ANDREW HUBBARD – Priorities

Priorities

Reincarnation.
One of those things
I’d like to believe in but can’t
Because of the logical improbability
And the pile of unanswerable questions
About who and when and how and why.

But just suppose
(It’s ok to have a little fun)
That after 200 years of conscious sleep
Some benign authority
Brought you back, age 20
In perfect health, memories intact.

What would you do first?
Eat! Steak—shrimp—
Something with creamy garlic sauce—
Strawberries—chocolate ice cream.

And then make love
Again and again and again, with every sense
On overdrive, and doze off
Smelling her sweat and hearing her whispers.

You’d almost forgotten
How sensuous sleep can be.

Wake up. Repeat,
But with a change of menu:
Coffee, hot eggs with cheese melted over,
Cold white wine, bacon,
Peaches and whipped cream.

Continue this for forty years
Then turn your attention
To intellectual growth and refinement.
Sit with works of Plato, Milton,
Kant, Chaucer, and St. Augustine.
Twenty minutes should do it.
Then get back to the important stuff.

JULY 2020

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2 hours of ANTI-RACIST AUDIO curated by poet Tim Staley

 

do you like poetry? this radio show contains poetry.

This radio program is a proud production of the community radio station KTAL-LP, 101.5 FM, Las Cruces New Mexico.

This show will be aired on August 21, 2020, at 5 PM mountain time & rebroadcast on August 23 at 1 PM.

This show contains ainti-racist ideas and art.

 

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John Anthony Fingleton – Moorlands

Moorlands

A soft wind blew across the moor,
And the heather danced in tune,
Some grouse flew up to test the air,

Then snuck back, into its sweet perfume.
A sparrow hawk circled low,
In anticipation of its prey,
Then attracted by some other thing;
It quickly flew away.

A beauty haunts this desolate place,
With its contours shaped by ice,
Where beasts can still roam wild and free –
A small touch of paradise.
Bracken on the moor-edge slopes,
Mixed flora in the glens,
All produce their radiant colours,
Without the help or seed of men.

The walkers-path is overgrown,
Not many came this year,
The changes in the weather,
Have brought many summer storms to Clare.
There are some patches now of topsoil,
I hadn’t noticed at first glance,
Just a small sign – like so many others –
That we are on our final chance.

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Julia Gerhardt – The Invisible Stranger

The Invisible Stranger

I love lying,

in my own bed,

with my hands

stretched above my head

and my fingers barely touch one another—

as if they are unfamiliar,

as if they are unknown to the rest of me.

And now it’s not just a touch, but a graze,

an affectionate line drawn onto one finger

by the other.

I wait.

The line ends

and becomes a hook,

an unwillingness to part;

a stage to go through,

a grief.

I don’t want to let go

of the unfamiliar hand,

lying next to mine

The invisible stranger,

I hope to see again.

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Alexus Erin – MAKING SANDWICHES

Making Sandwiches

Me & my brain are making sandwiches for the first time in years
& I remember
I like sourdough. I wonder
whose hands made the bread & if this cooking,

this creation, is a kind of holiness. My brain laughs.
We’re having a sleepover on a school night
& I wonder
whose mother authorized it

By the grace of God
I am with my brain
& by the grace of God,
this brain’s a scrappy one

Which is to say, she is still sprinting: I’m impressed-
she did a lot of math this month. I joke that
she looks like she’s here
to eff the party up.

Brain tells Body (my body’s here too)
The first rule
of any effective love practice
is to synthesize its thoughtwork

with its bodywork: “Classic
substance-presence query, honeybee,” she sighs
& I know
that sigh was for me

I tell them, “First rule
of the big city
is to mind ya own damn business.” My body sets up
a cot at the foot of my bed

Gingerly removes her stockings, that they won’t rip
& I know
mishandling must be a violence
in which the body keeps score. She, of all people,

must be keeping score- I could stand
to learn a thing or two from this inclination
of tenderness, alone
My mouth, every morning,

famously reaching,
rooting ‘round any regional iteration of the daylight
To inhale a verbose evidence
& then exhale, like

my photosynthesis must be scheduled
to kick in any day now
As though this were the only thing
I knew how to do

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Latha Kottapalli – An Ode to Black Gold

An Ode to Black Gold

Roots pulled from hiding

Soothe my soul like soup.

Into you, I empty their skins.

Crucifers crisped to crunch,

Laced with lemon, linger on my tongue.

Into you, I empty their stalks.

Egg whites whipped to stiff peaks

Greet my lips with kisses of meringue.

Into you, I empty their shells.

Coffee beans roasted to an aroma

Titillate my nose to chase the whiff.

Into you, I empty their grounds.

Drupes drooping from stems

Satiate my sweet tooth.

Into you, I empty their stones.

Autumn’s burst of hues,

A muse for my eyes.

