Posts tagged ‘2020’

Friday, 26 August 2022

My Body’s Always Saying by Taghrid Abdelal

Silence is a small thing with a beak.
It might not grow after dinner.
Its mother might forget it on her tongue,
and it might not know me when it’s old.

Or maybe I will conspire with its shadows
which I select as tour guide
for adjacent bodies:

a silence that doesn’t race a hare
or live in a tortoise shell
yet one I can find at a house door
befriending a threshold.


Date: 2020 (original in Arabic); 2022 (translation in English)

By: Taghrid Abdelal (1984- )

Translated by: Fady Joudah (1971- )

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

World History: An Overview by Kevin Canfield

North of 161st Street near
The Park here for Yankee Stadium
Sign a graffiti artist has summarized
The folly of the human experiment
On a concrete bridge underpass
She has inscribed six orange letters
Each twelve feet tall and distended
Like bubbles or birthday balloons
Two words joined up as one
OHWELL, she has written


Date: 2020

By: Kevin Canfield (19??- )

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Together by Ian Seed

There were two of our daughter
and my husband wanted to kill both of them
to make her come back to life as one.

While I held each of my daughter down
my husband wielded the knife, blood on both
our faces. Our daughter returned whole

but still my husband wasn’t happy. He wanted
to kill her again and bring her back
as someone else, yet recognisable

as ours. Once more I went to hold her down,
but this time she fled because a part of her
remembered what we’d done before.


Date: 2020

By: Ian Seed (19??- )

Monday, 4 July 2022

Poem to America by Felicia Zamora

My nerves expose, unwilling; these cells &
fibers race in transmit; oh impulse of me; skin
peeled away, how defense fails; & my eyes, oh
eyes, in uncontrollable wet; to witness, to
experience decimation in the aortic sack; oh
society oh; what you cull, piece by piece; what
you strip; what grows back only in time, in
hold these bones up to the light; do you
see me in porous cavities forming despite what
torn & torn; my flesh under your claws; from
hollow & cold & seamless, I rise; sew this heart
anew; I long to forgive you. Forgive.


Date: 2020

By: Felicia Zamora (19??- )

Monday, 27 June 2022

I Keep Lil Uzi Vert’s Lady Bug Bic Lighter in My Pocket by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

and for as long as I’m allowed to live, Uzi’s lighter is good luck.
In Philadelphia, the ATVs roll through the streets, much the same
as where I come from—all four wheelers, going too fast, with a dash

of toxic masculinity. Who am I to judge the engines that bring men
together, the raw exhaust of it all. When I was young, I wanted so
badly to become a boy that I became one. Nearly anything is possible,

if you pursue it. From the back seat of my Mother’s Ford Expedition
I’d claim I could run as fast as the car was rolling, thirty or forty
or seventy miles per hour. I miss that particular hubris of youth.

Now, there’s not much cartilage left in my knees and I only run
when running from someone. The world is a difficult place to live
and most days I’m thankful. But then again, recently, metric tons

of red ink spilled into a creek, and I’ll be honest, it’s hard
to even look at all that blood in the water.


Date: 2020

By: Kayleb Rae Candrilli (19??- )

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Midsummer by Marco Yan

Pale sky     high clouds     the heat soaks into the concrete
making shadows out of everything     it’s the Establishment
of Summer again     the city open to light and humidity
see the dust     gnats     pollen     tinsels of pollution
the sweat on my arm     coursing through the hair
like cars along the winding coastline     where my brother and I
swam and paddled as dogs     swallowing brine     small stones
our own piss     our mouths embittered     only to spit
at each other’s face     the length of the shore measured
by the clams we picked     then dropped into the blue bucket
we laid the shells on charcoals at night     watched them
crackle     their meat     dead and full of sand
the sand of some other beach     where my childhood
friends and I dug with our hands     nails collecting grains
a pit to bury     driftwood     crabs and soda cans
a treasure chest     we made no map to     wouldn’t uncover
even if we stood on the X     one more time     we shouldn’t
ask for the keepsakes     we’ve gifted to the land     let the land
remember us     let it remember for us     because I can’t return
to the time the girl I liked lay next to me     the damp towels
the fearful sun     the angst of not knowing how to talk
without leaving     a clue of what I wanted     we ran
to the waves     and sank ourselves     so we could touch
spume clinging to our skin     a straitjacket of salt
we struggled to strip off     it was sticky     it was
bliss     eternally thick on these bodies of ours     dear
brother     dear friends     my dearest girl     here we are
look how much we’ve perspired     on this day
there are things we can never wash off     can we.


