May, 2017

Refuge by Carlo André

Bird fell, cussed from its nest –
say the wind or batting pride,
an attempt & leap
and then ground.

I am enormous,
but helpless to its sound
of urgent mortars
enveloping, like hail.

I hold it, fuzzed cluster –
gaze at its converted fate.
This is how you return

the war-gone: don’t let them
pain into stillness.  I think, small
Christ skin, think little
fleeing heaven.

Carlo André is a Hispanic-American poet and Iraq war veteran living in Florida, who writes poetry as a form of frustrating therapy and as a reaching out for the world unknown that sometimes language provides.


American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin

by Terrance Hayes

Any day now you will have the ability to feed the name
Of anyone into an engine & your long lost half brother
As well as whoever else possesses a version of his name
Will appear before your face in bits of pixels & data
Displaying his monikers (like Gitmo for trapping, Bang
Bang for banging, Dopamine for dope or brains),
The country he would most like to visit (Heaven),
His nine & middle finger pointing towards the arms
Of the last trill of trees of Bluff Estates & the arms
Of the slim fly girls the color of trees cut down & shaped
Into something a nail penetrates. I admit, right now
Technology is insufficient, but you will find them
Flashing grins & money in the photos they took
Before they were ghosts when you click here tomorrow.

Copyright © 2017 Terrance Hayes. Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 25, 2017 by the Academy of American Poets

Terrance Hayes is the author of Lighthead (Penguin 2010), winner of the 2010 National Book Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other books are Wind In a Box (Penguin 2006), Hip Logic (Penguin 2002), and Muscular Music (Tia Chucha Press, 1999). His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a United States Artists Zell Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship.  How To Be Drawn (Penguin 2015), his most recent  collection of poems, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, and received the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Poetry.


Lunar Real Estate by heather hughes

No zip codes, no housing boom—
cosmic quarry, tantalum
for the taking. A loophole.
Who’ll control the unlawed moon,

the fat, resourceful moon, bright
power supply satellite?
Our Outer Space Treaty breaks
on Peaks of Eternal Light.

First appeared in Forklift, Ohio Issue 34.

heather hughes hangs her heart in her current town of Somerville and her native Miami. Her poems have recently appeared in The Adroit Journal, Forklift Ohio, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Prelude, and Whiskey Island. Her chapbook was a 2016 finalist for The Atlas Review Chapbook Series, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is an Editorial Associate for Scoundrel Time, and a Writer for Mass Poetry as well as a workshop teacher for their Student Day of Poetry events. heather MLA-ed at Harvard University Extension School, concentrating in foreign language, literature, and culture, and MFA-ed at Lesley University, concentrating in poetry.


Clear by Joseph Massey

After eight days of rain
what isn’t overwritten
under sun. These

asphalt cracks
pushed further apart.
Eight days without

definition: gray walled
the room in, and I
thought I found a way

to stop thinking—to allow
gray to become a sound
I couldn’t hum myself out of.

All I heard was a window.
A long weed beat
unevenly against it.

Copyright © 2017 Joseph Massey. Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 28, 2016 by the Academy of American Poets.

Joseph Massey is the author of Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009), At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014) and Illocality (Wave Books, 2015), as well as many chapbooks and various limited-edition broadsides and folios.His work has also appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Nation, A Public Space, American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, Verse, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West; and in the anthologies Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press, 2011), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013), Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin, 2015), and The Poem Is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Belknap Press, 2016).He lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts.


Dirt Being Dirt by Carl Phillips

The orchard was on fire, but that didn’t stop him from slowly walking
straight into it, shirtless, you can see where the flames have
foliaged—here, especially—his chest. Splashed by the moon,
it almost looks like the latest proof that, while decoration is hardly
ever necessary, it’s rarely meaningless: the tuxedo’s corsage,
fog when lit scatteredly, swift, from behind-swing of a torch, the lone
match, struck, then wind-shut…How far is instinct from a thing
like belief? Not far, apparently. At what point is believing so close
to knowing, that any difference between the two isn’t worth the fuss,
finally? A tamer of wolves tames no foxes, he used to say, as if avoiding
the question. But never meaning to. You broke it. Now wear it broken

Copyright © 2017 Carl Phillips. Reprinted with permission of the author.Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 6, 2017 by the Academy of American Poets.

Carl Phillips is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Reconnaisance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Silverchest (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), Double Shadow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) and Riding Westward (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). His collection The Rest of Love (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004) won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His other books include Rock Harbor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002); The Tether (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Pastoral (Graywolf Press, 2000), winner of the Lambda Literary Award; From the Devotions (Graywolf Press, 1998), finalist for the National Book Award; Cortége (Graywolf Press, 1995), finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and In the Blood (Northeastern University Press, 1992), winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize. His honors include the 2006 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pushcart Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress.