Bobbi Lurie


Tossed Out Box of Treasured Possessions


And how did it happen?
He mistook it for the trash.

And when you saved these favorite things you speak about did you waver in your choice of them?
There was no wavering.

And so you saved them?
Saved them. Yes.

What did you do with them after saving them?
I looked at them.

Did they help you to recall good times, bad times?
The good times. The bad times.

And were episodes conjured up from seeing them?
Episodes, yes, and also images of ideas of myself I used to live with.

What sorts of images?
Images of thinness.

Thinness of body?
Thinness of body, yes. And also that of memory.

And what did you do when he threw them away?
I mourned. Then I tortured him for doing what he did, tossing out that box in particular.

And what did you do with your other collected possessions when he did that?
I dusted them off then tossed them in the trash.

Why did you do that?
Because they were worthless in comparison.

Now, I can't help but ask: which of the treasured possessions do you miss most?

The booties of my babies, certainly, and maybe the unused magenta lipstick from my week in Paris. Of course the colorful puppets from India and such small, black, high heeled shoes I once wore strapped at the ankle and then there is the shrunken green soap from that amazing hotel in Lago Maggiore.

And what will you do with the rest of your possessions?
I will never collect possessions again.

CL Bledsoe


February 3


This morning they are tiptoeing elephants, listening to the cats

make love down by the water, as am I, as must we all.

I dreamed last night my foot detached itself, flopped


away from the mat (this is all they allow me to sleep on. The plight             

I must endure! The outrage none of you feel could feed                                          

all the orphans of China for decades) and drowned itself


in the toilet. I woke feeling damply evil, toilet paper

underneath my toenails. I woke in India, nuzzled by elephants who'd come                       

to stab my eyes with their coffee breath, my arms, oh my arms.


They put their trunks under my tongue (imagine the agony                                      

of tasting uncured elephant leather). They fed me oatmeal with

cranberries in it, waited till I went BM, and took it home                                        


to show their children. They patted my head, became cliché, more

than that, became film, melted in the light, threw shadows of incineration

like an Iron Maiden concert I went to one time with a girl                                       


who wouldn't even let me look down her shirt, and went

to commercial. I am waiting, saving my thoughts to feed their little plastic

cups. When they lumber back through the cage door, I'll light the cup, throw


it in their faces, run through the door and find her, out there where the music

is bad and long. Now, all I need is Prometheus to come, steal                                 

their coughs, share them with me and burn, burn.


There will be buzzards. But that's my liver's concern, not mine.   


February 5


Woke early or late, something in the vent

in the ceiling above my bed. I used to keep my nickels in there


so the orderlies wouldn't steal them. Had to move fast

so they didn't see me in the monitors. Stood


on the bed and saw two dots of light, moving

in unison. Thought it was a foo fighter flying low.


Took the vent cover off. Some kind of animal, a wild

jape. Small, blue fur huddled in the breeze. I took it out, fed it


a little from dinner I was able to vomit up. (Japes often

have extraordinarily vicious teeth, and yet often lack developed jaw muscles


necessary to chew due to a viral epidemic which has stricken

the population in recent years.) I named it Tourniquet


because I've never been able to spell that word. Hid her (the sex of japes

are easily differentiated by observing the length


of the nose in adults) under the bed until lights on. Then I snuck

her out to the yard and showed her the fountain. (japes love water, being


predominantly found on small islands, far removed from human

life.) I nudged her towards the water, leaned out to show her the statue


of St. Christopher in the center. I thought it would be funny to watch

her try to swim, little thing. I splashed water on her until she cried, loud, braying.


She clambered back into my shirt sleeve, snuffling quietly into my elbow.

I took her back to the room, hid her in my sock drawer and waited.


February 9


The slow line of traffic dead

ends into the cafeteria, eyes limp


across the slack faces of tray-bearers

exiting singly, drifting through lanes;


I am damp cardboard mashed potatoes.

I am boiled meat. I am unsweetened


peas. I smell of rot and bleach.

I carry my tray of myself


to a thin plastic chair, a creaking table,

slipping crumbs into my pocket


to feed my jape whose ass


is swelling melon-heavy already

from breakfast's shame.

