Wolves By Natalie Malesa

Issue 8

a restoration of bile
children were recruited for the other
we served the historical blood

unexplained signs were recorded
deviations performed for survival

mean months
mean months
first recurrence
one died

our episodes offer protection in more recent years

nevertheless, the effect is still controversial

it traverses the entire population
by multifarious mechanisms

blood is the conduit
the fluid of the future


Source:
 Bu, Ling-Nan, et al.  “Prophylactic Oral Antibiotics in Prevention of Recurrent Cholangitis After the Kasai Portoenterostomy.”  Journal of Pediatric Surgery, vol. 38, no. 4, 2003, pp. 590-3.

Method: This is an erasure. Words are included from each paragraph of the article and presented in the order in which they appeared.

Natalia Malesa is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has degrees in both English and Information Science and previously worked as a youth librarian.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Enigmatist, Haiku Journal, and Window Cat Press.  Her writing often melds her humanities and science backgrounds.

Visible Cities By Michael Prihoda

Issue 8

i.
leaving
streets golden,

this evening
growing from envy

ii.
wild desire
for a city

where
hesitating

encounters
brawls.

the city
of difference,

the dreamed-of man
seated in memories.

iii.
vain bastions,
the streets like scales.
the same relationships
between the distance
of swaying feet
and a firing gunboat.
the hundredth story
of illegitimate memories.
the city, a sponge, expands
a description of its past,
written in windows,
banisters, antennae, flags,
scratches, scrolls.

 

Source: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Michael Prihoda is a poet and artist living in the Midwest. He is founding editor of After the Pause and his work can be found in various journals in print and around the web. He loves llamas and the moments life makes him smile.

Almost Love Poem By Marjorie Thomsen

Issue 8

The more realistic
flavors of love:
bitter and sweet.
It seems
to be asking
for a little
alteration,
for the addition
of this
or the removal
of that. I try to stay
attentive
to this. I love
the long, twisted
red leaves
of some varieties.
A woman
came up to me
and said:
“I’ve got a tree
full of quinces
in my garden
but I don’t do anything
with them. I am scared
of quince.”
keep the skin
a good grind
just gamble
serve at once
serve at once
serve at once


Source:
YotamOttolenghi, “Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi”, 2011.

Method: I had never written a found poem and wanted to try something different. I took what I had sitting closest to me in the kitchen where I write and went from there—a cookbook, a recently purchased coffee-table book that I had been reading, a new plant with its directions on how to care for it, and a love letter on my computer from a friend. Voila.

Marjorie Thomsen’s poetry collection, “Pretty Things Please” (Turning Point, 2016), gets its title from asking Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project to name all that she cannot since they come up with great names for their beers. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Thomsen’s poems have received awards from the New England Poetry Club and The University of Iowa School of Social Work. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A Golden Age By Howie Good

Issue 8

I dreamed I was a book. It’s like deciding
to be a samurai or a dandy: you’re in
for a miserable end, but one you’ll be
able to face with honor. The missing letters
are missing so that, no matter what you
think they are, you can never be quite certain.
Have you ever wondered is Florida real?
That’s not going to change. That stays
the same. There are no real gatekeepers.
And no mission. I was influenced by everything.
We’re living in a golden age. It’s about time.


Source:
Quotes from small press editors at entropymag.org

Howie Good is the author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize. His latest book is A Ghost Sings, a Door Opens  from Another New Calligraphy. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

