@

  Sleep’s tentacles loose and tickling
should not be the enemy
nor the medicine. And when Day
stands in its way, it collapses under the demand.
  Parables, too, reach beyond night,
never stay taped with snapshots
on wood paneled walls and turn history
even in the present.
  Dreaming to understand them only means
understanding will never happen.
Sleep can never be the enemy; not the medicine
unless it’s supposed to last forever.

One

By Rich Ferguson

Poem

Be one with the world. One with yourself. One with the tranquility gallery behind your eyes, its humble paintings of peace & prosperity. One with how that gallery is so often under reconstruction, deconstruction. One with how everything is so impermanent, so fleeting. How your every thought breeds Frankensteins & angels. Be one with all your Frankensteins & angels.

Will we humans ever be able to read and predict the progression of seasons again, like the faces made by loved ones when their feelings change like wind-borne clouds?

I sincerely hope so, but I also equally sincerely doubt it. Come on, Ice Age, come on.

 

When, if not now? And why (or why not) and who with?

Now, always now. If not now, then when indeed?! Now, now, and now, and that other now too. And with good people who need no explanations for what you’re doing and/or why you’re doing it. I think it is crucial to learn how to recognize the various and varied members of your tribe before you die.

You are the pleasing smell of Chinese grease
I am the invisible motivation to frolic in the fountain

You are a stranger’s giggle &
an invitation to dance

I am a Cabaret Voltaire 12″
& half a clove cigarette

You are the diaphanous nature
of auburn clouds at twilight

I am the woman who raised you
but never dared speak your name

You are that familiar left shoe
abandoned on the roadway
never finding its twin

I am an expectant evening
after an expectant morning
spent talking on the phone


Wildlings

By Sanchari Sur

Poem

Your feline eyes reflect the sun, heaving
as the hair on your forearms, a reminder of
sweaty backed evenings, leaning into each other,
scaffolding.

You call me a lynx, even as I claim to be
a leopard, or a panther. No,
a lynx, you insist, explaining the nuances between
my extremes, my savagery and
clemency, danger and
dalliance blended into a
molotov cocktail.

On the twisted handle-bars
of a summer more than
half-spent. On a balance

eager for wild days to last,
yearning for tedious heat to end,

he bikes randomly west to Ulrich
Center. Peregrinations of a boy
striking out arbitrarily toward
any of the four sacred serendipitous

directions. Escaping monotony,
seeking adventure. He discovers a
shopping-plaza zoo in the midst of commerce,
among parking lot Impalas, Jaguars,

Why can’t I stop reading about this crazy lady? Cultural appropriation is a contested activity in the U.S., especially in the realms of artistry, but cultural theft committed with the purpose of gaining access to positions or institutional power is more insidious. This is what Dolezal did. Currently winning the Internet: #AskRachel I totally believe in the idea of being an ally but I’m pretty certain this is not the way to go about it. I wanna talk about this game we’re about to lose but this Rachel Dolezal story is way mo better. And so so frightening. Please don’t use Rachel Dolezal as an excuse to be ignorant toward light skinned and mixed folks. It’s not cute, too expected, and just plain gross. Wow. She went to Howard University on a full scholarship! That takes some kind of gall. The right wing is running with this story. My questions is, how did she get this far without anyone finding this out? What the…? Y’all may say she’s crazy, but I think if we would use people like her like white folk have been using the Clarence Thomases, Don Lemons, Stacey Dashes & nem for centuries, we might turn the tide. I just laughed tears. “Are you African American?” “I don’t understand the question.” She was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO not ready for the last question…nor the picture of her Dad. OMG, I just can’t with this….WTF???????? She said the first African hairstyle is seen in the Venus of Willendorf…. Her family is like, “Girl, you’re from Whiteville, not Black Town.” 

Дача

By Sonya Vatomsky

Poem

I first tried to kill love back behind the woodshed, neighbor
talking over the fence and water barrels full of dead squirrels,
lilac blooming, vegetable gardens where I married myself
to myself and enough plums to make your guts ache. All the
while I wished bloodletting were still a thing — to purify, to
wave lit sage inside my old skeleton and shake the dust off
the bones, scoop bad marrow out and serve on thick bread
before the surgeon comes back with his notepad and bad
news — things I tried to forget are bloodclots on the tablecloth;
everything a dinner we never eat, just moving our lips to the
sound of the wind, turning our knuckles white with fear-grip.
A butcher’s carcass on the hook has more to cling to, if I’m
being honest: a pendulous swing, a certainty, a dripping out
and being milked into the afterlife as sous-chefs stand around,
praying
or avoiding eye contact.

I spit in the lock and the knob turns.
A wire stretches between two towers,
but is it before the walk, or just after
a person has fallen? In a painting,
a man is devoured by his own horses,
after teaching them to love the taste
of human flesh. I was once told that
being shot feels just like being slapped.
I never felt the needle going in, but now
my jaw aches at the site of the injection.

You’re still looking at my tan. Squat over holes
and call it protest. Then smile because

that’s what everyone says to do.
Art crisis, send existential help: dress the

trees with toilet paper because our adolescent
understanding never evolved past the sun.

Turn off your savior complex. I don’t know a
plainer way to say how I feel. Let’s argue the

weather, glitter, the purpose of sex.
Us: Unwrite the rules of feminity. Unwrite the

tidiness. Undo because look at today. Turn off the
default setting. This tan is burning and still young.

IMG_1248

Hey, ready? Let’s do this. So my first— For the love of— get off your phone.

Oh, honey; it’s totally poet-related. Darrel Alejandro Holnes (here: read this while you’re at it) and I just covered a whole cosmos of how poetry can evolve the species, artists’ collective consciousness and, in particular, how to grapple with my familial spiritual spine that I share with my eldest uncle and my mother.

I was little more
than a bottle cap of whiskey
More than once
I was rebozo slung
over a sleepy mouthed junkie
for CK one
Mira the everyday people baby
Mira like opening fire with candy
Mira my matted hair so model
off duty
While others donned tiaras
worldpeace and bikinis
I was sizing up
cops and clergy

Sherry Green peeks through the skeleton hole. The room is black and white and dingy. There’s a very fat woman and a very fat man. They sit on the bed and pull off their shirts. They bump their naked bellies over and over. They cannot stop laughing.

A man kisses his son good night and tucks him in. He ruffles his hair. Then he walks into the kitchen and fucks his wife against the wall. They both cum.

Lucy kisses Snoopy. He turns red. Now he is a red dog.

I.

What cruel trick is this?
To wake up with a switch flipped,
a mental miracle turned curse
for better or worse a brain war
and I am on the front line
screaming for peace.

Do not say the words will come with time
or maybe never for a poem.
They are mine, they are mine
what rewiring took place
will be undone.

II.

Start with the death.
There is always a death.
The death of skin beneath silver,
of eyes under emptiness,
of possibility.
But how to finish?
With death.
There is always a death.

it was not so much the warm wine
honey or maybe berry
or a gloved hand tucked into
pocket, jacket, or something or other
fire eaters, towers flaming orangey
it was a brick breaching
cracked and crackling, burgeon loaf of bread and head of people
if the bridge were to tumble
someone would find, much later, my black leather glove
or a plucked eye from bat or rat
it could even be from pigeon or raven
water swallows a fogged frog

croaking into the neck of a wine bottle