Regretfully the World in Tooth and Bone Meets Us
Ink sky like I knew it could.
Swarms of bats screeching in the shape of triangles
up, up the length of a river slicked with petroleum
from summer’s runoff, the trickles in moss.
I’m a gray rabbit. Gables are mouths. All of them.
I’m avoiding doorways, tunnels, caves.
I’m not making a move, what color am I now?
What sound is coming down the path?
The sky like a pair of gray shears, I say,
it’s hard to piece one’s self back together
with mud, with mortar. Villagers burn
us like towers holding the monster.
The one howling in the belfry with cold hands
whose life has been lightning, dark briars.
No one’s making a move. Their torches crackle
like teeth splitting in yellow grimaces.
It’s another story that repeats itself—
the way the river bends away from us.
You’re afraid of the dwelling under your skin
and the doorway wants to crush me in its jaws.
We’re filled with dark yards and ice,
places we barely understand.
Try to forget the blood on the leaves
you saw this morning, it’s already late.
Those at the Table Are Wolves
It rains and rains and someone is passing
the sugar to the left while a wave breaks
somewhere inside their head. Their head
nailed in place like a wooden star, like pebbles
gathered to make a face. I would help us
if I knew where to begin. My lungs full of cloud.
It’s dark isn’t it. What a world, wolves are indeed
at the hearth, monastic and waiting. I’ll play
a record for them. Vinyl scratches towards notes
as our pleas ferret around the room’s silence.
There’s such a mossy depth one’s held under
with the wolves watching us through, clear souls
like glass figures on a shelf. I see my friends
shaking, one is so tired, her eyes in an age
of brown hills. But the wolves austere, the wolves
brindled and patient. I am painting for them,
a landscape of fires. There are animals there.
from Some Occurrences on the 7:18 to Penn
You had been my close secret
and then you deprived me of your furriness.
The secret was hetero, it was inhuman
and what is left after it
is a little less like the Chrysler building.
The metal and the tremor.
It’s unlikely you remember the air
awhirl thick and green like a grasshopper’s thigh
or the waiting. When you next leave a person
in the warm brown mud – beware the eggs
hatched there. Lives, damned lives –
the eggs will expose you,
horse made of cut.
The role of Guy was played by the angel.
The role of You was in turns played by the spirit, the chick
on the train, one other guy I knew, and by
the woman I wake beside, who's played by a lioness,
and the absence of her by darkness
and death. There's no nicer way to put it.
Darkness and death. In the restaurant, she
was a focus on fire. I minced toward her like Heracles mutton,
and oh lioness I daren't ask you if
you feel it too, the howling smell of linden when we kiss, & the meridians
spinning and lolling round the mechanic globe
that hangs like a cherry in darkness— in other words, do you feel me as your last.
It's like asking snow if white is a color:
or the blush in the stem of a calla, that whispers,
I'm your reflection, I'm ashamed… Or like geese and gratitude.
You put a goose into your yard, you give it feed, but still it's
just one of a pair, the one that doesn't hold the meaning. Why
so serious? This is where my lack of love of light
has brought me. The cherry sinks in the mud—
the unibody earth, thick like mole, and out of it
our heads do pop into a sparkle-scrubbed May. My lioness, we're free.
To grow out of the darkness of boar-hide into
Don't say it. Why not? Because if we're shepherdesses
of the boar-heart of poetry we'll be shot down? No,
you silly goose.
Because you can't touch cloud.
What you want to say is cloud.
Peak light on the mountain.
Happy Birthday to Me
I know where I’m going to die.
Right here in my own honest
body. I avoid my body by sleeping.
For instance I’ve just woken up.
Now here come my galloping
arms. My head: the malletless
gong. Then why is it clanging.
So many days I do not understand.
One plows forward, one gathers,
it rains. Each month maintains
its own atomic number. A year
does not have a skeleton; it has
an uncracked egg. You have to
eat it. You have to get married.
My friend the golden onslaught
married stuff in bloom. Every
action has a speed and a direction.
Love goes down and sometimes
slowly, but death can come from
inside or without. For my birthday
I would like to be an airplane. An
airplane with no pilot and no wings.
