Libyan Spring by Ivy Schweitzer

On 26 March 2011 Iman al-Obeidi, a 26 year old law school graduate from Tobruk,
burst into a Tripoli hotel full of foreign journalists declaring that she had been held for
two days
and raped by members of Libya's security forces. Government agents took her away to an unknown fate, but women in Libya began to speak publicly about incidents of sexual
violence.


Bruises bloomed on my thighs
when I slipped from the bed,
my neck blue from strangling.

For two days the sun rose and set
in their stinking breath,
they came in threes laughing

caressing Kalashnikovs
and when exhausted using them
because I am from the East where the rebels fight.

Escaped, women in the street clothed me,
paid for a taxi
to the hotel of the foreign journalists where

I unveiled myself. But government minders
bundled me away in a flood of lies––
I tell you a tide is rising in the desert

and I dare you all to drink.

Queenpin by Ivy Schweitzer

Shit, she says, hoisting up her sleeve.
These were my life lines.
The drab visiting room
                        lurches.
Her tracks are varnished paths,
punched over and
over.

I feel every prick and
plunge of vein
that slam
the wheedling brain.
On the wall
a beach scene
of dune grass silhouetted
by a setting sun.

Inside, the queenpin
surveys her realm
staring down
a dark helix
of need.

Progress by Gary Lenhart

Now you can listen to Mahler
On your smart phone
You can get tweets from Donald Trump
Any time in the day

Instead of traveling to Italy
To see the canals of Venice
You can see a simulacrum
In the desert of Las Vegas

What matter that these are all…
I almost said vulgar,
Which makes me sound
Like my grandmother

A small town Baptist
Who spent her life climbing
The social ladder to Presbyterian —
She bought Velveeta cheese product

And the space program’s alternative
To orange juice—
To her an intense, chemical orange
Signified new and improved

I also recall evenings
When she returned to
The black and white days
Of the Old West
With that king of clean hands
and longtime shill for General Electric,
The Great Communicator for whom
Our most important product was Progress

It Comes in Gusts by Natalie Vaughan

I know when it is coming and that there is nothing to be done.
I know I feel the straining of a rope at its tethers,
a cord at its pulley, a line taut in my chest,
and I tell you that
I am holding on by only strings.
I know that my head is filled with helium,
that I cannot find my words through the fog.
I know that my mouth is moving and that
only bubbles emerge, popping empty at
the threshold of my lips,
and you think I have nothing to say.
And I know that you will put
your hands on my shoulders
as if you could force me back to earth,
and I know that the weight of your hands is
crushing me
flattening me
but before I can pop
the strings begin to snap
they split
one
by one
by one
I know that
the rope has
finally given way
and that I am
spiraling
upwards in a gale of
wind
leaving my breath
and my sense
and you
all on the ground
beneath me
I know
I am grasping
at twigs in the
treetops
kicking and
wailing
And I know
that I do
not know
how to pull
myself
back down.

Write a Poem about Yourself in which Nothing is True by Meara Maccabee

i hate the smell of cigarettes
i love that i hate the smell of cigarettes
i love that i hate smoking cigarettes

the only people who have touched me are people whom i have loved

i am not self-destructive because
my body is a temple and
my mind is a temple and
both deserve to flourish

the only people i have touched are people whom i have loved

i love the ocean precisely because it is big
i love the ocean because i love being reminded of why life is beautiful
i love the ocean because i love being reminded of why i should keep living

i have never given someone permission to hurt me

i have never given myself permission to hurt me

i only love people who love me back

but

i never overtip
i never fall in love with little pieces of people and i never borrow those pieces for myself so i can carry that
person around with me

i do not like being spontaneous and i do not like midnight 7/11 parking lots and i do not like it when the
music plays so loud that it bursts out of the car windows and spills into the atmosphere so the astronauts
can enjoy our soundtrack

i buried my youth years ago, traded in wide-eyed wonder for a wrinkled brow and crossed arms

i never, ever, eat anything unhealthy with the justification of “fuck it”

i am not glad that i am alive, right now, lying to you

The Clouds by John Emery

I.

