Marilyn Kallet has published 17 books, including The Love That Moves Me, poetry from Black Widow Press. She has translated Paul Eluard’s Last Love Poems, Péret’s The Big Game, and co-edited and co-translated Chantal Bizzini’s Disenchanted City (with J. Bradford Anderson and Darren Jackson.) Dr. Kallet is Nancy Moore Goslee Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Each spring she leads poetry workshops for VCCA-France in Auvillar. She has performed her poems on campuses and in theaters across the United States as well as in France and Poland, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” program; recently she performed with Ivy Writers Paris bilingual poets series, and with Plume at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris.
On Rue Bichat
on the shattered street
you want a poem
I have only
that hang heavy
in the air
like church bells.
I have Sunday
blue sky above
and foot patrols,
who “came all this way”
and can’t enter
I have one family
reduced to long echoes,
Ode to a Lost Poet
You abandoned me
during the worst violence
Paris has known
since World War II.
You are no
You are no longer
Poets must have heart.
The moment you
were not center
stage, you backed
I sat alone in
Hotel Quartier Latin
watching the loop
of butchery on TV.
a black hood of
silence for yourself.
“You can read
if you want to,” you emailed, at last.
“But my poetry must wait
for a more tranquil time.”
I was strapped into the plane
at LaGuardia on
to take off.
Sorry, the pilot said.
Now I’m here,
in our beloved Paris.
Writers and friends do not wait.
stays well-lit, open for poetry, camaraderie.
The amps have been plugged in.
The audience wants words: comfort, rage,
anything. Attendre? They attend.
“We need to laugh!” someone says.
Down the road, Place de la République
is packed, despite warnings.
Almost midnight: friends and strangers
raise candles, compose notes.
Wait for peace?
Yours will be long, Madame.
Your poems can
rest, tranquil as dust,
as a drug.
You lost me
in the dark night
Nancy Chen Long is the author of Light into Bodies, winner of the 2016 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry (forthcoming, University of Tampa Press, 2017) and the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). You’ll find her recent and forthcoming work in Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Bat City Review, the Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, and elsewhere. Nancy received a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and an MBA, worked as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager, and more recently earned an MFA. She lives in south-central Indiana and works at Indiana University. www.nancychenlong.com
D. H. Bruun is the recipient of a Stegner Poetry Fellowship from Stanford University, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as AGNI, Meridian’s Best New Poets, Black Warrior Review, H_NGM_N, and Gulf Coast. He currently lives in Dubai, UAE.
Barbara Sabol is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Original Ruse (Accents Publishing) and The Distance between Blues (Finishing Line Press). Her work has most recently appeared in The Examined Life, San Pedro River Review, Ekphrasis, Common Ground Review, Pentimento, Chrysanthemum, Modern Haiku, and Pudding Magazine, as well as in a handful of anthologies. Barbara holds an MFA from Spalding University. She won the Jean Irion Prize in poetry in 2014. Barbara reviews poetry books for the blog, Poetry Matters. She is a speech therapist who lives and works in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with her husband and wonder dogs.
Sound prevails under the ice small light in the depths—where
the beluga travels, north to Cook Inlet. Apart from mating, breath
her strongest instinct; Eskimo, spear, an afterthought. The burden of ice
is relieved by the echoes of her twitter-clicks, telling her here is a sliver
of open water, here is your breathing. The ice-bound ocean her intimate
aquaria, the white whale navigates the margins of air and water.
Above the ice the polar bear waits, waits for the streak of white to pass
beneath his paws, for the first pulse of water between the floes. He is learning
to decipher her song, learning exactly where to stop, when to scoop his great
foreleg against her heft. But this one, ah, she has tuned her voice not only
to the air above, but to what it shapes itself around, and with that knowledge
she swims backwards, holding her breath.
