July 2015

POST by Teresa Cader

You’re wasting time. Your lilac needs pruning. By the shed,
split birch rots, the compost is amuck in rainwater.

Remember your lemon summers, a table set by a stone wall, peaches
in a basket with white napkins. Tart apples and Stilton on plates.

You’ve forgotten how to laugh. Tongue in ear. Toes on thigh.
Where did you put your body, taut with expectation?

Who could know what would follow. Ice storms out of season.
Winter moth in the trees. Spores rising in blades of grass.

Others picked apple blossoms and put them in a blue vase,
while you filled hand-made journals with complaint.

The stones are tired of hearing your story. Bitter, bitter the crows
pronounce mid-flight. You should hike down to the pond,

late afternoon, now that your legs will carry you. Go ahead: take
your clothes off : your broken body is not special.

Feel the silt slide across hair rising like milkweed.
Feet sinking in mossy sludge, you’ll kick-off from the bottom

as it dissolves beneath you.

First appeared in the literary journal Plume

Teresa Cader is the author of three poetry collections History of Hurricanes, 2009, and The Paper Wasp, 1999, both published by TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, and Guests, 1991, Ohio State University Press. Her awards include the Norma Farber First Book Award, The Journal Award in Poetry, the George Bogin Memorial Award, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and fellowships from The Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Poetry, Harvard Review, Harvard Magazine, AGNI, FIELD, Ploughshares, and other journals. Her poems and prose have been translated into Polish and published in Poland. She is working on a fourth book of poetry and a book of creative nonfiction. She teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley.

 ***

My Grandfather Was A Cherokee Princess
And Other Lies by heather hughes

I handle the breakup expertly.
Every night I recite the entirety
of La Peste in the original French.
On a sodden bench
by the river in Carolina,
next to an imitation Turner,
I charcoal portraits
of the desperate.
The story goes
they crushed the bones
of Egyptian mummies for the gold
accents. That last bit may be true.

heather hughes  hangs her heart in Boston and Miami. She earned an MLA in foreign literature from Harvard University Extension and an MFA from Lesley University. Her propensity for inky messes extends from poetry to letterpress printing to tattoos. Find her online: birdmaddgirl.

She says “Most people don’t need a poem every day, it’s true. Yet we turn to poetry for our most important celebrations: marriage, the passing of a life, invocations of all sorts. We turn to poetry as we turn to the sea, when we have a need to confront something vast within ourselves. And like the sea, poetry gives us life in ways that we may only fully comprehend on an instinctual level.”

***

Three Haikus by Mani Iyer

— 1 —

old dog
finds the autumn air too cold—
squirrel gets plump

— 2—

a young chipmunk
practicing daredevil stunts—
under a parked car

— 3 —

temple bells
ringing in a distance—
woman sets a clock

Mani G. Iyer is a deaf-blind poet , born and raised in Bombay, India and currently residing in Massachusetts. His poems have been translated to Hebrew and published in Israel.He writes poetry to continue to be the love-struck, crazy poet that his wife once fell in love with, as a college sweetheart.

***

On the Half Shell by Christine Jones

If you did not seek me,
find me, take me,
I’d have stayed years more.

If you did not pry me,
reveal me, eat me,
I’d have made you a pearl.

Christine Jones is a 4th semester graduate student of Lesley University’s MFA in Creative Writing and founder of poems2go. Her trinity is poetry, true love, and ocean water swimming. It’s the saltiness of them all that keeps her afloat.

****

this is no poem by Chris Warner

It’s not my job to persuade you.  We all believe what we want
to believe.  Maybe that explains my affinity for untouchable
pedigreed antiques, for shiny showroom cars that don’t smell like
anything, for long red fingernails, and expensive lampshades
made of perfectly pleated silk, in soft shades, like soft summer
fruit before the rotting.  Imagine fleshy wet peach. Imagine
scarlet. The delicious.  Dripping.  The soft quality of color-
filtered light. The tint, the tenor. Maybe that explains my affinity
for jewel tones, or earth tones, or all the pretty bruises. The
relief.  Imagine.  I’d love to move beyond the personal, but I
can’t bear to watch the seasons change—late fall is always black
and blue to me, and the icy burning, the blur and slow slide to
muddy green, the marks, the sinking.  How every shade of
yellow sighs, how gold comes cheap and maybe shiny things of
any kind are, at their best, silent.  Always.  Everything fades
anyway.  This is no poem.  There is no analogy between skin and
cartography.  Bodies go nowhere—what did Newton know?
Although, I do seem to consistently need a little more
convincing.  Don’t look at me.  Don’t you apple me.  Don’t
suddenly start speaking.  Why now?  There’s no deep here, no
mystery.  There is no meaning to be made.  I’ve already had
enough to eat.  Haven’t you?  Everything really is
exactly as it seems.

Chris Warner, graduate of the Harvard University School of Education (M.Ed., ’97), is an emerging poet, and the author of a micro-chapbook, Strokes (Mostly) in Silence; her poem,“Engulfed” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2013). Chris also teaches yoga, core strength, and mindfulness meditation in West Boxford, MA, and throughout the greater Boston area. In January of 2014, Chris began co-leading the creative writing program for inmates at MCI Concord, medium security prison.

She says, “Poetry matters to me because it is a place of connection in a world of cold, hard, neon-green digitized distance.  Poems are life—visceral, deeply felt living—amidst the relentless daily grind of mere survival.”

***


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