We Are Only Human by Mary Jo Bang
The dream becoming
Cartoonish and mint-sequined.
A caboose climbing an emerald hill.
Daily we tend the garden.
Daily we wave
Our lashes like little flags
In a cordial wind. I? Who isn’t
Ever I in a circular now.
The toothbrush is ready.
The mouth comes to meet it.
Life begins and goes on.
The fall is always waiting.
We’re the always drifting above.
First appeared in Elegy (Graywolf Press, 2007)
Mary Jo Bang is author of seven books of poetry, most recently, The Last Two Seconds (Graywolf Press, 2015), winner of The National Book Critics Circle Award. Her book Elegy, from which the featured poem first appeared, also won The National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007. She published an acclaimed new translation of Dante’s Inferno. Bang has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. She currently teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.
Beautiful Story by Vinati Bhola
the problem is
we are all
a beautiful story
Vinati Bhola is a 23-year old lawyer soaked in poetry, hailing from New Delhi, India. She recalls, “One day when I was thirteen, my parents broke the news that we were moving to a new city. I was immensely shattered and heartbroken because I couldn’t imagine life without my childhood friends, so I grabbed a pen and a paper and started writing, which turned out to be an incredibly silly poem. And that is how it all began. My ardent, unparalleled and unadulterated love for poetry.” You can check out her latest work on her Instagram handle @cometmuse.
Recitations by Sarah Clayville
The only way a kiss can work
Is if we memorize the patterns
The country of origin
The definition of the desire
Until our lips meet.
Sarah Clayville’s fiction and poetry have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Literary Orphans, StoryChord, and a number of other journals. She is a high school writing teacher and mentor and a freelance editor and author.
“Poetry means that it is possible to put a world of hurt and love in a few small words and hold them there for others to unwrap.”
What Letters Became by Meg Thompson
As a kid watching a TV
show called The Letter People
I didn’t learn the alphabet so much
as learn to think letters were people,
capitals like mothers to sentences, names
I wrote to give birth but wasn’t good like A,
sturdy mother to the whole alphabet so I sanded
her point down when I wrote Arkansas until she
became one mound of a letter. Later, during
cursive, a letter became pointless anyway,
less severe, softening to hills of curls
like women swinging their hair
back over their shoulders.
Meg Thompson is a writer and mother living in Cleveland, Ohio. Author of a chapbook of poems, Farmer, (Kattywompus Press, 2015) and a finalist for 2015 Key West Literary Seminar Emerging Writer Awards.
Blue Motion by Mitchell Waldman
So you want to know
what it’s like this way
when the numbness coats you like a lozenge
and you move in slow motion retakes
locked inside your box
at odds with the world;
so you’re curious how it feels
skating on the edge
each step weighted
by one million mice
each word spoken
a process of years it takes
to lift your leaden tongue,
and you amble through it all
in a cloudy sort of dream
watching yourself walk,
talk, go through it all
because you’ve memorized the steps
but you’ve forgotten why you walk,
and you stare into the sun.
Mitchell Waldman’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Waterhouse Review, Crack the Spine,The Houston Literary Review, Fiction Collective, The Faircloth Review, Epiphany, Wilderness House Literary Magazine, The Battered Suitcase, and many other magazines and anthologies. He is also the the author of the novel, A Face in the Moon, and the story collection, Petty Offenses and Crimes of the Heart (Wind Publications), and has served as Fiction Editor for Blue Lake Review. (For more info, see his website at http://mitchwaldman.homestead.com).