Category / Issue #64 November 2016


irrigation or exit November the pearl presence ensconced in prayer’s mouth whose tongue, whose seasonal apse weeping comes to ground here, to rest autumn’s glands milk their bronze museum comes the hour of fasting, but (in prayer’s mouth) the same

Two Poems

BRAINS   You didn’t have any that Sunday afternoon at the family table—your chain- smoking father, too weak to tend his backyard garden, still masculine enough to want to rip that necklace from your neck, in silence he slid the

Two Stories

The Old Pythagorean   The Scottish sheep farmer John Williamson espoused the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis, which held that the soul passed after death into the body of another, whether human or animal; and for this reason he stipulated that

Two Poems

Curriculum Vitae   I’ll keep the ululating to a minimum and wear the warpaint outside the stadium. I’ll clutch a Kalashnikov loaded with cardamom, and speak in tongues I can sell as native. Display my bones in the natural museum—

Two Poems

GDR CHINA   My housekeeper had the dishes brought from Cuba. Her husband then had swapped jewelry for a color TV and East German plates. Gold pattern inside the rim, and beneath it a burgundy stripe. Their sturdy forms are

Two Poems

Listen Up   Medusa     Seduced by your statuesque hourglassivity   the oracles   are all correct   we’d fail even as tresses   to exist   and this icy innuendo where blades come whetted   daily for our splattered scales   scalding light


I’ll crumple the paper before beginning to write on it, or sometimes I’ll spray my notebook with water, then sit in the sun, jabbing at the muggy pages with a pencil. Each does what he can to make this process

Two Poems

WOMAN CAVE Even at my most primitive I can’t be the sort of violent I long to be, clubbing ideas for sustenance. What’s savage is the way I knife through a house without children. Shut the blinds and wait all

Anti-Gravity Time Machine

“Goats are the closest animal to the human. They eat anything, their name is slang for for randy men, and, as kids, they frollick.” – Aaron Burr   From the front stoop it’s the 21st century; medieval parade of business

Featured Selection: Brian Swan…

“I THINK I WOULD RATHER BE/ A PAINTER” The short essay “Poem and Prose-Poem: Ancient and Wild” needs no introduction. It simply consists of thoughts that have rattled around in my head for some time. But I would like to say

Essays and Comment

Letter from India: Worshipping the Stone Manasa I remember my father at 21, being hounded by the police for his supposed involvement in India’s most fearsome uprising against class inequality and peasant insubordination, known as

Editor’s Note

November: and just back from a trip home to Louisville, where I met my cousin B—, come to visit my mother, out of the blue, on her birthday – 93! We had been close, B— and I, when we were

Two Poems

What’s Real?   This question didn’t much interest me until after my hearing and eyesight got so bad that what had been merely something the excessively erudite discussed when they were bored became a test of my sanity. Then the


This longing for him the choke in my throat again — enough, enough.   So I throw a coat over my shoulders close the door behind me, quietly,   as if afraid to wake another ache. Almost dawn. It’ll seep

Review: Mark Yakich

In this month’s installment, reviews editor Adam Tavel examines an unconventional guidebook for the craft of poetry.         Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide by Mark Yakich Bloomsbury Academic $19.95, 232 pages published November 2015   Metaphor is a