person Jules Elleo, one poem

Jules Elleo is working on his first full-length manuscript of poems in Brussels, Belgium.

~~~~~

Last Miles to the Highway

A landscape dresses in a yellow-green rhapsody.
Memories of salt as spring settles in,
but splashes of snow remain
on the side of the road.
Such miraculous mutiny.

The earth no longer holds her breath.
Clouds and cattle leave the ground
on their slow march uphill
to the point where wind turbines change
the shape of the horizon.

Eyes like black birds
extract diamond dust
from forsaken sheaves.
Ancient hectares – bold, bellied, vital.
Dear,
we must take it all in.

A family of four carries sacks and logs
house to house on a donkey-drawn cart.
Their story is yet to be written.
A group of men in silent overalls
is waiting by the curb. A local farmer,
mason or carpenter
has yet to give meaning to their limbs.

Have you seen that lonely tree
tethered to a horse?
How its branches reexamine the poetry
of a pelican landing
on the Danube delta?

I slow down the car and pray
for the engine to die.
Bucharest can wait. Bucharest
& her neons & her asphalt & her lights.
A savage symmetry
we call progress.

Tell me:
how can I ever be
my mother’s son again
when here, at land’s end,
I am my own gospel?

~~~~~

person GJ Hart, one poem

GJ Hart currently lives and works in London and has had stories published in The Molotov Cocktail, The Jersey Devil Press, The Harpoon Review and others. He can be found arguing with himself over @gj_hart.

//

Where No Meaning Lives

Weight – I longed only
For levity, had no wish
For my unplanned act
To become
Like sacrament,
But steady hymns
Of wind And the slow
Drawing on
Of winter’s vestures
Made it seem so.

Tall, my father,
With fingers thick
As hickory shanks,
I bore him now in a box
Smaller than an infant,
Quietly past the ruined abbey
And down to the peat
Black river, its oils and chromes
Idling as if paused
For me.

Busy village
Of clod
And colour, I joined
Crowds of phlox,
Watched the banks
Musterings beneath limbs
Taught and cast and hauled
Whisky from my pocket –
His drink, preferring its flickering
Heart to wine’s
Stuck blood

I toasted the day’s filament,
Its carving deck,
Its pistons sweeping
At the black ash wire,
And as water’s
Doors opened,
I lifted you light as sand
Cleared hours into lake’s
Train and waved until
My goodbyes
Closed at the line.

\\

person Lee Patterson, one poem

Lee Patterson is a poet living in the northeast.

~*

a dialect, a draw

you let ohio keep its fireflies so they can see their lovers’ skin even as the power flickers. I watch a deer with a bum leg hobble across one of the dakotas. somehow, georgia got most of new hampshire sunburnt while colorado drunkenly stumbled across a time zone no one’s ever heard of before. I drove through alabama once & was asked to never do it again. mississippi is one large billboard with a plastic fetus glued to it. I am always reaching for a new pack of cigarettes. the midwest is tornado’s tomorrow. look up. every cloud is a boombox held over my head. look around. you can find wilderness everywhere. or is it anywhere? is anywhere everywhere if the sun eventually finds it? the clock blinks eights. the bathroom smells like green soap. a sticky note on my computer screen reads a bomb is falling & I know exactly where.

*~

I’ll Build Us a Home – poems – Emily Paige Wilson

I’ll Build Us a Home
poems – Emily Paige Wilson
Finishing Line Press, 2018

~

I was soft, and my other was vivid. Check my pulse, and I’ll check yours. Oh, these early games. These asks, asked by children, of the wrist and of the hand. Detail is the orphaned builder. Home a framed dislocation. I’ve come to say as such by way of Emily Paige Wilson’s I’ll Build Us a Home, a book of nervous transit, a work that frames the letter sent back twice by the shape that loneliness adopts. In verses deepened by domestic otherness and blessed with handmade hiatuses, Wilson knows shelter as a thing brought inside by one or two spells said by those who’ve chosen to recite passage to hallways while giving space to rooms. This is a worried and inviting art, and captures the wildness in the wanting to be safe not from, but for, another. As outlived as we’ll be, it is root to read the body back to a grain of sand and to feel one has written a note to all selves reminding each to be lived-in.

~

reflection by Barton Smock

~

book is here:
https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/ill-build-us-a-home-by-emily-paige-wilson/

person Amy Poague, one poem

Amy Poague holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University. Her work has appeared in The Cabinet of Heed, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Mantle, SWWIM Every Day, Really System, Rockvale Review, and Mojave He[art] Review. She is a contributing editor for Barren Magazine.

