from Leafmold

A blade of grass tickling an ankle. Not an ant, not a fly, not a mosquito, not a bee. Branches so thin they don’t cast shadows so the leaves appear to float, organized like a school of fish on the sunlit cedar. The feeling you cannot feel again but can only remember: God was in the church basement and your mind was a brushfire buffeted by his lungs. A fleeing like a stalk of something greener than green climbing the spine. Get the dishes done. Pack your bags. The weather is not your friend yet the weather is a shield and the weather is an arrow painted with your impatience. The arrow of your impatience is a thing for the flies to contemplate, a facedown mirror in the moss, a bucket of steaming towels, throbbing bass so loud on the third of July you can hear it four miles away. Who minds whose mind? Boom boom boom. boom. An aversion to aversions. A gaze of mud to collate sundown’s terms: followers carry zithers into the sky. Mallards were once seen here but no more—the braid of bird to land comes apart via avian botulism, absence of bats, noise of the world. Funny that these entities rebraid this place into a form to fit the self. The last egg cracked is a thing of fundament, an absolute too gold to not ignore.

*

F. Daniel Rzicznek is the author of three poetry collections, Settlers (forthcoming from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), Divination Machine (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), and Neck of the World (Utah State University Press), as well as four chapbooks, most recently Live Feeds (Epiphany Editions). He is co-editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press). His recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in West Branch, Willow Springs, Colorado Review, 32 Poems, TYPO, Terrain, The Collagist, and elsewhere. Rzicznek teaches writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Recurrent Dream

No wife, toddler, beagle
in familiar Milwaukee

a cold spring, my ragged apartment on Murray
still paid for, still the stained beige carpet

a highlit view of the city—
dire need to make it to class

in order to graduate—
plunge my old silver motorcycle unhelmeted

through flakes of snow, a Celtic mist
down Oakland to school

nowhere to park
doors illuminated but shut—

there’s also practice, for baseball
lucky to make the lineup

for once have this chance, take a cut
that I’ve been working on, waiting to hit

on deck, my mouth salty with sweat
no crowd in the seats, no pitcher on the mound.

*

Beau Boudreaux’s second book-length collection of poems, Rapunzel’s Braid, was published in 2016 by Five Oaks Press. His first book of poems, Running Red, Running Redder was published by Cherry Grove Collections in 2012. He has published his poetry in journals including Antioch Review and Cream City Review, and in anthologies including The Southern Poetry Anthology. Beau Boudreaux currently teaches at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans.

Domesticity

Sag in the driver’s seat, sigh
idling for the green streetcar while

tourists unload in July heat
look both ways crossing the neutral ground

over tracks to reach safely across
the avenue—I barely accelerate

air conditioner cool on low
they’re building a new house

on my block, progress in the morning
before afternoon thunderstorms roll in—

plan creole tomatoes, sweet corn, watermelon
perhaps boiled gulf shrimp on a bed of lettuce,

more dire tasks, strange leak
from the bathroom ceiling

during heavy showers, toddler’s loose
front tooth, rattle in the dryer—

my wife returns soon from work
like aloe on my sun-burned skin

her blonde hair freshly clipped
at the shoulder, smart black dress

she slips into comfortable clothes
white tee shirt, jeans, espadrilles

I turn on the local jazz station.
put her Chardonnay on ice.

*

Beau Boudreaux’s second book-length collection of poems, Rapunzel’s Braid, was published in 2016 by Five Oaks Press. His first book of poems, Running Red, Running Redder was published by Cherry Grove Collections in 2012. He has published his poetry in journals including Antioch Review and Cream City Review, and in anthologies including The Southern Poetry Anthology. Beau Boudreaux currently teaches at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans.

Hypersurface

I count things endlessly: needles, eyes,
the ridges on my knuckles. How the body 
being material worketh upon the immaterial soul, writes
Burton. I forget how not to be tempted by the cracks 
in the floor, the drips of the tap when I 
turn off the shower.
                                                     Of the stars, 
each night I am grateful to have forgotten
where I began. The feeling that has no end,
push a finger into it and feel the give. The symptoms
are infinite, Burton continues. Pick any direction,
but don’t look behind you. To say the truth is to say 
all the grains of sand are precious to me, and though
the melancholics eat and eat, they are lean, the gut 
razed like a reaped field.

*

Katie Willingham is the author of Unlikely Designs (University of Chicago Press, 2017). She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers Program where she also taught creative and academic writing. Her poems have found space or are forthcoming in numerous venues includingBennington Review, Kenyon Review, Poem-A-Day, The Journal, Rhino, Massachusetts Review, and Colorado Review. She has recently become the Poetry Editor of Michigan Quarterly Review and can befoundmost of the time in person in Brooklyn, NY and online always at http://katiewillingham.com.

Forethought

Many circumstances are enough to hold you in place. This observation 
            a nerve-ending delivered: first 
            it snowed then the ice covered over it, a sheen
            I hesitated to crack. 

They say the present intervenes. 
            My last remaining wisdom tooth is rupturing— a potential 
            I knew I carried but did nothing to tend to it. Here,

before the mirror in the bedroom with my phone as a flashlight,
              I took a picture for you 
              but did not send it. I made 
              a hole in the feeling and pushed 
              the fact through it, lonely forethought:

the tender dealings between us.
             Tongue against the edge 
             there; I couldn’t keep it away.