March 1st by Carol McMahon

Issue 8

Anthony, Katherine, Jane, Tsai, Susan, David, Ruth, Henry, Carl, Graydon, Lidia, Rosemarie, Aleyah, Richard, Daisy, Todd, Barbara, Harvey, Louis, Vincente, Anita, Douglas, Esther, Thomas, Jeremy, Catherine, Harvey, Alessandro, Janice, Anderson, Bertoni, Burbank, Sagneri, Van Duser, Wirschem, Bruman, Chamberlin, Askin, Clemens, Bentley, D’Andrea, Curran, Degus, Farina, Hasto, Napolitano, Schrader, Rosenbaum, Soong, McConachie, McElwin, Sundquist, Swift-Meyers, White, Wirschem, Spear, Reisman, suddenly, after a lengthy illness, after a short illness, after a courageous battle, at home, his home, in the hospital, surrounded by, survived by, predeceased by, loving husband, devoted wife, partner, fiancée, mother, father, son, daughter, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, children, stepson, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, sisters, brothers, a multitude of friends, faithful companion, beloved dog, studied history & education, a lifelong communicant, enjoyed travel, flew planes, a doctor of medicine, loved bridge, graduated from, adjunct professor, skilled craftsman, jazz/rock musician, talented visual artist, avid researcher, Ph.D. in aeronautics, a member of, retired from, will be truly missed, in our hearts, an inspiration, a shining example, with gratitude, to share a memory, send a condolence, light a candle, sign the online registry, memorial service, funeral mass, friends may call, interment at, arrangements entrusted to, visitation for, burial at, private service, no service, entombment private, celebrated, Holy Cross Church, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Sacred Heart, St. John Lutheran Church, First Bible Baptist Church, Hope Church, White Haven Memorial Park, United Church of Christ, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations, charity of your choice, Open Door Mission, Alzheimer’s Association, Arthritis Foundation, American Cancer Society, Disabled Veterans, Wounded Warriors, Humane Society, AIDS Care, Breast Cancer Coalition, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Golisano Children’s Hospital, March of Dimes Foundation, Salvation Army, National Kidney Association, National Liver Association, St. Andrews Food Cupboard, peacefully, in peace, peacefully and quietly, passed away, and died.

 

Source: Obituary section of the March 1, 2015 edition of the Rochester, New York Democrat & Chronicle newspaper.

 

The Method: The names (both first and last) as well as the phraseology, cause of death,  and funeral arrangements etc. were all taken from one day of newspaper obituaries and randomly rearranged in the order of a single obituary.  The layout is designed to mirror the columns of a newspaper. My intent is that the effect of reading the poem will be a perception of the vastness and all-encompassing nature of life’s impermanence as well as an awareness of the ways in which our lives are but mirrors of the lives of our fellow humans.

 

Carol McMahon is the author of a chapbook, On Any Given Day (FootHills Publishing, 2006). She has been published in Prodigal, IthacaLit, Blue Collar Review, Lake Affect Magazine, and elsewhere. McMahon holds an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and currently resides in Rochester, New York.

Hell Had Nothing to Do With Fires by Aidan Chafe

Issue 8

windowless room to perform a stack
of tasks that never goes down

nail a clock to the wall
numbers that connect to nothing

imagining different high places to jump off
despite prayers and effort

dusted the desk with his cuff
think beach when he starts to get antsy

with enough practice and concentration
you could stop your heart at will

the same way you hold your breath
impossibly slow the sound

of ripping paper again and again

 
Source: Wiggle Room by David Foster Wallace

Aidan Chafe is the author of the chapbooks Sharpest Tooth (Anstruther Press, 2016) and Right Hand Hymns (Frog Hollow Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, Cordite Poetry Review, Oolichan Books, The Paragon Journal, Scrivener Creative Review and Sulphur. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

X Plus Y By Julie Gard

Issue 8

X Plus Y

One caramel latte. Yeah, exactly, you too.
Heading for 60. We arrive in Salt Lake. No one’s
gotten sick, but it causes diarrhea and vomiting
in a healthy person. Also fatal.

Maybe they’ll be there, maybe they won’t.
I was actually, you know, he’s direct.
When are we boarding? No bridesmaids.
That’s what I’m saying.

The transportation administration has limited
the size and quantity of items. She gave it
to us. Five am. May I see your seat number?
I’m really bummed ’cause last year,

we were gonna get a room together.
We haven’t gotten, I haven’t seen,
I thought they’d arrived. X plus y, x minus y,
what is x squared minus y squared?

She has asked me to do that, to say something,
to give a little monologue if you will at the dinner,
like Winifred and Bob at our wedding. Who else
spoke? With or without the banana?

It has been a week now. It’s a spare banana.
She asked me to give her away.


Source:
Dialogue overheard at Gate 14 of the Oakland International Airport.

