I’d have thought Chuck would’ve. I remember being proud
that I had brought him the news of dross. And that he’d
taught me from maudlin. But, we teach
these things to each other. Or we did.
We learn. We hear. We know.
Too much, now. Too fast, now. And it is.
It is mostly dross. Occasionally, it
is maudlin. Every moment. Every moment.
Every moment. The shipworm-ruined hulls bring us
words, wrecks, spillage. Buried in sand wedges
the ingested information has decimated the hull.
The flags are yet flying. The masts are yet tall. Yet.
Every moment. Every moment. Every moment.
There’s maudlin. Then, there’s dross.
December / by Calvin Olsen
Not long ago, the wind was full
of things: leaves mostly, occasionally
a plastic bag. It filled them
the way wind does, imitating water
and, some nights, pausing
to consider itself, accidentally
sharing with the ground
all the once wind-filled things.
Morning makes its way
through my skeleton, the wind blows
what’s left of the unseen sunrise
into my unprotected eyes.
Keep your finality, I can still see
through you and into the future.
Dame Fortuna On the Limits of Gratitude / by K. Alma Peterson
Not everyone would call me Queen
of Circumstance, but what happens
every minute everywhere in the world falls
under my umbrella, so to speak. Flimsy
ribs or faulty hand spring opens me
to libel, like I made it rain. There is fortune
in misfortune, some say, fishing lost lures
out of the weeds. Theirs or someone else’s.
I watch the fat catfish ignore the easy worm
and sink in slow dreamlike motion, dredging
muddy secrets long asleep. A semi crashes
to avoid a herd of centaurs: how can there be
justice for symbolic creatures? New bruises
show the therapy is physical: how can that be
when She didn’t change my thinking? Sit up
straighter and automatically you’re younger:
how can these be my mother’s shoulders?
Adult Education / by Kushal Poddar
cold learns to spell
on the glass pane.
Euphemism for a Poet: An Experiment in Oh Flat / by Julianza Shavin
Easy, he says _________ ditch excess
___________ green, say, grotto ____________
_______I say, the body’s rubato ____, _______ ponytail
gold upon a shoulder ___ , ______________ .
____ as his smoke ______________
_____my grandmother’s curls_________
died when _________________in her curls
___________d minor I sighed
arcing _________his cheek a long dimple, so _________
moon in dark adders of tree ____________,
______________________the blood of memory
_________ strange elation _____ tiptoe ________
___genteel geology of desire _______________
! your music !
____________ giant eye of heater
______sick with synaesthesia, I ____________
waning ____________ the tired texture of despair
_________eyes blue ______ C major but paler _______
_____sad admixture of joy__________
?______________I could love____
__________ no __________the science
of poetry ____________
______________kind sky snowless ______ –
mad to convey _________ receding midnight cacti
_______sagacity of surrender _________ those arms
__ horizontal moon _____________
__________________the dog’s soft snore
rabbit nose twitching ________ long the door’s P.S.
_______the crisp technique of death ___________
impostor in my own life________
________ let the gut, gut, gut _________
cartwheels to car ______________
_______________ remember ______________