Unfortunately for me and my wife, Elissa, a subject arose that impelled Rock to hold forth. Rock was married to Elissa’s long-time friend, Ruby, and seeing and hearing Rock had become part of remaining friends with Ruby. We’d recently moved into a new house, and the empty lot next door had come up for sale. We’d considered buying it to preserve a view of some trees from our screen porch, but the seller’s asking price was far too high.
SHANTAY UNLOCKED THE FRONT DOOR OF HER MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE WEIGHT of her 9mm Luger pressed against her hip. Before she pushed the door open, she...
The keyboard sounds like a mouse’s /
footsteps when he taps, middle finger /
of his right hand bent, unable to touch /
flesh against palm. Walking to relieve
My grandma and I spend the morning cleaning collard greens. We /
pick the leaves from their stems, turning them over for bugs and soil. Real
It is 2020 and it seems that we all feel immersed in destruction. Destruction surrounds us and we struggle to understand our own complicity in it. This was true when John Sibley Willams’ book, As One Fire Consumes Another was released in April 2019, and seems to have become an even more pressing reality in the year since.
When I was about to die
I went hunting for
with that generic plastic bag
with the smiling face:
To be tethered to something can be a good thing, can feel safe and secure, can feel necessary. Right now, we are tethered to a situation, to our homes, to our work, to our families, to uncertainty. Even before this time of pandemic that we find ourselves in, we have each been tethered to something or someone, physically, emotionally, or metaphorically, at least once in life if not for an entire life. The first of life’s tethers is the one that connects us to a mother.
In “Body of Render,” Felicia Zamora cleverly employs mini-prose poems and collage-like fragmentation, similar to previous collections, but what makes this book stand out is her attention to the current American political landscape as well as race in the era of Trump.
If poetry is inclined to seal itself like a closet, if it embraces ellipsis, elision, mystery, even subterfuge, the poet seems in Knorr’s formulation to be its counterforce, creating new worlds and opportunities for insight and discovery. Ballast, with grace and intelligence, inquires into scenes of love and intimacy, the precarity of the body and environment, and the tensile relationship between constraint and creativity.
or, rather, we see his shoes poking out
from beneath the yellow tarp someone—a police officer—
has hastily thrown over his body. Never never never
have I see such expressive shoes,
A moose is not an elegant creature. Though powerful, those thick hindquarters, jug head, and humped back don’t arouse the same awe a mountain lion’s sleek muscles inspire. Moose legs, long and fine-boned as those of a racehorse, just look like matchsticks poking from a matchbox body. They don’t suggest freedom, or swift escape.
The wounded deer
died in the impossible
garden. Did it become
the orchid that shouldn’t
be there, the cactus dying
in a rain puddle? The trestle
bridge carries more weight
than my body, but the heft
of a memory changes