Bruce Smith His charge was to make something out of the contracting cool that glows and then goes vagrant, whole systems of courtships and compensations that get lost in a letter appealing to the dust and the red blue extremities of stars. His charge was to make something out of the over under story or… More

Don’t Move

Bruce Smith You can have a thought or avoid a thought by having a feeling when it’s dawn [human inhuman light] or a gun is drawn [here, elsewhere] and you put up your hands and get down and get small; don’t ever take one in the back. Or there’s music the birds authored, elegy and… More

West of Schenectady

Chen Chen The sun sets like a whispered regret behind the hills or is that a mountain. Moths come to the screen door as if that was what they were made for. Moth for screen door. & vice versa. I don’t have time for their secrets tonight. I am making my loneliness small. So small… More

They were selling phoenixes

Chen Chen in the form of untransformed ash. In the middle of a Costco in Connecticut, I said Gimme. You said, Let’s do the most New England thing we can think of. Let’s go sailing in khaki shorts. I’ll bring the chowder, you bring our phoenix. Our phoenix would increase productivity by fashioning a new… More


Chen Chen My shoes were growing more powerful with each day. I walked in the country of letters, its fields of eyes belonging to my lost sister— dark eyes that early closed, or forgot to open. I have not been back in some time, though often I walk to my office, daydreaming of that country’s… More


Bruce Smith Write like a lover. Write like you’re leaving yourself for another. Write like you’re de Beauvoir, object and subject. Write like you must rescue yourself from yourself, become scrupulous to the body and the rain that floods you with rage and the crude sublimities: there was a lip print on the plastic glass… More

Love's Apparatus

Jules Gibbs How was it the I located another I, then stood sinking in the wet sand like a trembling bisection to help me say: am leaving you, which the mouth of the ocean, that many-tongued colossus translated: I believe in you. The ocean’s tongues never say love; they say pull or rush or plunge… More

Washer Women

Jules Gibbs My mothers were famous unknowns who lived in cellars where walls wept ceaselessly in the language of water. Blue ironing board, dangling cord, clench of clothes pins with nothing to hold. A reservoir, my maternal line pools in a porous foundation — wells up, amniotic. The only way through is a sacral path… More