Experimental & Form Poetry with editor Joseph E. Petta

17 Seconds Spent at a Stoplight Considering the Significance of Intention

 

Oh god —

my attention gripped by that thing suspended,

 

— nearly hit the car in front of me —

 

white tatters hanging

four limbs and a spineless head

Plastic Decoration Child

hanging from a tree

 

and I felt the cold reversal of losing faith suck my veins.

 

Someone — broken enough — evil — in this place — darkness — reigns — far flung radius — amused? — demons — put there —

 

Then the lights changed and I moved forward

and the dead child elongated and revealed itself to be a tattered stretch of plastic, shroud of nothing but itself

 

and cramped warmth returned to my bloodstream.

 

Thank God.

 

It’s only the destruction of the physical realm.

 

 

Maura Atwood is a theater teacher, actor, and poet currently living in Milwaukee. Her work has been published in Centrique Magazine, Artifact Nouveau, Cholla Needles, and Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts and Letters.

before / after the breakup

 

her dreams

were like gardens

                                        ransacked

roses, begonias

bluebells

                                        uprooted

                                        gone

her mind

was like a city

                                        pillaged

museums, towers

                                        crumbled

temples to him

                                        abandoned

and from that

                                        rubble

came this ditty

a children’s song

rising out of her chest

if all the world

were apple pie

it was a

                                        strange

comfort, like

the random pitter

                                        pattering

of a woodpecker’s beak

in the deep

forest

                                        quiet

 

 

Mary McCormack’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Storm Cellar, Gingerbread House, Neologism Poetry Journal, and After the Pause, among others. More of Mary’s poetry is available in her book, Away from Shore.

When More

 

What should you do

When bad gathers around to squawk

When fog snakes in

Or ledges creak and crack

 

What can you do to ward off

To hold tight

Or wait out

 

What’s there to do when all the world votes no

Or cuts off your escape

Or growls low

 

What’s left to do

When more just isn’t enough

When even apples bite back

Or shadows turn out the lights

Day-glow

 

God hangs out in splinters

And whenever floors creak or crack

          that’s glory divine

The archangel of suet transfigures wings —

In fact what powers the piddly

          is simply sublime

 

God asks why and so

          tree rot begins

Or in a hoodie

          cups a match and in that flash

          there’s sainthood —

What miraculous leakage

 

But then watch out for when

          the devil says phooey —

Just like that

          this all scurries off

          like day-glow cones

          pointing up towards sweetness and light

          in fog

Hiram Larew’s fourth collection of poems, Undone, was issued in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. Find more of his work on Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet and at PoetryXHunger.com.

Orthogonal Throat

 

the lac/quered.spl/

it c arrying/ shoe/polish a-

nd obsid/ian

the/ melo.poeia o/f “char

coal” ———— blac/k dip/

tych ing/silence.r/ing.in suffoc/

at/ing hemio/lic dia/log/

ue / kera.tin taper/ed un-

til-ed the.black oxi/dize.s

b/lack in/the .append/i

x/

ed.lungs but/not i/

n  th/e orthogon/al

throat

 

 

Jacob Grossfeld is a poet living in Brooklyn, New York. A recent MA graduate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, Jacob currently works in music publishing and management.

glass hips shaking

 

Dreamily,

Devastatingly,

Effortlessly,

Restlessly,

Sinfully,

Deeply,

Fervently,

Heartbreakingly,

Lethally,

Achingly,

 

affection clung collided moan sigh twitched

amused dazedly groaned pulsing skittering stunned

blinking cuddle entwined lips shimmered throat

bliss effortlessly sweetly so sweetly quivers

buzz close gasped shivered sparked yearning

cheered fantasy fate gazed murmured wicked

coax fluff glass hips shaking soothed

cute gloriously madly mushily nibbled panic rumpled

deeply falling floaty nibbling nudged squealed warm

delectable melting neck potently treasures whispers 

earlobe gazing hunk panted pulse urge

frenzy fond lust saucy trouble unsteady writhe

 

flushed forehead flirting

 

…ache adorably alluring ambience amusement amusing arms arms arms arousal ass ass ass

…bed belly bitch body body body bonelessly boobs bothered breathy brow buckled bulge burst

…charm charmed charming cheekbones chest chick chided chemistry clung courting curves cute 

…dampened dazedly deep delicately delicious deliciousness desire devastatingly dizzy

…ear ecstasy electricity engulfed enough enveloped erogenous eyed exaggeration

…face fantasies fantasy flames flickered flummoxed flurry flushed forehead flirting flummoxed

…gallant gasp gazed gentle glittered glossed goner gorgeous grinning gripped groaning growl

…hands heart heartbeat heat heavenly heels hope hormones hot hottie humming hunger husky

…indignation innuendo intensity intentions involved irresistible

…jagged jaw jaw jumped

…kiss kiss kiss kissed kissed kissing

…lace lap lair laugh laughed laughing leanly love loved love-starved licked lips lips lips

…midriff moan moaned moaning mouth mouthwatering murmur murmured muscled muscular

…naked nape need need needed nefarious nerves nibbling nodded nudged

…obscene overtly

…panicked peaked perky permission pleasure pretty pretending pulse pulsed pulsing

…quietly quirked quivered

…rambled random ravishing relaxed resist reverberated reverently rubbing

…scent scrambling scorching secret secretly sinful shame shiver shivered shivering stumbling

…sexier sexiness sexy sexy sexy

…sensuous shuddered shuddering sigh sighed sighing silk silkily smile smiled smiling spark sprawled

…skimming slayed snagged sprawled suddenly squirm straddle stroking sweeter stomach

…teasing teetering tenderness throatily throbbed thrummed thrust tingly tongue trap tremble

…ultimately urging

…waist want warm weakly whispered whirled whirlwind wicked wild wits wrenching wrist wryly

…yearn yearned yearning

…zing zinged

 

 

Michelle Disler has been published in North Dakota Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Gulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, and The Laurel Review among others.

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