Blackout, Late Summer Paul Dean
Domestic Poem Tim Earley
Julie Ann Brandt
A Stranger Jessica Comola
My Name Is Joseph Michael Zendarski
There Were Many Things
Mary-Kate Olsen and I Watch the Leonid Meteor Shower
A Picture of the Good Times
You are the Kenworth
Large for His Age
Carmen Miranda Speaks
Blackout, Late Summer Paul Dean
It’s midnight, the heat of Mississippi just now bowing low near the bed.
I light a candle, listen to dirt daubers scratch the woodwork, imagine their thin, small bodies patching pipe organ nests. What a small symphony these insects pull down from the rafters like black violins to hum the veiled dark. I’ve seen the work they’ve laid out while I slept, knocked down the dirt pocked high with a broom
or a hose. I hold the candle up, see them work and let
the candle burn down low. I think of my wife in bed, her body laced in a dress of moonlight and dreams. She twists the cigarette, blows a plume of smoke that blooms in the ceiling fan. How swift the procession at night. Here, the language of lying down, every hand left wanting, a bed, a hole, a home.
Large for His Age
He was large for his age a body suited to football, hockey and school yard scuffles a body meant to emerge red-faced and triumphant crowned with tousled hair and grass-stained jeans the sort of boy that other boys follow. She watched him round unblinking eyes riveted to his stoic face nodding unsmilingly at his instructions while her tiny legs swung gaily from her perch on the end of his bed. She chimed an inquiry, inane and softly quivering and he of the fragrant arm pit smelling of sweat and dirt and filched cigarettes thrust her head there and demanded that she refer to him now and always as the master of the universe. The front door opened and slammed letting some of the night air in laced with car exhaust and dust from the trains with the tinny smell of blood from an apron tossed haphazardly on the chipped formica. She watched him steel himself feet splayed wide chest thrust forward brother protector instructor mother his upper lip stained with the red kool-aid they had earlier put too much sugar in. They listened
to cabinets swinging on protesting hinges and to the air creeping from the sides of the freezer door. He hitched his worn levis to hips made ample by hundreds of thin, unscented, two-ply squares they had, together, stuffed inside his clothes to keep him safe.
Domestic Poem Tim Earley
My body refuses to cohere with air and sunlight, instead it flies away from you at tremendous speeds, pools into corners, makes ridiculous agreements with time. (We have eaten together in every kind of weather). You follow the edge of the sky like a dainty murderer, skim more consciousness from the consciousness of birds, seethe in morning light like the morning light is the simplest of animals. (We have traversed the gloaming without roaming). I am delirious under the auspices of your body, it carves a tongue in noise, sneaks inside my body, a starveling, a near calamity.
(We have planted flowers and slept for hours).
You are the Kenworth
I am the road snake curved and black, I crawl these hills past red dirt fields and shotgun shacks. You are the Kenworth climbing my back, grinding your gears, moaning, You be Angie Dickinson, Iâ€™ll be Burt Bacharach. Weâ€™ll go to Mexico and Rio and Halifax, eat smoked salmon on a stick, cross the North Atlantic in a skiff,
one big enough for all your eighteen wheels, O Romeo, Romeo, my eighteen-wheeling Romeo, this stretch of road is lonely the roadside shrines the only company I keep. The Virgin Marys and the crosses, the measure of our losses, mark the miles to go before we sleep and promises made we did not keep.
Body Snatchers Kevin Fitchett
I learned that from behind Bill Clinton’s body I could do anything. His eyes poked out of the cover of The Journal Sentinel, I’d freeze, hold up the paper, wait for a girl to walk past, moaning the headline in a southern accent. That summer our neighborhood poked holes in everyone, the princess, Mike Holmgren, Bob Uecker on a popsicle stick, at the ballgame, his eyes dotted for the crowd to push-out with permission.
So from looking, we moved to tongues, like with sex. I licked the air through Uecker like he and I’d discovered a new flavor together. Fifty thousand people at the stadium, floating above bodies we paid just to watch breathe.
Once, all I wanted was to crumple my tongue between a hole of paper, shock the neighbor girl out of her husk without one touch. I slide behind lifesize Brett Favre at the Texaco, do a Mona Lisa on the girl stretched to the glow of the refrigerator— pulling her in, her arm lifting like underwater, her hair teased into unlocked smoke, her shirt lifted from her chest by two invisible pinches,
my tongue hatched from cardboard, baiting the air like a light switch, Favre turned on that season everyone had to watch out. People were changing, busting through their 2-D bodies. You glance at a shape you never noticed, and one day, like you reached on tiptoes and peeked behind new eyes, it’s alive.
Enigma Machine Travis Smith
for Genevieve Your first inheritance was the name of whatever hurricane spun like a roulette wheel in the sea when you were born. You just missed â€œFerdinand.â€? And when your grandfather died around Christmastime, he willed you his Enigma Machine, the last one not in museums.
Lunatic typewriter, gobbledygook black box. I asked you to write me as you vacation in Italy, but what do you do, Genevieve, Genevieve? You are as cruel as fate. I will always write you back, though your each letter comes to me spy-proof, a crypto mess, mysterious as the one white hair on the nape of your neck.
