Scoundrel Time

Runt

Soon there will be an eclipse ploughing a dark swath across the country from Portland to Charleston, everyone is waiting to see what kind of hole will be punched in their universe, everyone is buying smoky glasses from Walmart to hide squints and...

The President is Missing

We think he is somewhere in the White House, but we cannot find him. He was last seen wearing his robe, watching television in the presidential sitting room, flipping through news channels, pausing occasionally upon seeing his likeness. Many of us...

Sweet Talk: Refugees and the Language of Community

“Hi sweetheart. I’m on my way. Can’t wait to see you.” The WhatsApp message appeared on my phone, just after my plane touched down in Athens, Greece. A moment later, I heard another ping and looked down to see “I’m here out of the door number four”...

Two Poems by Peycho Kanev

__________ Creating in Reverse This world is created by language and everlasting light of nouns and gerunds coexisting within the shell of silence. Even the tiniest miracles can happen under a snowflake— If anyone asks if you lost your faith tell...

The Body Confesses

We were so young, my sister and I, both of us still wearing dresses that showed our grubby knees. I don’t know why we joined the crowd that followed our father, who was acting again on one of his “feelings” when he led us to the abandoned...

Waiting for Them To March on Us

As we link arms (mine far from steady) she tells me, before sunrise every morning her grandfather would gather twigs, and slowly he would begin to spin and as he spun, his arms would rise, head lifting, back arching, all spiraling up while he began...

Poems By Reginald Dwayne Betts

Secrets At two a.m., without enough spirits Spilling into my liver to know enough To call my tongue to silence, Miles learned Of the years I spent inside a box: a spell, A kind of incantation I was under; not whisky, But History: I robbed a man...

Invisible Theater

  Not long after the Loma Prieta earthquake, our collective decided to stage an Invisible Theater performance in the atrium restaurant of a grand hotel in San Francisco’s Financial District. When Eva and I walked in, she nodded to our brother...

Two Poems By Tony Hoagland

DINNER GUEST The dinner guest goes upstairs to use the ladies room, and after she has washed her hands, just out of curiosity takes a peek in the medicine cabinet- where among the Nyquil and Ativan and dental floss she sees a bottle labeled Male...

Two Poems by Martha Zweig

Beauty Sleep  Kwitcher bitchin, dad snorted. Shut yer yap up. I hated the salt stinging my cheeks, it curdled my sass. Little blue gas flames itched in the kitchen. A pudding seethed, the better to set. Pulpy crushed gripes folded in. Bard: the...

You Don’t Know Until You Test It

  If a Cheerio rolls under the refrigerator, I think I’d stick my hand under to get it out. It’s scary what’s under a fridge, believe me. And I’m human. But I wouldn’t hesitate. I see it all the time from my sky box at Yankee Stadium. A foul...

Gwine Dig a Hole (A Blues Opera): Scene I

  GWINE DIG A HOLE is dedicated to the life, memory, family, and friends of Philando Castile. I have no eloquent, clever statement to make in the dedication. The libretto says what I think. -Ozzie Jones __________ Characters Old Man Old Woman...

Thoughts & Prayers

  This poem is composed of the public language around mourning over school shootings, all of it verbatim from political leaders or shopping and news sites.   Hashtag PrayFor   Thoughts and   No child, teacher; there’s just no other...

Alien

Hi friend. The Arcadia Machine and Tool .22 fired into your left temporal lobe and now lies buried in your parent’s yard next to the yellow poppies. Strange what we bury in language. The root of temporal is tempus meaning time, or temporalis meaning...

Protégé

(1) The street between the subway station and the church is narrow, cars beaded along both sides like rosaries God in His hurry to the rain’s press conference had forgotten on top of the sock drawer. Sidewalks like teeth crammed into too-small gums...

A Safe Trip to Your Final Destination

We have stowed our carrion items, as instructed, in the overhead compartments. The roadkill squirrels stacked nicely, not so the feral goat, souvenir of a mountain holiday. In the unlikely event of a loss of cabin pressure, we will activate our own...