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RIP James Tate

July 29, 2015 – 8:35 am | 2 Comments

James Tate, who wrote that the main challenge of poetry “is always to find the ultimate in the ordinary horseshit,” died yesterday in Massachusetts at age seventy-one. Winner of the …

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Halifax »

The Waiter

September 2, 2015 – 8:37 am | No Comment

Hilltop Diner
By Halifax

Bring me my drink
Be quick about it
Don’t bother jawing
about daily specials

I know what I want
only one reason
to truck it up here
in the first place

You will bring me
clinking tiles of ice
suspended in the bitter
fullness of time;

a tea both sun-brewed
and fresh lemoned
in a polished glass
sweating from chill

with clean hands
set it on a paper coaster
so crisp and thoughtful
God himself is tempted
off his rocker to witness

then leave me alone
beside him to contemplate
this tabled moment
when expectation
determined reality

Woman Kept Captive for 24 Years

August 26, 2015 – 6:22 am | One Comment

Woman Kept Captive for 24 Years
by Lauren Camp
Whatever they tell me on the news this time,
I will see three children raisined in the dark
between the basement and the old man. …

The Printer’s Prayer

August 25, 2015 – 8:20 am | One Comment

The Printer’s Prayer
by Jim Bodeen
A printer believes that letters pressed
Into the surface of paper
Can make a difference in the weather,
That they should be made one at a time
And kissed into …

Before Dark

August 24, 2015 – 9:08 am | One Comment

Before Dark
By Jennifer Barber
They used to mass
in the crowns of oaks
on every street for blocks around
but have gone elsewhere,
the evening no longer
gathered by their feathers
but by the leaves, which blot
whatever …

Become the Lion

August 23, 2015 – 9:06 am | One Comment

Become the Lion
By Traci Brimhall
We keep my sister alive by force,
pin her down and nurse her with raw
eggs from the chickens that did not drown
and milk taken from a goat …

Bachelorette for Life

August 22, 2015 – 8:47 am | One Comment

Bachelorette for Life
by Donal Mahoney
It started in eighth grade, much to the chagrin of her parents. Boys in high school started asking Roslyn for dates. And Roslyn would tell them …

Real Life

August 21, 2015 – 9:04 am | One Comment

Real Life
by Kim Addonizio
Here we walk without wallets,
no keys to anything. The gates
swing open, we move among the
cows, hot hills, at night through wet
foxtails; the kitchen light hums
winged things circle …

Let’s get drunk and mess around.

August 20, 2015 – 6:44 am | No Comment

Let’s get drunk and mess around.
by Smokey Farris
Let’s get drunk and mess around.
with my eye patch
and my wooden
“Hubba Hubba,”
was never spoken,
so meekly,
or with such a bad
pirate accent
but it was whispered,
and …

Bottled Water

August 19, 2015 – 8:42 am | One Comment

Bottled Water
by Kim Dower
I go to the corner liquor store
for a bottle of water, middle
of a hectic day, must get out
of the office, stop making decisions,
quit obsessing does my blue …

Bamboo Leaves

August 18, 2015 – 8:46 am | One Comment

Bamboo Leaves
by ESR

Bamboo leaves on the screen where the other
versions of our lives unfold the letter
of the law a delicate …


August 17, 2015 – 6:35 am | One Comment

by Mark Sargent
A champagne shadow, froth on legs
the kitten slinks through the jasmine
surging off the wrought-iron,
summer rain splatters the leaves,
thunder groans down the Tayegetos,
Maya massages the lethargic Ali,
messages …

It’s Best to Ask

August 15, 2015 – 5:12 am | One Comment

It’s Best to Ask
by Dirk Michener
Maybe when you play yr phonograph
the needle slashes across the record
Maybe when yr walking to the bathroom
yr breathing becomes heavy and labored
Maybe when yr sitting …

Francis’ Workday

August 14, 2015 – 3:45 am | One Comment

Francis’ Workday
by Rosemary French
Touches up chipped magenta nail polish
Attempts to move file cabinet in order to clean dust out from behind it
Finds file cabinet to be too heavy, abandons that …

Maybe You Forgot

August 13, 2015 – 8:33 am | One Comment

Maybe You Forgot
by Matt Pennington
Do you know who I am?
I can think of no better question.
It’s what I ask the stranger at the door, the old friend, the old man.
Posed …

Science Sonnet 1

August 12, 2015 – 8:08 am | One Comment

Science Sonnet 1
by Dan Raphael
self-impressed enough to go one step further,
a thousand feet higher, i never saw calves like that,
lavaic bubbles inside a quiet volcano
skipping along the waves of imaginary …

