Anti-Pastoral #4

Vievee Francis I want to put down what the mountain has awakened. My mouthful of straw. I want to stand still but find myself moving from patch to patch. There’s a low In my throat. I sink to my knees tired or not. My hair a charcoal fire. What Man could live with this? When… More

My Jersey City

Michael T. Young The sun rises from trees, its light pooling under the leaves. But only for a moment, then the wind shakes it loose, glinting along rails as a train pulls out from Journal Square passing a recess in the granite trench where a ginkgo twists like a dancer of green grace fixed in… More


Bruce McRae The weather promises to change from man to animal. Today’s forecast is absence, with a chance of longing. In the east, flying horses and a scattering of flowers. From the west, incursions, barbarous hordes, black ice. The weather changes its mind, abandons its principles, is forced to choose between darkness and light. They’re… More

The Wisdom of the Ancients

Sebastian Agudelo What country is this? blind Oedipus stumbles at the threshold, on his way out, his last job. You feel for him even if you’re neither old nor blind, are just waking to the headlines. What country? The neo-Nazi baby showers, bbq’s with aging KKK’s, the munitions stockpiled in some California basement where, about… More

Finding the Baby

Three new poems by Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winner Vievee Francis: “Finding the Baby”; “Approaching 50″ and “Anti-Pastoral #4″. More


Scott Hightower “a murder of crows; a hell of guns” Oh, Vatican, have your bank clear our way to guns! We need them in our beauty shops, our schools, our class rooms, for our children with soft bodies. If we are going to transform our way of life into an arsenal, we need guns in… More

Shortly after dying

Ely Shipley I wanted to come back but the world didn’t want me. Your face was a blank bullet that still terrifies a blanket that hides a face erased page sheet we might have slept beneath without touching. Before I died, I cradled an infant. I sang it lull-a-byes. Aren’t all songs? But it kept… More

Cider Garage

Christopher Keller The garage is full now. Glass apple trees, a great flood of fermentation and an aroma of old tools fawning over tannin. These sweets breathe through the foundation, their sugar cocooned and ready to emerge in industry, or wilderness – whatever makes the taste best. Our acidity is threefold: that of abandoned Oregon… More

Stuck in Waco

Nanette Rayman-Rivera When I want to be in Eretz Israel— And the intermission, the maybe-tomorrow that I felt everlasting, the antipathetic, the affirmative action that made lightning rods out of me, after months in beige flatlands the seam between the worlds cracked and I ceased to be. I become the intermission, my intractable-alone affliction hidden… More