September, 2015

Immigration by Kevin Prufer

When the wheels came down over Miami
the stowaway in the landing gear,
half frozen and unconscious,
slipped from the wheel wells into blue air.
How amazed he must have been
to wake to that falling sensation
and the rapidly approaching sodium lamps
of the airport parking lot.
The couple that owned the car his body crushed
was astonished at the twist of fate
that brought his life so forcefully into theirs.
Their young son would always remember it,
how just then the cold shadow of another airplane
passed over him, how the bits of jewel-like glass
lay strewn across the asphalt
like the dead man’s thoughts.

First appeared in The Southern Review

Kevin Prufer’ sixth book, Churches (Four Way Books), was listed as one of “Ten Favorite Poetry Books of 2014” in The New York Times.  His seventh book, How He Loved Them, is forthcoming from Four Way Books and includes this poem, which was just named winner of the Pushcart!

Kevin writes, “I love the idea that poetry is especially able to engage in complex thought, that the experience of reading a poem might be like listening in on the thoughts of an intricate mind at work on a great and (maybe) unsolvable problem.  Rather than offering solutions, poems might engage in a multiplicity of perspectives, a deepening of our understanding of the great questions of our time.  These days, I’m especially interested in the idea that an activist poem can offer a politically engaged multi-mindedness, that being  of several minds about a political question might, in itself, be a political act, deepening our communal understanding of human situations.”

Shakmati* by Anne Elezabeth Pluto

I don’t want to remember, but I
feel the incidents move through
me like water – muddy, murky, silt
on the bottom – bodies locked
in death embraces – we were stupid
I take that back where it belongs, the
heart cannot be commanded, at times
artfully restrained, but not told how
and what and where to move, there
are moments, when the present pain,
the despair of trial and error evades
me – what I have shaped, with my hands
and time, what I have reinvested in
removes itself by circumstance, then I
go backwards and wish I had not
moved at all.

* Chess in Russian

Anne Elezabeth Pluto is Professor of Literature and Theatre at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA where she is the artistic director of the Oxford Street Players. She was a member of the Boston small press scene in the late 1980s. Her chapbook, The Frog Princess, was published by White Pine Press. Her e-book, Lubbock Electric, was published by Argotist ebooks in 2012 .Her latest work appears in, The Buffalo Evening News, Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, Mat Hat Lit, Pirene’s Fountain, and The Enchanting Verses Literary Review. Her second chapbook, Benign Protectio,n will be published in 2016 by Cervena Barva Press.

On Poetry, Anne says “poetry is the essential rhythm of daily life – poetry is the constant factor in my personal and work life.”

Tripolitan Rise by Michelle Ramadan

Roosters chorus
to the call to prayer
as the coffee vendor wanders
below windows, clinking cups—
porcelain palms to be filled
with the darkness
that awakens.

Michelle Ramadan teaches English at the Pingree School and is a student in Lesley University’s Creative Writing MFA program. She believes that poetry matters because poetry allows for connection — connection to others, connection to a world beyond the self, and/or connection within the self. She lives in Melrose, Massachusetts.

It Happened on a Corner by Jane Attanucci

Stepping down off the curb

my grandson untangled our fingers

and locked his arm

full round mine

lest I fall.

Jane Attanucci is the author of the chapbook, First Mud (Finishing Line Press, 2015). She began writing poetry at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and has poems in the Aurorean, Blast Furnace, Halfway Down the Stairs, Still Crazy and Third Wednesday among others. She won the New England Poetry Club Barbara Bradley Prize in 2014.

Jane writes, “Poetry is song–I love how writing poems surprises you, changes you and requires you to take the time to find just the right word.”


formation by Irene Koronas

everything informs

birds in flight
turtles sunning on wooden dock
salmon run
up stream
roses in vase
piled rocks on bridges

kneeling in church
mother’s hand in mine
even this place in coffin

Irene Koronas is the poetry editor for Wilderness House Literary Review. She has three full length
books, Portraits Drawn from Many, Ibbetson Street Press; Pentakomo Cyprus, Cervena Barva
Press; and Turtle Grass; Muddy River Books. She has numerous chapbooks and poetry in many
anthologies. She reviews poetry books for the small press community.

On poetry, she writes, “Poetry takes my breath and keeps me breathing through all my years. I’ve spent so much time here with words that might lend to someone else who may need to give paper its meaning.”

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