Kevin Young Reads

August 10, 2015 – 9:12 am | No Comment
Kevin Young ReadsPlay

Kevin Young was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He studied under Seamus Heaney and Lucie Brock-Broido at Harvard University and, while a student there, became a member of the Dark Room …

I can make you hate by Charlie Brooker

August 10, 2015 – 8:37 am | No Comment

Book Review by Ben Macnair
Review of I can make you hate by Charlie Brooker
‘I can make you hate’ is a collection of television presenter and journalist Charlie Brooker’s columns from …

My mother was like the bees

August 9, 2015 – 6:47 am | One Comment

My mother was like the bees
By Jeanne Wagner
My mother was like the bees
because she needed a lavish taste
on her tongue,
a daily tipple of amber and gold
to waft her into the …

Beatles Bathtub

August 8, 2015 – 6:37 am | 2 Comments

Beatles Bathtub
by Bradley Mason Hamlin
a pretty
blonde American girl
of English heritage
bought me Beatles
Live @ BBC 2
listening now
in the tub
mi amigo, Mr. Bubble
the tiny
portable stereo
if George
turns up the treble
or maybe
the trouble
as the …

the cunning shuffle

August 7, 2015 – 6:33 am | One Comment

the cunning shuffle
by Volodymyr Bilyk
the cunning shuffle of well-mannered nose:
The pity notes –
forsaken –
hop aside…
then tick and cuddle…
and then:
the hollow rebound
with astute jink
before the last of tolerable odours.
and then …

The Afterbirth, 1931

August 6, 2015 – 8:48 am | No Comment

The Afterbirth, 1931
By Nikky Finney
We were a Colored Clan of Kinfolk
Who threw soil not salt
Over our shoulders
Who tendered close the bible
Who grew and passed around …

Daddy Dozens

August 5, 2015 – 8:44 am | No Comment

Daddy Dozens
By Jamila Woods
My Daddy’s forehead is so big, we don’t need a dining room
table. My Daddy’s forehead so big, his hat size is equator. So
big, it’s a five-head. Tyra …

Mourning dress, or how to dress well on a shilling a day

August 3, 2015 – 8:40 am | One Comment

Mourning dress, or how to dress well on a shilling a day
by Ben Macnair
They have crossed the river,
the rites have been performed,
the right etiquette observed,
centuries of behaviour refined,
the correct attire, …

Bike Ride with Older Boys

August 2, 2015 – 7:14 am | 2 Comments

Bike Ride with Older Boys
by Laura Kasischke
The one I didn’t go on.
I was thirteen,
and they were older.
I’d met them at the public pool. I must
have given them my number. I’m …

The Strangers

August 1, 2015 – 5:02 am | One Comment

The Strangers
by P. Hicks
After we picked you up at the Omaha airport,
we clamped you into a new car seat
and listened to you yowl
beneath the streetlights of Nebraska.
Our hotel suite was …

25th reunion

July 31, 2015 – 8:39 am | One Comment

25th reunion
By Barbara Crooker
A quarter of a century
since we left high school,
and we’ve gathered at a posh restaurant.
A little heavier, a little grayer,
we look for the yearbook pictures
caught inside these …

It Can’t Be True

July 30, 2015 – 8:37 am | One Comment

It Can’t Be True
by Michael Brownstein
That we belong to one of the last generations
To See an uncontaminated sky
And walk through enough forest
Stretching for hundreds of square miles
Uncharted and completely surrounded …

Jazz You’ll Never Know

July 29, 2015 – 8:33 am | One Comment

Jazz You’ll Never Know
by Margaret Hasse
Alex dresses up in a sweet black suit
for his Central High senior picture
holding his trumpet as if
he will raise it
like a silver night-blooming moonflower
to …

Bared Nemesis

July 28, 2015 – 8:33 am | One Comment

Bared Nemesis
by Pat A Physics
Upside down, in a time capsule, forgotten,
we journey through the creases of private, yellowing love letters.
Tobogganing between swails of painterly ideals
in an effort to clean up …

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

July 24, 2015 – 8:03 am | One Comment

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
by Donal Mahoney
Nothing is anywhere anymore,
Dad shouts over the phone.
His reveille again at 4 a.m.
Will I come over and find it?
What’s missing, Dad, I ask.
It’s midnight and …


July 23, 2015 – 6:01 am | One Comment

by Stefanie Bennett
Watching the storm cloud
Roll up its sleeves
Above the serialized
Of an ever
The Thunderbird
For cover.