Novel

The afternoon is warm but all
the buildings hide behind shadows

dew drips from shelves in the library
frost is forming on the windows

and the tiles on the floor
look sad or afraid

water from the ocean rushes in
to feel the sand

it’s not like velvet or muslin
it’s like rocks and ice

the water runs back home
to hide in the spine of a dictionary

By Lindsay Shepherd

Coda to Darwin after Dr. Seuss

What hymn?
Whose hymn?
My hymn,
Your hymn.
(Not my him)

By Matt Leece

Darwin in church

Darwin goes to church,
sits down on the dark and unupholstered pew.
Tonight is a blood moon, it’s a few days before easter.
Though it’s 1945, he’s somehow stayed alive,
started getting younger,
trimmed his beard.
He’s twenty four and everyone thinks he’s dead.

Darwin in the dim candlelight,
Darwin here to say sorry, Jesus
bleeding moonlight through the window,
accepting Darwin’s apology as the organist
almost sleeps through ‘How great thou art.’
Darwin here, going to church in the night
of the future, saying sorry.

It’s not the reasons you think, you hear Darwin pray.
There’s no reluctance to upset power,
not any more, no self-suspicions of false-witness.
I am sorry for this toxic performance of skepticism,
I am sorry it works so well for me,
like a throat-cutting business man,
or a depressive poet, or a healer who
sacrifices herself to the diseases of others.
Even my deepest truths I hold at arm’s length
so I am not intoxicated by them,
so I can examine them correctly,
giving up virtue (in my case, faith) to perfect the art.
I am sorry that I have become known
for explaining life in a language of
mechanical death. Instead, I wish I’d said:
the finch beak is like this
because the godhand is like that.

A giraffe with a neck to reach acacias,
a god sculpting in silence, nodding,
and Darwin in church.

Jeune

LIke a Prelude

"Nothing lasts but memories."—Laura Mvula

Fanfare onslaught
of deaths of seconds
every day was the same
fanfare of morning

Like the morning dew
crystals capable of our
siphoning

Every day of following
one’s own weird
and looking after
the muse like a prelude

(attacca)

By Matt Leece

Behind the Old Northern Gong

Grey birds pick up currents
Now and until they die.
Old Gong swings,
Behaves, and speaks.

Behind the books and
Olive trees, cement walls, and lime
No eyes can help themselves:
Gongs swing and turn red with blood.

By Matt Leece

Apr 12

What a bizarre experience—
with two others, Oedipus,
strange doorman, strange wall
paper and powerful openness.

I told them about Bridgeport.
I told them about the future;
exactly as it would unfold—
uncanny frivolous risk and youth

trying to get back Singapore and
especially Kendall, Windermere,
Ambleside, and the tall woman
working at the airport.

By Matt Leece

Fucked Outside, On the Lawn

For each new day, how many Aprils are there?
Outside, kings dress for winter and sweat jewels from their p-
Ockets. Transmental theories are graffitied on the walls and
Long, long looks are given to them.

By Matt Leece

Plane Tails on Main Street With Pizza and Blonde Gays

"Sun’s warmth now; (Owh!) (Chuh!); Breeze cooling forehead. She’s without peace outside [in the yard alone like a dog]."
—Tim Leslie

Jet trails split countries
split emotions from here to there
and back

the cymbals never crashed
the equation
never stopped working
it was always way
too perfect
too clean for a beard or
a bad (?) kombucha

It was clear like blonde gays
telling you about the daughters
they have deep in town
and why they’ll never
leave town
and the inteligence of it sur-
prises you
to go home and write poems
and end them with tones

of homoerogenous trees
standing in suburban
areas
where they would’ve died in

denser places.

By M. Leece

Anticoda to Atemlos

"The water is too rough, the moon is not enough."
—Elaine Rasnake

The worries; all that’s left
after ancient tribes bring you from
your dreams (Cortazar) around the forest
into a sea of roots and ashes and dreams.

Take your body (comme tu as dit) and let
purple colours and wolves with human feet
dance across your body as you get stoned.
That’s when the plane lands and you were

there the whole time; clear as the sky: everything
is a flashing line bringing you to touch and smell
some very strange things. But it’s the strange things
that teach you the most.

By Matt Leece

Atemlos

I found myself lying
And you were elevated

It was heartbreaking
Knowing you were broken

I craved the heat, the pressure
That escaped with quiet lungs

Breathless, I am so breathless
I am

By Elaine Rasnake

About a Woman

Liberated from God’s religion and in love with life. Gorgeous in every event; hair is the calamity of passion. Knees and rushing water pounding down the door, uneven pavement burns like the happiness of each day.

By Matt Leece

Hers, Egocentric, Solipsism, Confusion, Unhappiness, and then Happiness

Perfection is only lines and circles as we see them everyday. Perfection is only what we’re used to. Perfection is the hole of hell with a tangled mess of hair, breasts, and instruments at the bottom. It’s alright to be triangular and like a turtle sopping wet with molasses alone in the night.

By Matt Leece

hirsutism

grow
your fear;
crag, spike, sand-skin,
day goes by and the root in your side,
deeper than skin, grows thorns from below.

be
as ugly
as a god intended,
aching sides of smooth skin
remain
untethered, unburst, unseen.

no eyes see black,
no ears hear the sand, no hands feel the thorns,
no minds feel the roots, embedded,
in the bowel of wrongdoing, sketching doors,
doors to smooth sun-skin.

grow
your fear,
and pull sand-skin smooth and sunny,
smile.

By Victoria Hummer

Antitrope

Three separate voices, catapult of sound, retarded growth of monotony and grey time, this converts this to that and that becomes something quite toxic, simplicity produces no heat, only music which sometimes sounds nice.

By Matt Leece

The, Throng

The skirt as a wearable pastoral.
It’s not one thing, it’s five simultaneous things.
Many, many poems in two years.

By Matt Leece