Category: Issue 03

Crankbucket Throat

——————-after Carrie Lorig

There the pain dropping like
cattle. Thousands of cattle
mooing—AIN’T THIS A BARREN
LAND. The land’s heart jumps.
The land’s heart can’t pump
the blood. The grass has begun
suffocating itself. The factory
Is on fire for no good reason.
There The Laughter stood up
to exist, but the grass was already
dead. The cattle up to their necks.
The throat this whole time ungargled
watching the suffering. The suffering
on fire for no good reason.

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Tyler Gobble is lead editor of Stoked, associate editor of the Magic Helicopter Press team, and a contributor with Vouched Books. He is the author of four chapbooks, most recently 48 Pornos (Safety Third Enterprises, 2013). More at www.tylergobble.com.

 

Tromp L’oeil, Jasper-Style

—————————————“James Byrd was buried near an old iron fence
—————————————-on the black side of Jasper City Cemetery.”

The hidden you
watches behind
——–a curtain, locks the doors
——–turns the TV up and sits
——–back to relocate: a question –

the urination on,
and dragging to death of,
——–a Byrd is expected (historic?)
——–but what about the
——–[tattoo]?

[a black man hangs
from a tree, the
——–tree hangs on an arm
——–the arm] on a John William
——–King as he leans out his truck –

An artist drew/
traced/needled/
——–pale beige skin
——–darkened the hanged,
——–knotted a tree together.

Mute is grey. Mute
comes from the
——–severed head [a culvert].
——–A bounty of ankles and teeth;
——–what was the make of that truck?

Demons hide in
details. “To tell you the truth,
——–I’d do it again.”
——–Tell me again,
——–what did you do?

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Lana Rakhman has current poems published or forthcoming in Weave, New Madrid, RHINO, Poetry Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Salamander, 5th Wednesday and others. She received her MFA from Northwestern University, where she was the poetry editor of TriQuarterly. She teaches college English, and lives in Chicago with her husband and unruly cat, Pretzel.

Transfer Station

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Lana Rakhman has current poems published or forthcoming in Weave, New Madrid, RHINO, Poetry Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Salamander, 5th Wednesday and others. She received her MFA from Northwestern University, where she was the poetry editor of TriQuarterly. She teaches college English, and lives in Chicago with her husband and unruly cat, Pretzel.

Direct Address

I’m trying to find out who wrote
every prayer, but it isn’t the wisdom
most readily dug up, not like when
training a dog you must look it
in the eye or other aphorisms
of good sense. Yes, I’m in line to get bit,
never checking, long swearing
that F. Scott Fitzgerald so pitied
newsboys out in the rain, he would buy
all their papers. He was named
for Francis Scott Key, and likely
knew where to give thanks
for that, but not for prayers, of which
there are many, uttered up to the same
God or none, if one’s faith forbids

the specific. They say war’s no time
to shy from direct address, dear foxhole
cry or jungle bomb that who
inscribed——— DEAR VIET CONG

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Natalie Shapero is the author of No Object (Saturnalia, 2013). She writes and teaches at Kenyon College, where she is a Kenyon Review Fellow.

Audition

Orchestras I love because you’re not
allowed to know exactly who
wants in. Musicians must audition
behind a screen. When women
are given away by noise of heels,
the judges spend the whole day
laying carpet. The carpet, though,
is thick and makes it hard
to walk in heels while wheeling
behind a cello, so then the women
are given away by falls.

I sold your seat to put myself away.
The art nurse has me spending
an hour a day tracing an old cartoon
of Uncle Sam. He looks in the mirror
to find a king’s reflection
staring back. I’ve told the truth
so far, except HE ISN’T REALLY MY
UNCLE—— THEY NEVER ARE

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Natalie Shapero is the author of No Object (Saturnalia, 2013). She writes and teaches at Kenyon College, where she is a Kenyon Review Fellow.

