{ isacoustic*, volume fifth, Dec 2018 }

{ isacoustic* } volume fifth is available here:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/barton-smock/isacoustic-volume-fifth/paperback/product-23902285.html

contributors:

Amy Soricelli
Kristin Garth
Kat Giordano
Nadia Wolnisty
Rebecca Kokitus
Cathryn Shea
James Diaz
Alicia Cole
Suzanne Edison
Donna Vorreyer
Anna Scotti
Elijah Tomaszewski
Lucy Harlow
Wanda Deglane
Matt Morris
Linzi Garcia
Holly Lyn Walrath
Phoebe Wagner
Jason Ryberg
Natasha Kochicheril Moni
Marisa Crane
Visar
Simon Henry Stein
Erik Fuhrer
Rachel Nix
David Bankson
Geraldine Fernandez
Christie Suyanto
Michael Prihoda
T.M. Strong
Arushi Singh
J.J. Steinfeld
Mike Ferguson
Danielle Hanson
Leah Mueller
Kate Garrett
Ashley Bullen-Cutting
Thomas Tyrrell
Glen Armstrong
Coreen Hampson
Alexandre Ferrere
Joseph Murphy
Jessie Lynn McMains
Mela Blust
Cynthia Manick
Renwick Berchild
Stuart Buck
Heidi Turner
Jonathan Witte
Aytan Laleh
Zsa Zsa Mendoza
M; Margo
Victoria Nordlund
Hal Y Zhang
Kristin Fullerton
Regis Louis Coustillac
Isla McKetta
Heath Brougher

 

person Sarah Law, one poem

Sarah Law lives in London, UK, and is a tutor for the Open University and elsewhere. She has five poetry collections and is widely published online. Her pamphlet My Converted Father, is published by Broken Sleep Books. She edits the online journal Amethyst Review.

*

Jazz with Diana

Is a shifting mood of chords
              is dry ice evoking the smoke
                            of a joint in twenties Manhattan,

by night, by streetwise starlight. Is
              a touch of freeform syncopation,
                            the old heart has quavered lately,
(still within the limits of its listening).

Is Miss Lonely Heart, sat at the bar
              with her legs crossed and her hands
                            turning the glass of gimlet in

the low keyed evening, she
              makes such a picture there, that he
                            remembers her silhouette ten years on,

the angle of her limbs and the sheen
              of her blouse, and ambition’s
                            hazy scent. How its neat strength

becomes a sort of anodyne, a
              riff on youth from those too aged
                            or wealthy to recall its rougher cuts,

now the stage lights mimic the sky
              and even the floor is sprinkled with
                            what’s fallen. She’s at a grand piano,

letting the dream songs melt –
              some are more borrowed than blue,
                            and settle like mist on a face, flung dew

as her head lifts up and fair hair
              traces a verse for the parched;
                            even from this distance I can hear

time swinging, from the very last place
              you look, as our hands are joined.

*

person Marissa Glover, one poem

Marissa Glover is currently the Managing Editor for Orange Blossom Review and the Poetry Editor at Barren Press and was nominated in 2018 for a Pushcart Prize by The Lascaux Review for her poem “Some Things Are Decided Before You Are Born.” Marissa’s poetry was recently anthologized in Persona Non Grata by Fly on the Wall Press and published at Likely Red, Ghost City Review, The Coil, and New Verse News, among others. Follow her on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.

/\

WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE?

When I hear the wailing travel down the tracks—an echo of Piggy’s conch blowing across the beach, this monster stealing through the graveyard, grinding through the dead—I think of Mowgli, the boy who ran wild in The Jungle Book half-naked, covered only by a loincloth and liberty. Half-brave, you and I climb the trestle. The metal is cold and not to be trusted, a drunk swaying side to side in the dark. Seniors in college, we throw our shoes and clothes onto the railroad but refuse to follow through with jumping. We aren’t ready for much of anything.

I remember Huckleberry Finn and realize how much I hate being a girl. How much I care. Helen, whose face could launch a thousand ships, would go skinny-dipping. I stay on shore, swimming in rum. Maybe drinks help us come to terms with our mediocrity, give us courage to flaunt our abundant curves or obvious lack—if only to ghosts. We joke about heeding the call of nature and not wanting to piss on the dead. We watch our steps, tripping through wet grass slick with mist as if we’re dodging landmines.

