Winter Wheat

by Paul Muldoon

copyright ©Paul Muldoon, 2002


The plowboy was something his something as I nibbled the lobe
of her right ear and something her blouse
for the Empire-blotchy globe
of her left breast on which there something a something louse.


Those something lice like something seed pearls
and her collar something with dandruff
as when Queen Elizabeth entertained the Earls
in her something something ruff.


I might have something the something groan
of the something plowboy who would with such something urge
the something horses, a something and a roan,

had it not been for the something splurge
of something like the hare
which even now managed to something itself from the something

When You Look Up

by Jan Zwicky

copyright ©Jan Zwicky, 2011

When you look up, or out,
or in, your seeing is
a substance: stuff: a density
of some kind, like a pitch
that’s just outside the range
of hearing: numb
nudge of the real.
                I saw air
once, in its nothingness
so clear it was a voice
almost, a kind of joy. I thought
of water – breath as drinking –
and the way it shows us
light. Or maybe it was light
I thought of – as though
water were the solid form
of wind, and air
a language with a single word
transparent to the world.
Your glance is this,
meltwater, mountain light.
The plunge and thunder of the pool.
The ripple at its farthest edge.

The landlord said he lost his phone.

by Aisha Sasha John

copyright ©2017 by Aisha Sasha John

The tenant she said call it.
He said I did, I did
And then the tenant’s boyfriend was like
I called you and a girl picked up and
Said it was the wrong number.
(And I’m like okay so it was the wrong number why are you even
Telling the guy that)
And then her boyfriend was like ya, I called it four times
She said it was the wrong number.
And then, then I was like okay. Hmm what the fuck.
And the tenant was like maybe it was your wife?
And her boyfriend was like no it
Was a girl.
So there’s a
Question there.

Also apparently the dog likes the cat
But the cat
Does not like the dog.

Anniversaries, End of August

by Russell Thornton

copyright ©Russell Thornton 2014

Anniversaries circle round again. My grandparents
marrying in the sun. The guests in their best attire.
The filled vaulted room. Then the clinking glasses.
Then the private rites of those who waited long.
It is there in the light. Light that is a window.
And is a mirroring seas for my grandmother
out in the sailing ship of her wedding dress. Her ashes.

Someone I loved dying alone. The month the wide frame
of her final leaving. It was also her birth month. Light
opens its window, and is window upon window.
Her living hair darkens beyond its living black.
That black is another light, no visible sun
burning in its origins but a dark transparency,
and it arrives like another her, again and again.

I too am a window. In August, two people
among the dead look out of it. They do not know
the window is me. And I am what a window can wish.
To open endlessly because it is light,
and because it is a mirror, let the silver erase itself
and arrive and wait flawless on the glass,
and darken, and erase itself, like life, like death.

Slow Black Dog

by David W. McFadden

copyright ©David W. McFadden 2007

Meditating in the back
of Jack’s green Volkswagen
rolling along Highway 2
east of Paris

I’m conscious only of the motion
of things speeding against me
on both sides of my head,
eyes closed, and a sudden braking

and a breaking of that dream.
I’m in a moving car among green hills
and cow grazings of the world,
motels, gas stations of Ontario

and a dog slowly walking across
into our speeding lane, a black dog,
and in tall grass at roadside, a boy,
waving his arms, screaming.

from The Dragon of History

by Fanny Howe

copyright ©2004 by Fanny Howe

I have seen it happen
A face with fangs and gills

represents history and an angel
is beating the beast on the back

Both are made of marble
One is a dragon

Its head is flat
like the iron tanks
in muddy water
that drove the men into the Gulf of Tonkin.

In my experience

the angel with his wings up
is trying to kill the dragon of history

to prove that air
is stronger than the objects in it

and if he wasn’t made of stone, he would.

The Storm

by Mira Rosenthal, translated from the Polish written by Tomasz Rózycki

copyright ©English Translation and Introduction Copyright © 2013 by Mira Rosenthal

At night three elements enjoy our bodies.
Fire, water, air. One moment you’re water
then air the next, but flame encircles all.
At night we are reduced, small bits of tar,

soot on our skins, in cups. A storm enters
the room and clouds the mirror. There are others
from far away who look on us as food,
they eat and drink. They find each orifice

and enter us. Our bodies then become
the final element of earth and turn
to ash, dust, coal, compost where insects live
and snails leave tracks you ask about at dawn.