How To Adopt

How to adapt How to adopt How to adopt a child from a country that you would never visit unless you adopted a child from the country you would never visit How to tourist How to continent How to dress a child for Halloween when he asks to dress as either a “falafel or blue bird” Discuss How to cry How to collapse How to cry How to collapse Discuss and let me know if you have any questions The people on the lawn are nice They are adaptable The people on the lawn are pretty cool when you don’t get on their bad side You are so funny and adaptable Can I adopt you It’s like you’re singing all the time in the woods The forest is long It is long gone like a stick The forest is wrong It got the wrong answer and you are a very strange woman Maybe it is also a planet that we could name one day The forest is a piece of paper Do you want to touch it I bet you want to smell my long hair That is what we call the nice fall foliage That’s how you wrap your uneaten sandwich in aluminum foil and save it for later The man on the bus was a foil for the woman on the bus That is what we call “the cops” That is what we talk about when something is gone You’re gone Later dude That is what it is to die of the cradle I read it in a book when I had the flu I consumed The women were just falling and falling off Mount Everest They were sick because they were weak They were weak because they were dumb They were dumb because they were painting their cradles under the twisting sun Am I Aryan Is that the new moon No, silly, you are not Aryan You are a Semite Am I a Semite Is that the new new moon No, silly, you are Aryan and that is a photograph of a castle on a hill Where is the photograph It’s sitting on your desk Where is your desk It’s sitting in your apartment That is what we call a continent That is what we call paying the rent when the rent is due That is what we call sonic dissonance Sometimes you can hear it when the flowers are blooming The people on the lawn are troublemakers They are not careful They are living like pigs Ezekiel, don’t hit the flowers with that stick They are not cradles Ezekiel, don’t hit the capitol’s flowers with that forest They are not archetypes If you write it on a piece of paper, you have the advantage of calling it “the new code” If you call it “the new code,” there might be something fearful that will emanate from its encoding The new math was the true math and we learned it We learned it because we are dumb You are so dumb and pretty The endocrine system is something that has no established pathways In that it is like love or being lovable. The truth is that you are not nice and you need to leave this museum at once You are sick so we ask you to stay home from school for 48 hours OMG you are like the nicest person in the world, even nicer than what I had previously suspected Did you once work as a guard here No, silly, that’s not a forest and the woods they are skeptical but honest That is what we call your “baseline blood pressure” If it plummets you will fall into a coma Too bad You weren’t even that nice to begin with Actually, you are like maybe the nicest person in the world and I want to kiss you I have the flu. Whose flu Bird flu No, you have the new flu No, I have the new new flu Whose new new flu You’re already through with this relationship but we just met a few weeks ago Bird flu No, more like shooting a Bengali tiger between his lamentable eyes Too bad We cried Was the tiger Aryan Technically, yes Too bad He died Technically, no can do Frankly, it is hard to see how we even would use the flutes in this composition The family down the street is playing football They have renounced all illness They will not dress as sick birds They will not dress as blue birds or forests They will not dress as tigers They will not dress as mathematics They will not dress as lemons They will not dress as stethoscopes They will not dress as insurance That is what an all-consuming composition and I’m just so glad you decided to include the flutes There’s something mysterious about hiding a house key inside a plastic rock on your lawn It’s like shooting a tiger between his lamentable eyes That is what we call “the cops” When you cut open the rock you get a key When you cut open the key you will not get a forest You guys there were so many babies falling off Mt. Everest it was just almost like a natural disaster or something If you cut open the lawn, you will get a medium sized family and biscuits for breakfast Maybe Unless the wife is depressed If that’s the case, you should ask the husband If he doesn’t make you anything, go to a restaurant The pancakes are good but so is the rice Rice is a treat when served with the flesh of a young tiger Whose flu made you sick The devil’s flu You are incredibly nice and my fantasy is realistic and calm The child was not calm He was a troublemaker Did you once work here as a guard I am afraid of you Maybe I’m not I am afraid of you Actually I’m hoping that you won’t pour poison in my right ear Poseidon is nice I like fish also Possession is nice I want you to possess me Do you want to possess me too They are aquamarine and great swimmers They make the world beautiful but fish are dangerous and should not be trusted Don’t take me I’m yours I wouldn’t eat the fish at this place but I recommend ordering the flesh of a young Bengali tiger Okay You win You are like the nicest person on the planet can I get your phone number Text me Too bad You died The food made me sick but only for like 24 hours I’m pretty sure she worked as a guard at this museum You really need to leave this museum at once