Triin Paja is an Estonian, living in a small village in rural Estonia. Her poetry has appeared in The Moth, BOAAT, Otis Nebula, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Gloom Cupboard, The Missing Slate, and elsewhere.
you say its kindness, the way dusk gathers
its skirt-hems, walks to the wheat field,
leaves. how a cat leaves an old woman’s lap,
ribbons of light fluttering in the wind.
kindness, you say, as the sun disappears in
your throat, leaving me beneath the grey belly
of the whale-sky. I hear spring shatter its
perfume bottle, the clouds clinging to tin roofs
with soft hands. I have kissed your hands.
when we cannot speak, we press our bare skin
against silence’s bare skin—I want to say
when you die they will not find blood but birds
in the body. how kindness is always forgiveness,
the thrushes covering us with the insect netting
of their song. how somewhere we pearl into
a bone-white memory, rising, collapsing,
like a lover’s breathing after a vodka-darkened
night, after the ghost of the orgasm leaves us.
how somewhere the stones are writing us,
the dandelions flickering in a kind of light.
we hear the conversation between the wind,
the reeds. we hear the church bells where
there is no church. we’ve come here to be
forgotten, here, where the deer touches
the mildewed stones. the linen of fog
dresses the river—the river Lethe
running through our bodies
when we touch. this light of bodies,
flickering, climbing into the night
of another’s limbs, the moss of skin.
you say the world has become Lethe.
you say, and the bird of your voice grows old,
the wings spread slowly. you enter me
as one enters a river, your warmth on my skin
like paint. you say the speed of forgetting is a river,
your wheat-bruised hands in a mustard field of light.
when I touch you in the river, I do not know
if it is you I touch or the water.
are you a river? are you a dream?
your pulse in the river
like a blue stone, like a song.
the wine begins to glow like a gas lamp inside us
because in this city no one has hands. we saw the boy
with the purple scarf. his silhouette was a monolithic statue.
the vegetables begin to rot. we forget the nightmares
of the oiled seagulls. how our mothers waited for hours
for the sugar, the flour, beneath the moth-flickering factory light.
there are nights when the lilium becomes the moon.
the hair of the wheat swells in the snow and we become
what the crows didn’t take with them. someone cries
in the tractor shed but here I am washing your back.
I gather up the yarn, the mandarin peels. moon-soaked, desperate,
our memories begin to disappear like elephants from ancient china.
to be this feral with emptiness. to come to you as to a body
tied to an oak tree. the paint of your name peeling from the walls.
the moon clinging to a branch like a luminous owl. the river
where I gave names to your bones. a polaroid of Rome.
a boy, a man. a hand, trembling, and trembling.
Sarah Nix is a writer and artist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She received a BFA in 2006 from Herron School of Art and Design. Her poetry has appeared in CALYX Journal, DIALOGIST, Rust + Moth, and Sugared Water. Her blog is sarahonpaper.blogspot.com.
where his brush
missed the canvas
rubbed off the edges
of his pictures
left its mark
Cup, Sasanian Period
When he brought its lip
to his lips, he closed his eyes.
He could not see
thousands would come to look
into the void of its mouth.
For how many years
did it clasp
her wrist like a hand?
Don’t leave us with this
Dutch Timepiece, 17th Century
pinned open like a specimen.
Bowl, Song Dynasty
The way we imagine
it held by hands.
it will never be again.
This is the dark butterfly of the mountain,
its image rippled in the water.
The rocky coastline softened
The instance we knew iridescence:
close-up of the beach, fragments of shells.
And this—taken just before
my hat flew into the wind
and was lost to the ocean.
Let it go. Forget
the rust-bitten signs,
tangles of power lines.
How we framed out the crowds,
the traffic and trash, our quarreling.
This is the mountain. Fog.
My dress in full bloom. Our wind-
posed hair. These are clouds,
trees. This is the sea.
Sherry Chandler has published four collections of poetry, most recently The Woodcarver’s Wife. Her work has received three nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Individual poems have been published in the Louisville Review, the Cortland Review, The William and Mary Review, and other periodicals and anthologies. Her website is http://www.sherrychandler.com.
Karen George, author of Into the Heartland (Finishing Line Press, 2011), Inner Passage (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), Swim Your Way Back (Dos Madres Press, 2014), and The Seed of Me (Finishing Line Press, 2015), has received grants from Kentucky Foundation for Women and Kentucky Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Louisville Review, Permafrost, Naugatuck River Review, Still, Wind, and Blue Lyra Review. She holds an MFA from Spalding University, reviews poetry at http://readwritepoetry.blogspot.com/, and is fiction editor of the journal Waypoints at http://www.waypointsmag.com/. Visit her website at http://karenlgeorge.snack.ws/.
Annie Hinkle‘s poetry is published in Ascent, Mid-American Review, Best of Ohio 2014, Express Cincinnati, and Southern Poetry Review. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University and a PhD from University of Kent, Canterbury, England. When she is not writing poetry or fiction, she is teaching high school language arts and directing The Writing Center at Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her poetry chapbook, Composition Studies, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.