Once, at the world’s end, I threw a stone into
the open mouth of hell; I can’t complain.

from He Sápa

by Layli Long Soldier

copyright ©2017 by Layli Long Soldier


This is how you see me the space in which to place me
The space in me you see            is this place
To see this space       see how you place me in you
This is how to place you in the space in which to see

Click to enlarge the poem.

from He Sápa by Layli Long Soldier

from What No One Could Have Told Them

by C.D. Wright

copyright ©C.D. Wright, 2002

     Once he comes to live on the outside of her, he will not sleep
through the night or the next 400. He sleeps not, they sleep not.
Ergo they steer gradually mad. The dog’s head shifts another
paw under the desk. Over a period of 400 nights.

     You will see, she warns him. Life is full of television sets,
invoices, organs of other animals thawing on counters.

     In her first dream of him, she leaves him sleeping on Mamo’s
salt-bag quilt behind her alma mater. Leaves him to the Golden
Goblins. Sleep, pretty one, sleep.

     … the quilt that comforted her brother’s youthful bed, the
quilt he took to band camp.

     Huh oh, he says, Huh oh. His word for many months.
Merrily pouring a bottle of Pledge over the dog’s dull coat. And
with a round little belly that shakes like jelly.

     Waiting out a shower in the Border Cafe; the bartender
spoons a frozen strawberry into his palm-leaf basket while they
lift their frosted mugs in a grateful click.

     He sits up tall in his grandfather’s lap, waving and waving to
the Blue Bonnet truck. Bye, blue, bye.

     In the next dream he stands on his toes, executes a flawless
flip onto the braided rug. Resprings to crib.

     The salt-bag quilt goes everywhere, the one the bitch
Rosemary bore her litters on. The one they wrap around the
mower, and bundle with black oak leaves.

     How the bowl of Quick Quaker Oats fits his head.

     He will have her milk at 1:42, 3:26, 4 a.m. Again at 6. Bent
over the rail to settle his battling limbs down for an afternoon
nap. Eyes shut, trying to picture what in the world she has on.

     His nightlight – a snow-white pair of porcelain owls.

     They remember him toothless, with one tooth, two tooths,
five or seven scattered around in his head. They can see the day
when he throws open his jaw to display several vicious rows.

     Naked in a splash of sun, he pees into a paper plate the guest
set down in the grass as she reached for potato chips.

Spain, Take This Cup From Me

by Clayton Eshleman, translated from the Spanish written by César Vallejo

copyright ©The Regents of the University of California

   Children of the world,
if Spain falls — I mean, it’s just a thought —
if her forearm
falls downward from the sky seized,
in a halter, by two terrestrial plates;
children, what an age of concave temples!
how early in the sun what I was telling you!
how quickly in your chest the ancient noise!
How old your 2 in the notebook!

   Children of the world, mother
Spain is with her belly on her back;
our teacher is with her ferules,
she appears as mother and teacher,
cross and wood, because she gave you height,
vertigo and division and addition, children;
she is with herself, legal parents!

   If she falls — I mean, it’s just a thought — if Spain
falls, from the earth downward,
children, how you will stop growing!
how the year will punish the month!
how you will never have more than ten teeth,
how the diphthong will remain in downstroke, the gold star in tears!
How the little lamb will stay
tied by its leg to the great inkwell!
How you’ll descend the steps of the alphabet
to the letter in which pain was born!

sons of fighters, meanwhile,
lower your voice, for right at this moment Spain is distributing
her energy among the animal kingdom,
little flowers, comets, and men.
Lower your voice, for she
shudders convulsively, not knowing
what to do, and she has in her hand
the talking skull, chattering away,
the skull, that one with the braid,
the skull, that one with life!

   Lower your voice, I tell you;
lower your voice, the song of the syllables, the wail
of matter and the faint murmur of the pyramids, and even
that of your temples which walk with two stones!
Lower your breath, and if
the forearm comes down,
if the ferules sound, if it is night,
if the sky fits between two terrestrial limbos,
if there is noise in the creaking of doors,
if I am late,
if you do not see anyone, if the blunt pencils
frighten you, if mother
Spain falls — I mean, it’s just a thought —
go out, children of the world, go look for her!…