Saturday, April 19, 2014

a poem by alicia rebecca myers

The Untelling

I was a well and then I wasn’t.
I shook a rainstick. It turned out to be a telescope.
I put it to my eye anyway, grew accustomed to distance.
A client writes to say he needs to go to Gnats, France.
You mean Nantes?  I reply.
This uptick in luck was really just a fluke.
We’re looking at what once was and where it once was.
That blithe star, whose light of death has reached us.
I must have said this time a dozen different times, just to take it back.
My barista asked why the sudden switch to decaf.
You ask if blue can be a naturally occurring color.
Maybe in stones, I say.
I lied when I told you that I didn’t hide the egg timer.
The recipe called for jujube, not plum.
Summarily, my belly knew.

"The Untelling" first appeared in jubilat

Alicia Rebecca Myers received her MA in English from UGA in 2001 and her MFA in Poetry from NYU in 2007, where she was a Goldwater Writing Fellow. Most recently, her work has appeared in Cream City Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Georgia (Texas A&M), and jubilat. In March of this year, she was awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City. Her chapbook Greener was released in 2009 from Finishing Line Press. Rebecca lives in Athens, Georgia, where she is at work on her first full length manuscript and a son due in August.

Friday, April 18, 2014

a poem by robert siek

Cartoon Bears and Cotton Briefs

Following my hand wave and evening hello,
the doorman looks up from his latest drawing,
like a grade-school doodler called on in a classroom
when a teacher asks a question about Mesopotamia,
the river-valley civilization between the Tigris and Euphrates.
I press the elevator button. A couple enters the lobby,
a red-head girl in her twenties and a blonde guy carrying a pizza.
I see his tightie-whitie waistband above his low-cut denim waistline.
I’m holding a roll of gift-wrap paper decorated with animated characters—
multiple pastel colored bears playing in clouds and tossing stars.
I stare at the numbers lighting up, signifying each floor from twelve to one.
The doorman mentions holes in the street out front, shooting steam
like Mount St. Helen close to blowing up. Con Ed is working on it.
I think it’s been twenty years since that volcano last erupted.
I imagine lava in the sewers disintegrating rats and garbage,
or valves like truck tires leaking boiling hot water,
borderline launching half of 47th Street,
like mines set off beneath asphalt and traffic.
The elevator door opens, and I say, “Good night,”
following the pair inside. The girl asks which floor I want
to which I reply, “Five.” She says she likes my wrapping paper.
Her boyfriend with the pizza just stares at the ceiling.
“I bought it at Rite Aid. There were more rolls in the card aisle.”
She smiles, remembering bedspreads covered in cartoon bears,
her flannel nightgowns she wore as a child in the ’80s.
And I picture my fingers undoing the button on his jeans,
feeling the warmth of his bulge through white cotton briefs,
as I kneel below and press my face into it
like an ancient ritual not covered in history textbooks,
maybe child games in Babylonia, naked boys in the Hanging Gardens.
Crayon-colored bears fall from the sky while monster-truck tires
are shot past Hawaii. I need an accident in an elevator—
his smell on my nostrils and lips. The door starts to open.
I look away from his crotch. He continues to read
the top of the pizza box, and the girlfriend says, “Good night,”
while playing with the curls in his hair.

“Cartoon Bears and Cotton Briefs” was originally published on Velvet Mafia and appears in Purpose and Devil Piss.

Robert Siek's first full-length collection of poetry, Purpose and Devil Piss, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2013. Some of his poems are forthcoming in the publications Painted Bride Quarterly, The Gay and Lesbian Review, and VACZINE. Other poems have previously appeared in journals such as Court Green, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Good Men Project. He lives in Brooklyn and works as a production editor at a large publishing house in Manhattan.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

poems by aaron delee

Questions Are Keys 

  for Terry Gross

Questions are keys, turning A into B;
when this woman asks on air, she deceives
with honest inquiry into tiny locks,
moving them with a silvered, soothing voice
and sounding the clink of metallic joints
made of art, made with points well played.