February 12


They've got souls like mood rings, brown

and dirty when they're grounded, (on top

of me, their sticks full of shock

like I'd told a surprisingly funny joke) so full of

grey you'd think their parents were poor. But

this is a lie, souls


aren't colors or things used

to make points. They are nothing more

than the cold breeze slipping over the aluminum

siding on a storage building. The soul


isn't chocolate melting in a box. The soul is melted,

melting new, each day. This is its purpose; not to be,

but being.

February 16


After milk, we're moved to

(useless, anyway) ears

so we can't hear the cries

of all the baby lards, sleeping

unhappy in their pens. Grown

without bone, nibble sized

so their teeth won't come in.

See them waddle from sleep mat

to chocolate drip, sticks thrust

under pelvis for leverage.


When the expiration manager comes

with his pellet gun, shoots their fleshy brains,

it will be Lodo, equal opportunity hire, slow

as river ice, who will gather these sticks

and pass them on to the youngest, whose feathers

have barely fallen from their skinless bodies.


David Thornbrugh

Surfing the Styrofoam Sea


Madonna wants me to open my can of tuna

so she can swim in the oil

but I don’t buy Frieda Kahlo as a thermostat

for loyalty.

Far out on the Styrofoam sea,

the Great American novel comes up for air

with Norman Mailer tied to its side

in a tangle of typewriter ribbon.

Some days I’d rather eat potato chips

and watch Rocky and Bullwinkle reruns

than weep the slow death of a Puccini aria

or wire Madame Bovary with fiber optics for a drive-by age,

some days I want to deep fry Baptist Bible thumpers

in the pressed cholesterol of Betty and Veronica.

It is very cold here at the bottom of the North Atlantic

in my broken U-boat

as I wait for the return of the wolf pack

and the sheep flock freighters heavy with screams

for good German torpedo steins,

very cold and very finished in a post-Götterdämmerung kind of way,

while far away parakeets cringe at dreams

of the unbarred sky.

Outside Saigon

The wind rises.

Dust corkscrews in courtyards,

scraps of paper scrape along asphalt.

On a shallow wooden boat

nearly awash, a thin alert dog

braces on an engine cover

watching the river surface.

In the glare of afternoon sun,

aspirations of nation states

and great scientific achievement

fuse in a confetti blur,

and the sound of motors

on the water, on the land

and in the air blend,

become indistinguishable

from insect hum.

Alex Cigale


There was a big shaking. I felt like I

was being thrown into a deep pit like hell.

I couldn't control my legs because of the

shaking. I've never felt anything like it.

The TV set in my room flew through the air

toward the bed. The bed jumped up and rumbled

a good four feet across the floor. Outside

the whole world was pitch black in the aftermath.

Next door a building fell on top of a car.

The whole house picked up and moved some five feet.

When I could manage to make my way out

onto the street I found a dark, confused

landscape stunned into absolute silence.

No emergency sirens, no lights, nothing.

The temblor had sent rubble crushing down

on the heads of sleeping residents, ripped up

roads beneath early morning commuters.

All of us were outside, some with clothes, some

without clothes, some with nothing but blankets.

The next week, in The New York Times, I read this:

I like it these days because I don't have

to study, says Kaori Nakamura,

11, who lost her home and is now camping

with her family outside a shelter

in a tent. I play around with my friends

and sometimes I go and collect firewood.

I like living in a shelter. I can make

friends here, and I can get on television.

And now I might get in a newspaper.

Good People Become Better Because of

plants. This horticulturist-philosopher

believes people ailing become better

when they take care of plants.

The therapeutic effects of growing plants

reduce anxiety or depression,

shortening illness recovery time.

When you grow plants you grow yourself.

Keep a garden diary. When something goes wrong

you'll be happy to know it went wrong before.

People soothed by vegetation are

less inclined to worry, over- or under-

eat, to steal, kill, go crazy, indulge in

other "talk-show topics." Make a career

of growing things, starting nurseries. Develop

the urge to "get back home and grow trees."

Plant caring softens prison inmates, and

greenery is the key to rejuvenating slums,

making urban wastelands inhabitable.

Plant culture is a universal language,

but plants are only as good as the people

who take care of them.

The Spirit of Lindbergh

Seeking escape he hurled himself again

and again against the sky. Complete loss

of all conscious connection with the past.

Reaching all the way back to his childhood

his chronic restlessness, fear of facing

himself, then the unmourned loss of his son.

You can't write about Charles without writing

about me. Filled with love for her husband,

the differences between man and wife.

