Archive for October, 2020

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Hallowe’en by Joel Benton

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,—
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn, or stack
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stumps—straws wet with dew—
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide
Mischiefs that on moonbeams ride
Are their deeds,—and, by their spells,
Love records its oracles.

Don’t we all, of long ago
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall?

Every shadows were they then—
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen
Precious would be Hallowe’en.


Date: 1896

By: Joel Benton (1832-1911)

Friday, 30 October 2020

Some Questions by R D Landau

How does a city become a synonym for violence
Hiroshima, Orlando, Charleston?
Why do some cities get to keep their names
when I say Berlin, you don’t hear wal ?
Why do women change their name in this day and age
become their husbands or on occasion wives?
What is the name of this age
The Anthropocene, The Second Wave of Fascism, The Dithering?
What comes after
new species of octopi, adapted for warmer climates, another cycle of chaos-empire-          chaos, silence?


Date: 2019

By: R D Landau (19??- )

Thursday, 29 October 2020

I Don’t Have a Pill for That by Deborah Landau

It scares me to watch
a woman hobble along
the sidewalk, hunched adagio

leaning on —
there’s so much fear
I could draw you a diagram

of the great reduction
all of us will soon
be way-back-when.

The wedding is over.
Summer is over.
Life please explain.

This book is nearly halfway read.
I don’t have a pill for that,
the doctor said.


Date: 2015

By: Deborah Landau (1973- )

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Water Jealousy by Amanda Auchter

The sink fills with its tenants:
each side is a little apartment.

The fork tumbles first, its tines
a lost instrument. I carry its tune.

I could be rubber, I could be stone.

I resume my jealousy of solid objects,
fill all spaces: machine life, street life, sky life.

This is a world of floating continents—
last night’s meal, the good china, body of glass.

An odd stick-woman shoos me away with a sponge.

Little green floatation device.

I feel a plate, I feel a drain.


Date: 2004

By: Amanda Auchter (1977- )

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Crawdads on the Styx by Rodney T. Smith

In mud the gray of brain matter
they raised their slobby towers
and crawled about, ten-limbed, in armor,
as if rumor said the mad Achilles
still haunted the shore and current
bringing death to every trespasser.
We wanted to boil them scarlet
and rip off their heads for the meat,
the poor boy’s succulent lobster.
We wanted to be ancient warriors
with gold and girls and honor.
At night we’d dream them back
and scavenging, all claw and scamper,
their soggy nests the surest gate
to enter the life of the hidden river.


Date: 2002

By: Rodney T. Smith (1947- )

Monday, 26 October 2020

Mother Doesn’t Bite by Terese Svoboda

I bite instead and she needs salt,
a little more time on the grill.
Young men are coming,
they’ll want her.

Her head is an oyster
turned out of a shell.
She needs her rocks,
and wave after wave.

I’m riding this dream,
her claws position me, specimen
ready for the knife. But who
holds the light?

The young men laugh.
It’s a game, it’s fun, it’s everyday.
I run across the beach,
a toll at last tolling.

Gulls rise with her eyes,
They shriek, night
iced under their wings,
its salt falling.


Date: 2011

By: Terese Svoboda (1950- )

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Unification by Alexander Scalfano

I want to build a house
where only an ant can find me
ants have nothing
but pragmatic
hivemindy things to say:
more tunnels more soil
go in every direction
dead is everywhere
we are ant for we are many
hard water in the ground
carry the drink
prince of wings
queen of child
doors stairs skylights
I am nothing
use my body as a bridge.


Date: 2014

By: Alexander Scalfano (19??- )

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Imaginary Portrait by Joshua Ware

You stand in a desert somewhere
west of Reno and rant about cowboys,
nationalism, and murder. But you also lie
in a budget bed in North Platte, Nebraska
and watch yourself on a computer screen
as you stand in a desert of grayscales
somewhere west of Reno and rant
about cowboys, nationalism,
and murder. But you are also words
in this poem, which is to say
the joyous confusion of pronouns.


Date: 2012

By: Joshua Ware (1977- )

Friday, 23 October 2020

Poem in Which the Trojan Horse Burns Blue by Madeleine Wattenberg

On the wine-darkened carpet, I’m waiting
for a new word that allows me to depart
from this room. Until then, I use other
makeshift horses. Like that ship-in-a-bottle
you crookedly glued. It wants to be tinder,
easily ignites. What left but to throw it
in the fireplace and watch the glass collapse.
The beauty of fire resides in its insistence
on leaving something behind. A shadow
or ash-fleck harbored in the lung. Heat.
I don’t wash my hair for ten straight years
and each day the oil drips down my back,
a just-in-case gasoline that I keep close by.
I’ll bring you to your knees by any means,
any pyre, any invocation to combustion.
I learn new forms for measuring the sea;
by sand grain, salt grain, driftwood or knot—
how many blushed pearls to launch a single
fist? I split my voice into a chorus to drive you
from your ship’s wood hull. Like fire, the sea
appears red or blue according to the length
of time that it has burned. When I utter our,
you mistake it for war. So we rebuild our ships,
face the terrible opposite shores of each other.


Date: 2019

By: Madeleine Wattenberg (19??- )

Thursday, 22 October 2020

The Girl with [Al]most Useless Hands by Jeri Theriault

once upon a time
raven-taught to caw
& rasp

I studied
wing-beat   not


gothic scuff
& courted lovely

I learned
what might be done

with smile &
nod.   gaze-grazed
my hawk

clawed his
bone nest
he & I

a mismatch
beauty of lift & grab.
I married

young   [g]owned
[g]reedy & p[r]ettily


Date: 2019

By: Jeri Theriault (19??- )