viernes, marzo 19, 2010

Three Poems From Peggy Aylsworth


Reading Lolita, she grew thirsty,
aware she had swallowed
too much sugar.

What surfaced in resistant waves:
desire’s monster. Lollipops
had been too easy.

Sucked into an urge to bite,
she tainted the air with innuendos,
tumbling the woman

from her fragile scaffolding.
Not a plot, but there he was,
ready for her lure

once his wife had crumbled,
a Humpty Dumpty without horses
to refit her pieces.

The prickly vines curl round
and round, sprouting their
contagious blooms,

nightshade, undetected, til
the birds’ song dwindles
in the crowding thorns.


Her world grew steadier with lines
and configurations to build safety
out of wood. In the eyes of cows
she found a door, entered their chests.

One day, the pieces fit, broken crockery
not whole, but standing on its own.
Without customary language we rely
on the sound of weather or water

slipping through the hands of children.
In the wilds of Wyoming horses blocked
the road. That night snow shifted the light,
pulling faded shadows out of the cracks.

The woman in the bed refuses to wait
for the cat to jump into her lap. Signals
of life and death travel over wide landscapes,
crows flying, trembling the winter trees.


The days torn at the edges,
crows unraveling the tapestry.

I slip to the far end of my premise,
pressed by the leftover reckoning .

Each room breaks its windows
from inside. Wind, a false prophet

of weather. Birds spread the air,
a response on the broken wire.

Unwrap. My words tick into time,
hanging themselves, still wet,

on a line too distant. And yes,
the berries are drying to stone.

Peggy Aylsworth's poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Rattle, The Emily Dickinson Anthology, Ars Interpres, Poetry New Zealand, and other journals in the US and abroad. She is the author of a collection of poems titled Small Lightning. Additionally, Aylsworth collaborated with her husband Norm Levine on two books of poems from Momentum Press: Letters to the Same Address and Along These Lines. A retired psychotherapist, she lives in Santa Monica, California.

lunes, marzo 01, 2010

Three Poems From Michael McLane


age is carefully measured
in valleys of grinding bone
the weight of heaven
on the ankles, knees
and hips.

or within the hairline
cartography of plates
keeping our selves together
in the tumbling china
of our skulls –

this at least is natural.
calibration, smallest line
the vanishing point
the trajectory
in either direction.

harder still is the hole
observatory behind the ear,
perfectly round intrusion
that pulls outside matters in
with it, vacuum of all

concentrated life, in this small
room. a hole behind the ear,
absence of measurement, edge
of parietal, ledge of the table,
frame of the door

Answer Key

(Specimen 10: adult male; age: 20-25; cause of death; gunshot wound to base of parietal lobe; provenance: body recovered from Golan Heights)

                             That is all we know.

the symptom is monument

                             there was a fort here once, now a gift shop


                             I don’t remember why it is called Armory Hill

Zion has the sound of electricity. Or orbit. Or ejection.

                             we hide the syllabics of violence behind hand-carved

triptych of dedication, memorial, stone. behind it, a canvas

                             one must show their work. Provenance is often
                                     confused for an exotic locale. it is neither.

meadow. beach. walk. snowfall.

                             do not forget how life echoes through a table


When I was very young, I loved electrical storms above all else. I would take my blanket and small eyes and lay out at the edge of the garage, trembling. In the place where the world opened out into oblivion. A word I had yet to sputter and stumble over. My mother would pull the blanket back under the eaves, the spiders, the boxes of abandoned clothes and cradles. Or she would drag me to the back patio, where I could see only fingertips of bolts, the slightest hints of strings on the world, where the thunder would rattle the charcoal in the grill or the loose shingles above me. We lived in the desert then, at the foot of mountains that burned even in rain. I asked which of us angered the gods but I did not say it loud enough. They clanged away above me like I did after locking myself out of the house not once, but twice. The day two men tried to steal me away was sunny, but that night it rained hard and no one could catch me. That was the definition of fear, or at least its perimeter. There is nothing to be afraid of, my mother said, pulling me back out of the rain again and again, but you can see everything fine from here. Of course this made no sense, but neither did the smell of the cooling concrete, the heat rising from the ground to complicate the world.

Michael McLane completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Colorado State University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Interim, Colorado Review, Salt Flats Journal and Sugar House Review. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.