Ever on the alert for dangers

he tried to predict the unpredictable:

insults in the press, democracy's decline.

The "omitted material" revealed:

A few Jews add strength and character

to a country, too many create chaos. . . .

A pressing sea of yellow, brown, and black.

(Reader's Digest, 1939). Late in life

a one-man conservation commando corps

dropping from the skies wherever species

were endangered, indigenous people threatened

by change. He changed, lent his name to the cause.

Dying from cancer on Maui, his last days,

meticulously planning his own funeral

he picked the reading, chose the inscription,

the typeface for his tombstone, had his grave

dug to precise specifications and saw

to it that his death certificate was signed.

Every line was filled in except the date.

Georgios Tsangaris


You drove me around the reservoir at night,
the one in Redding that has the undertow
that sucks swimmers in and drowns them
but people jump off small cliffs into the water anyway.
Your Subaru carried us over the wet turnpike
past amphibians equivocating at the side of the road,
rich people who didn’t bother to turn off their high beams,
and kids in the woods smoking pot out of aluminum foil and
drinking their parents’ vodka out of Poland Spring bottles.
We drove past the deer that had grown fat eating my father’s
garden even though he chased them across the yard with a rake,
You took me on that drive to play me a song that was 20 minutes
long and didn’t have any words in it.
And I kept nodding my head like “yeah, I get it, I’m 16 but sure I
can get this, yeah” but I have no idea what that song was about
I only really cared about knowing that there was something out
there more mysterious than the little town I thought I had figured
out already, and then, there you were with your polyester and wild
teeth and there I was,
a few months away from dropping out of high school,
nodding my head to this song but throwing my eyes all over the car
trying to watch you and the road and the woods and the water.
And I ended up catching only jumbled little slivers of each.
So that night, in my mind, is filled with your face,
but it looks like your skin is moist asphalt,
and your eyes crawl over me like those salamanders
trying to cross the road so they could lay eggs right where
they were born.

John M. Bennett









La Globbolalia Ciega









El Ojo Globbolálico

Burt Kimmelman


 Richard Pousette-Dart’s Night Landscape, 1969-71

                 Guggenheim Museum, New York City 8.22.07


The stars and other detritus

of the vast explosion of space

appear all at once and seek out

that secret, still spot within us,

and stir us there – so strange, unlike

anything we might ever know.


The night sky is a dream in which

we float free among the gaudy

lights, where there is no such thing as

darkness and what holds the stars there

are our hopes, like them pulsing and

signaling what we cannot read.


For every star crossing the deep

night, flaring and brilliant, someone

slips into sleep and dreams of a

lost star, a forgotten life quite

unlike what the daylight reveals

yet somehow very much the same.






Under the backyard maple tree

we sip our morning tea and read

the Sunday paper, the summer

sun already above branches

whose shade crosses our table full

of cups, spoons, teapot, and napkins.


In the bushes beyond sparrows

chirp at a robin who has flown

too close to their nest – and somewhere

not far away a knife and fork

scrape a plate of the day’s first food.




Reading Barbara Henning’s Poems


I think of the possibilities, the

worlds we move through, of what can happen in

the heat of a summer day or the chill

of an autumn night whose bare stars cover


the hills outside Santa Fe, or a street,

emptied of people and even moving

cars in Manhattan’s East Village, music

intruding from an open window. The


next day people everywhere talk past each

other. We all borrow someone’s precious

words for awhile and then we make them

our own, and then we turn them around in


poems, not what we expect. They are a

toilet overflowing in Delhi. They

are flowers pushing up out of the soil

in Aunay. And they are a woman in


Detroit who “carefully winds her daughter’s

hair into little curls.” Everywhere, in

the daylight, people go through their routines –

as if we can live out our lives without


poems – but at night they haunt us, we who

dream when awake, we who dream when asleep,

they having come from the desert beyond

the city to settle in for some time.




Jamie Cooper

Sturdy Tribute, Marion Hotel

When I think about this town

with its one donut shop and

ancient packman machine,

the way the slackened stoplights

still flicker all through the night

in the noise,

and all the fathers of the

fourth grade shepherds

frozen in a nativity,

I can feel their mad pride

still living in my bones,

the way you can still feel

the ocean rushing over

your body at night even

hours after the beach has closed down.