These People Are Getting Together
A woman and a man are on a bench.
The bench is vibrating and the trees
and purses. That which does not
vibrate falls apart. The dead also
vibrate. The woman and the man
are still alive I think. I know a lot
about the world. When the man says
he will fix dinner he does not mean
repair it. And winning is one object
of the sun. There is no good way
to draw smoke. Compared to smoke
the bench is real life. Real life keeps
hills piled behind it. A bench is in
memory of the dead. Sometimes a
choice is needed. To pick the door
and not the doorway. The woman
makes an offer. The man forgets
to vibrate and promptly falls apart.
You Are My Guest
I will call you man.
Man man man man.
It is a recipe.
It is not that expensive.
I will have you
over for dinner
and I will not
take your clothes off.
You wear clothes
like a man man.
You are a tightly
When we think of
are the same
but the rabbit
Eat up your soup
little man man.
There is no food
What Midday Can Do, What Midday Can Do to What Might Have Been
Earned and looking towards a laugh as if a laugh
is the place where the dark
might tighten its grip and make one feel certain of anything,
certain of Middle America especially and when I asked
the cashier for my change in dimes mostly,
she smiled and said no and asked me to leave
the store and I did and if I could have walked across town
like it was a desert, believe me, I would have.
And Snow Is What Snow Has Always Been
Of course a quilt is a house—
And of course you can become so enamored
with an image that you become it:
like the snow all over town
and like the snow
all over town you become it.
You have far-reaching talent for
mass appeal and for sending a few thousand birds
a few thousands miles south. And when it is March
you might even melt a bit but you are last
to tuck us in at night
and last to think a thought we wish we had:
what we croon is what we have a deed to, and the deed
is some thing we think we thought we always had.
Poem Addressing the Blind
Despite your inability to read this in the traditional fashion, I am happy you are able to read this in brail. I’m excited that someone has rendered it in pattern of small paper bumps which indicates it has achieved a small degree of success. This poem is partly for you, person rendering this poem in brail! Thanks! Just as amazing as you—the blind person actually lightly touching this poem with fingertips! You! Unreal! Also it is possible that you’re at a poetry reading or listening to this poem via some sort of recording. If you are listening to me read this poem, thanks! I am grateful for you, blind appreciator of this poem! I love you as I love everyone who comprehends this poem.
Poem Addressing the Deaf
I’m glad you can see and read this poem, unlike the blind who can either listen to it read out loud, or read it in brail, but can never see it. Of course you won’t ever hear how this sounds, particularly articulated by my voice at a reading or on some kind of available recording. On the other hand, you have these beautiful words in silence, save but for the sounds within your noggin (which I absolutely can’t imagine—I’m ashamed as I write this how little I know about you)! Or perhaps you are eligible for a cochlea implant and so you go that route and regain your alertness to waves vibrating in the ear canal. Maybe you live in a time period when there are other solutions to your condition. In that case this poem isn’t really for you, this poem is for people who are deaf now, whenever now might be. Still, I’m so happy you’re looking at this sentence. If you could hear what you would hear are sounds that sound like, “I love you! I love you! Please, love me too.”
Poem Addressing the Illiterate
I am glad this is finding you, despite the obvious difficulties. I hope this might inspire you to learn to read. I hope that whoever is helping you with this poem becomes a close friend to you, in such a way that your relationship naturally leads to an educational bond. Not everything that is written is as fascinating and life-changing as this poem, but, seriously, there’s some pretty interesting stuff out there.
Somewhere in the national forest,
there is a coffin tree for each of us,
chosen at birth, containing us
completely, even in its youngest seedling.
If we keep no one left to love, to love us,
to cut it down, to afford it
carved to order, we will wander,
the flower bridge, the light-rail route,
the geopark lot, unclean ghosts
the clouded blue of our deepening cataracts.
What’s left of us, children moved to city,
smudged air of our once bodies, is holding,
exhausted, the village brinkline of trees
from the road, disappearing as the mist
that beads us shape burns off at dawn.
There is a difference between fire shaped
like a horse and a horse made of fire.