~

Your Posthumous Life in Gradations of Pink
for M.D.

I.
Inside your obituary, I am a hesitant conservator.

In your portrait, you wear a one-shouldered red dress
you never would have chosen.

Whose wedding? Whose smile?

Can I restore you in your swagger, flushed pink,
clenching with the effort to please?

II.
The internet does not remember.

In 2005, we laughed at a car in the Aldi lot
because it was not pink enough.
“Maddening” you said, returning the grocery cart.

We saw the secret of the car: a dapper white button-down
washed with a new red bra.

III.
You manned the van back to work
laden with off-brand groceries, both of us singing along with Yeah Yeah Yeahs–

my voice parallel to your voice
parallel to the secret of the van:
                                                            silence awash with desire.

Riding passenger side, I wore a magenta shirt and rose-colored sunglasses,
smiled slyly at you. Your whole healthy-pink body smiled back,

nearly swerved into the next lane.

Now marooned in 2019, I listen carefully to no voice, no voice
inside me. The sound (of no voice) smiling.

The (sound of no) voice staining my shirt like insistent lingerie.

You are still singing along somewhere along the line, you insistent lingerer.

IV.
Another day you brought me a microphone
so I could sing into my four-track tape recorder–
the promise you followed through on.

This promise came in the original packaging,
a bright pink cardboard box.

If I could rewind the tape, I wouldn’t ask much this time, only
to sing our songs in almost-pink, the point before pink
on color’s numberline.

We wouldn’t sort music from color from integers.

We wouldn’t need to decide.

V.
Our hearts effervesced at points beyond pink.

The microphone didn’t work
but I never gave up hoping that it would, one day.

Dear Sir, I wish I’d kept the box
because you touched it once, and now
your body has no corporeal hands.

VI.
You’ve gone to the place sound goes
when a microphone won’t record it,

so I wash my white shirt with red socks
to get ready for a night out.

When I find my love returned by another wayfaring voice,
temporarily singing in a warm human throat,
I will know what you–what color–knows.

I will know how it knows
what shade
will be not enough,

how it knows what hue
will be a gift of decisive refracted light.

~

person James Lepak, two poems

James Lepak is a poet from Pennsylvania.

/*

 

Does my Dog Look like Me?

In a ward lay dying
Three intimates
From variants of a sickness
With one name in common speech.
Uninfectious, yet meted
Among each—each whose eyes
Ignited in each echoes of health
Long and lovingly recalled—
As though great dice ephemeral,
Ethereal, effulgent,
Seeing their eventual disunion,
Rolled back obedient Time
Until pips’ proper convergence
Faced up against the stars,
Gathering light in their umbral
Craters, and reflected back
Their winnings in the dark: a blip
Of communal suffering
Wrought together from one and one
And one
To triumvirate all too sudden
And bittersweet.

\*

Lacuna in Spirit

Luke must’ve thought “Golgotha” too vulgar.
No, the son of man mustn’t be crucified here.
“Kranion” suits him better.
Better yet, when English manifests,
Calvary:
Soft, round, there is a calming underbelly
To the horror of the Cross (cross
Whose patibulum stripped from so many
Exhausted Pneuma).
An even newer tongue
Will further the Sanitation.

Place of the skull it is not. It is the thing:
Dig beneath the mound
And you will find pustules of gray matter,
The remnants of earth’s Old symphony
Of Harmony with Flesh.

 

\*/

person Kevin Heslop, two poems

Kevin Heslop is a poet and actor from London, Ontario. He has performed on stage as Creon, Katherine Minola, and Saul Mortera. His first chapbook, con/tig/u/us, was published in 2018 by The Blasted Tree, and his poems have been published by Juniper, No Press, Puddles of Sky Press, is/let, NOON, Baseline Press, Harmonia Press, Occasus Literary Journal, Forget Magazine, and Poetry London.

*

Etymology

“Mellifluous” is from the late
Latin for “honey, running.”

“Mellifluous” is from the late
Latin for “honey, running.”

When you left you took almost everything.

*

The Chronographer

Here is where the woman made of rhythm drinks.
Anastasia cues a Chopin nocturne from her early years
When grace and prodigy and national endowments
Flung her into something second cousins still recall
With quiet pride at home in Volgograd, in Saratov.
“Very simple,” she explains to her new students who
have lingered lithely after evening lessons ended.
“Do not show when you are watching me.”
Gym bags at their hips, ribboned ballet slippers
Dangling from their shoulders, most of them leave
With quiet words or cigarettes; two students sit
In dark and silence; Anastasia, in her helment
Of zinc wire, begins describing running.

*