Tag Archives: new poetry

A new poem from Weam Namou: “A Mentor”

26 Feb

A Mentor

Sometimes, a woman will appear out of nowhere,
from the mountains, desert, jungle, or sky.
She is both young and old, but she is not your mother, sister or a peer.
She sits in a circle and invites you for a cup of tea.
The moment you accept,
she transforms into a goddess who possesses an ancient soul,
a sharp sense of humor and red hair.

Before you have the chance to evaluate the situation,
you know her presence is sublime, and you submit to her design,
recognizing she is here to teach you something,
hoping the mirror she holds up will deliver you from
a rocky path, a painful past.

This woman is full of wisdom, passion and fire,
and she carries a bag of medicine for bad thoughts.
The medicine is made of feathers, rocks and sticks, has the
energy of eagles, dolphins and wolves.
She brews her recipe and sprinkles it over your head, pours
it into your heart, until you are stewed.

She does her magic and disappears
and you are left wondering, “what happened to our year?”
“I gave you what you needed,” she says. “I am now gone, but I am here.”


new poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Sean Thomas Dougherty, The Shape of Such Longing.

6 Feb


is light

as the wind

and lets fall
a shirt’s

empty sleeves.




New poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Joshua Gage’s “Confession”

4 Feb


too many times I try to wash off
the stars of your stigmata
only to smell of lavender.

I sip free coffee
at a Woolworth’s counter,
try to swallow the coin
you slipped my tongue as I slept.

Do you still yearn
to come back a grizzly,
gold button in your ear?
At night I whisper,
like chipped porcelain,
prayers I can’t remember.

We will plant you at the roots
of a Pacific mountain,
a seam of taconite
in a gingham dress.

I will flaw every quilt after you,
sew a square of red at the center.
When my stitching frays, promise
paw prints in the bunting.

new poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Sara Walton, City

29 Jan



This woman, she sits

on bottle caps and ashes
fallen from midnight

cigarettes. Grinding
her teeth against ticking

second hands
and her own breath,

for anything.

She jots down things
she recalls : a tumbleweed

in Santa Fe, driving
in a dust storm

through Searchlight,
two a.m. lightning

illuminating the highway
outside of Salina.

a world full of cities.
In Rittman,

an hour or so away
from her, a city of sleeping:

He is laying, hands
at his sides under

the cold November sky,
recalling the red of her hair

the first time he held her.

new poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Suzanne McWhorter, Elegy: Undefined

26 Jan


Before the moon pulled a murmur from your skin.
Before your shadow painted my wall.
Before candles lit the hallway
and the world was lost to our naiveté.
Before dawn stole through the windshield
and over lips, freezing words on the tongue:
perpetually unsaid. Before threads
were pulled unsteady through phantom flesh
to seal the hollows of disgrace.
Before scars replaced photographs.
Before Sundays abandoned worship for pity.
Before your key was cut to be unturned.
Before one period ended a thousand questions.
Before the phone stopped singing
and the door fell voiceless. Before the bed
left its footprints in the carpet to gather someone
else’s dust. Before the bottle knew my name.
Before windmills beckoned your wanderlust
and claimed you for los desaparecidos.
Before the city limits sign
bowed in our mutual defeat.
Before the trees shed their masquerade,
baring skeletal fingers knotted with accusation.
Before we could find resolution,
at the crux of our story you left me with blank pages.

new poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Melissa Morphew, You Left And

22 Jan



You Left And


the sun stopped shining

on all the lakes of the world,

gray clouds descending

like fog, the grass dried,

yellowed, so every photograph

turned sepia, instant nostalgia

for a present we possessed as past

but couldn’t walk backwards through

toward some meaning, some reticent understanding,

trace the last pink flower pressed

between pages of the family Bible,

this fragile reckoning written

in the parlance of love, this onionskin

memory, the words blurred,

smudged by too often turning

to the same page, never moving beyond

the stained crease of obsessive familiarity,

footsteps faint upon mahogany stairs,

the thermostat broken, the house empty

except for woolen blankets, heavy quilts,

wrought-iron beds, lumpy mattresses damp

with mildew—a talisman of loneliness—

not a single window, a single door

opening onto a garden,

some orchard made of light.

new poem from the Winter 2013 issue: Robert Daniels, County Employee

18 Jan

death on a limb (2)


Enough with paper trail chains. Enough…five years
treading through shit without much luck. Five years-

early mornings- this is life?– quick coffee driving
end to end of this crooked county for a buck. Five years

spent, elbow deep, latex connections, other peoples’ time.
Ceil blue waders, fade with the murk and the muck. Five years,

mourning in afternoons, and in the night- permanently
raw- hearing Mr. Daniels!!! In tuts and clucks. Five years

in windowless pink and green basements, casting now shadows,
drifting- smile face façade- left to dodge and duck. If I’ve years

robbed from me- you do not think of me- mornings,
maybe mourning shouldn’t be why I wake up. Five years?

new work from the Winter 2013 issue: a poem from Leslie Anne McIlroy

17 Jan


I want to write to everyone I know and ask

about the man — about the man, the swing,

an empty house and a smokestack, the smell

of mildew, oil, wood, sweat. You see,

he left me nothing. I remember nothing,

as if there’s nothing to remember. Except

in my dreams there is a man and a swing,

an empty house and a smokestack. You see?

There is his back and once, in a dream,

he turned and my daughter was behind him.

I woke shaking. Me, but not my daughter.

You understand, not my daughter. You see

I will kill him if he touches her. It is

the only thing I know for sure. It is

the smoke, the swing, the house. It is

oil/wood/mildew. It is the stench. You see?

It is the mother who should have been there,

the father who shouldn’t have left. The lover

holding my shaking hands. It is the man’s back,

his face I can’t see. It is the window. It is the door.

new work from the Winter 2013 issue: Linda Lee Harper, The Myth of Myth

9 Jan

The Myth of Myth

The walls are flooded with flowers.
Outside, the garden is vertical with leaves.
Where the reputed muses dance,
all the grass is beaten down by their
delicate bare feet as they gambol.
The next morning there are empty flagons
where full ones sat the night before.
An amphora once brimming with wine
sits against memory like a drunken aunt,
her curves wider in the morning light.
On the inside of your left arm, you find
teeth prints purpling and irregular.
Your breasts feel heavy, like wine skins
before the revelry, your mouth, sore
and split as a pomegranate spilling seed.
In the west, the mountain you revere
like you would any erect and stable thing,
glistens snow-capped and drenched blue.
Surrounded by ocean, each wave crest salutes
like a triton rising, and somewhere in clouds,
that winged horse rears, then falls into horizon
lines taut and inescapable as Zeus’s golden reins.

new work from the Winter 2013 issue: Sean Thomas Dougherty’s I Am A Forty

8 Jan


late night, shooting pool with Sean Thomas Dougherty, in a suburb just north of Detroit, 2011

One of four poems forthcoming in the Winter issue: “I Am A Forty

Badger, Party of 7


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