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The Nest By Carl Dennis The omens of fall are out again. We sit in the park with our feet bedded in leaves. The wind widens, The sun grows small, Warnings that friends should band together For joint defenses before the end. Now it seems foolish for anyone To grow cold alone. You want me to turn and notice you But I look inside. There I can see bare branches With a single bird Peering out at the litter of fall. He has built his nest too high in the tree Or too small. This poem, like all Dennis poems, has a simple surface but a lurking depth. Its title, right off, tells us there is a bird involved, or at least the evidence of a bird. Birds in poetic [...]

This week's work is almost Shainbergian in how all of it expresses/discusses the beauty and attraction of private, interior spaces -- the erotic appeal, if you will, of personal detail. What is revealed, however, doesn't function a cheap thrill, but rather as a comforting, sustaining experience that reminds us the importance of actual contact, of being invited in. (So frequently mired as we are among the many unwelcoming surfaces of this world, no?)


She stood in the window-
frame rolling
down her stockings
She stood
rolling down her stockings
She stood in the the window-frame
her foot on the ledge of windowsill
raised and rolling down
her stockings
pale against the pale light
pale rolling down her stockings


"Piazza deconstructs and reassembles her words as she moves—through a relationship, through the world, and through the structure of the sonnet, her vehicle of choice. This is a form that has persisted through the ages: a challenge, a teacher, and a unit of meaning that even modern curricula are obliged to include. Piazza helps us understand this sustained appeal by taking the sonnet beyond an exercise, homage, or twist on tradition; her work reminds us how condensed this form is, how direct. Most of all, Interrobang celebrates—albeit rather darkly—the ability of the sonnet to turn, not only on itself, but on its subjects, its readers, and often, on its respective writer."


  Lorien was born in Southern California, where she currently resides. She spent twenty years living in New Orleans in between, and plans to return soon. Her work includes small assemblages made from found objects, Haitian art-inspired sequined bottles and flags, and recently, vessels covered in beads. Her love for detail, texture, and Spirit shines forth from each piece, and offers the beholder a glimpse into another world.

Jill McKenna Reed

________________________________________________________________ Jill McKenna Reed is a poet, writing instructor, and beekeeper living in Portland, Oregon. She is co-editor of "Winged: New Writing on Bees," an anthology of modern literary writing, forthcoming in October of 2014. Jill earned her MFA in Creative Writing Poetry at Portland State University. She is a native of the Chicago area.

linda hull collected poems

  This is part two of Joan's essay. Part three  will be posted on Thursday, October 23rd.      When we look at the poetry of Lynda Hull, her poems seem to combine the backdrop of Di Piero and the internalization of Tretheway in her Collected Poems. And while the early poems are heavily textured, it’s easy to see, not only a change of perspective, but also a depth that developed in the poems written just before her death.      In the introduction to Collected Poems, Komunyakaa stated: “Hull’s poetry creates tension through what the reader believes he or she knows; it juxtaposes moments that allude to public history alongside private knowledge. Thus, each poem challenges and coaxes the reader into an act of participation ... Measured experience informs these poems.” [...]

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.

I'm about to go read everything here another five times. Hope you'll join me.


"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."

I'm very excited to publish the below essay by Jessica Suzanne Reidy, which looks at a Romani poem about the apparition of a witch, a traditional character in Romani folkore. In the interest of readers fully understanding the culture that this poem (and this essay) come from, I would like to provide a brief introduction and some context. Romani denotes the ethnic group more commonly referred to as Gypsies. Dr. Ian Hancock, Romani linguist and scholar, explains in Roads of the Roma that the first Romani were likely many groups of people in Northern India, from low-caste Indians to African migrants, sent to fight an invading Muslim army, around the 11th century C.E. After the war was lost, most of the enormous army moved with their families through the mountains and [...]


"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.