POETRY: MARLENA CHERTOCK – CEMETARIO GENERAL

Cemetario General

Cemetario General is one of the largest cemeteries in Santiago, Chile. Patio 29 is a plot used to bury the disappeared, the homeless, the unidentified, and victims of the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.

 

What’s left of them is arranged in boxes,
fifty or so line a wall.
He turns off the leaf blower,
passes a woman kneeling, her head lowered.

Even in death there are mansions.
Glass criptas encasing tías.
He coaxes leaves away
from the marble structures.

In a narrower section
ice cream and chip vendors push their carts.
Crowded together are plots of dirt, maybe some hierba,
a Nescafé bottle filled with wilted hydrangea.

He asks families to give more.
Sometimes there’s no response. So he digs up the land
and transfers what endured to a mass plot, Patio 29.
He’s so close to the body then, touching its bones.

At home he holds his esposa’s hips
as she cooks dinner, the smell of her sweat and the humitas
mixing in the kitchen air,
holds her as she undresses and they lie down together.

Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.

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poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista

Hasta La Vista

Here I find myself again,
in the company of
trees and sunshine,
a quiet workday morning.
It’s like emerging from a tunnel
where my mind was cloyed
with mundane matters such as
providing food, doing dishes,
and having to
respond to others—

who are my family,
who have gone back now
to being themselves
in the far distance where I can
make out the details better,
hear their words more clearly
in the sparse air between
here and there, as if minds can’t
co-exist in close proximity
and must always be
sent on their way.

Order Joseph Somoza’s new volume of poems As Far as I know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).

 

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CATFISH MCDARIS – HELENA THE SHARK

Helena the Shark

She told me she was Helena
Blavatsky reincarnated, there
was some resemblance, I told
her her breasts reminded me of
Texas, one sort of drooped toward
Dallas, the other curled like a
Texas longhorn in a Waco twister,
her farts were ungodly, I’m talking
Martian strange, I took her on a
short road trip and told her if she
cut the cheese anymore, I’d stake
her ass to an anthill and lather her
with honey, she just smiled, we got
to the beach, I got out our lounge
chairs and tequila sunrises from the
cooler, I fell asleep when I woke up
a tiger shark was wearing Helena’s
sunhat and bloody bikini top and
was sipping an icy Old Milwaukee.

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POETRY: Mark J. Mitchell – Stranger Dance

Stranger Dance

He watched her back a long time. Her soft sway
kept slow time steadily, his metronome.
Her elastic music measured his day.

Not a dancing creature, his mother would say,
he herked and jerked stiff as a moon
clock. Her soft back was long, a controlled sway

was her weapon of choice. She liked to play
roles: child, temptress, wayward wife whose next home
was elastic as music. All working days

bored her. His hot gaze was modeling clay
her cool hands enjoyed. He lived on his own.
She watched him back. The swift time held soft sway

over each of his steps. Her eyes delayed
his dreaming self and her diva mask loaned
him elastic music. He measured days—

rationing them. He was trying to save
her like coins but knew she’d remain unknown.
He watched her, lost in time, her soft sway
stretched musically through his measured days.

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POETRY: David Eves – To Hachijō Island in October

To Hachijō Island in October

We look out at you

split into your full

figure-of-eight shape

and we think

it’ll pour here or it won’t

there’ll be food for us

or we’ll rumble up at

the full-bellied clouds

we’ll find a bed

or we’ll sit up

counting the stars

that float

like candles

upon the Philippine sea

 

Hachijōjima I

think I’ll halve you

at your waist

and fold your

two peaks into

a ball as warped

and cragged as

the earth itself

then I’ll roll you

back to Tokyo

(pouting, probably

heavy with

smoked grey)

and leave

you soaking

in the harbour, dyeing

the gunmetal water

the dark green

of your many

maybes

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POETRY: Abigale Louise LeCavalier – BIONIC JUST THE SAME

Bionic Just The Same

I pulled a nail
out of my head
the other day,
more out of anger
than in a panic,
it’s a real bitch
being bionic.

I’ve taken a knife
to my womanhood
in front of the world,
I know pain
and I have been dead
before.

I know what it’s like being dead.

That scares an audience;
that and being a man-made
Xanax-cyborg.

Mulling around in my afterbirth
looking out of my one good eye,
feeling my way through life tragic,
picking metal shavings from my own vomit.

So melodramatic!
So VERY punk rock!

Eh, the ruminations
of a tired poet,
reality of dinner for one
and horrible coping skills;
it’s made me the woman I am today.

Bionic just the same.

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POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS

Fantomas

The baby is crying.
We are all alone.
She is Fantomas
And we don’t
Know what to do.

Last time I was here
They didn’t give me
A paper cap.
But the guard offers us three
And I put them on us.
I feel Napoleonic.

Fantomas is inconsolable.
She wants to face out.
So I carry her
Past the guns and armor.
The Grand Palais was closed again
And so we are here amongst the arms.

You are interested
In how a world war starts.
I never knew you to care before.
History is hard, you say to her.
But what you don’t say is
Because the future is not just ours.

How can cities be taken?
You search with a mother’s concern,
Work to build a cursory understanding of
What to fear in the coming years?
You look for signs as I pace
Rocking the baby to sleep.

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