books

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Books
Andrei Codrescu

death covers me with fine dust.
i love used fat books. they are
like used fat bodies coming out of sleep
covered with fingerprints and shiny
snail trails.
i wish to read the way i love:
jumping from mirror to mirror like a drop of oil
farther and farther from my death.
but god gives us fat books and fat bodies
to use for different reasons
and less a metaphor i cannot say
what haunts me

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

song

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Song
Laura Kasischke

The floor of the brain, the roof
of the mouth, the locked
front door, the barn
burned down, a dog
tied to a tree, not howling, a dark
shed, an empty garage, a basement
in which a man might sip
his peace, in peace,
and a table
in a kitchen
at which
the nightingales feasted on fairy tales,
the angels stuffed themselves with fog

And a tiny room at the center of it all,
and a beautiful woman the size of a matchstick
singing the song that ruined my father:

his liver
his life

The kind of song a quiet man
might sing a silent house around.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

50

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Fifty
Christian Wiman

“Renouncing kingship like a snot of phlegm”
I go out into the park. I have my death with me,
iron friend, and a few feather regrets
that one by one lift from me in the wind.
I have two daughters and one cloud, an old oak
and a great love, elected solitude, given sun.
There never was a now this golden one.

Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

the subject of retreat

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The Subject of Retreat
Yona Harvey

Your black coat is a door
in the storm. The snow
we don’t mention
clings to your boots & powders
& puffs. & poof. Goes.
Dust of the fallen. Right here
at home. The ache
of someone gone-missing. Walk it off
like a misspoken word.
Mound of snow. Closed door.
I could open it.

Or maybe just, you know—
brush it off.

Then what? The snow
on the other side. The sound
of what I know & your, no, inside it.

 

Photo by Yang Deng on Unsplash

on starting

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On Starting
Phil Kaye

Your ideas are fish
you are trying to catch
with your bare hands

only with a quiet mind
is the surface glassy enough
for you to plunge your arms below
hold on to
the squirming gift
wide-eyed & fat
stunned at its own reflection
as it inhales out of the water

 

portrait

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Portrait

Strong women
know the taste
of their own hatred
I must always be
building nests
in a windy place
I want the safety of oblique numbers
that do not include me
a beautiful woman
with ugly moments
secret and patient
as the amused and ponderous elephants
catering to Hannibal’s ambition
as they swayed on their own way
home.

Photo by Sreenivas on Unsplash