Emily Kendal Frey
Everyone wants to love
I won’t be dead
by you, tree.
Moon, take me
closer to the
The church doesn’t love
Ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole ole!
is dirtier than ever.
Ribbon for a matador.
A shark’s sharper teeth flee on contact,
bream the darker side of the sea.
Piss-swollen and merciless sea,
it moves nowhere but up, piston,
and down, its lateral fragments strewn
behind the assholes of whales.
The whale shark, though huge,
is harmless. Cookiecutters unplug
the sides of submarines, live off
the sides of whales. The whale shark
lives near the sea’s roof, bumps
into subs and ships it’s so slow.
Filters plankton. Swallows plankton.
The dwarf shark fits in a palm.
Sawsharks dig up what they devour.
A bonnethead digs and pins.
Nothing can budge the swellshark
wedged in a crack. The thresher’s
tail delivers a mean slap, to stun.
Step on the carpet shark if you want
your foot stumped. Ditto with the angel
shark. If you can walk on water,
you have nothing to fear, your needs
will be met when you arrive.
If you can walk on water, my offer
to bathe your feet at the end of your journey,
to kneel and bathe your feet, is empty.
The fullness comes in the delivery.
When something burns, does it burn up
or down? It isn’t just a question of usage,
ash in your hair and grit in your teeth.
Something inside of me springs into
a fizz and all the clocks go back an hour.
It’s the time of year when everything spongy
in the world recedes and we make do
tracing the calcified edges. Being so
easily squished, the hermit crab finds
itself a bigger home. A good move
for the crab but I dread getting the mail
which must be done no matter how many
times I move. It’s the havoc in miniature
that gets me, garbles me up in twaddle
court reports and nonsensical forensics,
my shopping list consisting entirely
of canned beans so who needs a list?
Radiance sprung from sudden secret
belief snuffed by the pet store window,
can’t afford the skinny calico kitten
trembling in a chewed-up cardboard box.
Mist on the dog track, clothes askew
in the persimmons. Lingering tingle
of lips on your cheek, an intricate pastiche
of stains on my nice interview shirt
indicating all the past campaigns that have
ultimately led me to these granite steps,
these frilly pillows, feeling like I missed
the first few minutes of a movie in which
vital plot points are given, thus relegating
the dramatic eleventh-hour revelation less
to the province of a subtle articulation
of individual ennui with a gesture to shared
human despair, and more to the domain
of just what the fuck was all that about?
There goes ten bucks. There go the avocadoes,
moldering the moment you turn your back.
If we follow this string long enough
does it lead back to your rotten tooth?
Must the medieval tapestry be undone
by the loose thread of a dragon’s tongue?
Let’s let morning unstitch the dark, and
when that stops working how bout a beer?
For an entire year I was late for every morning
meeting since I was always buying coffee
from a machine in the opposite wing,
always hating the chalky taste and never once
not thinking I was holding a thin cup
of hot robot pee. You know what I mean,
x amount of y requires no less than z.
Otherwise the whole thing is doomed.
Gashed earth matched by gashed sky.
There’s no way all this blood is mine.
Fire dashes from one point to the next,
caring not for our proofs or theorems,
our flammable darlings and funny bumps,
consistency or perfection, just as fog
simply slides from the pond or small clouds
drift in and out of the sore spot in your chest.
Within the green field is a brown/black
field getting bigger, within the red field
no one knows for sure. The photoelectric
solution fans out and spreads its webs.
Your purple popsicle dribbles into your fist,
and suddenly I feel like a flaming hoop
through which a tiger lazily hops.
