Category Archives: Poetry

How to Lose a Thing

Forget to care about it.
Let your concern catch hurricane wind
and tumble out of thought—
out of mindfulness.
Leave mindfulness to mold and rot.
Leave it lay under piles of dirty dishes,
petty emergencies,
and online notifications.
Become harried and hurried.
Let your keys land where they may.
Let your kisses, hands, and “I love you’s”
land where they may.
Let your bills and wallet land where they may.
You can always find them later.
If you want to lose something,
lose it thoroughly.
Brush over the steps you take
throughout the day.
Leave no path to retrace—
no chance to figure out how you
got to this point.
Blot out the stars and scramble
your compass.
To lose something is to not
remember the journey.
Is to not remember
how to be found. Continue reading

Three Poems – Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz


Your Fucking Tweets

are what I read instead of reading a book, instead of writing
a poem, instead of cooking a meal. Your tweets are the flypaper
I fly into daily. Your tweets are the elevator where all my buttons
are pushed. Your tweets are as subtle as a paper cut, as casual
as a rectal exam, as funny as getting a paper cut while getting
a rectal exam. You are everything I don’t want to be. Your tweets
are a road map to everywhere I don’t want to go. Your tweets
keep happening. I keep hitting refresh and there is always more.
Your tweets.Your fucking tweets. It’s a first world problem,
but you’re a first class douchebag. Continue reading

A Quiz

Go to where you keep silverware
and pull out all your forks.  Which
was the last one you used
before hearing Michael Brown
had been shot?

How many times
have you washed your sheets
since you first heard the words,
“drone strike?”

True or False:
you have showered
with greater frequency
since September 11, 2001.

How many times
has a single tear
rolled down your cheek
as if in homage to
those icons of your childhood films
who were depicted as
stoic but for that one
brief moment of humanity?
Which eye has served you best
in this regard?
If this has never happened to you,
is it because
you cry such plentiful tears
that there has never been just one?
If this hasn’t happened to you,
is it because you remain
unmoved, even now?
Continue reading

Three Poems – JR Mahung

Continue reading

Two Poems – Jessica Abughattas



Dogs are boys and cats are girls.
No one was looking. I dipped my baby carrots in sugar.
I swam in my pool wearing only underwear.
Girls are not supposed to be shirtless.
I told the girls at pre-school about my older sister and brother.
I don’t have a sister.
At recess time, the swings are my favorite.
My biggest fear is falling.
I found out a way to touch that feels good.
This makes grown ups angry.
Women are really pretty
in my mom’s magazine.
I only dream in the color red.
Circles are girls and squares are boys.
I don’t like to share my crayons because
I love to touch the pointy tips.
The kids color so hard my crayolas return as stubs
Riley said I am too bossy and called me a hippocrip.
I cried and cried.
I had a crush on Riley. Continue reading

Another Year, Marla

-on the second anniversary of the death of Marla Ruzicka,
an American aid worker killed in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq on April 16th, 2005.
Marla founded Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) in 2003. 

Each day of this war the body count
passes anonymous as an odometer tick.

We kick the tires, we turn the page.

Upstairs where my books breathe the article
that announced your death and life to me
sits clipped (wide Rolling Stone paper halved
and halved again) stirring like a fever dream
in my bookcase.

Marla, it’s another year for the sand of this war
to overrun the graves, fill in the craters, the details. Continue reading

Two Poems – Jonathan Dubow


far from home visiting friends who’ve become more radical
never am i such a stranger as at these moments
i could be dead it would be nothing monumental to me
at times like these i stroll back and forth
between this objectivity and that door that guards my dreams
these days everything is something along those lines

my friend was sleeping with this tantric woman
who’d just left her husband and three kids
i was traveling to see him
where he was holed up
all around us life went on assertion bragging defensiveness
and boasting forgery and greed

his dad with new girlfriend was at the texmex diner where we got breakfast
his dad paid our bill the grandma didn’t know his dad was dating
would write him out of the will he thought she should be in a home
thought it felt guilty he’d asked my friend to tell grandma she needs to
go to a home bought our breakfast and we left town
when should we live if not now
is what they say in california

in the car we talked about the relationships between other people and parents
other people and other people parents and parents
parents and themselves we agreed
it would be nice to define this relationship between anger nostalgia and insecurity
once and for all
sometimes there is a solution for this problem
with a rumor about ourselves in it that’s almost imperceptible
Continue reading

Three Poems – Bud Smith



Rooting For You

unhappy but trying to not rip my own head off and punt it as my final dying motion

chewing tropical bubble gum and refusing to acknowledge the slow decline of all life on earth

but! kinda coming out of my fog, and seeing where to put my feet on the steps

think about a new baby girl crawling up the stairs
grabbing a cape mom hung on the doorknob
slipping the cape on, floating over the violent town

I look up to people who raised themselves

see me pop my bubblegum underneath
flickering florescent light

do people raised by wild wolves ever get tired?

do wild wolves ever get tired of raising babies they found somewhere, crying soft in the darkened forest?

picturing wild wolves having to go to a PTA meeting

picturing wild wolves bringing a child to tee ball

picturing wild wolves having to meet their adoptive human son or daughter’s prom date and the wild wolves sitting on their haunches, knowing this’ll all work out

wild wolves thinking ‘okay, try me’

earlier today I accidentally cut my hand wide open and I purposefully let the blood fall on the snow and make a heart shape

a big ol’ heart shape

hope you can see it from up in the pink clouds

if you’re separated for me, I’ll continue to believe it’s because you are out secretly saving the world from forces I cannot comprehend.
Continue reading

Two Poems – Nick Stanovick



Pruning Season

Nothing nothing nothing and then a spark of something I once knew:
The old farm house on a Missouri country road,
a pandemonium of wild flowers in the sky every evening
and who would need a skyscraper then?
The bustle of cities to the peepers shredding the dark with song is no comparison.
I want the night hanging in tatters from the good noise,
I want the purple scales of the fish across the street,
the pond next to the yard next to the house that Jim and Mary Lou keep.
The dirt road that nana scraped her knee on,
my father lapping up the last of the bourbon.
the trees & the trees & the trees,

gummy July and my father’s slicked sweat dripping after another day pruning,
and you try to say that the California heat is oppressive?
Missouri is a skillet,
flat and butter yellow in summer and trees take shape for the Christmas taking.
I carry the buckets of saplings through the rows,
my father rises like an elevator to spray the tops of the five year old trees,
I put the babies in the ground and the wet mud slurps them home,
gobbles the shy roots and there it is, life,
the Christmas tree farm has birthed another son, or daughter
Continue reading

Three Poems – Alfredo Aguilar



in a forest of pine

you found a nest & held it in your palm. small speckled
eggs lay in a fragile home built of beak, twig, & spider

silk. you crushed the nest, whispered an invocation into
your clasped fingers & a flock of doves rose from

your palms. they covered the sky. it began to rain. i sat
inside a mountain with a meal of hard bread, grinding

my teeth down on the memory of hunger. how i tried to slow
the passing of everything sweet that touched my tongue.
Continue reading