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Sandra Simonds is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently Mother Was A Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Press, 2012).

My Apron Is My Frame

My apron is my anchor My apron is my frame My apron is my Balzac My apron is a brainiac My anchor is my apron My apron is my France My anchor is a dish of Pineapple Pineapple Pineapple rings wedges chunks etc. My apron is my anchor My anchor is my frame I’m going to Canada I am Canadian I am going to Canada Pineapple Pineapple Pineapple ring wedges chunks etc.Clarinets Flutes Transitional Housing Settlements You bet Not an abstract nation never Not abstraction never Not a symposium no Not a harp no Not harmonious no Not harmonium never Not a jar of foam Not many Not too many Not a lot Not retired Not broke Not yet Not a bank Not the banker Not booming Not planned Not crisp Not limp Not crispy Not limper Not my apron Not a farmer Not my iron Not negligible Not sugar no Not a staple no Not timed no Not anymore no Not a symposium on no Not a harper He was not a harper Not the planet She was not in space Not the sphere not the shepherd not the rings of Saturn nor Jupiter no Not a janitor not a staple Not sugar Not flour Let them eat cups Let them eat the likelihood Let them eat the likelihood of being brave Let them eat the likelihood of cups Let the dance party?  Let the penguins? Let the pheromones? Let them perhaps? Let them lapse into comma splices Let them arrange Let them derange Let them cling Let them read complicated matters Let them amass Let them crisscross Let them carrots  Let them neutron or multiply Let them cancerous Let them no Let them nice. Let them unit Let them until Til my mommy comes home Time to Til my daddy comes home Time to Til my anchor is dropped Time to Til my arrangements are made  A funeral A France  A funeral A France A farce? Let them amass Let them matter Let them until Time to trade Time to plant lettuce Time to plant grapes Time time to revolved Time to plant parts Until the matter is over Until the matter is settled Until the settlements are formed Until they dismantle Until the chimney is swept up Until the houses are floating Until the floating is dry Until the dry is wet Until the wet is united Until the arrangements are saved A pinapple a pinapple a pear A pear and a grave A tree and a robber A robber and a snake A snake and a bite A bite and an apple An apple and an Eden An eden and a bible  A bible and a France A France and a Paris A Paris and a slipper A slipper and a saying A crystal in a cake An ant in a cake A roach in a cake A cake and a noble That is not nice A noble and a saying You are not nice A saying and a crime Don’t you say that A crime and amassing Don’t say so Amassing in time and space You will never A separate sphere like a planet A ring like a saying A ring on a planet A grave in the ocean You say you are a dime But you are not a dime! You say you are timed But you are not timed! You say you are standing on the sidewalk. Well, that is true.

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Sandra Simonds is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently Mother Was A Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Press, 2012).

Record: 25-30

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Brian Spears is the poetry editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press 2011). He currently resides in Des Moines where he teaches at Drake University. He also sells beer and wine at the Gateway Market under the name The Mighty Malt Master.

Record: 31-39

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Brian Spears  is the poetry editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press 2011). He currently resides in Des Moines where he teaches at Drake University. He also sells beer and wine at the Gateway Market under the name The Mighty Malt Master.

Record: 32-41

Spears2

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Brian Spears is the poetry editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press 2011). He currently resides in Des Moines where he teaches at Drake University. He also sells beer and wine at the Gateway Market under the name The Mighty Malt Master.