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Poetry Summer 2014    fiction    all issues


Anne Rankin-Kotchek
Letter to the World
from a Dying Woman
& other poems

Sara Graybeal
Ghetto City
& other poems

Tee Iseminger
& other poems

Lisa Beth Fulgham
After They Sold the Cows...
& other poems

Mary Mills
The Practical Knowledge
of Women
& other poems

Monika Cassel
Waldschatten, Muttersprache
& other poems

Michael Fleming
To a Fighter
& other poems

Daniel Stewart
& other poems

John Glowney
& other poems

Hannah Callahan
The Ptarmigan Suite
& other poems

Lee Kisling
How the Music Came
to My Father
& other poems

Jose A. Alcantara
Finding the God Particle
& other poems

David A. Bart
Veteran’s Park
& other poems

Greg Grummer
War Reportage
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

J. K. Kitchen
Anger Kills Himself
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Man Who Wished
He Was Lego
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart
Scylla of the Alabama
& other poems

James P. Leveque
Three Films of Jean Painlevé
& other poems

Kelsey Charles
& other poems

Therese L. Broderick
& other poems

Lane Falcon
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Bird
& other poems

Phoebe Reeves
Every Petal
& other poems

David Livingstone Fore
Eternity is a very long time...
& other poems

Tim Hawkins
Northern Idyll
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
On the Pillow Where You Lie
& other poems

Joey DeSantis
Baby Names
& other poems

Cameron Price
Every Morning
& other poems

David Walker
Sestina for Housesitting
& other poems

Helen R. Peterson
& other poems

Daniel Stewart


I defy you this year with a smile

less one tooth

extracted because the bone

that anchored it

dissolved. Neglect born

of neglect. A mother loves one

son but not the other. A goose will kill

its smallest, lamest mouth

for the sake of other hungers.

We endure

inversion-gummed air, The Gap

and I, ignore

side streets rutted with snow

marbled like foam on a latte.

More than halfway through

my forties I know

better, January. If the boss I’d fire

your ice; shove your single digits up your

aurora borealis. I heart you

like a clogged artery, stroke you

like a pulse-burst. You’ve struck the sky

of birds, strung the smog

with tinsel. The frost-fringed dead

limbs of the trees fool the kids

but I’m lost

as the starlings. Such garish

garnish crowns you the grandest, damnedest

widow. You suck

me dry. My hands crack

and flake. My lips need

a balm. A stranger reached

into me and wrenched

out a tooth. He numbed me

first—I felt nothing—but the cracking

was like ice fallen through.

I’ve fallen through you,

January. Your frozen fist will wreck a face.

I turn my cheek for you to kiss.


The white top reanimates, little stranglers

haloed with petals. I thought I killed

them all last year with poison, with my bare

hands dragging them out of the graves

they were digging in the lawn. Weeds

always return. You never

will. The neighbors started gardens but I’ve been

wary, haven’t even tilled the weedy soil. Dandelions

roar neon wounds. Wind riots

in the budding plum, the frantic

blossoms your absence. Sky an ache

of angles through awkward branches. The poppies

under fatten and stir.

Bent, I spray white top and crabgrass; crush

cheat; I resist. You insist

the sky’s schizophrenic with clouds. The sky

pales the way a face

drains. The wind’s scouring tears

eyes (a reflex) that reflect only the ordinary

light. Mid-April, and frost expected after midnight.


As if Cancer was a giant

vampire that broke off the blackened

fang it sucked the blood

from my family with & left

it in the flesh to fester.

The white

skeleton stretched grey

skin into a yellowed

grin, waved its claw

like a magician

performing a trick.


our Brindle/Pit mix

whined and sniffed a chrome

wheel, lifted leg to piss

but found Dad’s foot & curse

up his ass instead.

My brother

hooted & drooled, lusted

over the two-seater trap.

Never good at math, Dad:

We were four, not counting

the dog.

Splinter, I thought. Stab. Then:


Told my brother he could pull it out

of the garage. Turned to me

O meat of him, grey-tinged pink with rotting, said:

You get to wash it.


I like to do it while I’m drunk.

I like to do it when I’m starved.

Slick out under a fat

moon dressed in black,

even the shoes.

Some nights call

for hooves to clatter

through quelled neighborhoods

(The sleeping flinch

while dreaming),

others stripped

naked as a wish

to be helpless, to be


Others, lonely.

Or, fashion paws

from cat hair and nail parings

to match the mask

filched from the raccoon

hunkered under

the shed—paws


for scrambling

up streetlights—now

varmint stupid

for starlight—pale

as a secret

no one burns to know,

breath molecular

chaos I marry

to wind and go.


August you give me a canker

my periodontalist wants to biopsy

you send me flailing into rush hour

you ding my fender

you unfriend me

you terrorize my mother out of language

you berate her with dialysis

you castigate her with leukemia

you accuse us with fires

you plaque the valley in smoke

you cast deformed shadows

you bully us into prayer

Are you prone to canker sores

You have a history

of smoking (sinning)

Do you suck hard candy

Do you suck anything

What about cinnamon

what about turmeric coriander why

is curry so expensive

what about lemons

what about getting darker instead of dusk

What about Egypt Iraq Iran Syria

Our lust

for quinoa

disempowers Bolivians

On the Internet

I saw a man eat another man’s heart

I saw a man immolate himself

You unveil the olinguito

then beach hundreds of dolphins

Thunder after midnight explodes

me from dream

shudders the windows

catapults the cats

casts serpents seething

through the barren plum tree

the shriveled raspberry

a respite


your hard hot rain

on my wet hapless face

Daniel Stewart is the author of a collection of poems, The Imaginary World. Since 1999 he has been a teaching-writer for the Writers in the Schools. A variety of print and online publications have featured his poems, including Educe, Puerto Del Sol, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. Recent work may be found in the anthologies REduce, and Thrush Poetry Journal: an anthology of the first two years.

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