from This False Peace
It is said the last woman who tattoos you is your wife
To be a self is to be a sudden cipher interpellated by faces
a tattoo that moves A man’s expensive shoes invade me
ballistic earrings quiver around the soft circle of a neck
this false peace a pantomime of not falling
I want to locate a no stillness this false peace
Topographies of rumor jutting in the streets
a torture so plain it seeps into this garland of irises
or islands of nail clippings caught in the leaves all matter
inebriated tenebrous boomeranging wet
We awed so much that tending to life put us to sleep
Black braids grazing the outstretched wings of the television
antenna frozen stoic the lie was that one was alone the worst
and most common a vast and incurious thing now
that your wallet is all lit up A tiny girl with black
braids moves through the air the air is so smug sometimes
but can I say it is beautiful? It is a vast
and incurious thing in our eyes and we permit ourselves to
be this wong I loved so many people because they were looking
fascinated The field is not neutral the corpse
is really still alive shifting birds running into windows
or these spiders absurd crawling into mouth after mouth
for warmth The world does not go silently on
It is hum It is hum It is an hum It is an engine
I can’t stop sensing movieness and millions now living
will never die an intuitive mathematics transcribing hate or else
we become harvesters of the blink accident blink
line break jump cut the distances euphoric
otherwise perfect skin littered with dry islands to catch
Trigger stars trigger birdsong and the pluvial whoosh
of woods trigger lavender uprooted and set aside minute
eyes terrifyingly composite a pose anticipatory
Trigger ligature in the soft hollow of the gut dribbling Philip
Guston Pink words are not secrets the sunset is not deathly
words are not secret yes words are not secret yes they are
I space out only to emerge larger my sweet little
tone is my arm I can’t tell you how little I think about time
My everything anything by grace My own
body was too thick for the light beams a dirty dirge with white
on drums I wake to garbage trucks wherever I
live spine audible in this only-just-this-very-second-brightening
side-world The real world is on television the girl behind
the counter is yelling at you You? and everything helps
it never to conclude The church bells tinkling the fish
stupid and beautiful in love and in Washington all
our dicks in a row as umbilical illuminations fill the cloud body
I meant to tell you I never liked what you named your baby,
though I said I did, though I said I liked many things
when I, in fact, did not like many things. Though I said, Oh,
really? That’s so sweet. Perfect, in fact. But truthfully I believe
that nothing is perfect, and never shall be, and shouldn’t be
because I’ve this theory that perfection is really an algorithm
for death, and that death is really an algorithm for desire,
and that desire is going to be the name of the next really big
muscle car put out by the Ford motor company. I suppose
we’ve all meant so many things, and meant to tell about
so many other things we said we meant but never really did.
But what have I meant, as a person? I mean, what am I, what
have I been as a collective of actions, biology, intake, exhaust,
what kind of person says Hey, I think that’s a fantastic name
for a baby when really I think it’s terrible—not even a good name
for a cat, or dog, or fish, even, and fish get away with the worst
names of all. Does this make me polite, or a liar, courteous
or dishonest, did you know that to be honest once meant
to have a decent appearance, was I decent in sparing your feelings,
how many times have you been decent in sparing mine?
Until babies get to be a year old I can never exactly tell what
they look like, just babies, really, but I say Oh, he’s got your nose,
and so maybe he does or doesn’t, but what does it matter
anyway, and isn’t it strange to make these poor little babies
out to be Frankensteins of their fathers and mothers, aunts
and uncles, are our body parts really all that simple? Maybe they
are. Maybe everything is that simple—maybe good and evil,
right and wrong, right and left. But still I’m left with what to say
in the face of a baby with the disastrous name, because to be named,
to be forever something, to be defined even if nothing can define.
Then how over the years it all slowly starts to stick, and I think I
meant to tell you that I was wrong before, about what I never told
you in the first place, because holding this chubby thing up in the sky,
it looks exactly like whatever you call it, its name, its short history
as a human here on earth, an identity in the wild, wild field of voices.
The Monkey and the Mountain
The monkey went to the mountain
because he had a soft spot
on his soul. The mountain stood for
something willful, something
vainglorious. The monkey made a
small pyre near the base of the
mountain and there he recited his own
shifty sins. The mountain nodded
or maybe the monkey only needed the
mountain to nod. At any rate the
monkey returned to his own kind a
gentler sort, having given up some-
thing that was difficult to give up
and having communed with the
mountain, with fervor and humility, here
in the new time of monkeys and mountains.
If There Was a Book about This Tuna,
It would be a sad book.
It would start:
There is a Tuna on the piano.
And the middle:
The Tuna fell from the piano.
The Tuna broke into a million pieces.
On its way down, the Tuna played a chord.
