A Poem by Seth Jani

The Cottage Rows

 

 

The trees are just themselves,

Green and decisive,

And they have absolutely

Nothing to say.

The child walks beneath them

Following the line of shadows

With his hand.

No one can explain to him

How the trees change colors

Without being angry or sad,

How sap circulates through their bodies

And is transmuted into delicate

Drops of gold.

Those lush sentinels

Devoid of any ego or “I”

Are all it takes

To strike the heart with silence.

How then to tell him

That such miracles

Simply happen?

That the apples

Filling with sweetness

Are a plain and living truth?

 

 

Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). His own work has been published widely in such places as The Chiron ReviewPretty Owl PoetryEl Portal, Phantom DriftCommon Ground Review,The Hamilton Stone Review, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal  and Gravel.

His chapbook, In The House Magisterial, will be published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Visit him at www.sethjani.com.

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A Poem by Autumn Meier

This One Should Rhyme

 

 

They say the universe was once so close

That the space between atoms was erased

And the true meaning of intimacy arose

As the first particles united, unchaste

 

Time, matter, and energy combined

As the knotted thread of life began

And in a story oddly predesigned

I think you were there, holding my hand

 

The explosion saw the dust of stars

Scatter through the vast landscape of space

And like the puff of slow cigars

The scene evolved like gently-worked lace

 

Our atoms were lost in the cosmic dance

But for billions of years the search never ceased

I knew we would once again meet by chance

And the heaviness of time would be released

 

Then—in a little coffee shop, on the outskirts of Kyiv,

I understood why, all these years, I’d believed.

 

 

 

 

Autumn Meier‘s work can be found in Straight-Up Magazine and Carcinogenic Poetry. She lives in Waxahachie, Texas with her husband and 438 books.

A Poem by Orchid Tierney

From Gyrotexts

 

moss expanding into monochrome shot of ice/the petronauts go south/
soon it will be too hot/between a rocket and a hard placenta/
No, BP Didn’t Ruin the Gulf/The Arctic is very sensitive to environmental change/
break the ice with one of these introductory exercises/‘Global cooling’
burning the mileage oligarchy/the atmosphere is a garbage dump/
What kind of ideas can the air give you?/the poem is a carbon sink/
fatally-flawed/carry Newscastle to the coals/the world at least for the time being
is growing warmer/a ten degree increase…will melt 70% of the polar icecap/
strum while the irony is hot/C02 will have a positive effect/suitable to colonization/
The surface of the earth is only dust and mud/a forgetting of air/when the starlings
begin to hulk, the earthworm will become a puffin

 

 

 

Orchid Tierney is from New Zealand/Aotearoa/Philadelphia. Her chapbooks include Brachiation (Dunedin: GumTree Press, 2012) and The World in Small Parts (Chicago: Dancing Girl Press, 2012), and a full length sound translation of the Book of Margery Kempe, Earsay (TrollThread, 2016). She co-edits Supplement, an annual anthology on Philadelphia writing.

Photo credit: José Alberto De Hoyos

A Poem by Luisa A. Igloria

Notes Toward a History of Coaxial Cable

 

dates back to the early 1880s, that heady time

of invention when sound and light and other

 

elements were yoked to service for precise

transmission of our varied signals— So much

that now is easy to take for granted: the trucker

 

with the ham radio, the soldier clipping a walkie-

talkie to his belt, the technician who slicks warm

gel over my belly then slides a wand to render

 

the moon-surfaces of my organs via ultrasound—

The inner conductor is surrounded by a tubular

insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular

 

conducting shield, and both share a geometric

axis: which is to say, the signal looks for the path

that’s clearest or rendered most safe from possible

 

interruption; which is to say, the distance

between the thing and its intended object becomes

more unbearable with each new iteration of time

 

and space. Why do you think the inventor

of the telephone sought a way to funnel the absent

one’s voice into his ear? We speak into our

 

devices, our tapping fingers send the messages

our naked eyes and bodies alone can’t throw

across the ether. Think of how any of such

 

wonders began: as string on a lover’s telephone

spliced from two diaphragms, two cans of beans

emptied and cleaned, their ends punched to guide

 

the string or wire. And other amazements!

—those early days when ice did not even pour

out of spouts on refrigerator doors or trays

 

from the freezer, but travelled whole like scaled-

down glaciers on pallets of straw for months

in the dark holds of ships, across the world— to arrive

 

in a tropical country so the cook could put good butter

and milk and eggs into a cake, and write with sugar

a message on top: To love, To fortune, To the future!

 

 

 

 

Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of the chapbooks Haori (Tea & Tattered Pages Press, 2017), Check & Balance (Moria Press/Locofo Chaps, 2017), and Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015); plus the full length works Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015.

Author photo: Lisa Zader

A Poem by Carol Dorf

On Definitions

 

With all the ways time loops in the quantum

foam definitions slide away. Her mother

could have said “a life defined by sorrow”

but it might have been sparrows or tomorrow

which is a problem when tomorrow loops

around today. Her physics teacher would

have said “don’t confuse your quantum world

with your mechanical space — no one

hoists anvils under an imaging machine.”

 

Though isn’t that the point: there is “no one”

on that infinitesimal scale so

we define life in the particle zoo:

Quarks — up and down bottom and strange

Leptons — neutrino, electron muon and tau

 

Imagine the first instants of the universe

where light and gravity interact

in long waves, when metaphors turn

upon themselves before they intersect

in hyperbolic geometries.

 

 

(From Theory Headed Dragon — first published in Antiphon/republished in Scientific American.)

 

 

 

Carol Dorf has two chapbooks available, Some Years Ask, (Moria Press) and Theory Headed Dragon, (Finishing Line Press.) Her poetry appears in E-ratio, Great Weather For Media, Glint, Slipstream, Sin Fronteras, Surreal Poetics, About Place, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Scientific American, and Maintenant. She is poetry editor of Talking Writing and teaches mathematics in Berkeley.

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