Julie Gard’s prose poetry collection Home Studies (New Rivers Press) was a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Award, and her chapbooks include Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press) and Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger’s Eye Press). She lives in Duluth, Minnesota and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Okay, Cupid? By Vanessa Peterson

Issue 8

Sorry but this isn’t a Hi, Hey, What’s up?
How are you? ‘Cause that’s wack just like crack.

It’s refreshing to see a Queen such as yourself,
a real woman who knows her worth. You have curls  

and curves for days, huh? Wanna grab a drink,
talk about random shit? You really think Rick’s  

swimmers were beating out weeks of Shane’s plowing?
I love reading philosophy, Eastern Philosophy

(but I’m partial to Sci-Fi as well). I still haven’t
done the Pottermore thing, always hoped I’d be  

a Ravenclaw. Soft-right-out-of-the-oven or
crunchy cookies? Is your last name Gillette?

Because you’re the best a man can get. I’m nothing
like a bad episode of Catfish, I swear.  

If you were a Skittle, you’d be a red one.
I’m going to bed. Text me tomorrow.  

 

Source: OkCupid Dating Site

Vanessa Peterson received her BA in English from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and is currently attending graduate school at Arcadia University. Vanessa is studying to receive her MFA in poetry and MA in English.  She enjoys visiting her parents’ house in Northeastern Pennsylvania to spend time with her family and two dogs, Mollie and Sasha.

Global Context By A. Ogea

Issue 8

Dimensions provide framework,
a comprehensive compendium
of the world.

Natural, physical, human:
a stylized pattern of destinies.
All nations bound with energy.

The richly endowed age
of exploitation boomtowns,
Such depth dominant in crude lines.

The invisible hand
purely falling
in the nature of relationship.

 

Source Text: The Journal of Energy and Development, Volume XLI, numbers 1 and 2 (Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016), pages 78 and 79.

A. Ogea is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana and a current English MA student at McNeese State University after having just completed four undergraduate degrees in various fields. Their interests include Decadent and Modernist literature, literary theory, music criticism, and lizard-wrangling.

Cento Sonnet: To Autumn By Mary Cresswell

Issue 8

CENTO SONNET: TO AUTUMN

Little we see in nature that is ours –
it moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
before high-piled books, in charactery
of unreflecting love. Then, on the shore,
the winds that will be howling at all hours
have sight of Proteus rising from the sea
(so long as men can breathe or eyes can see)
and are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers.

When I consider how my light is spent,
the world is too much with us. Late and soon
of the wide world I stand alone and think,
by chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
They also serve who only stand and wait,
and summer’s lease hath all too short a date.


Source:
From Collected Sonnets of Keats, Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth

Method: Cut and paste (meaning real scissors and real paper). I arranged the source poems by end rhyme and then went from there, since my aim was to keep the sonnet structure as best as I could. Works beautifully, if you remember not to open the door on a windy day!

Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast. Her fourth book, Fish Stories, is a collection of nature poetry, mainly in ghazal and glosa form, and was published by Canterbury University Press in 2015.

better known as Miss Wilmott’s ghost By Sonya C. Brown

Issue 8

I spent mornings barrowing down manure;
        I was down on the plot late into the evening,
                    struggling to force sticks into sun-baked ground,                    

using aluminium foil to scare away birds,
        a cocktail of chemical traps and potions—
                    proof of vitriol for anything that disrupts lawns,                    

lining up plants like soldiers,
        daft horrors underplanted with ivy.
                    A buzzard dropped a dead rabbit nearby.                    

There was a sense of time unraveling,
        the scent of somnolent roses,
                    the potency of a bluebell wood in bloom,                    

yew hedges immaculately sculpted into scallops,
        drifts of Scabeous, a shimmering matrix of Deschampsia,
                    self-sown pepper trees marring the view.

You must be willing to be ruthless,
        cut back hard the gaudy displays.
                    Killing off a rose isn’t so easy.

