Two Girlarium sonnets:
The Artisan’s Defense
He’d blame the desert if they ever found him. Golden sunsets were wasted on him, made his eyes dry, clouded his mind. He saw no signs in the horizon, no maps to promised lands. The desert was for prophets, men without a trade, who could do nothing but lift their clumsy hands to the sky and then coil upon the ground, savoring their shortcomings before G-d. Continue reading “The Artisan’s Defense – Hege Jakobsen Lepri”
Lend me your ears; I am telling you stories. My cave is empty. I have nothing else to give. There is a mountain in Norway called the Storebalak, where, in March of ’86, an avalanche ate 16 soldiers. This is known as the Vassdalen Incident. Consider the number 16. Consider the numbered dead. This was of 31 of them. Consider the avalanche merciful. Consider I am telling you facts now. Let it be known this is a history. Who Continue reading “Water Witching – Jamie Hood”
Faith Is An Egg With A Thin Shell
Faith is a word I hold in my hand, safe in my palm, enclosed by the nest of my upturned fingers. Take faith to the lips: said, spoken, delivered, a birth of song spills from a secret mouth. If you speak faith, the five letters advance with an F, stridently like a French ‘fanfare’, a lawless, troubadour’s marching band. Then the word melts in the wind of aaaith, an elongated, rushing sound. Faith closes with the delicateness of th. Place the tongue, feather-light, by the teeth. Faith, faith, faith.
Rilke said, “Have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you Continue reading “Faith Is An Egg With A Thin Shell – Susanna Crossman”
Joshua Palmer is an artist and writer pursuing an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh, but he is from Texas the way windmills, dirt, and Dairy Queens are from Texas. He is currently doing research for a manuscript about a gay bathhouse fire. His poetry has appeared in SPF LIT MAG, Spectrum Culture, and Popula (forthcoming). You can follow him on twitter @gummybrzpalmer.
Featured photo credit: Amanda Ollinik @Allunderonemoon
Tape tacked on a lamp
Post. “I” spray-painted
On someone’s lawn.
A raised book casting
A shadow on the pulpit.
Perplexed by flyer, home-
Owner, priest. Continue reading “1. Mark Making 2. Mistaking the Parts for the Whole 3. Point of View – Elisa Taber”
Lucidity At The Edge Of The Abyss
his father brought him to me in his arms and i said
“forget those doctors my friend take this clay in your hand and your hand
will move again”
and it did (his hand did move again) (doctors said there was no chance) (what force gave me the nerve to say)(same force that gives me this day cancer leaping through this body as it is all laws pale to insignificance)
death is my friend take me any time says i Continue reading “1. Lucidity At The Edge Of The Abyss 2. Afterlife Of Battered – Bobbi Lurie”
Preachers On The Street
the thing is
they have guts enough
to believe in something.
to go that far;
standing on a streetcorner
screaming at strangers. Continue reading “1. Preachers On The Street, and 2. Burning In Crowded Places – DS Maolalai”
Music Number Four: Talus Deposits
When grandmother died, mother turned off the lights. From a high rise I see across harbours. Veins on your nose. A snapped rose.
This is a scree.
The roads are filled with transistor radios. Playing Springsteen songs. Here comes the night: American neo-troubadour melodies.
the funeral, of course, took place after Friday night Sabbath. Continue reading “Music Number Four: Talus Deposits – Robert Frederic Kenter”
Martin and the Sea
Dusk had fallen long ago and a cold biting sea breeze was humming a sweet melody as the sea waves crashed on the formidable sea wall of Georgetown. It was almost pitching dark. Martin sat on the sea wall looking at the incoming waves laughing under the yellow tail of the moon hidden behind a dark curtain of clouds. He walked slowly on the broad edges of the wall, watching little boys hauling a seine along the shallow shore line. White egrets nibbled at shrimps in the salty mud holes on the broken mud flats, lovers passed by holding hands in the thin whisper of rain. He kept a lonely vigil on the Continue reading “Martin and the Sea – Gideon Cecil”
It is winter, suddenly, and Agnete is stuck inside her cottage. She is running out of preserves. She is bored. Sometimes Agnete wishes her husband would return, but alas, he is locked away. He may even be dead. Most of the time she is glad to be rid of him and his sharp teeth and breath like rotted wood. The snowfall came as a surprise. It is only the third week of September, after all. The white blanket has obscured her captor, and Agnete does not know the protocol of escaping a fairy ring one cannot see. Continue reading “Quiet Wife – Erin Vance”
I am a stranger in this place
& grief’s white teeth leave
its bite marks on my skin:
the relic of a child left in the
cold hand of an estranged city,
alone. I am a stranger in this city
& family dinner table is a strange Continue reading “1. Testimonies 2. When the Rainbow Falls from the Sky 3. How Things Look Back – Ifeoluwa Ayandele”
When the Show Must Go On
my magic sparks
but doesn’t light
it is not so
your smile spreads
pretty, mine splits
a parlor trick
you pull a dove Continue reading “When the Show Must Go On – Trina Young”
The Easter Sunday My Faith Strayed
A thurible swung solemnly
voices sang for risen King
and sweet incense was billowing.
Prayers of the Faithful asked
help for Syria,
comfort for their suffering.
As I spoke, “Lord, hear our prayer,”
the holy smoke
grew strangling. Continue reading “1. The Easter Sunday my Faith Strayed, and 2. Lost and Found Still Lost – Carrie Danaher Hoyt”
the kind of dark that comes only
in the midst of a full moon,
and the night is cool, and calm,
and the wind, lightly dancing
through the trees, is beginning
to whisper in our ears, calling us Continue reading “1. Vigil, and 2. Clear – Jon Bishop”
The natural beauty of Lego
Broken bones, heaped, on the next chair.
In front, two fat lungs growling and full.
Sweat slides down the baubled face of the child
On the floor, playing manual labour with Lego.
Young Mr. and Mrs. Naïve, #blessed
Murmur a sweet prayer for the health
Of an embryo, their band aid future.
I shouldn’t be here now.
This fresh. This clean. This unlucky. Continue reading “1. The natural beauty of Lego, and 2. Pulp Savannah – Amy Kean”
The Orange Tree
At the centre of a cloistered courtyard
encircled by curve and shadow
a ladder reaches from earth to sky.
While men whip the sin
from their flesh, red ribboned inside
darkened cells, or gaze Continue reading “The Orange Tree – Lucy Whitehead”
A fighter falls to his knees—bloodied, all but broken.
A big man with small hands stands
stock still, unsullied.
Two lovers kiss, a humming bird
touches down on dust-palled ground.
Dragnet chases crisscross cityscape;
a dragged woman paces, hands on hips; coffee drips; Continue reading “In Limbo – Anne Casey”
I grew up counting the names of God,
all of them—it was the one thing Father taught me to do.
Father, unlike Moses, did not find the Lord in bushfire,
he had found him in fleeing from burning.
And I joined him (we all did), running.
I ran so much my heart began to ache,
my body began to shift perspective,
I began to see things other than what my eyes have been
taught to see—that I am not salt and light, Continue reading “1. Running, and 2. Finding God – Ernest Ogunyemi”
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ––– Matthew 19:24
It would take so much work
(forget the gospel metaphor)
to yank a tattered thread
through a fine-eyed needle
or a battered camel
through the last mirage. Continue reading “Pulling Through – Laurie Koensgen”