The chord was a sad perfect chord.
It would end:
The tuna was a ceramic Tuna.
We loved that Tuna.
from The Mad Song
All the doors are open and everything is empty. My valentine said it to me one dawn. Honey day will come to crawl. Our office is how you left it, hardly immaculate. The rooms bunch up and slant. How the grayness of autumn never comes here now. There’s no grayness left to become of, to mourn and hullabaloo. This here is the speckled fire we abhor. She is the mistress of drum-taps. The cobwebs pulse in the evening breeze. They are growing to the vine. Because we know the things we don’t. And the shadow that slangs under moonlit leaves.
Bring me the crown of Queen Mab. Bring a legion of tall women from New Jersey. Bring the heavy currency to fit such a purse. Bring her water like gasoline. Bring any Martha I might marry. Bring bullets, leave the rifle. Bring red corn and blue lobsters. Bring an extra pair of boots for the retreat. Bring sawhorse and gargoyle. Bring to the Rose Garden the machines that will fight in place of our children. Bring that farm girl and sit her firmly, here. Bring a bucket of boll weevils to the panty raid. Bring me some news when you return from paradise.
How the men in white suits have shorn the grass to the morning paper. Geese, suspect creatures, funereal music. Sunrise creaks the mountain door. The path is excellent. The trees weigh down the breeze. The hermit leaves his hall and begins to run.
Bring the juice of twelve thousand lemons. Bring rosy fog that swears across the drumlins. Bring your gorgeous hoedown. Bring, O bring, such sweat to my thighs, O do. Bring the very moccasins I lost. Bring low the pure puritanical. Bring back the day before she died.
Any other me is a shadowy or. Consumed by the chronic music of life. Too ensorcelled to notice a great thing in glory. Make merry with the fife and drum. Reel me right, and rough. I’ll roll you over slow. Don’t you make much of the charcoal skyline. Your breasts have nothing to worry about. Your lips, your thighs, your hips, your eyes. I can muster only silence, more sufficient sometimes. I’m going back to where I’ve come. The birds then, when they sang, meant. It’s not ever like it used to be.
A Giant Asleep in Fortune's Spindle
If thoughts are really moving
If we are
Or, alternately, if we are really
Moving. I asked a Belgian girl with blond, curly hair
If she was really moving
For example, my two most problematic friends
—one loving the word, the other hating to listen
Are only partially moving
In and around a circle of trees, two symphonies
On facing mountains moving
And not moving in equivalent intervals
Why don’t we leave the mountain for the forest
Where a Belgian girl with blond, curly hair
Waits with a basket of pork-fried oysters
A little napkin folded smartly over her alabaster legs
I would not let you touch
Without meaning to control or complain
As if the savior
Having taken the women by their curls
Pressing their heads to the porcelain
Is running his hand up my leg, soft as spiders
We find our seats, and order drinks
A band strikes up the cocksure
Hands fall to the shoulders they have waited
In the sweating, boreal light
For territory to unearth
Music, abundant, oppressive
Hands enfold hands as dancing becomes the consistency
I brush past a waist, pain rises each leg
Tremulous fish squeezed out of a vice
More likely light
Distancing itself, shifting flowers
To the blades on the ceiling
Spinning slowly, cutting the watery air
Into oil, suddenly
We are nowhere—petals against the bricks
Drinking the room into a black cloud—yes
There is a corpse that carries on—
I know without thought we are done for
A Giant Asleep in Fortune's Spindle
Your Wound Is Uneasy Today
I consider your wound
each morning. Each
leg, arm, mouth, etc.
Before the wounds
I considered the
empty senses of sky,
dry tundras of skin
buckling with each
smile & lathe.
The next time I think
about the wound
I’m in a bleak forest.
It’s night & freezing,
snow in the collar
of my pink oxford shirt.
The new moon falls
behind the treeline.
I see the wounds
on every tree, branch
& blade. My skin
is a squirming mass
of wounds, each one
belching out chunks
cotton in the shapes
of hard-backed books,
& human teeth.
The Evolution of Love
When you look into another’s face
you will find it cracked
like an over-boiled egg,
ribbons of skin flapping
from the cracks.