You have something to say behind the door
and past the frame of simple conversation
where the ring she carries, comes, pricks, expands
investigation of what you contain;
when this woman asks questions, she feigns

since she already knows which way you'll sway.


Selfie: The Size of the Opportunity

Waste as I am wont, there went a week-end
where the phone followed me into the bath
again. Babbling, I lather, rinse, re-send.

Stranger-men have asked me questions, to bend
over, see where I am.  Tramping a path,
waste as I am wont, there went a week-end.

Outside, a couple walks by, kids pretend
to be X-men; one is a telepath.
Again, babbling, I lather, rinse, re-send.

No moving mouths have come to meet or spend
the afternoon with me.  Lonely like Plath,
waste as I am wont, there went a week-end.

Pasting recycled phrasings that I’ve penned,
Into? You looking? the phone knows my wrath
again. Babbling, I lather, rinse, re-send.

Coffee, lunch, dinner, and the sun descends
How many have passed? I’m no good at math.
Waste as I am wont, there went a week-end
again. Babbling, I lather, rinse, re-send.

"Questions Are Keys" first appeared with VOX3 Collective

Aaron DeLee graduated from Northwestern University with an MFA in Creative Writing in 2013. His poems have appeared in Court Green, Assaracus, Rougarou, and various other publications. When he’s not writing, or in the bathtub, he’s often running along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

a poem by sarah dohrmann

Whether Love is Parallel or Perpendicular

Straight lines. Road that goes and does not cease. Road that
asks, "Where to?" Road that sees, and wide. Road made of
asphalt, road of tar and fumes, road of man's hands and women's
knees. Road that came upon you in a dream. Those lines,
those lines man, they came to you in the night like a heat
like a fever like a milky-eyed troll looking for you. A troll
that knew your number, love.

This road is not the hi the hello the how are you the what
did you have in mind for tonight. It is not, even, the ask me
anything you want, anything you want, just ask. The goodbye
was not the savagery. It was this road that goes nowhere and
its lines. Nothing but our breath on this road, our selves of
meat and gristle, and our lines, lines, lines.

You won't forget the tight jeans, the hole in the wall
staring you down. It is clear now that love is not
the road we sowed. Love is this road, this plain
and potted road, our lines, my continuous yes
to your dumb dog darkness, and the day
break after, fading
in the rearview.

Nothing but children on this road, too little to fix a flat.

Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has been a Fulbright fellow (Morocco), a New York Foundation for the Arts' fellow of Nonfiction Literature, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grantee for Literature, and is currently a Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Sarah was co-recipient, with photographer Tiana Markova-Gold, of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their joint project on women and prostitution in Morocco; their collaboration, which includes a long-form essay by Dohrmann and images by Markova-Gold, is forthcoming in Harper's Magazine. Sarah's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, TIME, LightBox, British Journal of Photography, Joyland Magazine, LUMINA Journal, Some Call it Ballin', Teachers & Writers Magazine, and Bad Idea (England), among others. She is currently at work on a book of creative nonfiction called Point of Departure.

paintings by jeremy olson

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

a poem by d. gilson

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Dating App

In God we trust, all others send data.
No fatties, no femmes. Dick pics?

Can you host? Can you bottom?
Can you get into roleplay? Sodom

& Gomorra? Teacher & Student?
Doctor? Patience, it could be fun.

Networking. Looking for friends.
Here's a selfie in my Mercedes-Benz.

President: John Wayne Gacy Fan
Club. Seeking Granddaddy: Fixodent,

Bengay, 401(k)s turn me on.
Allergic to cats. Allergic to latex.

Undetectable. Discrete. Tie me up
and tickle my feet. Where do you want

me to cum? The sum of two parts
is greater than the whole. Are you my soul

mate? Is your hole clean? Great.
Be there in ten. Your looking for a hookup?

Gross. You're looking for an apostrophe.
The heart, a muscle, begins to atrophy.

Let's makeout. Let's get takeout and cuddle.
Piss on the floor. Now lick the puddle.

D. Gilson is the author of Crush (Punctum Books, 2014), with Will Stockton; Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Indiana Review, and The Rumpus. Find D. at