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Archive for October, 2013

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

 

From “Solitude Must Share My Solitude” by Pia Aliperti

A fixed fire
a quiet, collected aspect.

Now for the hitch in the storm.

Fix your hair
bathe your face,

white-walled life.
I would then be your mistress.

 


Pia Aliperti holds an MFA from The New School. Her poems and reviews have appeared recently in Rattle, The Best American Poetry blog, H_NGM_N, and Publishers Weekly.

 

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Photo by Amanda Noyes

Photo by Amanda Noyes

Playing Tennis Against a Wall

by Andrew James Weatherhead

The only way to win
is to rent a bulldozer
file a construction permit
learn how to operate
a bulldozer.
Don’t be a sore loser.
Trace the thought
back to the beginning.
The bus is late, again
but it’s here. It’s just you
and the driver.
His ringtone is that
Ennio Morricone song.
You know the one.
He has to use his hands.
He says, “Who is this?”
Then, “Oh, good morning.”

 


Andrew James Weatherhead holds a degree in Neuroscience from NYU, an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and is an Eagle Scout. His website is www.andrewweatherhead.org.

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Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

How To Keep Clean When The World Around You Is Going To Shit

by Travis Macdonald

Spoiler alert: there’s no secret meaning asleep beneath
every single love story. The human mouth contains
about 20 billion bacterium breeding
endlessly. Generations live and die in the grip
of your indigenous indigestion. Meanwhile we are still

killing the buffalo but with birth control
darts and BBQ sauce instead of bullets. Same dark hunger, different
villains in the seed vault stealing meals. It doesn’t take

Monsanto stock or an advanced degree to see we’re sinking in
iceberg sweat and high-speed propaganda bandwidths. You can get a PhD in pretty
much anything. Adieu

to you, dear country club bar mitzvah season. We miss
your microbe exchange rate slow dance doubling. With every chaperone slap

the effects of your affection hardened
into hidden tissues and hand-me-down zippers. Overstimulated
economic indicators of the apocalypse beware: This is the moment
where we begin to build our intimacy into a big brand name.

 


Travis Macdonald is a copywriter by day, editor by night and a poet in between. He is the author of two full-length collections (The O Mission Repo [vol. 1] and N7ostradamus) as well as several chapbooks. With his wife, JenMarie Macdonald, he publishes Fact-Simile Editions, a micropress dedicated to the creation of handmade contemporary poetic artifacts from recycled or reclaimed materials.

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Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Photo by Dave Bledsoe, FreeVerse Photography

Childproofing

Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer

i.

My mother is reading a book

entitled The Fearful Child,

and in-between pages 57 & 58,

there is a tiny yellow sticky labeled STEPHANIE.

 

I am the section of the chapter subtitled

“Overactive Imagination, Underactive Reasoning.”

 

Apparently,

I am abnormal.

I have been

found out.

 

It is disappointing

to find that

I have not been mentioned in the forward.

 

Just the same,

my mother has penned me in.

 

The book was neatly blanketed

by A Special Issue

of Martha Stewart Living

lying underneath the nightstand

near the Better Homes and Gardens

Family Medical Guide.

 

One morning I found a kitchen knife

wedged between

the mattress and the box spring.

 

It is easier to be anthologized

than really in the dark.

 

I can make a doily from a tourniquet

from the queen Charisma sheets.

 

Somewhere there is an artist

commissioned to illustrate an erection,

trench mouth and Nasturtium;

harelips, epileptic,

Convallaria majalis,

pinworms and

 

an itchy anus,

common,

accidental death;

 

I like to read

what my mother is reading:

fragrant, wide flowers.

 

ii.

Occasionally, we have company

over. They ask, “Why

do you have babies

in the basement?

 

It is odd—

they scratch so at the door.”

 

My mother kept us there

when we were little.

I turned out okay.

 

I let the cats out.

 

Our two Maine Coons

live in a room

beneath the kitchen.  The basement, Stephanie.

A finished basement.

 

Correction: we keep our cats in the basement.

 

It is frightening

to go either up or down stairs.

They are beginning to sound

human—like us.

 

iii.

Something in the paint

becomes a hospital;

the leaded cream

embalms

a private bone

black molding

certifies against

the mirrors

and their nook,

hanging here

before the desk,

before the desk, the Askins’ window—

no one ever writes without a chair,

I ruined it I think, watering

the Bonsai, that someone

loved me for.

 

iv.

If you want to watch TV

you can watch

 

the news: people say

Southeast Atlanta

police say: a woman

 

in her home;

a man:

survived: her

husband is:

 

everyone

on the news is:

off JimmyCarterBoulevard;

sent to Grady

 

He was:

in the closet

for three days:

 

she hadn’t vacuumed;

he raped her:

I’d’ve heard:

 

:what the neighbors said

 

in a quiet:

 

brought in,

died.

 


Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer is originally from Atlanta, GA, and works as an artist and freelance editor in St. Louis, MO, where she co-curates the Observable Readings series. She has an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and her poems have appeared AGNI (forthcoming), VerseColorado ReviewChicago ReviewCimarron Review, Fence, and Verse Daily, among others. Stephanie is a compulsive baker and also very handy with a pitchfork. “Childproofing” previously appeared in Delmar.

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