When you look at your own face
you will see the flat-white
smoothness of an eggshell.
You will have no eyes,
no nose, no mouth or ears.
Inside your shell
loose teeth rattle into pearls.
It’s snowing outside. Winds whip
brown grasses. The other’s face
is swollen now from the 48 hours
of beatings, the electrocutions,
the smell of burnt fat.
Soon even the guard dogs will curl
The Warden and His Keys
The warden demanded new towers, new halls, and more keys for his collection. The workers built and built until they ran out of materials. Keep going, he said. The workers built two more years until they ran out of prisoners. Now you are the prisoners, he said. Each morning they escaped in order to arrive at their jobs guarding each other, then sneaked back in at night to sleep. None had been happier. They grinned and plotted, tapped secret messages on jail bars. Quiet! shouted the warden, dipping his keys in brandy.
Deep inside the glacier, paleontologists discovered a prehistoric fire. They thawed it out to light their pipes and the candles in our basilica. The fire burned in several colors for which the names have been lost. Colors between jade and coal, between tusk and ermine. Flames writhed on the altar, in nooks and ledges, multiplied by windows, fanning up inside the panes. I had the impression this fire waited for us in the future rather than the past. It cast the shadows of horses and titanic birds which galloped and flapped across the faces of the saints.
The earthquake spilled my coffee
but otherwise felt intimate
the way a big sleeping man
rolls toward me in bed.
The curtains were moist with light
and probably flammable.
My bear lay across the stairs
in need of winding. Everything
at once told me
to get up and beat the rugs
over the balcony
until coins hidden in their folds
fell into a private abyss.
shook flies from their flanks.
Foxes crept home with the secret of fire.
Chamber Pot to Perfume
Snout beetles in the owlery, weevils nibble at my ear pillow. She bellyaches at your colic, whips up sparks from coal. With a fleshy heave, he is spirited. No longer the foggy man we thought he was. Some lout wears a rut to the gate of the same charming garden. Asparagus, your delicate gradations move us all to tears.
A Unity Belonging Only to Our Creations
The paths, perfect and separate like two halves of a pear, lead past riparian glades or near a tangle of duck-weed and periwinkle. Ash blue, the funereal moon casts a pallor. My forehead, wreathed in wrinkles, smoothes at the sight of your erudite swindler, a joke I’m wise to. A blade that slices hollow husks of lilac leaves a scent like talc. Nothing languid in this concentration; I too want to soak up salt, apprehend a wicker basket as a possible sign of presence.
Chinese Restaurant on Fire
There they were sitting in the shade of a twisty gingko only more it was he
and less it was she conversing, only is it conversing when one does all of the
listening and the other does all of the talking, it probably is in some and not
in all circumstances. These were the subjects and the subjects were many:
his recent move, his eating habits, his phone manners, his headaches, his
sleep apnea, his poor eating habits, his non-cooking ways, his laundry
phobia, his desire to have children, his house hunting activities, his failure to
receive results in this endeavor, his apartment complex, his mother’s
dependence, his inheritance, his brother’s mental ill-health, his wife’s long-
suffering, his several ambitions, his many good qualities, his friends in
important places, his past of dark and glamorous drug addiction, his bad
knees, his dental work, his plans for future projects, his preferences in
footwear, his reading habits, his fear of failing to succeed, his ambitions, his
history of past successes, his taste in music, his this that and the other which
went on uninterrupted as the smell of smoke accumulated and eventually
insisted on gaining her attention which did nothing to deter his continuing
his involvement with his it turned out to be nothing less than all he could
find in his mind at the time, each piece of it leading to another, while she
had by now looked in the direction from which the smell of smoke was
coming to see rising up out of the rooftop just over her shoulder Chinese
cooks frantically scrambling from out of what must have been some sort of
escape hatch, it looked as if they were ascending, smoke did this to them, it
created an aura of beauty around their danger and it looked as if they would
successfully free themselves in time to survive as he continued talking
though it had become difficult to hear him above noises of people running
and by now at least three different kinds of sirens so she said look the
restaurant is on fire and he ignored her and kept right on talking as if none of
this registered as he was so lost in his thoughts nothing could derail them or
stop their headlong streaking into the future where everything was in flames,
everything in ruins, uninhabitable.
Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Poem for Philip Jenks
Hexed from the aluminum tap
shaky skeleton jughead shoeing why
am I not standing in the back
with you? What’s weaponed
us here at the same time?
Trains, mostly. Your snaky boots.
Grinning like you’ve hidden
the hatchet, not you I know
holed up in the snowed treads, as
if to pull your teeth out
& counter them,
keeping the blood off your
sleeve by smearing it up
your arm. Animal wire.
Song from cotton marrow.
Undone bootlaces. Howler
room. Lullaby for insomniac
crook watchers, watching back.
Junked accuser in the nights,
wild, nights, wild.
Poem for Sommer Browning
Slowly the sun lets up.
Ample lines of enemies making
their rote pledges. We have some.
We have backyard wrestlers, Frank
you know pretty much usually on
the roof about clobbered hearts.
The coil of war to get us through the parade
crosswise. Bathtub of ale. You laugh good.
Enough booth drinking already, let’s get
serious about getting our stories to line
up. Tricky in shape & dust. Steady
in the dread & compaction & know how.
Steady in the cobra buckle. Steady us
for some old dancing steps, good ones.
Poem for Paul Fattaruso
We go swimming the old way, by being stunned.
The street becomes this sheet of rusty water. We know how to
wrong it, but have to stand awhile, admiring the material richness
of how bonked up everything can get in no time.
I introduce you to the dead. I miss the farrier
& I’m sad & then your eyes get into the milk
& you invent some new verbs: like how to follow a stranger
on your bicycle without them going ghost. Like how
to listen all the way into the heart of the apple to see
if the seeds have that little stinger. How to dance a jig
after winning a hand & not fall through a window.
Fou is Cate Peebles, David Sewell, and Brad Soucy.
Artwork © Brad Soucy.
Submit 3-5 poems, with a brief bio, to firstname.lastname@example.org
We prefer non-simultaneous submissions.
Fou No. 1 can be viewed here.
Fou No. 2's contributors' notes are below.
Tony Aarts is a graduate of the MFA program at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He lives, runs, and eats in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Much of his time is spent searching for books or films to devour.
Ana Božičević emigrated to NYC from Croatia in 1997. She's the author of chapbooks Document (Octopus Books, 2007) and Morning News (Kitchen Press, 2006). With Amy King, she is editing an anthology, The Urban Poetic (Factory School, forthcoming). Look for her recent work in Denver Quarterly, Hotel Amerika, Bat City Review, absent, typo and elsewhere. Ana works at The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Heather Christle is the assistant editor of jubilat. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Fence, LIT, NO: A Journal of the Arts, and The Best American Erotic Poetry. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she recently starred in Madeline ffitch's Go to the Chateau: A Moving Play for an Audience of Two.
Adam Clay is the author of The Wash and lives in Michigan. He has new work forthcoming in Ploughshares, Bat City Review, and Ninth Letter. A chapbook, As Complete as a Thought Can Be, is forthcoming from Cannibal Books.
Peter Davis’ book of poems is Hitler’s Mustache. He’s recently had poems in Court Green, Left Facing Bird, Mipoesias, and Forklift, Ohio. He lives in Muncie, Indiana, with a sweet wife, daughter, son, and dog and teaches at Ball State University.
Denise Duhamel's most recent poetry title Two and Two (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005) is the winner of Binghamton University’s Milt Kessler Book Award. Her other titles include Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001) and The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999). A recipient of an NEA Fellowship, she is an associate professor at Florida International University in Miami.
Adam Fell lives in Madison, Wisconsin. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Diagram, Forklift, Ohio, Crazyhorse, Tin House, Notnostrums, and Asheville Poetry Review.
Emily Kendal Frey lives in Portland, Oregon. Recent work is forthcoming from or appears in New York Quarterly, Word For/ Word, Spinning Jenny, Octopus, and Knock. Additionally, work will appear in Portland Review (w/ Sarah Bartlett), Bat City Review (w/ Sarah Bartlett), horse less press (w/Sarah Bartlett), Pilot (w/ Zachary Schomburg), and Diode (w/ Zachary Schomburg).
