Alan Haider – Poem

Ice Massacre

You will reach your hand in the fire
to recover the lost pieces of yourself

The unthinkable becomes possible
when your hand is forced

Hunger can overwhelm logic
Desperation is the greatest motive

The sheep will ask why
No one wants to be slaughtered

Some things will only make sense to you
The only option will be to evacuate

In the end
there will be no one to ask

Peycho Kanev – Poem

Little Fears

Hey, you dark sky prison for the birds

and their muted songs.

My sister is a flower!

Can you pick her up and lift her up

to the sun drunk of tar?

Allah doesn’t care for alcohol.

Water is the natural state of love,

as old age knits its endless webs hidden in

the dark. Myths dwell in my dusty attic,

and there they play of oblivion with

the yellowing photos.

Hey, you dark sky how many summer moments

do you need just to inhale once?

I have to grease your hinges and you will

stop creaking during the long autumn nights.

I know that your belly is enormous and you

can swallow all of the human sorrow.

We walk under you, with our heads bowed, our

arms raised, waiting.

Your endless clock is our own calendar

to eternity, that we’ll never be able to understand.

Philosophy is the other word of ours that leads us

to another of your countless dead ends.

Hey, you dark sky please kiss the mountain lakes

and search in their mirrors for your grandeur.

Be humble!

Rain is your tears, which I drink with endless thirst.

Could I cut you up with a wing of an albatross?

Could I dream your nightmares?

2.

How many gods do you hide up there in your crowns

of illusion?

I want to climb your highest peaks and look through

your all-seeing eyes.

You’re not blind, right?

Let’s sing together for old times.

The memories are not forgotten, but reborn in your

eternal cycle.

What kind of photo album you got?

I will play my next heavenly part, then I will

share with you my plans for the future, which includes

wine, fish, and bread.

I believe we could arrange something!

Bring out your chess board, but beware– someone

else has prepared the winning moves.

The game is eternal!

Hey, you black sky peek through the window

and read these lines in my shabby notebook, before

I fed them to the hungry and burning candle.

Because I need some light.

Your imperishable darkness blesses me.

Valentina Cano – Poem

A Night for Paralysis

Sometimes my blood crystallizes
and refuses to do anything
but scratch at the veins that cocoon it.
No air passes through me,
and I am locked in place,
a doll in mid-smile.
At these moments,
I’m afraid a breath will topple me over
and I will shatter,
my glittering insides
dancing across this floor.

Hal Sirowitz – Prose Poem

How to Maintain Trust

Her kisses ruined my evening. I kept exhorting myself, “Stay in the moment. Be happy what you’re getting. Don’t get stuck in the ‘Disease of More.'” But each kiss led to expectations, ending in frustration. “That last kiss,” I contemplated, “would have caused another woman to loosen her buttons. Why were my kisses doing nothing out of the ordinary? Should I use my hands? But didn’t she declare this only a touching of the lips night. Our hands weren’t supposed to be part of the equation. I was hoping my hands would fall asleep, but they stayed awake. It was like answering the telephone with your feet. Our hands were supposed to be held behind our backs.” I put my hand gently on her collar. “No hands,” she said. “You’re cheating.” “What’s a little cheating,” I said, “among friends?” “If you persist,” she said, “we might as well throw trust out the window.” Then, she got off the couch, and opened the window. “Go ahead,” she said. “Throw trust outside. That will technically end our kissing session.” Why out of all the woman in my Education and Evaluation class, I go out with the one who’s the most literal?

Stephanie Guo – Poem

the brief and wondrous death of jeremiah tompkins

they found him crouched
under a cardboard box
at the intersection of twitch
& lynch. he was sweating softly
when they took him in, having just
swallowed his tongue
whole.

it was a bright and thirsty
afternoon. his silvered hair
caught in our eyes. he
was fluid and spoke softly
when jaunted side to side
by the boys, yessuh,
and the horses, yes’m,
and the wives.

the tree was thronged
by eva’s twelve grandmothers
and my three sons
and the sun’s slivered proximity.
i grabbed my youngest, addam,
and said, nowlookaway –

he didn’t kick
as the noose tightened.
on the way up
he gazed at us
as if
we
were the gnarled woods
that fed into the fairy spring
and
the constellation of freckles
dotting his lover’s cheek
and
the sister he’d left
needling her way
through blanched postcards
and war rations
and stiffened script
when he went up

north. he looked at us
as if we
had been the ones
lying
under a cardboard box
at the intersection of twitch
& lynch: saliva congealing:
pockets rustling: a sweet

and fumbling acrid: heavy:
on our lips:

(in the corners of my eyes,
i make out
the hunched posture
of my retching son)

why: he looked at us
until he couldn’t: