TheThe Poetry
≡ Menu

Every so often, I take these hour-long walks. I drift for miles at a time. It gives me a chance to look out at Los Angeles in a way I would never have done on the bus. One thing I’ve learned about this town is that it’s very segregated.

the flutter of wings. Some years,

you know, the honey just doesn't
come through—some years, the hive

can drink itself thin by March.

If man should raise hands to breach the throat of his
father, feed him garlic. Who else but an imp should
eat it? It’s reaper-cruel. Dog food. The pagan’s
stinking rose. Hemlock in the belly, vipers in the

As we discover in The Gorgeous Nothings (New Directions, 2013), an entirely new breed of coffee table book, the artistic genius of Emily Dickinson is hardly debatable and absolutely singular. This huge, breathtaking book features high-resolution photos of various scraps of paper written on by Dickinson late in her life. This selection of what scholars have taken to calling Dickinson’s “Radical Scatters”—writings on paper without a discernible literary genre—is equal parts poetry and visual art, and, in a very important sense, neither: a hybridity that challenges the ways we have approached and thought about Dickinson’s work since it first found its way to our eyes.

The first section limns the secure life Holmes inhabited before her husband’s affair, opening with "Drawn Into Circles," a poem about the way her dogs rearrange clean towels in their beds into round nests. The poem gradually broadens its focus, comprising, by the end, a metaphysical reverie about cycles of human experience juxtaposed against unbending cultural habits. The author varies stanza shapes to reinforce her themes. Three stanzas curve, but one is blockish—the one which deals with the strict lines our culture has imposed at all stages of life, from babies’ cribs to coffins.

Oozing. Acrylic, ink on white paper, 18 x 24” 2014.   Sally Deskins is an artist and writer who examines womanhood, motherhood, and the body in her work and others. She’s exhibited in galleries nationally and published her art and writing internationally. She is founding editor of Les Femmes Folles, and illustrated Intimates and Fools (poetry by Laura Madeline Wiseman, Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014). Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of the full-length poetry collections American Galactic (Martian Lit, 2014), Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), and Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012). Her dime novel is The Bottle Opener (Red Dashboard, 2014). She is also the author of two letterpress books, nine chapbooks, and the collaborative [...]

A lifetime ago, I sat with some dear friends in their apartment discussing literature, music, and art as we drank wine. We gathered like this as often as we could. A small group of poets, novelists, painters, and musicians; we composed our own little salon. Elizabeth Bishop was the topic of conversation that night, and we grabbed her collected poems off the shelf. We passed it around for each person to take their turn reciting the poem “One Art” out loud. It was a marvelous time. Each brought their own voice, their own character to the poem and then uttered it forth. It was a night of joy connected through art but also a deepening insight into the subtlety of the poem itself. “One Art” is not easy to recite [...]


Food Addiction


No Longer

I dream giraffes on fire, but the walls of my room are made of asbestos and the black hyena laughs looking so smug.

One of the difficulties for us cuspies—us X’ers and Y’ers—those of us who can remember the before time (pre-iphone, pre-cellphone, pre-internet), those who can remember where we were when we got our first email address, like remembering when the Berlin wall came down or the moment the school teacher supernova-ed in the space shuttle on TV and the school flags flew half-mast—is to be the cut. To be both edges, the canonical and the mobile edge of language at once. We must break the internet with our radical diction and make new manifestos to give as gifts to the millennials. Because what if while we are busy reading buzz-feed lists, what if in between the void of chatter flying all around us, the computers are quietly having more interesting conversations than we are?

Throughout Bauer’s collection, there is the absence of words. The right words, the unspoken words, reassuring words, words we learn to say to get by.

      Brandon Molyneaux is a visual and alternative sculpture artist from upstate New York. He uses a variety of non-traditional media, including paper, glue, circuitry, and electricity to build lighted sculpture out of raw material.



You Were Born One Time. Quitman Marshall. Ninety-Six Press, 2014. 70 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9797995-4-6 I take pleasure in some poets for their incredibly beautiful music, while others thrill me with their startling metaphoric leaps. Still others I enjoy for their sheer exuberance, the ability to transform dark material into light, such as Jack Gilbert and this poet: Quitman Marshall. His latest and first full-length collection is You Were Born One Time. It received the South Carolina Poetry Archives Book Prize and was published by Ninety-Six Press in 2014. There is a deep undercurrent of gratitude in his poetry. There are moments that intrude on speakers and surprise them with beauty or insight. This occurs in such poems as “Civilization,” or “Bagel.” Here is the collection’s concluding poem “Twenty Thousand Sunsets,” [...]


Forward Reflection