We talk about Achilles and the beauty of an imperfect body. We are not gods, and our shame at stripping keeps us moving from shadow to shadow, hating the brief moments the moon proves us human. Walking up a dandelion hill, past stone markers too small for grown-ups, I ask, Where have all the children gone? You keep walking. But it’s us, I think—naked at the edge of adulthood one last time, we make sure we’re hidden by something and then we make our peace.

\/

{ giving, if }

wanted to say briefly and to brush with spotlight that if, giving, to other or to self or to other self, please consider putting some eyes on The Glass Chapbook Series.  being myself a reader and writer, though loosely, though honestly…would use those labels to say that Glass puts out work that is, well, deeply seen.

series:
http://www.glass-poetry.com/chapbooks.html

I’ve tried to say, here and there:

How to Cook a Ghost, Logan February:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/11/28/how-to-cook-a-ghost-poems-logan-february/

The Unbnd Verses, Kwame Opoku-Duku:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/11/05/the-unbnd-verses-poems-kwame-opoku-duku/

As If, Anna Meister:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/09/17/as-if-poems-anna-meister/

What Is Not Beautiful, Adeeba Shahid Talukder:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/21/what-is-not-beautiful-poems-adeeba-shahid-talukder/

Bad Anatomy, Hannah Cohen:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/05/25/bad-anatomy-poems-hannah-cohen/

ghost exhibit, Melissa Atkinson Mercer:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/04/17/ghost-exhibit-poems-melissa-atkinson-mercer/

also, Anthony Frame, editor of Glass, has a wonderful collection, Where Wind Meets Wing:
https://siblingrivalrypress.bigcartel.com/product/where-wind-meets-wing-by-anthony-frame

of too which I tried to say:
https://isacoustic.com/2018/06/08/where-wind-meets-wing-poems-anthony-frame/

{ pushcart prize nominations }

pushcart nominations.  a small thing to each, here and not.

 

Triin Paja
~~~Though Her Knees Touched The Soil
~~published on-site June 19th, 2018
~in volume fourth printed July 2018

Jon Cone
~~~Sleds Made of Bone
~~published on-site March 7th, 2018
~in volume third printed April 2018

Rishitha Shetty
~~~Prayersong
~~published on-site March 15th, 2018
~in volume third printed April 2018

Sophia Naz
~~~Thirty Three Inuit Names of Snow
~~published on-site February 22nd, 2018
~in volume second printed March 2018

Andrew Kozma
~~~Song of the Coming to Terms With It
~~published on-site March 19th, 2018
~in volume third printed April 2018

Cynthia Manick
~~~In My Heaven
~~published on-site October 15th, 2018
~in volume sixth to print December 2018

~

Triin Paja

Though Her Knees Touched The Soil

when you find her crying by a radio
tell her about small yellow plums
plucked from small yellow branches.
take her to sleepy kiosks, seagulls,
loose church tiles. brush your hand
against hers, lightly, on a tram.
the radio is a tree rustling
with the leaves of father’s death.
it means her house is burnt down.
she cannot carry the ash.
she is not young but you have touched
her autumnbrown braid
cut off as a schoolgirl.
tell her about the fruit you’ve shared:
the wrinkled winter apples, the orange peels
blossoming among train tracks.
tell her until they begin to ripen
mantling grief’s bitter fruit—
tell her, for your mother tongue
is a mirror
in an abandoned farmhouse
and she will find her body
alight in your voice
saying nothing.
you will see the earth
through a stained train window
and that, which no one has called
beautiful, will be loved.
she will walk longer than you.
she is humming a name
as quiet as light
growing.

~

Jon Cone

SLEDS MADE OF BONE

There are iron
moments – how
human it is
to speak –

when one says
to another
I don’t know
& I don’t care.

Birds. A nearby
fountain. Two
homeless kings
at dusk.

~

Rishitha Shetty

Prayersong

My mother’s prayer is the act
of gathering leaves-
the shape of each syllable measured out like love,
like the first bite of fish after monsoon.

Today I hear her pray like I listen
to the rain on the window pane-
left out,
from the inside.
Perhaps praying, like a movie,
is constructed out of various acts-

the tilt of her chin,
her back curved like the top
of a flower stalk, and across her shoulder
the old purple shawl.
Or perhaps, it is lilac.

I cannot remember if it had poppies or
roses on it.
What I do remember is the shape of my mother,
and how the poppies or roses smelt of sun.
the sun feels like an afterthought,
like a volta to a sonnet
written after days.

