Archive for August, 2015

In the white of this country, Germaniums bleed no more than ten weeks. Ten weeks past, the babies stopped. No belly. Nothing could hold us far from the ultrasound report.

“Sorry about what happened to your wife yesterday”, I heard and heard it again. Yesterday‘s grim ray riddled me again. Thanks extended to everybody again.

The shadow of the two lying in the bottom of her body was scooped out. No belly. Scraped out. End of summer. So then, we headed off on vacation to unplug. No Germaniums.

The writhing worlds fell silent to become still near Baie Pasha. Still as the lake surrounding our cabin that came with a boat down-in-the-history of the New World. Stillness was called to sprawl out under the dead summer sun.

Forest trails, canoe lines, hand in hand, at every movement, the wind passed though our hearts. The slopes darkened after the sundown, when we had no longer to face our faces but our bodies.

The bodies wanting to burst open, Muskellunges traversing the water of innumerable lakes & rivers of Portneuf reserve, breasts gusting against the mouth until eternity. Colostrum ran everywhere to bring back the dead ones to life. No Belly.
Originally from Calcutta, India, Debasis Mukhopadhyay now lives in Montreal, Canada where he has earned a PhD in literary studies. His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Snapping Twig, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch press, Of/With, and elsewhere.


Life Lesson #82 by Bunkong Tuon

Posted: August 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

My wife and I
are English professors.
But we just don’t understand
our one-month old daughter.
To communicate
with us, we tell her:
use your words, honey.
Instead, she grunts,
moans, smiles.
Then she farts.


Bunkong Tuon is the author of Gruel (NYQ Books). He teaches literature and writing at Union College, in Schenectady, NY.

People know this about you.
The latter day saint of you,
that miracle hat trick you pulled off
in the flatbed, on the way to Taos.

The magic inside your belly
that the last ride took
away. How you cried
as the blood washed down the arroyo.

How you sang, to the blessed Mary
moon and took some dirt
at the Sanctuario de Chimayo
to bring home for your shrine

to that last one you lost.
The little boy named Joe
or Cameron or Jessie.
You hadn’t really decided.

The truth was in the needle.
It read the weaknesses and future
like your palm, cradled in the palm
of the gypsy

She said it and you were so offended:
You will lose.
You will lose.
You will lose.
Elizabeth Cohen lives and writes poems up near the Canadian border. She is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Plattsburgh and the author of fours books of poetry, a memoir, and a book of short stories, among other works. She has a daughter, Ava, and far too many cats.

Every black boy
is a lion,
young little brave thing,
not quite the intrepid predator,
clumsy with unknowing,
thick paws tell what
he will become,
heavy prints that his Legacy
makes in the heat of the Sahara or the sidewalk
or the cracked asphalt of inner-whatever-city,
and someone will find fault in him,
always a trophy hunter with a badge
waiting for nightfall.

Every mama lion
knows the taste of tears,
licks the scruff
and tough mane
of her juvenile
black boy lion,
teaches him to growl
showing his teeth,
teaches him the smell of his own blood,
teaches him that Pride has many meanings
and each one can get him killed.

Every black boy is a Lion,
a lineage of power
stripped from grace,
if you haven’t seen that resilience,
look a lion in the face,
another mother crying,
the safari is the streets,
if you don’t think they’re being hunted,
who are those people in white hooded sheets?
Kai Coggin is a full-time poet and author born in Bangkok, Thailand, raised in Southwest Houston, and currently a blip in the 3 million acre Ouachita National Forest in Hot Springs, AR. She holds a BA in Poetry and Creative Writing from Texas A&M University. She writes poems of feminism, love, spirituality, injustice, metaphysics, and beauty. Kai’s poetry has been published in Split This Rock, Elephant Journal, Cliterature, ITWOW, The Manila Envelope, [empath] quarterly, Catching Calliope, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, and anthologized in several publications including Journey of the Heart and Journeys Along the Silk Road.

Her first full-length book of poetry PERISCOPE HEART was published by Swimming with Elephants Publications in September 2014, and has quickly become the best selling book on the press. She is also a Teaching Artist with the Arkansas Arts Council, specializing in bringing poetry and creative writing to classrooms around the state.

When I was a little girl,  I wanted to be a princess.
I thought it was an occupation I could maintain with
my daddy’s greasy hand prints on my sides and hair so unruly,
it couldn’t be combed, just tousled by the uncles,
my grandfather telling me
“get out of the garage, you belong in the kitchen”
and it broke my heart because I never
wanted to be a boy, I just wanted to be with he and my father.

In my family, the women cook, the men are served first.
We would eat fast to clear the table as soon as they were finished and
I still think that’s how it should be. My grandfather
and father taught me what was a good man.
My grandmother taught me how to take care of one and
my mother made sure I understood that I didn’t have to.

My other grandfather, at bedtime, he would
say to me
“see ya in the funny papers”
and I always thought he meant obituaries.
Nothing really funny about that except when
some middle-aged housewife dies from
all of her favorite habits, catching up to her at once and
they bury her in her favorite pair of my
pinstripe pants, hair bottle bleach
blonde and fading tattoos and raspy laugh.
Smiling from a long time ago in her photo.

The funny papers.

I would try my hardest to smooth the rat’s nest curls just
in case I needed a good picture in the morning and
now every time I fall asleep, I have to accept that I
probably won’t wake up and
if Grandpa were still alive, he probably wouldn’t love me
like he used to and I just
wanted to be a princess with my daddy’s greasy hand prints
keeping me from falling apart.
Alexzan Burton is a gypsy. Writing provides a sense of permanence, especially when she can use the same notebook.