Stephen Bett

Phyllis Webb: The Spit

And spit
give me water for spit.
Then give me
a face.

Solitary Confinement1 ―Phyllis Webb


And spit
broken glass
for shards
to speak

give me water for spit.
Gloss this mal du
doute     … never
was spat out

Then give me
ash in time
to witness
its burn

a face.
To spite
itself
still








 1. This section of Webb’s poem 
starts, “Let my tongue hang out / to 
remember the thirst for life. / Let my 
togue hang out / to deliver itself / of 
the bitter curd. / And spit / …”



J. D. Nelson

garbage bag home to the lemon is the pie of the world

we found the dollar bugs
to beat the egg with the shimple pooh of that trying randall

spaghetti yarn to marble a bacon
to get the rice of the comma

oink never a shield of the tomorrow egg
the cosmic angle of the new day

to be the people of the world
a mite now of bexter

triceratops the king of the ice
the oven is a mirror of the sluppy time to crock

Michael H. Brownstein

Levidrome


In the aftermath
of aftermaths
there came a man of math
who knew after-maths


shtam-retfa wenk oho
htam fo nam a emac ereht
shtamertfa fo
htamertfa eht ni


and so it went
dog begot god
god begat dog


looped pool-ed
level reap level pear


ton of (k)not(s)
was (a) saw
and so it is


htam retfa emac ohw
nam a saw ereht tub
htamertfa rehtona ton saw ereht
htamertfa eht fo gninrom eht ni


in the morning of the aftermath
there was not another aftermath
but there was a man 
who came after math

Cheryl Pallant

Featherbone Hitched Hole 

when it comes to feet, liver, 
genitals, intestines, brains, my 
stomach drips over the rice bowl 
                                          politely 

the absence of midair collisions 
raises citizens out of poverty 
and radishes maximize land use 
transmitted through cell phones 
soaked in pepper sauce 
                                          gruesomely 

resist fate already eaten by worm 
larvae master shape shifters devoted 
to seaweed or a convenience to 
finger and spoon 
                                          nonchalantly 

inspire awe through the 
intestinal track three 
stories high intended for 
export 
                                          ambiguously 



Yash Seyedbagheri

Dear Persians

Dear Persians,
I sit upon the periphery  of a sofa
while you conceal parlance
in seagull-like laughter
I didn’t get the joke
                                              no man is an island,
except for the American
of Persian descent the bad son, cousin, acquaintance
 who doesn’t deign to learn the language

                              what are you saying
why can’t you ask one question
that I can answer
in parlance 
all my 
own
    how is your writing, 
what   do you want from 
life
do you
want
                      from
         a glass of wine
let me tell you about this Persian scholar
or that
 poets who made Persian powerful
come join us, 

ask me why I’m not smiling
Dear Persians, why can’t you open your laughter
and let me step inside
but you just keep laughing
and 
you 
tell      me
    smile
just 
   keep 
         laughing
and I  from
move periphery
to the floor
while the laughter rises
and you take to the dance floor
reciting choruses
all around me

where else can I go
but the floor



at least it’s a space

Jeff Harrison

Syllable Crypt

V was
thinking
in the letter V…
it’s like
not having hands
it’s like
crooners swoop
spooked ever
like schooners, like
waves of Vs are steps
for the stripped strays
like V-poetries are shines
for folded eyes
V stares the woods down
“The V disease vows constancy”
through a glass…
from nothing smile
“present vows half-open
had never been heard of”

Ben Nardolilli

Good Day, Applicant

I was taking on immigration policy via song,
and hoping for a UNESCO compensation payment

But now my wounded nature is thinking of letting go
in advance of reading any more work, meanwhile

The winners of awards ceremonies are still filling out
my dance card with exclusive impressions

That reveal who really controls the secret plan:
lawnmowers on the border in search of free agency

Half a bookshelf of political theory tells me so,
the other now serves me as a standing desk

The old prizes? Complimentary brothel tickets,
a way for the of the future to say its cooler than yours

Yet I go on, saying: Dear Writer/Reporter/Blogger/
Freelancer, recording is easy: reminder, one month left

Karen Neuberg

Augurs

Out of a blue haze, crows
fill sky with raucous pattern. 

Circling a tree, they settle on its branches.
Hold out your hands, they urge, so we can divine

if you live your life with the wild in your heart.
My hands while reaching out keep pulling back.

Kelsey Browning

September and October 2017

Great news, riot meeting
Urgent in London-
Tomorrow! We’re more
Than just petitions.

9/10 internships in
Asia go on sale
Tonight! Welcome
On board to our secret

Weapon. What’s the
Best city in Europe?
Marx yo with squirrelly
Heathrow wifi

Can you smell
BIRDFEED? Other
Live essay 2 out for
The kill. W2GKE5: LHR-ORY

Stock up on international
Friends before it’s too
Late! Good news:
Therapy all booked.

Mark Young

One for the Border Force
 
So maybe you take the chance
& walk out across the sand &
into the sea. Maybe
they won’t notice you there
among the dervish gulls, think
you’re a rock or a resting
seal. & even if they do they
probably won’t care. Their
job is to stop people
from coming ashore, not to
stop the malcontents from
leaving. Just don’t turn a-
round & try to come back.








Croft / Craft
 
Pertinence. Soft words
hold little of it. Better
to pick up stones to
make your point &
leave the phraseology
to bricklayers. That’s
what they do after all,
the regular lines, off-
 
set against each other,
in natural cadence, a
start / a finish to it all,
looking for that last un-
settled, previously unen-
cumbered, piece of land.

