360° Still Frame:

by Natalie De Paz

The Room with the Birds of Paradise Bedspread,
Lunchtime, 234 East 7th Street

360°-270°

An old Zenith TV sits bloated in the wall unit. Not baseball season, only
local channels can be caught with the glow-in-the-dark remote control buttons.
In the next cube over, from Left to Right: Erika, 18, prima ballerina, not yet
third-grade teacher; Andy, 8, kneeling with a soccer ball instead of an army rifle.
Next cubby down, Natalie, 3, sits on a white stepladder in her Minnie Mouse overalls, laughing like it is the only thing she knows how to do.

270°-180° (More …)

Dead Mouse

by Jordan Durham

In wintertime, they came. Swarms, at least
five at a time, out of the fields for the closeness
of our heat. We never saw them until after,
which often took weeks through measured
ways of living, surviving each day’s cold.
It wasn’t until the day we heard one for hours—
squeaking, scurrying, and then glue-stuck, so as not
to be—that we realized we didn’t understand
what was considered a death meant for humanity(More …)

I Audition For The Belly Dancer Job While My Purebred Siamese Lily Gets Laid

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

I gyrate like Little Egypt in my haram pants and diaphanous veil.
The lessons with Fatima have paid off.

But it’s the minefield between the restaurant’s bar and the stage.
Barefoot, my limp is even more pronounced.

Last night I watched two cats humping.
One of them was mine. Like me, she’s been in an accident.

Like me, her bum leg makes her an easy target. (More …)

[definition]

by Henry Goldkamp

[i]denim lemonade \ˈde-nəm le-mə-ˈnād\ noun [origin unknown](1956)
1 : an extravagant, often loud spiel of determined work ethic, when in actuality little is being worked upon : PALAVER
2 : any beverage sipped while motivating denim lemonade, usually leading to insobriety (1) <Just one more denim lemonade wouldn’t hurt, would it?>
3 : any light emanating from a screen, often confused for godliness or splendor; SEE ALSO: EFFULGENCE, HALATION
4 : any wet putrescence such as froth, scum, mold, or similar rot due to neglect or lack of use
5: a shrine of post-modernity; also : a couch
6: a liquid scourge of insobriety, especially: inaction leading up to denim lemonade
6: something suggestive of a gaping maw <denim lemonade goes down my denim lemonade real easy>
usage see EDENTATE (More …)

Denim Lemonade As SPF 4

by Henry Goldkamp

Whatever happened to that used tanning bed? Its dimensions—a perfect fit for the bed of your work truck—feel divinely ordained. “free stuff” and only posted 41 minutes ago: Must pick up, will help with loading the plastic plug-in coffin of vanity, never minding that you live in a two-bedroom with a roommate ignorant of this whim, your tan plans of privacy buzzing purple-blue, upgrading from the roof of pigeon shits and fear of being caught naked, alone, oily, a dead fishskin on steaming tar, the type no one you know eats, picks it away and asks for an extra plate to set on. (More …)

Experiments

by Allan Peterson

We thought we had all day to listen while Richard talked

about his anterior cruciate ligament as he did his transmission
knowingly as if he had some intimate experience other than that
one little crack after the jump shot He’d visualized a drumstick
celery snapped deep in a blanket  wishbone and spoke (More …)

Once Nothing

by Allan Peterson

Once nothing plain being then descriptions
in different languages
then the illusion of illusion that nothing could
describe well enough
Some said they couldn’t say for sure
so translation began (More …)

Eclipse

by Allan Peterson

Our moon falls up every night or seems to smaller the farther

Or maybe it’s only doing round-the-world as the earth’s yo-yo
The secular story is gravity and stasis and making the same face
at all times but everything’s true sooner or later Pick one yourself
A hole in a dark donut so big we can’t see edges so thirsty (More …)

Latham St., San Rafael, 1993

by Emily Alexander

Along the back side of a house
in California, the yard is green and wild
with weeds and my parents are young
enough to fool themselves into love or something

it might stem from. They call to each other
from different rooms, their names like held
things, despite the shifting warmth of June,
the breeze sifting through screened windows—(More …)

venice poem

by Emily Alexander

i am sweating, & have been since
                                                             france. the fabric pressed
against my lower back is damp, but unnoticed
                                                                                    among the small unnoticings
of strangers photographing the light of venice as it slips
                                                                                                     into the river. i feel up
walls just to touch
                                   some kind of skin, & i’m lost again, leaking
around corners & trying not to ache
                                                                for my own home’s small evening
glow. i suppose this
                                    is what people write postcards about, wish you
were here,
& here i am, pushing(More …)

Math

by Kwame Dawes


Math messes things up; this is
a problem of fate—the enemy
of the random, the egalitarian
paradise of home truths and
proverbs—math wrecks it
all. Rain, God says, falls
on the just and the unjust
alike, but the unjust usually
have umbrellas and math
pays attention to that stuff,
to the facts of it, like when
I say, “We are all having it
hard,” to ease my guilt; most
of that is a lie and it’s true,
the thing I am not saying
is that hard time is a language,(More …)

Down in the Valley

by Kwame Dawes


On the morning after the news,
                                like a nightmare,
                a litany of tragedies, we will
call this the decade of grand
                                disappointments
                and we will know who we are
by the accumulation of our silent
                                                mourning, no one will
                                understand why we all wear
                black, our women in black underthings,
their eyes shadowed with
                                regret, their bodies impatient,
                their tongues sharper with resignation.
Only we will know how.(More …)

seedling

by Elizabeth Forsythe

i.

John tells me geosmin rise after rain

i’m sketching charcoal into tetrahedrons& ask why

one type of surgical stitch is called a mattress stitch         this type is

incredibly secure &

good for fragile skin or larger lacerations

[6C10H15O7 + heat]

he says plutonium is not the most unstable element(More …)

Bethlehem

by Vincent Hao

I laud my feet against
the summer grass, & around me

crickets are juiced by the leg,
pushing the world to a spring. it is quiet along
the river. near me, a boy sets(More …)

The Stem, Cut into Fourths

by Vincent Hao

i move in with my father. this is the day i am born. there is an ulcer against

my thigh. he pretends to be a doctor. there is a scar on his side.

all the same, he says. they cut it off of me. we visit his hometown.

i ask him why all the flowers are made of little hands.

the ground forgot itself, he says. that is the last time we speak.

he leaves on a business trip, dressed in a black suit and slacks.

at home i sleep on a burning bed. i dream of a red train, filled

with words. they overflow off the engine. they fall into my lap.

i wonder what it means when i catch crucifix and tongue.

you are too much, i say. no one in particular listens. i find myself(More …)

Everything, Again

by Vincent Hao

this is beautiful: the sky, waking in triples. my father,
over breakfast talking about the computer his team

will build. he talks with the corners of his jaw taking
life of their own, creasing & wiping off chardonnay

lips in unison. on the tv a man with a baseball bat
beats another to a scar. behind him the sky(More …)

A Prayer to Cathy McMorris Rodgers for More Cake

by Kate Lebo

I admit I am not loyal.
That my womb moves and votes for the other guy.

That is my right, and my womb’s right, as I know
you’ll understand, personal responsibility

being so eminent among your concerns,
so important to us all, how we take care of ourselves

and then others, the burlap of our community
woven of such acts of self-preservation

before generosity. Cathy,(More …)