Featured

The Story of an Apple Tree by Theodore J. Kooser

189 by A.M. Juster translating Petrarch

Padua by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

A Country Drowsy by Oladosu Michael Emerald

haiku by Corine Timmer

 

Precious Life by Ann Anderson Evans

Our Pyrrhic Victory by  Alex Gladstone

Five Featured Poems

The Open Road

Dayton, Ohio

1963

 

Cast your fate to the wind in my hair

and Vince Guaraldi’s piano on station

WONE that drowns out the mighty roar

of glass packs on this royal blue

spring afternoon.

 

My best friend’s new Thunderbird

convertible zooms to eighty miles per

along an empty country road,

our shared past as narrow as the

covered bridge

 

we tear across, burning rubber,

our future as infinite as the asphalt

ribbon of unknown we crave,

wheels hardly grazing

the pavement,

 

because we’re eighteen and we think

we could be brilliant, we could be tall,

we could be strong, we could be brave,

we could be beautiful, we could be

anything.

Terri Paul is an award-winning novelist (Glass Hearts, Academy Chicago, 1999, 2012) and poet. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines. Visit https://www.terri-paul.com for a complete list of her work.

Enigma Variations

after a performance of Edward Elgar’s op. 36 by the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, Plymouth, Massachusetts

 

for Drew and Joel

 

Enigmas everywhere beguile the ear,

the mind, the heart, inviting us to plumb

unfathomable depths and overhear

inscrutable secrets. We three succumb

to modest melody: dark sighs that bear

untraceable allusions. Then we wonder

at its transfiguration: near-despair

translated into comfort, then a thunder

of turbulence too fierce for explication.

Each variation’s title drops a hint,

but we read gliding bows, brass agitation,

the insides of our eyelids. And by dint

of sharing all this, we’re beguiled as well

by friendship’s rich and enigmatic spell.

Jean L. Kreiling is the prize-winning author of three poetry collections, Shared History (2022), Arts & Letters & Love (2018), and The Truth in Dissonance (2014); she is an Associate Poetry Editor for Able Muse: A Review of Poetry, Prose & Art.

Brood X

He signs his name with a clean, white skull

or a sun-bleached rib cage lying empty

in an arid landscape; as if it’s office work

he does, not butchery, and there’s never

any flesh to rot, just gem-hard bone

to set against the darkness.

He signed for her that day

when a billion blood-eyed black cicadas

filled every open space

with a single voice

that grew muffled, then fell silent

when they found her.

Blurring the lines between what’s living,

dead, and dying, they were gone

as suddenly as she was.

He signed for them too

in a florid script of chitin

and red rubies scattered everywhere,

but I know they will be back again

one warm spring day.

Theirs is the only resurrection I believe in.

Donald Sellitti retired after a thirty-eight-year career in research and teaching at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Published extensively in medical journals, he has recently had poems published in Lighten-Up, Autumn Sky, and Snakeskin.

The Interview — Matvei Yankelevich

by Anthony Watkins

matvei.jpg

AW: I read a bio of yours stating you are a professor of translations and book arts at Columbia. First, that seems pretty impressive, but I have a question, and yes, I googled to see if I could figure it out, but what are “book arts”?

 

MY: “Book arts” is my shorthand for the prismatic field between “artists books” and “book works” by artists (terms coined in the 1970s), the longer history of avant-garde books (from Cendrars & Delauney’s Prose of the Trans-Siberian to Russian Futurism to Fluxus), poet-printers from William Blake to Johanna Drucker, and various other peripheral publishing, outside of the commercial book trade, like small press chapbooks and zines. It’s not a great shorthand, but I haven’t figured out a better one. In the course I created for the Columbia Writing MFA more than ten years ago, I try to give writers some tools for thinking about the book (as a structure, as a social instrument), to show them a variety of nontraditional approaches to making books. We get our hands on paper, experiment with folding and sequence, and DIY forms of editioning (photocopiers, printers, sometimes a little letterpress) and also dig in the archives and rare books collections at a number of institutions, to hold these things and turn their pages — whatever they’re made of. I have had a number of book artists and artists book publishers visit the class to do some show and tell, as well. And there’s a wealth of literature for them to read on the subject, from Drucker’s text-book-style survey (A Century of Artists Books), to interviews with small press publishers like Lyn Hejinian, to manifestos like Ulises Carrion’s “The New Art of Making Books” — which I’ve borrowed for the name of the course in recent years.

Naming of Souls

“Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,”

Henry Reed, Lessons of the War, I. The Naming of Parts

 

Today we exploded the turret of a tank. Yesterday,

we did the same, and two days before that

in locations north of here we exploded personnel

carriers. Reporting the emergence of jonquils in sunny

patches is discouraged. Personnel destroyed

           may be estimated by failure to emerge.

 

The enemy shot men in Bucha, apparently

an error in procedure for they were not in uniform.

Some shot men are knocked back, others

collapse and tremble while dying. The greening of trees

there is barely recognizable on stark branches

           overhanging the dead.

 

Locations of family members are difficult to trace,

and inquiries displace unit communications.

Particularly difficult are questions about the son

you used to take hunting and the grandchildren

you would sing to. The shelling of a train station

           during evacuation has been protested.

 

Concern for the counting of souls shattered, or,

in accordance with certain beliefs, released,

is unofficially permitted except during firing.

Predictions of when the dogwoods will blossom in white

with blood are nonessential, and the naming of souls

           must await the advent of peace.

Jim Jordan’s poems have appeared in Birdsong, Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Film, and Le Mot Juste, the annual anthology of Just Poets in Rochester, New York  He has served as associate editor and editor of Le Mot Juste.

Sunday Mornings

My father didn’t know a day of rest.

Even Sundays, he would get up early,

dress in shorts and sandals to head out

to the grocery store before the morning rush.

He’d drive into the shimmering dawn, return

home with heavy sacks of milk and honey —

I never thought to praise him. But I’d wake

to the lawn mower’s hymn and curse the noise

that roused me out of bed, and in my slippers,

I would stumble to the kitchen, always find

an apple fritter waiting just for me.

This was our Sunday ritual of sweets

and sacrifice. Outside, he tended to

an Eden that I couldn’t wait to leave.

Katherine Hoerth is the author of five poetry collections, including the forthcoming Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2022). She is an assistant professor at Lamar University and editor of Lamar University Literary Press.

yair-mejia-318376-unsplash.jpg

Yair Mejía on Unsplash.