Tag Archives: 30/30

Hank Williams & the Ghost Train – Ryk McIntyre

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The train whistle in the distance is my word for loneliness,
a whisper in the wilderness, a ghost that never rests.
But here I am, in this bed alone,
so who am I to judge?
As if I could ever sound that sad.
As if I could articulate that much.

On the good days I remember the velocity of her smile.
That's something of a disadvantage, this deep in denial.
I pull back on the emotional brakes, but I'm broken-down and broke.
I'm not so lonesome I could cry,
but I suppose that I can hope.
 Continue reading


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If punk rock is a church, it will be a Black Church.
And if punk rock is a Black Church,
it has already burnt down.
I can still taste its ashes in my throat.
Everywhere, sweat. Everywhere, blood.
And of course, what is more holy
than the crucifixion, 
or the moshpit
or a slaughterhouse?
It’s as if those flailing bodies just caught the Holy Ghost
but those bodies were white.
Those limbs never pulled out tambourines from their purses;
I imagine them reaching for guns
at the end of every chorus.
They never raised their hands up in surrender 
or in fear,
instead, those hands threw punches.
They caught the spirit
and then kicked it right in the ribs
again     and again       and again
and still demanded encores.
If punk rock is a church, don't forget how sacred it is. Continue reading

a lineage

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On the anniversary of radiation
I walked to the hospital
not on even on purpose
but just because
I felt like a change
from my usual walk

and found that my legs
still went that way.
After seven weeks,
why wouldn’t they?

It wasn’t until afterwards
that I realized the date

that it was three months
since my last radiation treatment
when I walked out of that hospital
feeling more alive
than I had walked in Continue reading

Ode to Sriracha – Hai-Dang Phan

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Condiment Supreme,
polyglot purée,
you’re the red cloud
billowing in my steaming bowl
of beef noodle soup, the spiral jetty
atop my hamburger, the tasty laces
threading my kimchi taco.
No pho shop is legit without you.
Chef’s sleeve trick, you make fanatics
out of bland unbelievers, converts
of Tabasco-ites. Like Campbell’s soup cans,
but hotter, your squeeze bottle is pop-art,
Warhol’s lost subject. Wayward cousin,
your origins are dubious—Thai or Vietnamese?
Made in Rosemead, CA—but still
you remind me of home. Growing up,
you were nowhere to be found
in Wisconsin, so we crossed the Mississippi Continue reading

My Father Teaches

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During a movie
concerning dying dogs
and red plants
I glanced at my father
and noticed a tear 
on his cheek.
I blushed ashamed, 
embarrassed, jealous
of his freedom.

Somehow he knew
my judgment, my intention.
A primal impulse
turned his head towards mine. Continue reading

On Prince – Eve Ewing

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record shopEve L. Ewing is a Chicago-born essayist, poet, editor, and visual artist. Her work has been published in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, Union Station, In These Times, and the anthology The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. She has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, and a scholarship recipient for the New Harmony Writers Workshop. She is one half of the writing collective Echo Hotel (the other half is poet, essayist, and critic Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib). She loves cookies and bikes.

My Father Was Not the First One to Go

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While Watching the Music Video for “Only One” at Midnight, Kanye West Walks Into the Fog Holding His Daughter in His Arms and I Can See the Clouds Outside of My Window Parting Into Two Wings

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& there, gentle smoke cleaved by a small girl’s face
looking into the eyes of her father as if it is the first time &
the shape of her own eyes are a gift from a buried woman
& I realize this part of the performance is not for us
& maybe all life is the years being plucked from our arms
like rose petals & cast into the fields by some god
until we are nothing but alone & eager for the rain
& the mist that rises from it & carries our voices
to those who have survived the wreckage we left &
Kanye West is alone on the screen now & he is alone
in the rain & he is alone clutching the heavy air like he knows
that there is something living inside of it &
I know what it is to never actually be alone
I know what it is to think you are alone &
instead be in the arms of an entire family &
I hear my mother’s voice in the threatening
of the sky & the small silence that comes after lightning
pulls its bright dress over the dark of night &
this is something the wind cannot paint over
even as the clouds are split from each other Continue reading

SELF-PORTRAIT, 2005 – Diannely Antigua

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The three hairs on each corner of her prayer lips
have never been kissed by anyone but Jesus,
and he didn’t stop the plucking of her brows,
sparse branch above a green-shadowed lid, or the kiwi
Lip Smackers, benediction to the mouth.
But Jesus had things to say about the glitter
and the v-neck tee with the lily
Continue reading