Ordered Pairs Emileigh Barnes
Now I speak to you in private: (24, 19) The many things you warmed for me: On the train, you fed me white chocolate from your mouth. (15, 12)
Watching me change dresses in the rain, in the car, (10, 6) I hadnâ€™t noticed, is what you said as you thumbed my ribmark (5, 3) The unshaved spot on my thigh, my milked-up skin a gesture. (2, 1) Later, the ligatures from my hair around your wrist, and you were sleeping, or seemed to be. (0, 0) The sometimes surprise, when the sea changed.
Tell Me Dorothy Knight
If she had asked how little prepared I was to be her mother, I’d have told her how she screamed when I touched her neck, tucked her chin, wouldn’t let me wash it, and summer sweat would ring. I’d have told her how long it took for the bite mark on her thigh to fade, how she cried when sunlight hit her face,
riding in the backseat, and I only turned up the radio. I’d have mentioned I taught her to duck at the name on her birth certificate, an epithet, and she loved dehydrated space ice cream I brought home from a class field trip. I’d have told her I locked her on the porch when she woke at night, screaming, hands balled into fists, pistoning her Barney blanket to the end of the bed with the heels of her feet. I never set the cordless phone down. I carried her planked body outside and wouldn’t let her back in until I heard her quiet through the door. She had a walker ringed in an aluminum bumper, hard little wheels that crushed my feet, zwieback teething cookies smashed in her seat, her hands that reached for me. She smelled like WIC gifted Simulac, vitamin D milk that was never the same after the freeze. If she had asked, I’d have told her I was the only girl on the block drinking Juicy Juicy from the can all summer break, lying with my face pressed to the floor vent grate, while a pillow tilted the milk in her bottle down to her lips. But she didn’t, and she was waiting. I told her she’d been a fat baby, a Michelin man, a caterpillar floating ass up in the garden tub, that she was beautiful, that I could tell we were related, that she looked just like me.
Love-Poles Julie Ann Brandt
When I go down you cradle me from further beneath the sad and scary place unholy as it may be you meet me there. When I go up you toss me a line let it arc and guide play parachute
cloud poncho risk. loss. sublime.
My Name is Joseph Michael Zendarski
and I would like to hug you all day long, or, at the very least until the top of this here escalator. Honestly, I’d be delighted hugging you along into the Houseware aisle, while you select
an oven thermometer and a can opener. We’ll hug all over.
I’m serious. And such an idiot. Would you—would you—would you mind hugging me on over to the rolling pins? I had a biscuit accident on Saturday and, rather tragically, my old pin cracked in half. And after (I will only be a minute) we’ll hug wherever you might choose. Inside a tire? They’re over by the windshield wipers in Automotives. We can hug atop a ping-pong table, stacks of dinner plates, while on the intercom or piles of bath mats. Maybe, steal the forklift keys I’m almost certain hugging in midair . Or we could hug in shopping carts. We’ll sit or stand, and hug and roll the length of aisles of artificially sweetened juice and bread, and bear hug, frog hug, horse hug, dude hug, monkey hug, tyrannosaurus hug— we can invent new hugs, like robot hugs or farmer hugs, and hug our brand new hugs all over. Then we’ll go our separate ways.
A Picture of the Good Times Tim Earley
I love you you keep doing the same things. You broke some things. You broke some more things. I was tapping you on the shoulder, saying, Break things. I was turning cartwheels in front of you, yelling, Break things! The mailman keeps doing the same thing, but I donâ€™t love him. Twice a year maybe we try different things: I threaten to buy a snowmobile. I stand atop the television and announce my intentions: I must and I will and then everything will be O.K. You build a fire in April in the middle of the afternoon, smoke the sparrows from the chimney and warm the house until our ears sweat. You sweep spiders from the corners and I jump from the first floor window, grab the lawnmower, and cut crop circles in the yard. I burst through the door, pointing. See, see. Itâ€™s true, I say. Yes, yes. Mystery lives, you say,
beating spiders to death with a broom. Short of running from each other, arms high in the air, laughing, to opposite corners of the earth, we tape a picture of the good times on the refrigerator door. I say now I will love you. You say now we can keep doing the same things.
There Were Many Things
we told before they happened: the tenderness of a bruise before it appears on skin.
From inside the cabin the only tell of high tide: us tilting in wind. Sometimes in sleep you reached for me. Sometimes, not. It was then I was alone, which was not the same as being apart. This is what I knew: always, the sea will ebb, leaving the mud to thirst and split in the boatlight.
A Stranger Jessica Comola
To step into your sleep, a stranger there. Not only to find myself beneath your shoulder, smoothed firm as clay down the crest of your ribcage. Not only to know, without looking, your hand, a cool stone helmet at the head of my hip bone.
Stepping with cambric feet, thinnest linen steps, to let you sleep. I would be a stranger there, waiting in the swan of your breath, heart meeting my palm in a one-handed prayer.
