I spent four years disabusing myself
of the notion that I had something
to offer “those less fortunate than I.”
In recovery, or tangential to it,
there are no heroes—
though once, in a blue
Missouri night, I lent a girl my bike.
Smiling, she said she felt like she was home.
Last night I fell into the abyss again
I wanted you to know how deep it was,
so I counted seconds,
flying, head down,
into the pit.
When I got to 37, I knew
I was too far
to be saved.
What do you fear most?
The clear sky with extinct stars
where angels no longer live.
The path across the field where no horse,
no bird, nor wind will follow.
The door unanswered,
the friends’ backs turned.
What I fear most is the silent feral animal
I find inside our home
stretched between us on the wooden floors,
its fangs glowing.
arrives with the morning news
a wooden boat
carrying its cargo of woe
headlines like waves
thirty dead here
African women of AIDS
their children of hunger
so many in earthquake
so many in flood
another thousand on a holy
from a roadside bomb
we stretch our arms
to take hold of the gunwales
our hands chapped by salt
our task to keep this one small boat
from going under
Good Pepper Days
After three full decades together, words
hold meaning as a colander retains water.
Still, to offer nine glimpses: she loves pepper
on almost everything, back scratches,
and our treasure-children, to always be warm,
without bulky clothing, coffee, squash,
chocolate, lively conversation,
and thousands upon thousands of books.
On Not Hearing Someone
"What was that?" And with her
question, what you were saying
is gone. Because now you say "I
was saying" or "What I meant was…"
You revise; you move on
to slippery and secondary
explanation, your thought gone
fluid, and changing, but dead-
leaf dull, as you press for words.
Don’t choke on clarification—
she simply didn’t hear you.
But, now the infant thought
is gone—like a bonfire extinguished
in a flash of rain, the smoke still
getting on her clothes.
Words are first indicators of inadequacy.
Kindness can never be unchaste.
Poetry inhales what we can’t.
Existence is asemic: make what you will.
If you offer zilch you’re forgiven zero.
The talkative don’t necessarily tell.
If on rereading it energizes it is worthy of play.
I’m for nimiety in personal concerts.
Urge for intercalation is an off-shoot of elation.
Life is its own document: linguaphiles decipher it.
I intend to paint these black and white
bricks with my tongue, so they may not
rise like direct questions an orphan asks
when he has grown tall enough. That when
a drenched refugee comes asking if the first
floor is vacant, they may welcome him with
warmth of the afternoon I spent chasing
the orange popsicle, kicking it every time
I tried to pick it up.
Jeremy Casabella lives in Bakersfield, CA, where he teaches English His poems have appeared this year in Vinyl, The American Journal of Poetry and GNU. His pwoermding is featured in Xexoxial Editions' anthology The Wisdoms of the Universes in a Single String of Letters and on Twitter at @JCasabella1.
Sudhanshu Chopra hails from India. He draws inspiration to write from observation, memories, subconscious, books he reads, movies he watches, and music he listens to. Sometimes a phrase or simply a word is enough. Some of his poetry has been published in In Between Hangovers and Anti Heroin Chic.
Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in About Place, Cordite, Illya's Honey, Red River Review, Shot Glass Journal, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Mark currently resides in North-Central West Virginia. He is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
Jon Densford of Memphis, TN, thinks it is strange that Dylan got a Nobel Prize and Nabokov never did, but far more wretched events occurred in 2016, eh?
Kathy Douglas's recent work has appeared in the print publication Nocturna, and digitally in issues of After The Pause, shufpoetry, and Poetry WTF?! She is currently writing one postcard a day to her MoCs and #45, choosing from a smorgasborg of pressing issues. Kathy unapologetically waffles on the Oxford comma, despite holding an MFA in creative writing from Bennington.
Lynette G. Esposito has recently been published in the anthology SELF, Haiku Journal and others. She lives with her husband, Attilio, in Southern New Jersey.
Tom Fugalli’s work has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Forklift Ohio, One Sentence Poems, Voicemail Poems, The Western Humanities Review, and other places. He lives in New Rochelle, New York, and has been waiting for the next season of The Walking Dead.
Howie Good is down in the basement, mixing up the medicine.
Andrew Graney is a student in Seattle Pacific University's MFA program. He was a juror for the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing awards, and has been published by Unbroken Journal and Kenning Journal, among other publications. He is left-handed, but he enjoys Right Hand Pointing.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Yoni Hammer-Kossoy has lived in Israel with his family for the last twenty years. Yoni’s work has most recently appeared in Lunch Ticket's Amuse-Bouche, Pidgeonholes, and the Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, and is forthcoming in Poetica's Mizmor L'David Anthology.
John Haugh’s poetry has been recently published in Driftwood Press, Rat’s Ass Review and elsewhere. He won a couple smaller awards, including Winston-Salem’s Poetry in Plain Sight, the Nancy J. Heggem Poetry Award and Greensboro’s Visual Poetry Walk. Mr. Haugh was a NCAA national champion in fencing and spent untold hours browsing Powell’s City of Books in Oregon when young. He is working on a book that might be titled Conversations about mixtapes and repurposed ghosts.
Josh Huber lives and works in Columbia, MO. His various writings have appeared in Anchor, Scissors & Spackle, and elsewhere. He recently completed a calendar-book manuscript of 366 bathroom haiku. This is exactly as impressive as it sounds.
Bethany Reid's latest book, Sparrow, was the 2012 recipient of the Gell Poetry Prize. She blogs at www.awritersalchemy.wordpress.com and lives in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband and daughters.
Monica Rico is a second generation Mexican American feminist. Follow her at www.slowdownandeat.com.
Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015.) He has a new website: www.bradrosepoetry.com.
Claudia Serea's poems and translations have appeared in Field, New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Word Riot, and elsewhere. She is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently To Part Is to Die a Little (Cervena Barva Press, 2015), and Nothing Important Happened Today (Broadstone Books, 2016). Serea co-hosts The Williams Readings poetry series in Rutherford, NJ, and is a founding editor of National Translation Month. More at cserea.tumblr.com.
Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: 3:AM Magazine, The Tower Journal, Peacock Journal, The Penwood Review, Soul-Lit, Treehouse and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.
Allison Thorpe's newest prize possession is an Edgar Allan Poe bobblehead doll she got for Christmas. Recent work can be found in Split Rock Review, So To Speak, Pembroke Magazine, The Roanoke Review, and Hamilton Stone Review.