Geometric Forms by Jean Arp
After the Forest
Those elegant tubes
those ransacked thighs
now making a machinery
with such a silver sheen
the mechanical mirage
of cogs and pistons
showing me your power
as gradient pulled through
the rising intensity
into the forest of gravel
where packaging ends
among the empty lines
you called it plastic
as the face was corrupted
by the length of evening
and the thin man became
the stone man with hair
on fire under sunset.
Paul Ilechko is the author of two chapbooks. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Juxtaprose, As It Ought To Be, Cathexis Northwest Press, Inklette and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, New Jersey.
Wedding Registry Love
Adapted from Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2
With nouns replaced by items on my wedding registry
O Instapot, O Instapot, wherefore art thou Instapot?
Deny thy All-Clad Essentials non-Stick 10-Piece Set and refuse thy red wine tumbler.
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my champagne flute
And I’ll no longer be a Primrose Serving Set.
’Tis but thy Vitamix that is my Potato Masher:
Thou art thyself, though not a Bistro 11.75” Serving Bowl.
What’s in a Dyson?
It is nor organizational fridge bins nor Organic Turkish Towels
Nor Pyrex 20-piece storage set nor Brita nor any other part
Belonging to a simplehuman 10.5 Gallon Slim Touch Bar Trash Can
What’s in a Dyson?
That which we call a Bissell Mop
By any other fruit infusion flavor pitcher would smell as sweet;
So Airbnb gift card would, were he not cat scratching post call’d,
Retain that dear duvet cover which he owes
Without that KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
Gemma Table Runner, doff thy accent lamp,
And for that French Kitchen Marble Utensil Holder, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Sydney Hazen is a writer based in San Francisco, California, with a background in education and psychology. Sydney enjoys reading, practicing her Italian, and visiting her family in the Sierra Foothills.
Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dali
Prose & Form Poetry
One Brain Between Us
It’s not easy, but we manage. Take the other day. George had to finish writing an article, so I just sat and stared at the wall to limit my share of brain power. I managed for all of five minutes before I began contemplating the various ways the universe might end. I could see George suddenly twitching his head trying to think, so I quickly turned on the TV to an old episode of Cheers that I had watched at least a hundred times. Gently it flowed over my brain as I mouthed each word of the script like a mantra. Then I replayed it again and again until nearly zombified when I felt George’s hands on my shoulder. “I’m done,” he said. “Your turn.” I gave him a quick scowl. He had used it way too long, but he did have a deadline. All I wanted now was a couple of hours to lie on the sofa to finish reading my novel and maybe doing a KenKen puzzle, nothing too heavy. George retreated to the bedroom for a nap. It felt good to think again, as our brain decoded the words on the page and turned them into ideas and sensations. I could hear the author’s voice inside me, calling up images of Hester Prynne emerging through the prison door, next to which a rosebush grows. As she walks toward the scaffold, the crowd murmurs at the scarlet and gold letter “A” stitched on her chest and then …nothing. The words were now jumbled symbols of unknown origin. “George!” I yelled. “I can’t read with you dreaming in there. Cut it out!” George mumbled from the bedroom, and as the power came back on, I resumed my reading. Once, we tried reading the same book together. We curled up on the couch and began to read. While we understood the words, they just sat there, with nowhere to go. It’s probably because we don’t use our brain the same way. George is more right brain, while I tend left. But there are times when we do manage to work as a team. We decided to put together a backyard playset, complete with two stories, ladders, and a tube slide—at least that’s how it was supposed to look. George was taken by its rugged sturdy design and elegant playfulness. We laid out the plans and parts in the living room, taking turns applying our brain to the task. As one of us read and interpreted the instructions, the other would saw and assemble the pieces, often in new and creative ways. Slowly it came together, though it didn’t look quite like the one in the showroom. It was then that a dim sliver of thought hit us simultaneously. We don’t have a kid and we don’t have a backyard. Not that we cared. That evening, we sipped our wine and admired our handiwork, its beams, ladders, and slide at odd angles like some crazy modernist sculpture. Sometimes less is more and one brain is better than two.
Gene Twaronite is a Tucson poet and the author of ten books, including collections of poetry, short stories, and essays as well as two juvenile fantasy novels. His latest poetry collection is The Museum of Unwearable Shoes (Kelsay Books). Visit https://thetwaronitezone.com.
I Tried Out a Little Freedom I Didn’t Really Have
Florida White Butterfly
Now all the over. Now common. Now migratory (very).
Now a family from Thessaly like flies, with constant wing flapping but no real flying and soaring or gliding. A preference for bright and sunny. Reflections of light for warmth towards the body with wing positions. Attached and adjusted.
Dramatic rise and fall of populations. Males with a fast erratic flight at the top of trees. Females fluttering more slowly, at lower levels, not lesser ones. Sometimes caught in webs of golden silk.
A consideration of relative values, yes, but if Mary Ann and Beverly wander as far north from Florida as New England, they will still return to Florida in the fall dry season. And there’s the rise of the mountains far beyond the screen door that allows the imagined breath to enter. Misunderstood cooperation. The clouds parting for something other than sunshine.
The mustard-sleep of the antique Chevrolet, for example.
Or the sun falling out of our triangular conversation before it fell out of the sky.
Maybe a visit to the local apocalypse.
Now you’ve both got your breasts out. You must be getting ready. Which one’s Beverly?
The pathway is littered with caresses, but I’ll have to choose one before another one can approach me with its forgetfulness.