fingers raw, for
I’ve scrubbed, scoured and mopped all
but my brow,
as she soaked.
Eyes closed, head back,
hair a glowing stream of sunset
running over the side
of the porcelain
gleaming from my morning’s work.
She is done now,
with her Sunday bath,
and these raw-rubbed hands
of a fiery forest of knots.
Taming, tending, touching –
these are my skills,
is the work
of the handmaid.
Lisa Conquet was lucky to grow up in NYC -- a place that mirrors her spirit, energy and mix of cultures. The city fed her soul and her love of words. As a copywriter for a Madison Avenue ad agency, she utilized her psychology degree to entice consumers, then went back to school and turned the tables. Now she is a psychotherapist who uses poetry to help her clients.
After “The Broken Column”
1. to unbind insecurities, torment, pain and annihilation.
2. to purge;
3. to clarify;
4. to make new.
I knew I was a poet when I found the only person that ever
understood me is a dead painter.
Lindsey Thäden is a recent winner of New York's 2016 #PoetweetNYC contest. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Philadelphia-based Apeiron Review, eleven40seven, New York Metro, Passages North and Vending Machine Press, which is e-published from Sydney, Australia.
The Whiteness of Bone
White on white. Was a time I wouldn’t
have seen it, a little snort bursting
from my nose, up-tilted, at the greyish-
white square, askew on the cream ground.
Suprematist Composition, 1918, indeed,
war’s end, and that is all Malevich could
come up with? So much nothing, a long
Sunday, hours mounded like dune sand,
the upward slog, the endless back-sliding.
Then, I was all noise, rushing to get somewhere,
not realizing the deception of motion,
Self always shrouding like the linen skin
of a dressmaker’s dummy. Now I know:
this as far as far as I’m going, this the end
of my leap, all the time in the world
to explore the gradations between pearl
and cream, paper and bone, milky and
opalescent. The dead in the trenches, bone
white against the bleached scroll of years.
The pitted surface, the brushstrokes, the
canvas poking through, plenty for the eyes
of one grown old enough to glean.
Devon Balwit is a writer and teacher from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks forthcoming--'how the blessed travel' from Maverick Duck Press and 'Forms Most Marvelous' from dancing girl press. Her recent work has found many homes, among them: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, Timberline Review, Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Trailhead Review, and Oracle.
Resurrection of the Bird
It will fly into the oblivion it knows
rather than the one it doesn’t
willingly, composed, at ease,
as if returning home
the prodigal child of the sky
forgiven at last
conceived in a whim of light
absolved by the sun
reconciled with its destiny
as certain as the stars
so far from land
it doesn’t know its way
it waits for resurrection
as its primal right.
Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published more than 1,000 ekphrastic poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His collections include chapbooks devoted exclusively to the works of Paul Klee, Matta and others.
The Replicants in Question
"Every angel is terrifying."
—Rilke, The Duino Elegies
What’s this? Deckard asks: not who.
Clever bit of exposition, to reveal the quarry
to us and Deck together, let him query Bryant
for us, our proxy, blue membrane
of smoke haze rising between them.
Nexxus 6. Each description straight
from dimestore pulp, a reduction
to function, the body’s brute
uses. The heads, factory fresh,
spin as in a shop window. Skull-capped,
mute and gazeless, a sameness.
No snake tattoo, no shock of white hair,
no hate love fear anger envy yet.
Transformation, the interpreted world: time
cut off as failsafe. And if
the machine doesn’t work?
Flight, light: Deckard narrows his eyes.
Spinners flare out their flame-red haloes.
The score recalls its daring first notes --
a kestrel keening—
This poem is from the author's in-process manuscript addressing the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. Envisioned as a sort of "poetry commentary track" for the film's Final Cut version, the poems address the movie's themes of memory, the body, and what it means to be human by weaving screen action and imagery with personal memory, interpretation, and a splash of Rilke.
Jan Bottiglieri lives and writes in Schaumburg, IL. She is a managing editor for the poetry annual RHINO and received her MFA in Poetry from Pacific University. Jan’s poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies including Harpur Palate, Court Green, Bellevue Literary Review, and Rattle. She is the author of the chapbook Where Gravity Pools the Sugar and the full-length poetry collection Alloy. Visitjanbottiglieri.com.