*

Katie Willingham is the author of Unlikely Designs (University of Chicago Press, 2017). She received her MFA from the Helen Zell Writers Program where she also taught creative and academic writing. Her poems have found space or are forthcoming in numerous venues includingBennington Review, Kenyon Review, Poem-A-Day, The Journal, Rhino, Massachusetts Review, and Colorado Review. She has recently become the Poetry Editor of Michigan Quarterly Review and can befoundmost of the time in person in Brooklyn, NY and online always at http://katiewillingham.com

.

Refraction

My grandfather rides a train 
     to Chicago

through long silos of night passing 
      endless fields 

Midwestern stars the porch lights 

of lone farm houses 
        blaze in the distance
   


 
       I do nothing but swim 
              for hours      grow 
  
       larger      longer under 
                    the moonlight I stretch 
        
       tall      turn impossible in all 
                  that emptiness
 

 
    
he married 
      my grandmother a year later 

everywhere they 
      traveled he clicked 
 
his camera 
      even now in the distance 
     
birds fly from 
      the photographs

*

David Hornibrook‘s work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, SiDEKiCK LiT, Rogue Agent, Five Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, The Columbia Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize recipient and holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.

Submarine

In deep ocean, bioluminescent 
shapes drift.  Where no sun penetrates 

there can be no time. Where time 
makes no linear progress

permutations abound!  



Life assumes the form(s) 	it needs. Why assume otherwise?
(there is a house heated by the earth’s hot core)

The shape of the man is a shape changed by desire 
escaping from the hot core of need.

A core requires tremendous pressure, a core 
requires depth.



Eye shine on dark 	mass, a whale carcass 	descending.
 


Through phantom darkness 
circling the house 	on the seafloor along the fissure 
where the family sleeps, all night long

I will be here swimming 	slow circles, breathing 
& waiting, while nearby      a massive 

squid lolls in the deep.

*

David Hornibrook‘s work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, SiDEKiCK LiT, Rogue Agent, Five Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, The Columbia Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize recipient and holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.

North

Beyond Dixie
Baptist’s giant

Jesus across the Zilwaukee
Bridge and north to a small town

nourished by snowmobilers

there is breakfast anytime
in a blue café

*

David Hornibrook‘s work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, SiDEKiCK LiT, Rogue Agent, Five Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, The Columbia Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize recipient and holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.

A Stand of Pine

The sweetest apples were the ones
that hung highest in the tree. I broke
every branch trying to get to a place
where I could reach one. Five minutes
after eating it, I no longer knew
what it tasted like. Everything goes –
every single smooth, oblong
rock from my collection, every
pitted, banded gem – Petosky
stones, geode crystals, fool’s gold.
Also the record covers I pinned
to the wall. Also, the whole garbage
bag full of 8-tracks. So much
John Denver no one will ever
hear. So much Marianne Faithful
surrendered to tape rot.
So much hiss & scramble falling
out of the world. Also
the Monster-In-My-Pockets: Jutland
Troll, Huron the Hunter, Wendigo,
Red Cap, Manticore, Beast –
they all crept away like stories
clipped from skateboard magazines,
super hero trading cards lost
for weeks then found neatly
stacked on the desktop. But even
desktop is nowhere now.
So much slippage along the river’s
edge – land constantly giving way
to motion. The sink hole down
the street that swallowed a truck
& the mounds of dirt as big
as houses we climbed to get
a better look. What could
be done with so much earth, where
could it possibly have gone?

*

David Hornibrook‘s work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, SiDEKiCK LiT, Rogue Agent, Five Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, The Columbia Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize recipient and holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.

Pop Blasted

1

We were all interested in the future. Suddenly we were looking in clean rooms for art. Especially in California, especially between Hindu temples & launch pads. Always in search of the post-sputnik deep & lasting, wandering through Wayne McAllister’s curvaceous hotels for something smaller and usually less direct than the dominant visual language of motels, it was sometimes called Googie, after Lautner’s design, after the coffee shop, the Chemosphere, after all, we are all astronauts. Space-age bachelor-
pad music? The ice-
                                 white cube?

2

The celebrity psychic Criswell at the beginning of the 1959 astro-disaster had a perfect way to explain the influence of the saucer men’s standard kind of ascetic interior. Cities & highways, as if seen anew from space, upswept. Capsule-shaped living devices seemed to evoke far-out geodesic spirits. We may not have been thinking about tubular & machinelike, about silvery streamlining, though certainly architects, said Richard Rogers, we could draw parallels – satellite shape & starburst. There were unconscious threads as well – suits expanding & doubling as structures. Black & white severed alien hand wreaking havoc on the outskirts of town.

                   Greetings, my friend, from infancy,
                            for that

                                 is where you & and I are headed.

*

David Hornibrook‘s work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, SiDEKiCK LiT, Rogue Agent, Five Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, The Columbia Review, Flyway, and elsewhere. He is a Pushcart Prize recipient and holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writer’s Program at the University of Michigan.

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