POETRY


William Doreski
A Novelist's Eye

Ryan Quinn Flanagan
26 Years
Musings of a Man Impelled to
Moments of Mad Wakefulness


Kristine Ong Muslim
Geek Girl

Benjamin Nardolilli
Contra Cosmos

Caleb Puckett
Meeting by Morning
Call for Exodus

Ross White
Actaeon
A Roman


Melanie Brazzell

buoyant fragments

the shack grows more exciting each day – a new armchair! a psychedelic
record!  my uncle from chicago, who hosts weather undergrounders and
reds, sends me chandeliers.  he has the peculiar job of cleaning out peoples’
houses once they die.

kudzu wraps itself around these achey walls, summer seethes and huffs
between.  startled storms crack the bamboo shutters, topple zigi’s makeshift
greenhouse.  but bikes and blunts and swimming in public swimming pools
in your under-wear –  these stay.

so ride your bike a mile a day, catch rain water, make parades, and never
leave a pile of garbage unsifted. shoot hoops on the pecan lot.

do you know the second line?  the people of new orleans, they erect
walking beats for their dead.  four rhythms crowd into one, for those in the
back, so when the body goes into the ground, the spirit of the people rises
up. the drum spins, you reply.  the trombone whales, you reply.  wriggling
procession, works the ghosts out of passers-by.

my snaggletooth aches in the cold weather.  the dogs sleep in my garden,
the beer cans pile up in the house.  stef’s kitten eats the cockroaches, at
least.

they say things have to move like money, from point a to point b.  but what
about spirals?  dna, other colors of the spectrum.  we keep on repeating, i
am sure.  i’ve traveled inside my mushy blood and veins to somewhere so
familiar to outerspace, dots and dust moving to a synchronous rhythm. we
live on... someway, somehow we keep being.

i remember our first night in that bed together, adrift under its paisley
canopy like a sail.  so many lives passed through this shack, since the days it
was slaves’ quarters.  think of all the beings moving around in here, we
bump into one another.

think of the two who are truly in this bed, and you scraped your fingers
against the ridged wall behind our heads, a tinny pitter-patter...  we are
scaring them.  we, their ghosts.

Begin trying

to think of all the people in the world –
tiny networks proliferate :
zooms and spirals,
muons and neutrinos
crash into one another
as in a bosch painting,
or an endlessly trailing japanese tapestry,
where events just keep tumbling out,
one damn thing
after the next
without pause – a battle scene,
lovers seen, stitches of meaning
unseamed in a riot of eyes, each a universe.
Between yellow trails, avoiding
collisions, sitting still,
or perhaps coveting fireworks,

think of all the ones you have not chosen,
which willow and wallow like the branches
of trees in Central Park in spring.
Tendrils of infinite other decisions
we could have made.
Other lives, tangential, pierce through the diaphanous
fish-eyed veil,
whispering Coincidence.

They seduce: Beware
of rendering yourself human,
where we fail
where we fall
and land.
Try to begin – think
and where you exhaust yourself,
we will mark a grave in that soil
and call it
God.