Last night I drew a painting of the sea
And my mother approved-
she said there are only so many colors the fingers can hold,
the rest is in the folds of salt in air.

Today I see my mother
As if in a painting
that shimmers in the
monochrome of a strange new color called faith.
It falls somewhere between the
strands of escaped light from an empty fist and
the fading silhouette of my mother praying.

~

Sophia Naz 

Thirty Three Inuit Names of Snow

Light travels at sixty eight thousand miles a second
ergo, even as your lover’s eyelash brushes
your cheek, a glimmer has passed
into dark diurnal wells where you go
like village girls to draw
water for these lines

When you wake from wetness, clocks
are dismantling silence like
taxidermists they push
pins into sky’s chameleon feather
mining the amoebic
belly of water
to cash in on a quick rainbow
everyone’s watching for a pot of gold

While you are dreaming of a deep silence
folded in the thirty three Inuit names of snow,
What is love if not something that alights on the tongue?

Snow is the language of osmosis
synonym of a teaspoon of star soup from the first stirring
the eons old light swimming
like eels in your veins.

~

Andrew Kozma

Song of the Coming to Terms With It

First, the bargaining. Then the begging. And, at last, the realization
there’s no one in the room but you.

There are no terms to be had. No concessions to be won. Waiting for death
isn’t as lonely as death, but only just.

In Wales there is a pot they put the dead in. The dead boil and twist
their limbs into life, but are still dead.

And then there’s that philosophical fear that you’re the only real one here,
everyone else an automaton. Dead.

When every tree laces the ground with the dead. When the tall grass frays
and refuses to die. When storms don’t rain.

There is no it. Nothing to fear. Nothing to fight. Just the possibility of absence
and, eventually, its absence.

~

Cynthia Manick

In My Heaven
—–after RC Lewis

Everything begins with
hunger. Some crave Bartlett
pears, trees that breathe,
playing violin on gold roads.

Others only answer to their
animal names, knowing
which heart chamber calls

to the wolf, the sheep,
the jackal. In my heaven
the currency is words–
people sing or recite

verb to noun to buy
burgers and cake, furniture
like wide screen TVs

that show favorite programs
on loop with no commercials-
Soul Train, I Dream of Jeanie,
and Happy Days.

Each corner of heaven
is guarded by statues
of poets. They hold pens

as spears. When you rub
their stoned feet, you hear
dialects-dipped in Marian
Anderson arias.

In my heaven Ms. Rose
plays the numbers
and hits every week.

Our shadows talk to other
shadows, have smoke-shaped
tea or whiskey at noon.
They visit bonfires

to show their best forms
in the light. When you turn
18, 35 or 68 in my heaven,

you lay on a bed of tobacco
and ivy leaves, and the stems
shelter as you watch stars
fade into each other.

How to Cook a Ghost – poems – Logan February

How to Cook a Ghost
poems, Logan February
Glass Poetry, 2017

~

‘what’s a starving boy to do
with his infatuation’ – from Portrait of My Country as a Cheap Restaurant

With a voice that acts as both restorer and alleviant, Logan February’s How to Cook a Ghost holds tongue for loss and feast while keeping verse as a thing appetite might give hunger for safekeeping. What a miracle of smallness this work is, to be at once so spiritually devoured and so spiritually prepared. February is a crafter of dualities who asks mother and country Can I have your mourning and grieve it, too? while understanding that food is a trinity of drink, metaphor, and simile, and so can be made to arrive in the body as a thing waiting to exist. This book will gut you and grow there and its final poem will send you, sustained, to wherever it was you were.

~

reflection by Barton Smock

~

book is here:
http://www.glass-poetry.com/chapbooks/how-to-cook.html

person Deirdre Fagan, one poem

Deirdre Fagan is a widow, wife, and mother of two who has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Most recently, her work has appeared in Constellate, Nine Muses, The Opiate, and Rat’s Ass Review. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Fagan teaches literature and writing at Ferris State University where she is also the Coordinator of Creative Writing.

///

Butter by the Stick

As soon as something crawls from the ground,
and declares itself alive, it bites my neck.

Isn’t that how we met?

I can’t recall.

This welt, now just a bump,
is occasionally, itchy.

A dry patch of skin, arid, withered,
on the underside of my chin,
where I once held a dandelion
to determine whether I liked butter.

Yellow reflection, “yes.”
None, “no.”
You ate butter by the stick.

I was only a child, then.

\\\