Brian Henry is the author of five books of poetry—Astronaut (published in the U.S. and England and short-listed for the Forward Prize), American Incident, Graft (published in the U.S. and England), Quarantine (winner of the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award), and The Stripping Point—and the chapbooks In the Unlikely Event of a Water and Hit and Run. He has co-edited Verse since 1995. His translation of the Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices appeared from Harcourt in 2008. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Brad Liening is the author of the chapbook Ker-Thunk (H_NGM_N B__KS) and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in H_NGM_N, Forklift, SUB-LIT and elsewhere. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and you can visit him at http://www.bradliening.com/
Chris Martin is the author of American Music, recipient of the Hayden Carruth Award. He is furthermore the editor of Puppy Flowers: an online magazine of the arts. When he is not teaching in Manhattan he is becoming weather in Brooklyn.
Clay Matthews has recent work in H_NGM_N, Black Warrior Review, The Laurel Review, LIT, Court Green, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. He has two chapbooks: Muffler (H_NGM_N B_ _KS) and Western Reruns (End & Shelf Books), which is available for free online. His first book, Superfecta, was recently released by Ghost Road Press.
Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published two novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002) and We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006). His first full length poetry collection, Some Identity Problems (2008), is out from Foothills Publishing. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and one of his poems was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He has two children, Toby, age 19, and Chloe, age 12. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He also claims to have written “These Boots are Made for Walking.” He can be found at www.coreymesler.com.
Danielle Pafunda is the author of My Zorba (Bloof Books 2008), Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press 2005), and the forthcoming Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press). She is co-editor of the online journal La Petite Zine, and Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Women's Studies at University of Wyoming. More information can be found at http://www.daniellepafunda.blogspot.com
Matthew Savoca is 26 years old. He was born in Philadelphia and now officially lives in Italy, but he is kind of wandering around the continent of Europe at the moment. Read his poetry ebook at bear creek feed and also look at his blog, please. Thank you.
Michael Schiavo is the author of The Mad Song and an editor of the literary journal Tight, both of which are printed at the Northshire Bookstore using the Espresso Book Machine. His poetry has appeared in The Yale Review, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, LIT, Painted Bride Quarterly, Guernica, The Normal School, No Tell Motel, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. He is a contributing editor to CUE and lives in North Bennington, Vermont. Visit his blog at http://michaelschiavo.blogspot.com/.
Brandon Shimoda was born in California. His attempts have appeared or are forthcoming in A Public Space, Bird Dog, Cannibal, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Mrs. Maybe, and elsewhere, as well as in three book projects forthcoming in the fall of 2008. He works for both Slope and Wave Books. And though his body is currently in both Montana and Washington, his mind and heart are less geographically placed.
Mathias Svalina is, with Zachary Schomburg, the co-editor of Octopus Magazine & Books. He is the author of three chapbooks, most recently The Viral Lease, which is forthcoming from Small Anchor Press. His first book, Destruction Myth, is forthcoming from CSU Press in the fall of ’09.
Chad Sweeney is the author of An Architecture (BlazeVOX, 2007), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009) and A Mirror to Shatter the Hammer (Tarpaulin Sky, 2006). The poems in fou are from his next manuscript, Salt Plain and Other Stories. He co-edits Parthenon West Review, and will begin the Ph.D. program in lit/poetry at WMU in Kalamazoo this fall.
Bronwen Tate is the author of Souvenirs (Dusie Chapbook Kollektiv 2007). She's currently hard at work on the 2008 Kollektiv and a new chapbook forthcoming from Cannibal Books. She is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Stanford University where she edits Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism and Translation and knits in class. She writes about poems, books, food, and yarn at http://breadnjamforfrances.blogspot.com
Dara Wier's newest books are Remnants of Hannah and Reverse Rapture. She lives in North Amherst, Massachusetts.
Born and raised in Seattle, Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of three books. The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth is due out next year along with an anthology of conversations in poetics, and a tour film about the band Califone. He lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.