Biped, your worshipful eyes don’t flatter me
your gestures that dissect my shape

You, anchored, could not comprehend
Drifting beyond control and desire
my body constantly reformed
        a whim
                    of the    wind


II.

Sometimes, the sun warms my back
moist updraft nourishes me

Sometimes, I bask in equilibrium



III.

You gape at my individuality
praise me with imaginary names
but cannot see how my incomplete
anatomy conforms to vast patterns
stratospheric topographies of only
white

 

IV.

I am no closer to the stars



V.

From altitude humanity is invisible
Only your patchy ravages remain
it is as if the landscape

is    undoing         itself.

 

VI.

Like an ancestor’s memory
the ocean vapor returns to me
                                    cleansed.
 

VII.

I vanish, I reincarnate
I drip down a leaf
I blow up a mountain
I spend a blue eternity in ice
I always will be
            free or not

there’s something
for your monks
whose bald heads I have caressed
in high temples

onth dartmouth coach by CBIII

occasionally i will take of my glasses,

so i can see th world more c l e a r l y.

unadulterated, it remains unprocessed.

my mind only sees blurs –

what conclusion could i draw from different shades of colors w/ no defining edges or characteristics.

i see the world as one,

w/o divisions.

what separates th trees from th dirt but our eyes.

cutting precisely but only as told like a robotic and naïve surgeon.

this world isnot meant to be compartmentalized.

it is one and the clarity that comes from breaking it apart isa false one.

do not always believe what you see,

realizing th world isnot blackwhite is only the precipice.

November Guests by Hilda Friday

On an evening stroll, my friend and I
        Walked through woods a man to find
Below a dark November sky
And whistling a lullaby
        Our footsteps hushed within the pines

We found him upon the trail’s crest,
        Darkened, solemn, on his stone,
acquainted us to him as guests,
and soothed our nerves with quiet jests
        We were glad to not be alone

Around us was a whispered roar
        At odds with our quiet, tranquil eve
From the distant road and the generator
From nature and men at civil war
        Yet at last that we disdained to perceive

The stars in that blue-black sky had gleamed
        Which the pointed pines had deigned to frame
campus lights glowed, linear, schemed
The bell tower’s dome boasted golden sheen
        Leaves turned white from the moon’s white flame

Cold, at my side, was the man we’d found
        Who here had walked once long ago
He listened now without a sound
to our murmurings unbound
        What he’d say we couldn’t know

Yet I had felt in that early eve
        His youthful spirit’s quiet breath
From when he, like me, was young, unseen,
And wandered the woods, the books, the green
        And found words for him to live past death

Tribute to Robert Frost

Refrigerator Poetry by Ellie Gonzales

1.

by blue water goddesses soar in the sky and boil in lakes
the forest is alive with a thousand drunk friends
in a storm of chanting worshiping spring

he played a frantic symphony in the garden
my breast heaved beneath an elaborate diamond dress
death rose fast there one gorgeous summer

i ache for sweet honey on my tongue
bitter love crushes me & i ask why it’s over
he said we could go away together

i am raw & rusted
delirious

you dream of beauty
let it lie

 

2.

she shines like the shadow of the moon
her blood revealing mist of seas above
light waxing on her petal skin
rain swimming through a bare pink head

 

3.

you dream of beauty
the light of the moon in a cool forest
the hot sun by a blue lake in summer
whispers of your sweet love

stop

do not ask for time
sing worship to the sky today
soar frantic like a storm
delirious & alive
cry
scream
moan
shine
let death lust after you

 

4.

in the shadow
she lives a
  girl
  woman
  goddess
bare
repulsive
mess
  raw
  elaborate
  gorgeous
he sees her

 

5.

her breast is crushed
beneath a gown of a thousand diamonds
her skin aches to be bare
raw & pink as a rose

 

6.

she sings symphonies to the goddesses
women who fashion gardens of light
in a sea of black shadow
and shine like the sun
revealing the beauty of their daughter moons

she is one petal floating on the breeze of spring
blowing in the wind
frantic to worship her mothers