June/July

Scrap/Scrap/Scraps by Martha Collins

 

bit     part     discarded     old

useless     torn     from scraps     rip

into pieces     get into a     over

a thing     cut     out     from us

him     her     fragments    save

as in paper     words     unlike

waste     can have     significant

something     out of     something

“Scrap/Scrap/Scraps” from Admit One: An American Scrapbook by Martha Collins, ©2016. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Martha Collins is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently published, Admit One: An American Scrapbook, and also co-translator of four collections of Vietnamese poetry. Founder of the creative writing program at University of Massachusetts-Boston, she served for ten years as Pauline Delaney Professor of Creative Writing at Oberlin College.

***

Bottom Dweller by Sarah Kirstine Lain

Split at the mast, sunk.
A waterlogged wreck
on the abyssal plane.

But years later, I dove
to you, only to see:
what’s beneath is not dead.

This shipwreck is ridden
with chests. Your starboard,
repurposed into reef –

biosphere of woodfallen life,
soiree of lobsters
and decked out sea daisies

reaching for the next meal.
You are no skeleton.
Who’s to say what is buried.

Sarah Kirstine Lain is a graduate of Lesley University and assistant editor of poems2go. She lives in St. Petersburg, FL, where she teaches writing. She is currently working on a video project mixing poetry with electronic sound.

On why poetry matters, Sarah writes: “Two quotes come to mind when I think about why poetry matters to me. The first is by Peter Meinke: “Poetry is the emotional history of the world.” We have studies for technology, medicine, religion, law, etc. But poetry captures emotion and converses with that emotion, often between cultures and other art forms over a period of time. It’s a holistic approach to chasing the complexity of truth, a defiant act of creation and protest in a world too often destructive and silent about its own destruction. The second quote that comes to mind is by Cate Marvin, my former mentor: “Why do I care about poetry? ALL that I care about is poetry!” I’ve related to poetry since grade school, reading and writing poems before I ever knew how. Poetry, for me, is obsession. I can’t not poem.

***

Old Friend by Molly Murray

I probably won’t stop listening
to hear my name in your voice
all in capitals

Three marks at the end
like we’re jumping
arms waving like birds

Molly Murray is the author of Today, She Is (Wipf and Stock, 2014) and the editor of The Atelier Project, a compilation of creative philosophy, and the webzine Paper Mill. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow (2015) and her poetry has appeared in Ink, Sweat & Tears, From Glasgow to Saturn (next issue), and Artist Reformation.

“Poetry matters because it expresses feeling like a piece of music or a piece of art; it captures a moment like a photograph; there is no better way to connect with the world than by reading or writing a poem.”

***

Son In This Story the Oaks Are Tremendous by Andrea Read

I’ve read of forests that follow rivers
of legendary strength and beauty,

become lost in mist,
cloud forests.

So the first question
is what lost means.

Your orders came today.
You ship out

in the fall. Lost is now
another kind of question.

I will tell the family
you are cold and afraid.

I will tell the family
you have just reached out
and touched your own
story, as if it were
your own manhood.

First appeared in Copper Nickel

Andrea Read has earned degrees from Rice University, University of Chicago and Lesley University. A recipient of a National Resource Fellowship and a Tinker Foundation Grant, she has taught Spanish and Latin American literature and language at Columbia College, Beloit College, The University of Chicago, and Stanford University. Her poems have appeared in The Painted Bird Quarterly, Third Bed, and FIELD.

***

Clementine by Gigi Thibodeau

Its skin insists,
stings, as nails dig
in and fingers
taste, an instant
before tongue,
the bitter pith and sweet,
corded flesh.

Long after the mouth’s
dumb muscle has gone
on to sour or salt,
fingers repeat the scent
of skin
they have stripped
and learned by heart.

Gigi Thibodeau is a writer and photographer whose poems and articles have appeared in The Birmingham Poetry Review, River Styx,Virginia Woolf Miscellany, Artful Blogging, Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairytale Studies, and elsewhere.  Her poetry collection,Learning to Tell Time, won the Midnight Sun Chapbook Award from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Among other awards she has received are the Judith Seigel Pearson Award from Wayne State University for fiction and for essay, and the Editor’s Prize from Mid-American Review.  She teaches creative writing in the online program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she also served as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence.  Her most recent photographs are currently being shown at the Chelsea Underground Art Gallery in Chelsea, Michigan.  She blogs at themagpiesfancy.blogspot.com.

Why poetry matters: Because it gives us a chance to consider carefully the names we give to experience, to hold the sound and weight of words in our bodies, to carry an image with us always.

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