Still there are things

I wish were never true

like the night D. ran away

from rehab and stole a car

and drove all night through


how he roughed up an old lady

in her home and took all

her pearls,

and how he stepped onto

the train tracks that night

and stared into that bright beam

until it was all he could see

and listened as the whistle

grew louder and louder

and looked up and lifted his arms

like he felt rain.

With no one around it’s

hard to tell what anything


why living room lights are

still on at 3 a.m.

and the dog howl

in the distance,

so I tuck in my shirt,

trade a dollar in for coins,

dial a familiar number and


and listen to it ring and ring.

Cheyenne Nimes


Repeat the question

We were born into it. Small desert town under construction alongside the highway. The red a red, unnamed color. Begins to shine real sweat. Flat light hard light side light calling all high-rollers. A group of guards went in on foot that god has spoken to. It was much harder to move without being seen. We met them on the road. I curled up in the dirt. Like Pharoahs of the sun. How a soul can temporarily leave the body. Turn 90 degrees and it disappears. The scatteration. We’re moved around in ways that just don’t add up. Spot where a planet might appear. Whoever knows this much isn’t blind but inside where they’re from. It was always just a mess, too light here, too dark there. Some people do have curses on them. I can’t explain this. You look for. Walked up on me. That is really happening. I speak to you from this water, from this blurred world. The day’s mirages are gradually forming. Everything comes down. Burning their own villages & moving on. Trying to bring down out of the sky. Past tense doesn’t matter. What counts is outside the normally counted. The words no one can find. Not too far east, not too far west. What if you went there. There is likely no one left who remembers. You can see women either with or without their faces. To mistake one thing for another. All of the woman characters are dead in some way. Going from being a person to being a mammal. The animals milled around them who are out all the time looking for something to eat. What happened to our plan? Animals with whips resemble lands elsewhere. Right next to the highway, to try to explain what it’s doing in the desert, reading from a printed form to reduce risk to the animals promises a resurrection day. The animals may have walked in. Into real mirrors. The small gate of the house. The first is a question of what happened. The second is a question of how. I could take you to places with as many fish as there ever were in history. Swell out of the dark at you, ‘blue oases.’ One big piece of water in the dark looking through it where I could see last. What did you see & not come back and say? Sniffing the night wind for prey. He looked at me sharply then smiled. Do you know where you are? You pull that trigger you better fucking kill me, I smiled. We started stepping closer to him. Come to know the documents and the words weren’t there. Take it from the top. What is its genesis. Sources are newspaper articles, witness reports, existing investigations pulled from multiple sources, electromagnetic energy of living flesh, whitewashed walls, the palm tree shine of the generals’ medals. It had an irrestible glow, a human skull, tiny gold pendant in the shape of a skull. Where the light is turned away from the subject so that nothing is only what it seems. Like a red spot shows up on skin from internal hemorrhaging. “Based on a true story.” There are these things you can point to to explain what happened but nothing sticks. If all the – in the universe suddenly became visible… Why do you like it? Repeat the question. Approaching black skin, some accent, the place that marked the origin of it all. Below the light, just below the flame you’ll come back with a whole new plan. It’s got to be in a place I can’t see it. From the other side so that the light simply cancels out. Millions of white dots appear in the beams of the searchlight. Who counts that? Just this one. The paired bones have burned away inside. But we’re still here. We are the burning ones, don’t you forget it. Burning apart. Humans first came to America by boat, moving along the Pacific Rim from Siberia. Only halfway there.

Laurie Price

No rest

here truly here the turbulent touch

of you is precise

pieces of remember stuck

into what we’ve skilled

or I have and hope for the best

no poison harpoon

where a heart is

was between us

since it is always the rest

between us

gives no rest

Transitive Verbs

From my man to completely baby

boomer fear for all of two

ways previously practical

elected action heart or mind

not amygdala

needs to campaign, pink-slipped

or slipcovered this slippery

debt to pay utterly out

of (your) context

that’s not used

to hope, possibility.

Naivete waxing writerly

leans hard on nouns and verbs

to caution me with

Their suctions


If we limit ourselves

to mending the winch

and drive the immovable

so to surveil it

only rips the cable

then we move back

the alphabet slow like

this genuine failure

of being here

together is enough

that’s Monday

then on Friday what’s been

done are abecedarian booms

your line moves into

all the excavations

ending in terror

types of terror:

comment, no comment

earth not ground

root not seed

fall, spring

the interdisciplinary species

chain reaction

chases distraction












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