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For a poet who confesses to having more subscriptions to science magazines than literary ones, it’s not surprising to find something like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle couched in the closing of a poem such as “Your Way,” you get just one thing or the other— where the water came from, or the water. What is surprising and gratifying is that James Richardson’s poetry is not merely clever. It is also tender. Not necessarily in the way that Bishop’s “The Shampoo” is tender. It is not so much intimacy but a glimpse into the grander scale of things that puts our smallness into perspective, that kind of perspective science usually gives through its comprehension of vast spaces and terribly long intervals of time. It’s a perspective that permits a compassion for the [...]

The Downside of Superpowers Invisibility makes you aloof, brute super strength makes you an easy mark for anyone with trucks to haul, no spark of gratitude from them. The truth? Your gift is only special if there's proof and ordinary mortals want your work to entertain them day and night, til dark, your life a kind of superpower spoof where all you do is turn them on with speed or x-ray sight or teleported flesh, the way you walk through walls or dash through time. Does anybody care about your needs, grant you vacation days, an empty beach? No wonder apathy's become your crime. _________________________________________________________________________ Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where's she's part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University.  Her latest books are [...]

Natasha close up Two Sylvias

We bed down in a room/named Poppy/the sound of something alarming/across the hall

tom blood

a man carrying a dirigible defense/the one we hand around is full/final and stifling, like a love or re-entry


In 2021, we’ll have jetpacks. FREE JETPACKS.

carabella sands

I found a new boyfriend. He approached me while I watched birds pluck worms out of a rainy field. I asked him why the birds were able to find worms as soon as they landed. He said worms float on water. Then he kissed me. I felt like a worm.

bobby parker

He stares at her chest, the line of cleavage that may as well be a crack in his bedroom wall, thinking maybe the sun will explode if he reaches out and touches it, that she might hold his haunted hand tight against her heart until it gets dark, and tell him their marriage was a message that failed to send, and tell him their daughter is a dream

cob, like bone—no rain on the horizon—
rows of kernels puckering,
until the corn prays
for even earworms and flea beetles to come

As both a nursing student and a patient, I have encountered repeated instances of clinicians and other health professionals using strikingly inappropriate language to talk to and about the people they are caring for. This is especially true in women’s health, a field that is positively rife with, for lack of a fancier term, bad language. Let’s begin with a seemingly benign example. When a baby is born, we often describe him or her as having been “delivered.” Delivered from what? Evil? The postal service?

Lasky’s poetics channel something of Johnston’s powerful lack of pretense—the difference is that we know Lasky can sing. Johnston’s brilliance was his art’s power over and against the lack of traditional “talent” of its artist—Lasky, though, is unbearably talented.


In 2013 and 2014, several houses of The Heidelberg Project were destroyed by separate acts of arson. No perpetrator has been caught, and the houses were damaged beyond repair. Rather than despair, however, the folks at THP -- led by Tyree -- simply turned the burned-out shells into something new and newly lovely.

On the way back to the boy’s house you will ask about his girlfriend.
You will think of three as a prime number.
Things will not go well,
as things sometimes don’t.
For a while you will speak to neither of them.
The boy will become famous and you will miss him,
but you will never admit to this weakness.

You will think about the girl every day for the next twelve years.

The poems radiate a murky symbolism that is mysterious and sexualized, echoing and promising violence: women carry boxes of sadness, lace drags on the ground, sometimes the lace is blood-stained. Hundreds of bears lumber and low softly outside the windows.


  Mary Tewksbury is a whiskey-swiggin', bluegrass-pickin' singer-songwriter from upstate New York, who frequently performs solo, as well as with the band Next to Kin. She got this tattoo to carry with her a representation of "strong and beautiful women taking a hold of life." For Tewks, this concept is bound up with her love of music. She chose the spot for her ink -- her right upper arm -- based upon the old idea that the right side of the body conveys a public image to the world (when having one's palms read, for example, the right palm frequently suggests what personal traits one is comfortable displaying as a public image, or the identity you want to project to people around you). "This is the comfortable side of me," she [...]

This is a culture of ornament,

of collections. Some contain gazes, some victims. Imagine
taking a limo around a busy block and rolling the window

down so just your gloved hand can wave at the pedestrians
as they look and try to find a recognizable face, understand

the way that whoever within has had her hopes realized.
It’s not terrible, but it sounds like it when we’re on one

side of the glass.

In relationships, how do we manage our multiple selves? Can we truly be the same person alone and with others? The Green Condition, by Elizabeth J. Colen, explores the notion of the self. Part collage, part lyric essay, and part animal invocation, Colen traverses different spheres . . .