Eva

To be awake in the middle of the night,
writing blindly,
searching for an aimless endpoint.
Eva, who raised my father as her first,
lays amongst machines that softly hum her to sleep deep.

"Do you want to see her?
She may not talk,
She may not wake,
She may not know who you are”.

Eva, you, a warrior,
fought with life outwardly,
you only loved what mattered.
But inwardly, I’ve watched your eyes light up
whenever I gave you a persimmon,
the crinkles of your eyes swallowing the sun as you smile at your prize.

I only wish to greedily suck at the soft velvet fruit with you at the table,
as I lean in to kiss the nectar from your cheeks,
just once more.
Bella Eva, il mio cuore è nella tomba (my heart is in your grave).

By Rosie Cocchiaro

You really don’t get it?
Depression is our way of asking you to leave.

jeune

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By Matt Leece

Fuss

How do poets speak so simply
so clearly and directly

when one thing can be so many
thousands of other things

clarity is almost expected not
to exist, but they carry on
with their typing.

Bly counts the windows
calmly as he lets his character

fall from the top of some magic
building, there’s so little hesitation

like a sprint of a novel
that confused itself
for a poem.

Maybe they care less about
what they are going to say

and more about the fact
that they feel they need to say something.

By Lindsay Shepherd

A Queer Response to Maine, USA

for Miss Prasad, whom I adore

We are in the womb and we are all women.
The humanic tabula rasa of the female.
Lions are androgens who smell our
humanness and come to eat us; they
make our skin oily and tight, arouse us
and give us names like Matthew, Eugene,
or Timothy. They bring gifts, money, suffrage, and
it’s all pretty good, but it’s all still really just
an outfit. We hurt at the thought of our wombs
miniaturized or dissolved completely and
sacrificed for the right to own land.

By M. Leece

On A Woman’s Hair

Something about a woman’s mane
             (Mane implying lion —
             a hunting killing destroying female
             forever male’s conquest)
men can’t get enough of.
Words like cascade and tresses,
words sounding more french than woman,
sounding nothing like bleeding for some
fifth of prime life sounding nothing like two days
pushing his spawn through too small canals
sounding nothing like having wrists so pinnable
and bodies so perforable.

Cut short and fill with joy.
Saying, I don’t care what you love.
Saying, fuck you.
Saying, don’t worship the ornament.

Or,
take a lover who combs
his fingers through, whispering
into tangles: this too,
I love this too.



By Swati

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