He lived in a city that doesn’t exist. Substantive trash—tractor tires, the skeleton of a yesteryear truck—was planted in the frontyards, and he liked it. The sci-fi-green plastic cups that came free with the copyrighted 1,000-calorie alcoholic drink enjoyed by visiting conference-goers and bachelor party attendees traced arcs on pavement 20 miles from place of sale. A subtle bar buzzed at the end of every …
Although not for whatever lay dead in the adjacent meadow,
for us the moment was perfect—the sky, sky blue, the sun
burnishing the fresh-washed foliage, the dog, sticks retrieved,
content to lie within reach of a scratch, and the narrative permitting
us a bench and a view of what lay before us: the light green nap
of grass like a billiard table’s baize cloth, turkey vultures cruising
on the thermals in …
don’t leave me to
paginate the Ozarks
alone with a grid
that cramps my
give me your hammer
so i can stake my
tent hard into these
Nathan Spoon’s publications include Oxford Poetry, Mantis, Reflections (Yale Divinity School) and the anthology What Have You Lost? (HarperCollins). He is associate editor of X-Peri and a 2017 faculty member for the Modernist Social Network seminar series at the University …
Kathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C. pursuing her MFA through Western Washington University. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Natural Bridge, Prairie Schooner, and Sugar House Review, among others.
Now things are getting complicated. The roots that connect my stories to the inside, the fleshy roots
at the underside of the stories, topography of land and sea and love sending sound and body from
the underside, the roots reaching to the inside
are winding and thinning as they enter, towards a center
trying to foul things up; where the threads meet is thrashing:
Minotaur again, shapeshifting or some shit.
just after sunrise at the Radcliffe CoMart lunch counter,
the day’s work already done.
Been beyond a rough season.
Emerald ash borers come up in the orchards,
gutted plums and cherries.
Acres of dent corn so stem-cankered
every granary in the state is less than half-full.
Old timers calling it an omen,
proof of half-assed faith in earthwork,
saying a field is like a woman—you have to praise her
electric grit if you …
This wistful and luminous wet is bright;
is eye-arresting in this courtyard,
demanding notice, coated in its own
slick skin of dust that drifts on water,
lit white by sunken lamps, obscured by glass.
You stand across the brushed-clean concrete
in conversation, words too hushed to hear but still
the spill of them is bell-sweet and
brilliant, almost as if
this fountain is charged,
full and flush with fire,
as I have seen the San …
It hasn’t been a hard day, but the clouds are taking their retreat.
I want to write for them a way to cultivate new shape.
Which means – I want to write for you more than an apology
for my Midwestern posture, how uselessly polite I can be
before rain falls and then, ankle-deep in a ditch of mud,
cigarette boxes, chocolate donut wrappers – …
Johnson, VT, March, 2017
I watch two girls outside my window
gliding on the frozen banks
of the Gihon River, their laughter
carried by the crisp air
of late winter. It’s Spring technically
but it’s hard to tell with the piles of snow
barely melting from rooftops. I …
I been there, rock cold pulled from and into
Bombay Beach’s television sandstorm
dead sea and sea salt halts
a desiccated fish grave exhaled
out of sand
where feral seraphim, dished and frayed clouds
ruins on top of ruins, excavate and see inside
the betrothed lives of the Salton Sea
if you have a dream
you have everything,
if love came capsuled inside
every por vida you whispered
then I would accept your version …