Into you, I empty its leaf litter.

Into you, I empty all the refuse.

Off you stir and cook them to a new birth.

Lo and behold, Black Gold tumbles out.

Gold that crumbles to the touch.

Smells like the parched earth

When kissed by the first rain spells.

Gold that soaks up like a sponge, springs up

As the roots, stone fruits, and all that nourishes.

O Earth, your kindness knows no bounds.

 

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John Dorroh – “It’s Probably More Than Colitis”

It’s Probably More Than Colitis”

I like a woman with a clean colon,

the way she starts telling stories

at the end

and works back toward the beginning,

expecting me to connect all the dots.

She takes her temperature every hour,

tells me the results, wants for me

to tie a knot with my swollen tongue

in her cherry

stem. The french kiss should have been

the second best clue

that we wouldn’t click, at least not like that.

I can cuddle like a fish with the best of them,

but sometimes we have to be satisfied

with a flag at half mast. You can always

use tulips to brighten the

room. We fidget in the clinic for an hour

before they call her name.

She refuses my hand, gives me an orange-lipped

piranha smile, and disappears into the

blue-white light.

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INSIDE MY HOUSE ~ BY 100 SENIORS IN SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO (class of 2020)

INSIDE – A Found Poem

 

This couch has a permanent ass print on it.

A doorway that goes to a magical place 

called the bathroom. 

My mom’s vacuum 

that has been sitting since after we used it 

to clean the confetti embedded in the carpet after Easter.

All the toys around the room are scattered like flailing fish.

Wow, look! It’s my cap and gown! 

My head twisting three sixty

just saw my snapchat 

someone’s selling weed for sixty.

A lavender plant is high on vinegar. 

The next living room is occupied by my grandmother 

watching her favorite christmas movies over and over.

My grandmother’s ashes sitting alone.

Mother’s religious crosses, big as the wall.

As I turn to my left, I’m greeted by my PS4, 

my only form of social contact. 

You avoid the actual problems. 

That is if you can count 10 year olds 

screaming into their mic because they lost a game.

I yell every time a motherfucker kills me in Call of Duty. 

Seasons pass like menstrual cycles 

with a staircase leading nowhere stuck in between. 

TV overheating having seen thousands of movies 

and wayyyyy more youtube videos 

because after i fall asleep 

it just cranks those things out 

like the engine cranks the pistons. 

A messy bed i lay in for 20 hours a day.

 I see a backpack hanged. 

A closet that looks like a faucet. 

It feels as if i’m a rock that has been tossed into the ocean 

of my own house.

A man in torn clothing 

stumbled out of one of the facility’s testing rooms, screaming. 

My intention is to stop being a slave for this house. 

I stay secluded with my own actions. Let’s move on.

Doors everywhere, Specifically two.

One leads you to the outside world,

And the other leads to a smaller one. 

I’m brave enough to open them

There’s white butterflies all around

Flying in a green meadow 

cast over by an endless blue sky 

at the end of the coffee table. 

I open the red door,

It’s my mom’s room again, but this time more familiar

With red curtains,

The curtains—

I say my goodbyes to the lion, robot, and vacuum.

I step through the door-

hear fingers hitting keys—

Light and dark piano with its black and white keys—

Shoes hitting the floor in a slow rhythm

You start to feel the cool breeze 

coming from the blades on the ceiling. 

All these Christmas lights, still shining.

Puzzle pieces scattered everywhere. 

Parents walk in then leave. 

It feels like I’m alone and no one’s ever not busy. 

A signed jersey by Jj Watt in a frame. Dusty cords on the floor.

A strong loving feeling with a newborn boy sleeping next to me.

Then back to the TV with Johnny, Moira, David, 

and Alexis Rose, and Back to Computer Screen One.

Two. Then Three On top of a foldable Table.

 

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EMILY HOOPER – 2 POEMS

nightmarish

how does the girl

with the loudest voice

disappear into

the background

how does she disguise

her crowd drawing smile

with the tired faces

around her

how does she

slip away

why is she forced into

the abstraction of

happiness

how does she explain

to her loved ones

she doesn’t want to be here

how does she hide her tear stained cheeks

from those who expect

her to move mountains

 

~

 

5 quiet roses

above my bed sitting deliciously

each a gift

withered from many beatings

by the pillows, stray hands, possibly

a cat that has snuck into my room

however they remain pinned

by their sturdy stem

whose struggles remain unknown

each rose is me

stripped of their thorns

because women are prettier when they

don’t speak

and remain pinned to the wall

petals weep

on their journey to the ground

each petal a word

i chose to bite into

and slide down the back of my throat

like a jagged, salted syllable

an unpleasant experience if i’m being honest

so why do i continue

to prick my throat with thorns

that i strip from the roses

rather then using the vocabulary

i was gifted with

easy

i want you to think i’m beautiful

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