Poetry

Valparaiso Is Burning By Marcela Urrutia

I’m not at home   Nobody here to hold me   I’m driving to LA   It’s violent   A disintegration of my core   Valparaiso is burning   A geographical wound   The port of the Pacific     The nights The boats   This is my territory   Now   A fragment sparkles…

Highland Park By Marcela Urrutia

I can’t write today.  Your pain is my pain.  My neck feels soft.  You wash the dishes—you get hard easily.  Leaves everywhere.  Andrea moves through the house.  I let her.  The Salvadorian Revolution was extreme, a laboratory of the Cold War.  I bite my lips.  I wash the dishes.  Impatient you—you sleep in the back…

Free to the Public Every Thursday by Scott Chalupa

The young couple is discordant—two blue shirts making out among the shuffle of art-grazers   (an ocean of eyes). At the exhibit’s entrance, a dome of aluminum cups and plates throws circles of light on the floor. A stone Buddha sits in meditation   against the south wall. His ears (stretched to his hips) forgive…

Poems Stolen from a Ouija Board: Subway Rites by Scott Chalupa

It’s 14º, dry at the Jackson St. station, and I’m waiting for the Blue Line to Bucktown. Some late-40s bro strokes his acoustic, his graveled falsetto slides through his “Man in the Mirror” encore. Cruising the silent tracks of the L, I can guess where their lingering caress might take me. I’m studying a pint…

Poems Stolen from a Ouija Board: Texas Coastal Bend by Scott Chalupa

At night, if you’re quiet, you can hear the campfires gossiping. They laugh like javelinas at our episodic sleep. Whooping cranes and blue herons, in February, litter Sundown Bay. Save the wintering waders, the coastline is anemic. It’s like living in a place where there are too many dogs— this jammed choir of Camaros on…

White Cloud by Caley O’Dwyer

After Mark Rothko (see images here) We are driving on a white road. We know it cannot go on forever and yet that is what it is doing, brightening and widening, widening till there is no more road, just land and sky, sky and lightly penciled stars, hills and bones and Dairy Queens. We must…

Teddy By Mitchell Grabois

Patrick accidentally injected over an ounce of engine grease into the middle finger of his right hand They should have amputated it, said his wife It cost us $16,000 to fix and it’s still not right I sat on the couch stroking a mangy cat I didn’t notice it was mangy but after we left…

Spirit Walking by Cory Caplinger

Make sure to rope yourself to such posts as the smells of jasmine and rain in the evening, or the sound of blackbirds plucking worms before the dark swells over. Ease into the rush. Lift one limb at a time. Practice opening one eye, then two – one nostril, then both. Wiggle your toes, loose…

Mauve by Caley O’Dwyer

After Mark Rothko (see images here) The present we know, with its ascending stairs that are somewhere else descending, happened as we wandered, as the field widened and took us in. We saw what we were as we held it close and it doubled and gave. As the Plumeria opened, we savored, sometimes painfully, as…

Skiing the Yard Sale by June Sylvester Saraceno

Retelling the story, I’m too embarrassed to name the bunny hill where I lay splayed like a rag doll, a trail of gear marking the tumble of my undoing.   Endless equations of people dangled on the lift above, suspended and swaying, their skis forming X’s V’s and 11’s over my face. My third day on…

Emily as a Sugar Horizon by Darren Demaree

Bring the moon closer, darling, I like to press my face to you, your sky, and on my toes, stretched   to the limits of the veins in my neck, I feel nothing but the cooling air picking apart my hair, searching   for something sweet. There was a great temptation to lick the dark…

Emily as Erotica at The Table by Darren Demaree

Drop that napkin, let’s let the melting cheese be a call to arms, the tomato bread bowls brimming with promise of more bread under- neath the soup, and your arms Emily, tender with speed as you desperately try not to spill your favorite meal on the baby’s developing bald spot. I will ignore the older…

Waking Up into This Body by Dakota R. Garilli

The first thing I feel is the hair on my stomach dancing under my moving fingertips leading downward to the raised mound of my crotch. Half-sleeping half-waking I could be dreaming. I could pretend this vegetable tube the dimpled sack of balls are foreign to the land between my thighs. I could wish for the…

Advice To My Unborn Son by Ted Jonathan

if someone comes to you with the truth run brush with baking soda drink vodka straight kick low punch high floss floss floss find a job you don’t hate to deter a bully saw stickball bat in half hide in bushes flash attack mercilessly don’t worry pray same shit go to prom escort homeliest girl…

Swimming by Helen Spica

like this: we walked downstream   with water like cold breath in our boots   and the salmon around us throwing, fighting up   to drop their nets of marbles, clementine,   go dead and wash down, all flesh,   and we meet this way so often—   forgetting physics and improbabilities,   prayers for…

Once Upon A Time by Richard Carr

Plague city shut its gates to keep out or keep in   the dead magistrate bricked up in the portal   all the living pounding gavels to keep away the Devil   the operatic chaos of the chorus typical of the times