for Anna Akhmatova
Autumn is surely the crust of the year,
Its pieces scattered for chickens that
Lurch like matrons with cranky hips.
Anna, you are understandably morose
In a nation of fried and boiled meat.
In the pantry of your cottage in exile,
Old potatoes have the obstinate eyes
And callous skin of your ex-husband.
Outside, the cackle of falling leaves may be
White noise or the very message you desire.
Meanwhile, for dinner you dream of foie gras
And a smuggled morsel of hope from the city
Of your sentiments. By morning the coop may
Produce a few eggs which some say contain the
Biographies of martyrs, for they taste unbearably
Sublime when accompanied by a pillar of salt.
Mike Farren, Smithereens
The ex-president’s children
You tell me you’re responsible
for teaching a course at a liberal
arts college, in humanities,
to the children of the dynasty
of a Latin American state.
They’re innocent and unworldly,
with a genuine love for learning
about ancient civilization –
Greece and Roman nation
and their literature and myths.
And their family’s party dominates
the newly-democratic state:
another ally of the West,
so everything is for the best
in the best of all possible worlds.
Though what it took to get here,
how many had to disappear
to give them space to settle down
to study in a small New England town
history won’t record.
Sanjeev Sethi, Bleb
The beauty of brackens acknowledges my presence
with a little jig. I smile back like one does to a natty
new arrival in the neighborhood. The Emptiness in
those eyes summons me to shoal them with a fairing
of emollients. A poem isn’t a fable or folktale. It’s
task is to temper with images and ideas that create
one’s fantasy or factuality: like those oeillades.
John Stanizzi, Sundowning
The Blue Guys Attack
It was spring
when I wondered if the crocus
turned your speech blue
or if it was the other way around,
the crocus glowing
because of what you said,
blue against the newly turned sillion.
you said there were armies
of blue guys in the woods
in unbelievable ways,
hiding behind trees,
gathering their anger,
preparing to descend on us
from all sides
And you rose
from your lawn chair
to sneak up on a flower,
motioning me away
with your hand.
protecting your son.
And you closed in
on the blue crocus
wild and emerging,
to get it
before it got us,
all of us.
There will be no issue in October. Submissions are now open for the November issue.
It’s not easy getting a book or pamphlet accepted for review these days. So I am starting a new review feature, in addition to the regular review section, which will allow more poets' books to reach a wider audience. It will be called One Poem Reviews and it will be just that. One poem featured from a new book/pamphlet along with a cover JPG and a link to the publisher's website. Contact the editor if you have released a book/pamplet this year or will be released this year.
Reviewed in this issue