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Allen Grossman_2

Allen Grossman died in June this year and it returned me to his poetry. He is the kind of poet our time needs but rarely acknowledges. Grossman received a 2009 Bollingen Prize, one of those high honors that only other poets know about. He didn’t receive the more obvious Pulitzer or National Book Award. But, then again, prophets and prophet-poets don’t open their mouths to receive accolades. When I first read “The Ether Dome and Other Poems” I found that I couldn’t read him silently and truly hear his voice. I had to read him out loud to taste the textures of his words on my tongue. Because I do much of my reading in public while in transit, I often looked like a madman walking down the street, talking, [...]

Jess Burnquist

                      The Difficult Drama of Nature How cool the air above the horizon—the sky lights up As you take your leave. And this leaving feels severe It feels the way trees look as they clutch rough edges of land All the while being shaped by a persistent wind. I can be traced by satellite. Here is my house on a virtual map But what of your soul? What of this next-phase? I might be the tree clawing to stay. Also, you might be the wind. The moon pulls these thoughts across a barren sea named Desert. You dwelled here for a time with your lens—finding the synesthesia In the mindlessness of the mesquite. What did I forget To tell you [...]


Basile's narrator attempts to exorcise memories, but she remains tainted, both in mind and body. In “paradise” she says “it hurts to speak but it must be done.” “I don't respect these monsters but I weep anyway...with bubblegum/popping through my black veil.”

skirts and slack di piero

Place plays a substantial role in establishing environment. Place can be used as a metaphor to define abstractions, as a backdrop that can help set tone or even as a character which can enhance movement and increase tension. Utilizing a sense of place can be an important factor in building depth in a poem and can be a significant tool for the development of characters.


"You will never win this land war.
Run and fuck and run and fuck
and call it making love,

but I know you and I know me
and neither of us is Russia,
you cunt."


"To an outsider, Choxani stealing away the eyes and heart of the speaker might sound like a brutal punishment. . . . However, Choxani’s action is a literal expression of Romani idioms about love. Delia Grigore, Lecturer of Rromani Language and Literature Chair of the Oriental Languages Department, writes that, “[t]he colloquial greeting ‘te xav tirre jakha’ (‘let me eat your eyes’) is a sign of affection and of the need for protection.” And Sarah Carmona, a leading Romani historian of Roma in Europe, explains that “…[i]n Romani when you tell someone that you love him you might say, ‘I eat your heart’ or ‘I eat your belly.’” So taking the speaker’s heart and eyes could be read as returning, even protecting her love. Compounding this, the eyes and heart are invoked in spells, and they are body parts most commonly affected by magic. Love is the itch, love is the magic, and love is the change she wields."


  Note: The Hesperides are divine nymphs in Greek myth who tend a blissful garden in some idyllic corner of the Western world, and are associated with the golden light of sunset.       Patty Hyland is a freelance illustrator in the NYC metropolitan area. She is currently working on her first webcomic, Tri-UMPH!, a humorous seafaring adventure epic. You may find more of her work on her Facebook and Tumblr pages.

Jen Ashburn

The Flight Home                                                                  En Route to Louisville Remember the laundry that hangs on bamboo fences, on the edges of corrugated tin, on the rafters next to fishing nets that clump together and billow like 18th-century petticoats. Remember the blue jeans, the yellow t-shirts, the thick-hooded sweatshirts. Remember the slender brown legs that slide into the jeans, the fat lips of the toddler who sat on your lap, the hands of the man who, while working his day job as a security guard in front of an ATM, tied the knots that made the nets. Remember the brown waters [...]

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I try not to be angry but inside my chest is yelling where is he. /A fountain sparkles so we ask the kids playing there if they’ve seen him seen anything. /Someone is wearing a necklace of teeth. I am swinging my flashlight into the water but it sees nothing. /This is when the dogs begin barking downstairs. /I wake up and my arm is slung over my son like a seatbelt.


If humans are the part of nature that goes against nature's grain, it might also be said that nature is an aspect of humanity and human existence with which we cannot ultimately argue.

kristina marie darling

"The self-referential quality in this book manifests through the litany of literary devices and tropes the narrator mentions here-- the poem is reminding us that we are reading a poem, by talking about various aspects of poetry. Reading this, we see that poetry serves as a way to document and memorialize failure. Maybe metaphor is a way for us to make ourselves into something we are not."

"Dear Madison, I was told of your death
over dinner. You were, they said, struck

by hot brass from your mother’s new
AR-15 with custom scope."


"In the weeks following her death,
When my mind was not fit to live in
I stayed in a small hotel
On the outskirts of my consciousness
As a baby resides in its own bliss
While its mind is being constructed.
But when I tried to use the facilities
There was no running water."


"and could you sell me this instance what is the last pornography that engaged you
can you talk about your research into the unsolvable how would you
write to a diverse audience is a reader a client did customers occur to you
as an outcome what are three positive strains in you does discontent
drive you into the market does blunder drive you into the capital"


sabers over the plain’s grass so green
round those barracks haunted by ghosts,
the boys the marching men remembering a kiss."


"He bends, takes into his arms a limp child's body.
We wonder how he keeps singing as he carries her.
How slack and white she is, like wet moth wings."