The Re-Invention of Papier Collé
It all started with simultaneous perspective.
Braque and Picasso retreating to the Pyrenees.
The Spaniard told how he had learned to paint
ugly, even if it was young lady prostitutes
and the Frenchman said that he could now paint
beastly, turning an entire village into squares.
They shared a villa, but faced different sunsets.
They shared their work, but kept separate studios.
Then one summer morning at the breakfast table
Pablo put on an African Mask. Georges puffed his pipe.
Pablo danced around as Georges blew smoke
at the chipped fruit dish and both rushed back to work.
They cut up the wallpaper, gathered some scrap wood.
They mounted an easel in the center of the kitchen.
Braque scrawled and shaded a bunch of grapes
and a lemon, a pear, and Picasso paced around
the still near-blank canvas and then charcoaled “BAR”
then “ALE” in block letters in two of the corners.
When they finished, the fragments were bizarre.
Gluey radicals pasting together in the Pyrenees.
Austin Sanchez-Moran received his MFA in Poetry from George Mason University, where he was a Laanan Fellow and then an Honors Fellow. His poems and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Catamaran Literary Journal, Denver Quarterly, Laurel Review, and Salamander Magazine, among many others. Also, he had a poem chosen for the anthology, Best New Poets of the Midwest (2017).
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The man in the portrait, birthed by the sea,
presumed his existence a fait accompli
in spite of the howlerwind's ominous song
and thunderbolts hurling through break of dawn.
But the sea level rose as the tempest rolled-in,
and soon the earth's tears flowed up to his chin,
creating a stir. As swim bladders hummed
and tiny claws clicked amid pops and thumps,
a chatter of chirps joined burbles and yaps
while amphibians croaked and pincer-tips snapped.
Whisker-like barbels and tentacles twitched
as the torrent unleashed and floodwater drenched.
The man in the portrait, birthed by the sea,
reconsidered presumptions of fait accompli.
As arms of the octopus loosed their grip,
the eel and the lionfish started to slip.
Inspiring a mutinous seaside revolt,
the Dungeness crab decided to bolt.
And all in due time, yet before very long,
with the turn of the tide, man's profile was gone.
This poem was first published in Blast Furnace.
dl mattila is the author of Quietus, a collection of poems. Her work publishes nationally and internationally. She holds an MA in Writing (poetry) from The Johns Hopkins University.
nineteen millennia ago
Behind the great hall of the bulls
hidden in a small recess
a woman used moss, colored ochre,
sticks of charcoal to send a herd
of spotted horses galloping across a wall.
Working in a flicker of light, the artist
traced a curve with a shaved, chalky twig,
filled in with a paste of charcoal
and two kinds of hard, dark earth.
She ground red ochre to a powder
with mortar and pestle,
picked up a hollow bone, spit
then blew, mouth filled with bitter taste,
using her hand so thick lines of colour
could meet without blurring, horses dappled
by stenciled dots and fingerprints dipped in paint.
Always in motion these ponies thunder
across the rock face, fresh as if just drawn.
I think I hear them snort and gnar,
feel their grassy breath,
or someone blowing pigment in the dark.
Was the painter surprised by what emerged?
Would she be amazed to know they are still here,
cantering in the dark, in the dawn?
Mary Kay Rummel
Mary Kay Rummel was Poet Laureate of Ventura County, California from 2014-16.
Her seventh book of poetry, The Lifeline Trembles, won the Blue Light Poetry Prize. A new collection, Cypher Garden, has just been published by Blue Light Press. Her poems recently appear in Nimrod, Askew, The Ekphrastic Review, Miramar, Pirene’s Fountain, and AMORE: A Collection of Love Poems. She teaches at California State University, Channel Islands and lives in Ventura and Minneapolis.
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Edward H. Garcia
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Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
John R. Lee
Lorette C. Luzajic
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John C. Mannone
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Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
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S. Jagathsimhan Nair
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James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
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M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Ralph La Rosa
Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Janice D. Soderling
Liza Nash Taylor
Janine Pommy Vega
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Shannon Connor Winward
William Butler Yeats
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