Joel Chace

from Mouth Pieces

 

Mouth enters  —  well, hops, really  —

into the academy.

Long, lonely  —  well, empty,

really  —  corridors.  Silence in

those hallways.  Two ears hear

another silence:  of ones who

don’t wish to be found, to be

found out.

The great hall is ornate,

unpeopled, terribly hushed.

Hand holds an unshelved  book that

won’t open.  One after

another, books that won’t open.

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Andrew Brenza

Poem Titled II

vergent snow
and so many
unconditional
stars that it is no
place but ghost-
herd to think I’m
faking this my
shadow art on
a wave of harrow
so a bull it’s sleeping
I imagine by a vineyard
in Spanish grain
though lightning dims
its fringe of flowers
is it cosmos you
wonder is it pain

Joseph Harrington

[sound a word]

sound a word
like organdy
waves

mottles
compass, stays
sudden

tree blooms,
secret water
ouzel woes

dingy doing
emotional thumbs
plus la change

of yearly
agues the wind
a stampede

argues an augury
bell-bye, impedes
involute

stamens, thrashers
scrape humus than
scraper taking

human nouns:
poignant after-image
copies

of copies
au bout de
abouts

Heath Brougher

Paper People

I am boiling away [we
are all one]

I am piebald
in the face

sludges of soft dirty meat
pressed through chain-linked fences

the currency of the currency
is concurrently concurrent
with the altitude of the sun
the attitude of the people

all roiling riot gear ready to go

you dig a hole in the water

you blacken your hands.

Eileen Tabios

Bit Coin Bling

Lexus engineers—Life defined as credit card—
A glimpse of eternity in black obsidian—
Financial advisors attuned to the good—

A silver platter forgotten to tarnish the beach:
a platter serving sunlight—The artist traded identity
for a Tiffany brand—Las Vegas invites you home

with The Topless, The Wet, The White: Mandalay Bay!
Shoes subject to credit approval—Ford defining
“Escape”: blowing by a mountain-high 18-wheeler

through 200 horsepower V8—Microsoft become Mom
snooping on our passions—Diamond traders advocate
feminism: Women of the World! Buy Your Own!

W Hotel promises to balance “style” and “soul”—
Tequila Corazon de Agave alchemized from the heart
of blue agave bred in the rich, red soil of the “Highlands”

in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico—The luxury of appointments;
the privilege of appointments—The classic contents of
the Filipino Balikbayan Box:

Dove soap
L’Oreal shampoo
Colgate (“has to be Colgate, not Crest”) toothpaste
SPAM corned beef
Set of Encyclopedia Brittanica from the 1970s
Nestle’s Quick chocolate
Folger’s (nowadays, Walmart house brand) coffee
Snickers
M&Ms
Irish Spring soap
Libby’s corned beef
Costco Vitamin B-12
See’s chocolates
Back issues of Conde Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Glamour
Oil of Olay lotion
Almay lotion
Ziploc plastic bags
Nutella
Reynolds aluminum foil and saran wrap
Campbell’s soups
Nine West and Liz Claiborne purses (“from factory outlets”)
Parker pens with refills
Osh Kosh playsuit
Baby Gap, Old Navy and Fisher Price onesies
Bayer aspirin
Carnation instant creamer
Nail polish: “L’Oreal for family, Maybelline or Wet n Wild for the servants”
Shampoo: “Pantene for family, Suave for neighbors”

Gifts differentiated among recipients—a matron’s pain
-staking definitions of servants versus those served—
Giftbox as the gift—Bling bling! Kaching!—A glimpse—