person James Lepak, two poems

James Lepak is a poet from Pennsylvania.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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person David Capps, four poems

David Capps received his PhD in philosophy from University of Connecticut and an MFA in poetry from Southern Connecticut State University. Recently his poems have been featured in Peacock Journal, Mantra Review, Cagibi, among others. He lives in New Haven, CT.

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Orestes

What if in years
you find yourself
flying as a bird
with one wing

falling as a note
of some far being
who is all-seeing
down to the least

crease you find—
would that be
yourself folded
into one thought

for one thought
less moment, air
you shake off
with a flaunt

of tail feather,
for what awaits?

Our wishes, or
what were ours,
are oars swept
to sea, and small

sky flecks, light
as gulls, points
of possibility,
intersecting

lines that seem
to tell you, and
speak as softly
as might, to let

that Orestes die
who hides inside
whose signs dive
so null and deep.

~

Atrium

At dusk we ate salad:
green leaves enfolded their lives
for us, curled on the tines

of a fork. A cricket you thought
was the ship’s engine sang
beneath your chair.

The song I couldn’t guess
rehearsed in the hull’s massive iron
head, a language to itself.

Evening after evening, the weeks
unbuttoning blue blouses
vanished over sea rifts. Wakes

the ship left of pure white clouds
collided unabridged.
There was peace.

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Breezes

Breezes die
like persuasion:

buds opening
and closing

with waning
sunlight,

a monk’s
bowl, filled

with petals
or rice,

what we find
difficult

in time’s keep.

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Denouement

When it was over, I looked
over the sea (the sun half-

full) of prepositions: of
and for rose amid waves,

seemed shadows shorn from
sleeping elbows I knew,

a light-dark light-dark to I
looked forward to.

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person Lannie Stabile, one poem

Lannie Stabile, a Detroiter, often says while some write like a turtleneck sweater, she writes like a Hawaiian shirt. Works can be found, or are forthcoming, in The Hellebore, Kissing Dynamite, Cauldron Anthology, Likely Red Press, and more. She is penning a novel and chapbook and holds the position of Project Manager at Barren Magazine.

Twitter handle: @LanniePenland
Writer website: https://lanniepenland.weebly.com

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Explaining My Introversion to a Genocidist Sympathizer

My mother spoons strangers into the living room / like heaping mashed potatoes / She has been fasting all year / and her jaw is unsnapped / ready for gravy boats of colonizers / She places strange hands on the bird / says they’ve earned carving rights / just for invading our small country

My mother minces the cloves of her ears / stashes them in the breadcrumbs / with a dash of salt and pepper and blind eye / She will never understand / amid all this feast in my belly / I am starving

My mother awaits the fleet with armfuls of corn / golden and without nutrients / like currency / Every year she offers more / of herself / and they stalk our home / with bayonet eyes / and musket hands / Ever present / they grow in the fields now / god-like and vine-like / crawling all over my body / convinced they can convert our heathenry to a new world / in which we’re swallowed

My mother does not sow grains of solitude / so her artful fingers cannot taste / the poison in the soil

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person George Salis, one poem

George Salis has sold stories to The Dark, Black Dandy, Zizzle Magazine, and elsewhere. He has taught in Bulgaria, China, and Poland. He is currently working on a maximalist novel titled Morphological Echoes. www.GeorgeSalis.com

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An Echo Echoes Pharaohs

An echo, not the first, metamorphosed by way
of physical ripripples up
from the table of a lost supper.

The caustic causes?
Kamikaze in WW3.
Below, a comical boy who entered through the exit of a tablecloth cave, invaginated.
Enema of venomous nebula.
Above, the mold-man-cloud’s maw opens in feverish famine.
Bivalve drowned in sodium.

All is cause
before cause
after cause.
Sidereal flaws.

Crawling between the feet and legs of evaporated attendees
the cawing boy bumps his brain on table’s bottom.

Echoes, not the last, traversing a metempsychotic byway
of incorporeal underundulations down
from the bleat of last respite:

Spoon in glass stained by purple parfait
turned
wandering peasant woman in search of her face
turned
stunted tower of Babel.

An egg hardboiled till fossilization atop broken bread
turned
crestfallen peasant woman’s sister eyeing callused palms
turned
chip off the ol’ rock of Gibraltar.

A cluster of wine-darkened grapes
turned
supine beggar contemplating levitation
turned
immaculate wall built for the purpose of
measuring its own
shadow.

The horizon a soiled glass
of settled oil in liquid gold,
delineating no thing.

Pharaohs, not the first nor the last, continue beyond
inexplicable vision in superposition.

Crucified
upon Einstein’s cross.
All is loss
before loss
after loss.

~*~

An ekphrastic poem based on Dalí’s Morphological Echo (1936).

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Lethal Theater – poems – Susannah Nevison

Lethal Theater
poetry, Susannah Nevison
Mad Creek Books, 2019

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From rib to eye, Susannah Nevison’s Lethal Theater, a work imbued with strippage, weighs itself in revisited origins, devoured middles, and in finales released of their previous conclusions. Pain is a prisoner of the open field and ritual a transience that demands a before. This is a trembling but surefooted verse, touched by peace, and Nevison cuts word from the phrase of the stirred body and forms it as a thing a reader may or may not come to name. Is there a surrogate for death? Is there a god whose existence we should take personally? As a high-schooler, I spent a summer helping out at a local veterinary clinic, and there I held dogs as they were put to sleep. It didn’t always take. This collection starts with the line Consider the cell not as you see it / but as it comes to be. In the reading, I felt I’d been…brought. In further, I learned how a language can refuse deliverance, accept arrival, and facilitate release. We cannot know what death does with our waiting, but we can stand by the coeval art in Lethal Theater, and ask for a deeper light beside which we no longer claim spectacle by our watching alone.

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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:
https://ohiostatepress.org/books/titles/9780814255162.html