Carmen Miranda Speaks
We sit on the roof and watch lights tilt away. Out here, in this vacuum so empty of angels, the wings of my feet are still plenty for me. In the years since that day I decided to dance rather than let my weak heart call the shots, Iâ€™ve come to love my astronomerâ€™s voice. When a star starts to dwarf, says the astronomer, nothing can slow down the bloom of its pulse. I know what he means. They called me star once. I was their goddess of plantains and red orchids. I was their lady of hummingbird summers, the keeper of grapes and of pod-fresh vanilla. Sometimes he tells me his theories. His pale eyes skim the skin of my shoulders, my knuckles, and knees. He admires my neck. I still love to sparkle. I still love attention. And yes, I still smoke. The astronomer points out the horse-headed nebula. Sometimes we kiss and write postcards to God.
Mary-Kate Olsen and I Watch the Leonid Meteor Shower Michael Shea
November, 2009 Dusty-voiced radio pop(s) like bottle rocket fuse spitting in wet autumn grass and she’s wearing boots against the dew. Hawking tickets to a roadside starshow, she babbles passenger seat through steam-pumped words. We see headlights first. Dirty minivan drafts bump
against my car like cold beerfoam in belly. Then, break, and scrub pines rustle with ghosts of wild boars or cartoon deer. Orion’s pissing himself with anticipation overhead. Sparks over telephone wires and she kisses my cheek like a Bubblegum pop song caught in the headlights of the passing pickup,
in the half-drunk stomach of the night. Leo roars his mating call of leftover space and in darkness I’m filling her body with shooting stars.
Paul Dean Paul S. Dean is a second year MFA candidate in poetry at The University of Mississippi. He lives in Water Valley, MS, a gutted, ex-railroad town with his wife, an oil painter. He pays attention to his dreams, sometimes writing them down on paper.
Tim Earley Tim Earley is the author of the poetry collections Boondoggle and The Spooking of Mavens. His work has appeared in Chicago Review, Colorado Review, jubilat, Southern Humanities Review, Green Mountains Review, and other journals. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Kevin Fitchett Kevin Fitchett is an MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi. He is tied for second in career goals for Lakeland College soccer. Recently, he was “racked” on Jim Rome’s radio show, The Jungle.
Julie Ann Brandt Julie Ann Brandt is editor of The Guidebook: A Poetry Journal and considers herself a lover of culture, variously conceived. When not collecting remnants of ancient, artistic, and religious culture, she fritters around in cloud, pop, and underground.
Michael Shea Michael Martin Shea is an MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi, where he is a John and Renée Grisham Fellow in poetry. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Meridian, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Sycamore Review, Epiphany, PANK, and elsewhere. He likes the word “ineluctable”—yes indeed, that is a fine word.
Jessica Comola Jessica Comola was born and raised outside of Austin, TX where she grew up on a combination of Emily Dickinson verse and Edgar Allen Poe ghost stories. She currently lives in Oxford, MS where she attends Ole Miss as a graduate student in the MFA program.
Dorothy Knight Dorothy Knight is from Kingsland, GA, frequently wears the wrong shoes for the occasion, and believes that mauve is a color more akin to magenta than a soft, grey pink. She is willing to argue about this using a limited and regionally-spelled colour vocabulary based in nowhere near where she’s from.
Wendy Buffington Wendy Buffington has worked as a newspaper copy editor, tea shop owner, historical society manager, lawyer, street vendor and cross-country bicyclist, riding from Florida to Alaska via Mexico--no pay but great working conditions. She desperately wishes she could add the job of “human shot out of a cannon” during the grand openings of 84 Lumber stores, but alas, she was beat out of this position, likely as a result of nepotism. She lives in Yocona at the end of a dirt road with Curley, a seventeen-year-old cat, and a neurotic, but adorable, dog, Mack.
Travis Smith Travis Smith attends the University of Mississippi MFA program and serves as the poetry editor of Yalobusha Review. “Enigma Machine” originally appeared online at Wag’s Revue (wagsrevue.com).
Joe Zendarski Joe Zendarski spends most of his time writing lousy poems. On occasion something mediocre happens and he writes something that doesn’t make him or the people who happen to read the poem blush terribly. He spends the remainder of his time building large, fancy houses.
Emileigh Barnes Emileigh Barnes is a third-year MFA student at the University of Mississippi, where she has served as poetry editor for the Yalobusha Review. Her first chapbook is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press, and her poems have appeared or will appear in Cutbank, Sentence, BathHouse, Strange Machine, and other journals.
Josh Davis Joshua Davis recently spent nine days in New Mexico watching hot air balloons. He believes himself to be the child of selkies, and his favorite fruit is the persimmon.
Rachael Fraleigh Miami University 351 Print Design Systems, 2011
University of Mississippi, 2011
All images by Rachael Fraleigh excluding: Page 19 “Cloud Form #2” from LoveTextures.com, 2009 Page 12 “Old Typewriter Keys” by Patrick Philippi, EyeFetch Photography, 2009
Courier designed by Howard Kettler, 1955 Trebuchet MS designed by Vincent Connare, 1996 Published by lulu.com 2011 Rachael Fraleigh Text the poets All Rights Reserved