Occasionally you wonder.
        Not to do so were unkind and immoral,
                    while the wood beneath you weakens                    

and the knot garden succumbs to blight.
        The edge of the map looms,
                    alive as the sun sets and moon rises:                    

glimpses of the Matilija canyon,
        the Queen’s racing colours,
                    purple, gold, black and scarlet.                    

With precious little help,
        with relentless tenacity
                    and occasional waves of vertigo,                    

I stretched a thin wire
        across the spot that rooted me,
                    across things that will outstay my abandonment.                    

Absurdities in the pursuit of paradise,
        I half-hacked them and laid them over,
                    cut the heart in two and dipped it in oil,

wiped the inking off the plate.                    

                                           

Source:  Gardens Illustrated, 2013-2016

Method: I once completed an exercise using several required words in a poem. For similarly inspiring words, I skimmed issues of Gardens Illustrated, copying words and phrases up to seven words in length. I found myself using these snippets differently than intended, arranging and rearranging them until in my mind they became a single voice. This character and I added punctuation, capital letters, and the occasional transition. I am profoundly grateful to the authors whose phrases were borrowed. “Miss Wilmott’s Ghost” is the cultivar name for an Eryngium that flowers white rather than the typical blue. I know nothing about the real, eponymous Miss Wilmott.

Sonya C. Brown, Assistant Editor of Glint online literary journal, lives in Maryland with her family, two elderly dogs, two middle-aged cats, four young chickens, and countless alter egos.

Through The Heart By A. P.

Issue 8

my dishonest soul & I run to you
wicked bone of mine
marooned goddess
I don’t know how long you can survive
the unbecoming of the glass castle
we hide this haunted
world
out of my sight in the woods of dreams
where I cage the good
we, the animals
we, sea
unstitched among strangers
never pure enough to drown
something beastly
to rest

 

Source: Various Book Titles

Editor’s Note: You can see A. P.’s artwork for this poem here.

A. P.  is originally from Bucharest, but lives in Stuttgart, Germany. Her work appears in Severine, Watershed Review and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others.

Man, Erased By Holly Lyn Walrath

Issue 8

Man is conviction ridiculous.
Whenever ridiculous annihilates him
the superior man enjoys superiority perfect.
Dedicating himself to no one
he demands frugal and touching life,
impossible capacity,
accommodates pride and delusion,
learns to feel without feeling.
To feel is subjection—
the subjecting of sorrows and joys.
Set sail, or stay ships
and sail with everyone in every sensation.
Watching the hearts, every tragedy on earth,
renouncing every battle, victor of them all
shouting crowded the moment, the name
reminded that the people trying to remember, he
realized he dreamed the black hair of breasts.
Instinct wept, stretched,
but remembered all responsibility
in the dreamed sensation
closed its eyes.
Of all he’d felt in one last reflex—
crested by eagles, twilight
green mountains.

 

Source: an essay by Fernando Pessoa in Poetry Magazine

Holly Lyn Walrath’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Literary Orphans, Liminality, and Kaleidotrope among others. She lives in Seabrook Texas, just five minutes from NASA. She wrangles writers as a freelance editor and volunteers as the associate director of Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas.  Find her online @hollylynwalrath or hlwalrath.com.

repurpose By Catherine Niu

Issue 8

I don’t know if you want

to be confronted with the
small black screws that fell

out of you in the library,

to bail out bliss and crunch it or

to tell the truth to soothe the throat, to hope—

who does?

Before enlightenment,

hope makes you feel
naked as a horse.

The pyramid crumbles in a sequined dusk.

How do you mend

a piece of crystal broken off
from the original idea of light,

a baby gorilla thumping his only friend,
an orange bucket,

a broken et cetera,

the wooden bird flutes in the brain?

We were all chasing nothing, poor pups,

no choice left but to intensify the chase.

To bite the repetition that could be an ending.

Glut the self on sorrow until it splits, like a pomegranate.

The idea was to live forever, to have a name.

There are many kingdoms left.

After enlightenment, belief in magic.

 

Source: Various poems from a poetry reading by Dean Young.

Catherine Niu is currently a senior at Princeton University. She loves the poignancy and play that language inspires and hopes to continue honing her craft. In her free time, she likes to search for beautiful things.