DAH

Invention Of A New Meaning

 Humans are in the wrong place
 , we don’t belong here
 , this is not our home , we must
 disengage from gravity .
 We’ve been tricked into believing
 otherwise
 , we don’t belong here : disengage .
 We are in the wrong place
 : recharge your imagination , let go .
 The truth has been lying to us
 , take comfort in knowing this .
 If we stay here
 we’ll lose our sense of logic .
 The truth has lied
 , we don’t belong here . This is
 not our home .
 We need a new truth : use your
 imagination .
 We need to silence language
 ––use your imagination
: the truth is lying. 

Martha Deed

A Lethal Mutation

Intelligence is a lethal mutation,*
Ernst Mayr says, but bird
watching, say I, is soothing
in its certainty. You see it.
You take its picture.

When you look again,
it stays the same.
It does not slither around
like expedient Truth
ready to escape its skin
and don another.


*Ernst Mayr. What Evolution Is.
Interview. http://www.edge.org

Mark DuCharme

Winter’s Crucial Mischief

 One table for your favorite griot
 Who would soon dance
 Like rhinoceroses in haciendas
 Somewhere east of the posthumous Sahara
 Of the seas, to celebrate the lost
 Art of instructional videos
 Downloaded coldly on a night in
 Winter’s crucial mischief
 Like Nicholson on a nitrous oral
 The truth is a matter for noxious strangers
 & The way you look when night
 Is a metaphor for crowd control
 & The wind looks just the same
 Cauterized by rain

Mark Young

The Night of the Caribou

 There are fewer than ten days
 left. We are heading out for a
 post-dinner stroll before contin-
 uing on to breakfast. The status
 quo has rusticated & cows now
 graze along its edges. In exchange
 for food we have been given
 shovels to clear away the expanse

 of bovine shit that has accumu-
 lated since the last patsies they
 could find departed. Our native
 land recedes in memory as the
 inability to return there increases.
 So far we have seen no caribou.

Eric Mohrman

Aftermath

 There is a stately brick
 home. there's a breeze. there's a breezeway. there's a bronze
 stairway spiraling
 up to a balcony with a balustrade. The
 night wraps ringly around her
 finger. inhale. the fire
 at the tip of her cigarette crackles and grows
 briefly brighter. exhale. the
 smoke sinks like a semisolid. There is a
 broken promise disguised as a broken
 bottle. the
 shards float freely away.

Eileen R. Tabios

HOPE: First 2021 Poem
 
Once upon a time, 
as a poet I was a maximalist— 
I considered the haiku a corset 
 
The gods were bored, 
thus, played with me— 
they made me invent hay(na)ku. 
 
I didn’t think it funny 
but the gods slapped knees in laughter— 
I am not a god, thus, gritted my teeth. 
 
But I refuse  
to forget— 
Today 
 
I 
excel in 
writing poems blasting  
 
gods off pedestals, 
like XYZ 
whose


slitted but salivating
eyes and
tongue

reign with a 
deadly combination: 
cruelty  
 
with mischief—thus, 
the year 
2020. 
 
Well, the god-slayer 
have come,
am
 
here*: I grasp
bouquets of 
roses,

voluntarily clasping palms 
around thorny  
stems. 
 
My blood drops 
to shivering 
ground 
 
as seeds more 
deceptive than 
cats 
 
eating raw mice 
in gods’ 
bowls. 
 
This seed is 
buried deep 
for 
 
sprouting deceptively-perfumed blooms
where nobody
expects:
 
if you are
not cruel,
if
 
you strive to
do well
by
 
your fellow Kapwa,
if you
still

believe in ethics,
I am
here,
 
grizzled, snow-haired, unafraid.
“Happy New 
Year!”



 
(* after Jose Garcia Villa)

Sheila E. Murphy

How Do We Unrest


How do we unrest together? Form
fitting innocence delimits our
research
aspiring to a feigned rapport,


shuttering the views of
youth in peril
seeking to distinguish flowers
from devouring clans who pluck them.


Set the tone with pursed lips making
points sans impact vocalizing to the
empty chairs chastising


gravitation light and whims
downsized to form
a colony of dogma leaving home
a glut of old codes that demand a clash


    

The Way Jim Worked


He allowed daylight to be itself. He took in glimmers of the depth and surface and arranged them for a while. He spoke longhand in a gentlemanly way. Fruits of his labor were to come. I know the leisurely approach would warm us as we waited for the chime, seeing a finished thing not about itself. It was about the way he thought. This long-term way of seeing that perfection might occur as soon as summer or whatever season he forgot. Each part came true, meant not the whole until. I see his voice instead of hearing it. He came into the building where I write. He stayed. It was a quiet rather southern time.

Waiting for arrival just the same as waiting for another time and place

Glenn Bach

from Atlas

About this light: a million dirty moons
in the sweaty air, a thousand cattle in the hills.

Cat shriek, overspill of TV just out of ear-
shot, breakers of traffic in the cool still.

Palms never sleep as buildings roll on ball
bearings, coils thick as twisted torsos sway

like reeds in the dusty breeze of the big one—
—quakes hop-scotch across faults as P waves

rearrange the topography: down suddenly
and sideways: liquefied soil like so many

drunk molecules or strings of energy shifted
into new social circles. Concrete loses to weeds

of rising rents in L.A., of the lifeless air within
this structure, rugs over carpets below stairs

worn in patterns, in pathways, in dark streaks
down the middle of each freeway lane.

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.