The biology is changed
by the introduction
of the end
of all forgiveness. Our
easy to stay
becomes easy to leave
& when the river
is lowered we’re all
by each ounce
of wolf we bought.
I know midnight
is calmly taking place
elsewhere. I know
if given enough alone
time midnight takes
an amount of blood
that always screams
has been pinned,
stuck with the raw
anarchy of chemicals
that are only new
the one time. How
your body modified
& only ever one way.
Darren Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review.
He is the author of five poetry collections, most recently “The Nineteen Steps Between Us” (2016, After the Pause). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.
He is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
Silverfish have left
a lacey pattern of mystery
on the forgotten postcard
found in the box. A space,
then something, something.
All gone the meaning, except
the word before the signature.
for Dr. Michael Glaser, Sekou Sundiata and Lucille Clifton
What does my DC bop and sway
mean in the quiet rhythms
of this place?
the river swinging into it banks
the same way for the last billion years*
every tree standing
its ground, keeping time
like a slow walking bass
and what said the dark,
slim country road,
but a slow muted “So What”
to my sidewalk swagger?
Here, the soundtrack
to my citified pomp
is swallowed by the song
of every blade of grass,
bending to the wind’s breath, all
my stone faced stillness
rippled away a like a pebble
kissing a pond in the wilderness
*from Sekou Sundiata’s Forsaken Sea
Fred Joiner is a poet and curator living in Bamako, Mali. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally. Joiner is a two-time winner of the Larry Neal Award for Poetry and a 2014 Artist Fellowship Winner as awarded by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Most recently, one of Joiner’s poems was selected by curator and critic A.M. Weaver as part of her 5 x 5 public art project, Ceremonies of Dark Men. Another one of Joiner’s poems recently won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work.
As a curator of literary and visual arts programming, Joiner has worked with the American Poetry Museum, Belfast Exposed Gallery (Northern Ireland), Hillyer Artspace, Honfleur Gallery, Medina Galerie (Bamako, Mali), the Phillips Collection, the Prince Georges African American Museum and Cultural Center, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and more. He is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought at the Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C
They rubbed salt on me without my knowledge. Plucked my father
to a single-strand lariat of hair.
When the pure gold was dangled over my palm, the pendant swung
in circles. The pendant spun a hive. I tried to tie everything
in contingency knots or hexagons. Uncrossed my legs. The skeleton
keys picked up by the thin end giving
me away, honeycomber that I am: each pin unpricked
over a wrist. I told the bees a stinger instead. Told them my queen was
dead: I think I am a stolen. Sick with a colony, with a collapse.
I do not touch my lips—& the town knows:
it’s a girl. When she turns opaque the town will take
her: an anchor, a paperweight, a cake
of stickying light. There were fits & pennies: a chalk white arrow. I wore
this when spring turned to summer—the dried lilies packed in
baby’s breath: a reliquary of practice contractions. Her quickening
heartbeat a sough. The jig up just before deliverance.
(First appeared in Memorius 23)
Cori A. Winrock is the author of This Coalition of Bones (Kore Press, 2014), which received the Freund Prize for a first collection. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets (2013 & 2011), West Branch, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, From the Fishouse, The Journal, and elsewhere. She won the Summer Literary Seminars’ St. Petersburg Review Award, was chosen as Editor’s Choice for Mid-American Review’s James Wright Poetry Award, and is the recipient of a Barbara Deming Individual Artist Grant. Her manuscript was a finalist for a number of prizes including the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award, the Ahsahta Sawtooth Prize, and the Crab Orchard First Book Award. She received her MFA from Cornell University. A former Visiting Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at SUNY Geneseo, Winrock is currently a Vice Presidential Fellow in the Literature and Creative Writing Ph.D. program at the University of Utah. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and their daughters Sallie & Rosa.