Date: 2020

By: Marco Yan (19??- )

Sunday, 19 June 2022

A Dictionary of Dreams by Benjamin Harnett

I was handling, in one moment, an urn,
entirely broken, and in another
holding firm. Ash and bits of bone.
Someone I loved
had died. If I could only
keep it together, by strength of mind
dream-logic explained, I could,
not prevent that thing, never—
but at least keep it unknown,
to myself, who already knew.
No one wants to hear
about your dreams. A true dream
makes no sense in the telling.
Dreams don’t emanate
from the two doorways,
hewn ivory or polished horn,
are not poured
with sweet sleep upon the eyes,
but jumble into half-sense,
from a storm in the gut.
Mind unmoored from its minder.
Who watches the watcher, watching
is how we imagine ourselves
pilot of our own life. Take stock:
the urn is already broken,
the bones we know
are our own, forthcoming.
The cat shifts on the wicker hamper
and that has the dogs up
and so am I, to make coffee, to feel
the sun rising over the mountain,
the dread of someone not
really dead, is lifting. But the dream
knows: what we do in holding
two opposing ideas
like the broken halves of an urn,
to know and to forget,
is to live.


Date: 2020

By: Benjamin Harnett (1981- )

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Dog Thoughts by John Hazard

What if my speckled dog
who loped six years in the meadow
now sat in a rocker, staring
at books, for hours, or TV’s
news, practiced all the bright morning,
or cook shows, cop shows, show shows,
and even sports?
What if my speckled dog
gazed out the grey window
and twice a day
woofed his deep thoughts
to the empty street?
Or whined longingly
to the yellow Lab trotting by
on the far side of the glass?
What if I had a dog?


Date: 2020

By: John Hazard (19??- )

Monday, 23 May 2022

Train & Pool by Brian Johnson

The train standing in the rain: sad, but I know something worse.
The pool of rain-darkened leaves. It is real sadness—

I mean the empirical scenery of it, the ripening
In a season of mist. With the generalissimo. With the silent-film actress.

Their faces are so strangely impassive, remote, blazed-out
Over the pool and its crepuscular leaf-mass.

Meanwhile the pool house, with its French doors open, standing in the rain—
Its fan whirring—the robes still on the white-strapped chairs—

Sequestered no more than an hour ago, perhaps two—
The pool house we frequented, in our savage youth.


Date: 2020

By: Brian Johnson (19??- )

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Meteor, April 2020 by Amy Miller

In the year of our plague, we saw a light. Like a plane on
fire, west in the sky, just after sunset when Venus and the
moon were trying so hard to touch. There, flashing on the
lids of the trash cans—sudden, moving, in flight—
something meeting its end, crashing to earth. I looked up
and said What the hell. Not Glory, not Thank you.

Sometimes they say
a mixed blessing, which means
you’re screwed. Or Careful
what you wish
. I only wished
that the rest of that rock
would miss us.

Starlight, not night, and the leaves on the maple so tender a
green you know most of them won’t make it—frost coming
again. Light, light, green, and the blue of not quite night.
Our night lit by this startle. Or spike.

The hardest thing
is how the fever
keeps making you think
it’s over, then flares
again, a fire that comes
just before sleep.
Then sleep flies off
to somewhere far
from your troubled
crown of night.

After a shock, sometimes you look back at the place it
happened as if it bled some lingering print. I still look there,
wonder if it landed, the gouge, the burn. Mixed. Be careful.
Stars wheel down, a slow newsfeed. The story is
developing. I’m out here with no mask, big sky, big dare,
alone. And aren’t we all just lone pillars, the billions of our
parts improbably combining, surviving? Like those lights,
dragging all their lives behind them out of the dark.


Date: 2020

By: Amy Miller (19??- )