J.D. Nelson

the color of the comma

the clam shuffles the deck of business cards
a box of the same carousel juice

the secret sponge is a mirror of the cloud
speak to me when there is no dentist

when I am the laughing hand
when I am a peach of the standing warmth

police socks in the world while crumping a viola
we can see the forest of the james and that complete wolf

eek a math at it
the effort of the law in the weird salt and that was it

waiting for that crunch of the scotch ticket
drick litmus dropping drowse

that dracking house was a color of the three toes
to rose white a smaller wing

Vincent Cellucci

drive thru confessional, unframed

sure I’ve gotten away with a few infidelities
and sure a few got away from me too
in this life search to arrive at or at least epitomize a scripture
built freely from perceptions and fellow outsiders
most recently the discovery that all public transpo in milan is free or can be
—not even b/c you can’t pay but b/c you can’t find where to pay—
or once upon a long time ago copping a bag of dirt my first night in paris
or stealing from a field of weed in belize
totalling a bmv in pensacola
multiple nights in drag in new orleans, lifted purses full of stolen prescriptions
smoke rising from an epic joint on top of the temple of the lost world at sunset
—lemme tell you raul’s rose garden in belize city’s got alot of thorns
& you don’t want the mississippi treatment in orleans parish prison—
better off pissing on the panthéon after dine-n-dashing le select
successfully bribing the cops out of a dui in ecuador
or getting kicked out of the entire town of canoa
a blur of junk in jakarta—have I even been to jakarta?
certainly syringes in the ass in ustica
from maria my romanian nursemaid girlfriend
after taking a bends hit while cave diving
sure I’ve browned out in brooklyn
yawping ferlinghetti on a subway car
dedicated to all the vanished street performers
unknowingly in front of students 
but considered it an evening lesson
all indication of insult
given and received
slurring beside my enduring buddy darren 
which reminds me I could continue
definitely taunted mortality too many times to fully litany
taking the train to san sebastian with only
14 bottles of wine, a beach towel, and a bathing suit
after buying hashish in a cathedral confessional
security pursuit and eventual expulsion from a radiohead show
for refusing to quit sailing to the moon
insistent on hiking up a mtn then slipping off a 20 meter cliff
to a certain drunken demise
on the fracturing waves and crags below
before darren gave me the best shove I’ve ever received
yesterday a dutch emt asked me if I ever saved a life
and I told him well not technically
I’ve helped a friend or fellow diver with a few ascents and descents
prevented the use of some improperly used equipment
separated a few fights that may have escalated
and certainly fellated my licks along the way
or flocked the fuck away from trouble of every color that can be mixed
survival is its own impressionist masterpiece
all these little green and brown dots resembling the home of a park or bench
some scene made from making scenes or avoiding them
the getaway monet worth twenty million or more
a painstaking trophy of unsustainability
of throwing yourself away into the only world that was offered

Joseph Cooper

flAshbAck

Dear radioland, the circus has come
into my heart like moonlight
through enormous blossoms
in an apparent limitless capacity
for waking cold, dark, and beautiful.
I have been dreaming you too long,
my stormy flawless rhythm. Everything
is a turbulent applause when you are pretending
you are in the movies moving in a way
that only a simple flashback can move.
But I’m scared of dying alone, dying before you
read this. Still, I wish I were a painting,
that I would have risked being anything else.
Anything at all. Even the heaviness of breath.

Ali-Janna Whyte

Blank Verse 

 

Imagine if you and I  _______

for several _______ in the ________

Would it ________ the way

we _________ together?

If ________ became  _________ ,

possibilities of ________ would be

__________ a ruby diamond  __________

at __________.

 

O’ dearest dearest one  _______, let us

_______ again, just so that we can

_________ until the ________ come

home to __________.

 

Then  ________ can open ________

with _________ and _______ .

At least, by then _________ our _______

as all do shift __________

 

If our words do mean anything, _______ ,

they let them mean _______ can

__________.

Let them _______ once again how

______ the gap of ________ between us.

So, ________,  please _______ fill in

these ________ with words of ________,

________,

so that we may ________  once again

 

Julia Rose Lewis

Trap or Someone Else’s Binaries

Into green report
as if following nervous
in fact green nipping
green into a minute fact
water or ruins
or concerned your enterprise
as green negative
on fire mine or frighten ten
to engineering
or the last of the salt salt

one continuing
as long as engineering
not dangerous salt
ocean bones salt bones salt bones

Andrew K. Peterson

Magnolia Triangle
for Yusef Lateef

Magnolia’s
larvae prefixes
loop through, follow
each leaf within a break
beat at pre-dawn’s come muscle
tongues the sphinx’s nose what e-
cho tumble branches through blissed
out heaven’s end gild, limit a wish with
ache? Levies of the mark rum succor. Nothing
asks for but a taste. So what. Go back? Not now,
nor ever so, what. Not now. Go back, ever you ever.

 

 

Fortunes for Forty

Act as if you don’t know the basil leaves in your beard won’t wash out, and others will follow suit.

The heart is heavy before the bending of knees.

There is healing in your immediate future.

Rest will come after work, and work stay after health. On three-day weekends, catch up.

Pick another fortune cookie in the form of THREE John Ashbery brownies.

Pictures of the sky reveal invisible nets thrown in both directions at once.

Unbelievable friends arrive to remind you of reasons for belief.

Forget it, in case they ask.

Your shame & monstrosity are others’ thrill rides. Snap out of it!

 

 

 

Another Phantom Antler
for Robert Grenier

All that WAS
you NOW know
is gone to
feed BACK, re-
mind, rewind
IS it now
BAD as it
was? Tape STUCK
A cruel LOOP
REVELS to un-
ravel its RIVAL
WIDTH w/ Numero
ZERO WHEEL
fill redundancy
SUN gets ON
the EYES &
IN the temple
FIRE rife in
SAPPHIRE
dawn’s WAN
protection
as though
THAT was
the ONLY
WAY of
the living