Douglas Nordfors – THE LIFE OF THE MIND



I am walking along thinking
that every waiter and clothesline
and fashion model and school bus
and clown and milk carton and cop
and Laundromat I’ve ever seen
were created to inspire me
to love them, when, out of the blue,

everyone and everything
leaves me cold, when, out of the blue,
I am walking along thinking
that thinking is hopeless. And then
I have the sensation I am
home, breathless, wringing a downpour
out of my clothes. And then I realize

that nothing has actually happened.
I am walking along thinking
that love never dies.


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Martin Pedersen – AS A JOKE

As a Joke

As a joke, you went to get your mocha

then sat at a nearby table ignoring me

it worked; I fell in love with you again watching

yet I got jealous of others looking at you too

then I grew tired of the game

on the way home we fought

about whose turn it was to choose a TV show

I went to bed mad and slept like a cat

constantly opening my eyes to check.

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Laryssa Wirstiuk – My Last Memory of Snow

My Last Memory of Snow

I hesitated entering the bodega. The cashier had seen me cry before:
I’m sure of it. Would he remember me at the table with my twenty-four
ounce can of Yuengling? After that embarrassment I should’ve left you
in my car. The menu was sandwiches: hummus and vegetables on rye.
Sour Patch Kids. Steamed soy milk in coffee. I’m intentionally bleeping
out the important detail: three feet of snow on Third Street in Old City.
Normally I would have been defeated by the heavy white powder,
but we were procuring carbs, caffeine. At the AirBNB was a tub for two.
What’s more, I knew we’d be Pioneers! O Pioneers! in just a few months.
Extra pickles and hot sauce, please. My eye contact hungered for chips.
And, sir, is it possible I’m making a mistake? We plowed through drifts
with heavy boots and paper sacks. Voices bounced off new acoustics.
Few were out; locals were scraping cars a step ahead of the next squall.
I longed for less complicated circumstances: not so much of the always
life or death. Next winter a close friend would text me the following:
Your commitment crushed my hopes. I didn’t get it. You had plowed
the trail where there wasn’t any snow. He would send me postcards
with full color (some white, some grey) landscapes covered with more
than I’d endured. Despite who you are, I’ve landed. I can’t revoke a storm.

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The drinks came
And I asked the predictable question.

“I kind of like it,” she said
“It keeps me fit
And the money’s not bad.”

She blew smoke thoughtfully
And fidgeted with an ashtray.

“My twin sister has baby girls
And I watch them during the day,
God I love those girls—
I think of them as mine,
I’m with them more than she is.”

I thought her drink
Was going down a little fast.

“My schedule’s real flexible.
Sometimes when my sister’s off
We get a sitter and go shopping
…Go to the beach.”

“She’s so sweet:
We’ve never had a fight,
Not even growing up.”

She signaled for another drink.
I wondered if she gets a cut.

“I’m saving.
We’re going to open a hair salon
When the girls are a little older.
She works at one now,
And I got my license.”

“Oh, hey, I’m on.
Nice talking to you.”

She levered off the stool
With a hand on my thigh
And one on my shoulder.

Her smell of perfume,
Tobacco smoke, sweat,
Hair spray and alcohol
Saturated me,
Took a grip that nothing,
Not five years,
Not my marriage and baby,
Has ever loosened.



MAY 2017