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Poetry Winter 2013    fiction    all issues


Alysse Kathleen McCanna
& other poems

Peter Nash
Shooting Star
& other poems

Katherine Smith
House of Cards
& other poems

David Sloan
On the Rocks
& other poems

Alexandra Smyth
Exoskeleton Blues
& other poems

John Glowney
The Bus Stop Outside Ajax Bail Bonds
& other poems

Andrea Jurjević O’Rourke
It Was a Large Wardrobe...
& other poems

Lisa DeSiro
Babel Tree
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Michael Berkowitz
As regards the tattoo on your wrist
& other poems

Michael Brokos
Landscape without Rest
& other poems

Michael H. Lythgoe
Orpheus In Asheville
& other poems

John Wentworth
morning people
& other poems

Christopher Jelley
Double Exposure
& other poems

Catherine Dierker
dinner party
& other poems

William Doreski
Hate the Sinner, Not the Sin
& other poems

Robert Barasch
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Red Bird
& other poems

Anne Graue
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Tub Restoration
& other poems

Paul R. Davis
& other poems

Philip Jackey
Garage drinking after 1989
& other poems

Karen Hoy
A Naturalist in New York
& other poems

Gary Sokolow
Underworld Goddess
& other poems

Michal Mechlovitz
The Early
& other poems

Henry Graziano
Last Apple
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
& other poems

Roger Desy
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

Frederick L. Shiels
Driving Past the Oliver House
& other poems

Richard Sime
Berry Eater
& other poems

Jennifer Popoli
Generations in a wine dark sea
& other poems

Michael Brokos

Landscape without Rest

I step aside as a boy pedals

fast downhill, our path blazed

by cedar chips, his father

ambling at the crest, and fret

against the grip of my own

vectors, the straight lines, strict

dimensions, days that race by

too easily for the neighbors,

too scrutinized for me; but don’t

we make a fine match, strike

a spry exchange, don’t we

light a fused flame, how they

keep the tires of their bicycles

inflated, and how no one ever

showed me how to ride, and

the way these widening lanes

make way for flashes of rubber,

flares of cottonwood leaves.

Singing Stone

After César Vallejo

     My cigarette proves suitable

since I, too, am burning to a stub. How dizzying,

how carcinogenic to wield the world between

my own fingers, my own star going down in smoke

for a few moments

until the ember begins to flicker, and the world

takes its last drag,

stooping down to put me out in an empty furrow.

     Lying in an open grave,

through the abiding veins of light I can see

my back story, my body

carried away in a trade wind racing across

blotted out mountains

made of stars

that Paris keeps turning towards itself,

stars that turn over thousands of times more

of their own accord

in the Andes, Trujillo, Santiago de Chuco,

caves collapsing

and my villagers’ bones asleep in their red hats.

     Downpour descends on me

as forecasted, my voice dry from trying to greet

the raw and forgotten

in music not precisely music, only the ashy

expectorations of panpipes and corequenques.

Hunting Season

Out in the clearing, the cold

season’s coming on, a walled fog

of lights and my bones

courting evasion, coerced

into stealing away

from a public suddenly

steadfast on staking me out.

I’m sticking close

inside the high embankment

of the river, but they will

find me, and take aim.

The facility with which

I shift through the seeming

boundlessness of the forest

appears to play in my favor

but in effect forms

the groundwork of the game, of my

bulls-eye. I sense their scopes

sighting in on me when I bend

down to drink from

the smallest streams.

The sky letting go of its

last warmth, limbs their leaves,

storm clouds leaning into

trees—the terrain

betrays me in the same

distention that my instincts,

being so sought after,

forget how to seek escape.


Not the procedure of inverted perch;

                          not the flitting at the feeder

brimming with sugar water

             dyed bright red. Not the reverence

             of echoes buried deep, lasering

stillness to a shrill point B

                           embedded in point A

by line alone, and only then

after the flight is over; not the discipline

                           to lift a mouth and eyes

from food, from coloring,

             or the fundamental music

             wingbeat speed produces.

What figures is the wanderlust

                           for flight, the worry

the one that flies inside inspires: how

to chase it out? The shooing

                           of the bat that matters

most; or all too fast, the blur

             of the hummingbird whirring by.

Stream Water, Stream Light

Stream water, stream light in the easy creek

that snaked and hissed at the bottom of the hill

all summer long, while houseflies at the crest

assembled to swing in signatures across

garbage bags ripped open by raccoons,

regalia of the driveway. We ignored

this festival of feastful decay whenever

we came indoors or left—the stores of moisture,

pools of light prismatic in our eyes

transfigured those peripheral scenes and stenches.

How we held on to an unswerving comfort,

reclining in our shared stretch of the bank,

groping among the termites in the wicker,

staying naked, since our clothes weren’t clean.

Michael Brokos earned his MFA in 2012 from Boston University, where he received the Hurley Award. He has also received a work-study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and his work appears in Hobart, Salamander, and elsewhere. He lives in Baltimore.

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