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Broken Line with Subtitles. Devon Miller-Duggan.

17 Jan

Broken Line with Subtitles

after Danez Smith

I had a sister.
Childbirth broke my mother’s back

I forgot to pray for my sister.
and dammed the river of my sister’s mind

I beat my father away from them both.
and left me fatherless as a field

I had a father.
and bruising myself against the walls of night—

I scraped my hands on my rose-papered wall.
the baby who cried the dark hours—I reached through the walls and gathered her

I walked away.
so we two, my roses, the bed the parents bought me

I cut the stems of roses and give them to water.
made a forest too dense for parents to enter,

I cut my tongue, wrapped the baby in mosses, left her.
then I walked out alone, stepping branch to branch until I came to ocean.

Devon Miller-Duggan

Late in My Sleep. David Marquard.

15 Jan

Late in My Sleep

I am not afraid to sleep but
I am afraid to talk with you
I will go to bed and
I will talk to myself

I will dream in all languages
all at once
but only three will talk to me

penned as a palimpsest
I will sleep incomplete

and while I am alive as I sleep
I will forget what I think to be a moment

described in detail
a constant masquerade will
separate imagination from rationale

and you will be alone
when I begin to talk to you

and the moments will be
recursive and your eyes will close

and here there will be no more
languages and no more dreams.

David Marquard

Cassandra, California. Kayti Lahsaiezadeh.

13 Jan

Cassandra, California

And even a sunset feels doomed, all chewed up
blue and red like witchfire, like Roman candles

in July. A single callous spark could send
the entire county up in flame. Seven miles

from the base, she can still hear the shells
fall. On her back, she’ll watch the planes

scudding across the upturned bowl of sky,
crush them between her fingers like flies.

Kayti Lahsaiezadeh

Calendar. Carol Poster.

11 Jan

Calendar

I measure time in rotting deer
beside the road, a change
faster than seasons,
slower than sun,
a measure of weeks
rather than days or months.

I see the same ones, again
and again: the antlered male,
the doe beside the drainage
ditch, the spotted fawn.

They grow thinner
every day, as though
they are starving
rather than rotting
away.

Carol Poster

Goya Talks with the Widow. Emily Hipchen.

9 Jan

Goya Talks with the Widow

Here are your eyes.
I make them slits, slits like mouths,
the center just a grey focus,
an empty spot of empty wall.
Where your arms go?
You are dancing. Look.
Here you haul up the rope to hang you.
Here your hands slice at the sky.
Here you curl around a ghost.
Everything smokes upwards
like the beginning of flames.
I draw your sex,
the dry breasts gasping,
pendulous as shadows.
Your hips are empty like
the corners of your mouth.
I want to find you where your legs meet
but that’s also a nothing, a zero, nothing.
I have tried, I swear, with your feet,
flexed them, bent them against
the dirt, each toenail the shell of
an ear, listening to his dust.
You hang there, aghast,
in silence, as I draw the
gunmen who can help you.

Emily Hipchen

Napoleon Talks to the Widow. Emily Hipchen.

7 Jan

Napoleon Talks to the Widow

I draw a tight circle around myself
roughly the shape of an island.
The rest of the world is born
through the O of the spy-glass
I keep on the desk in a box.
Whole days, whole weeks
I don’t open the box.

What was I atop the Carpathians—
in the Pantheon—horse-deep in snow?
Was I insane then, or now?

At my coronation, my chef
spun me a delicate sugar crown.
It dissolved in my mouth with a sweetness
I can almost taste again. That crown.
That sugar. You and I know better.

You know what I miss most? No?
My horse. The way it quivered
between my knees and still went on.
Why did he?

Here at the window, a box of watery glass,
I stand watching nothing, my hand holding
my heart in. The linen, the starch,
this placket with its bone buttons
like shards of ribs, this hand
and its one gold ring. See now?
How the tide’s come in.

Emily Hipchen

Red Dawn. Mark Leonard.

5 Jan

Red Dawn

 

a music performance of an original song by Mark Leonard, with backing vocals and washboard by Mike Arsenault

 

 

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