Monday, January 31, 2011

NEW! 3 poems by Stephanie Burns

Stephanie Burns


The Park

This is the day for a newfound gorgeous melody.
I guess I don’t mean that.
I guess I mean it’s a day that should be captured—
This park, its strollers and one-handed bikers.
Everything is just fractionally above disaster
and that is, of course, why it works.
Babies are creaking into their shoulders
and dogs squat in painful contemplation.
It’s the traffic that blesses this spot—
the red-bottomed sailboats and two-
tiered zephyrs. Airplanes and helicopters
and truant little islands straining to sea.
Here, the hair before its first cut,
she’s allowed cappuccino.
There, two boys with sweaters tied
around their necks.

Some buildings will slide off each other,
but some will cling and pull us all down.
We are all thinking about each other—
caught in wonder—and the horizon
conceals all the more obvious paint jobs.

Route 66 in Decent Light

Sweet-toothed drumbeat in the desert―billboard
of dinosaurs and the cut-glass sky.

The mesas in their ignorance upend
the road out of town. Soldiers and nuns―

our scented headache. We are unscathed
in the hungry nunnery of the soul. The food

is good. Tumbleweeds loop themselves into repeat
behind the only two cacti available.

My snaps pop and drop―no revelation
in this swimming pool of sand. The chalk

of possible endings unfolds without glamor.
The charge is only so high. Earlier flights

and histories are available upon request,
as well as bathrobed blue skulls.

They are subject to change.
No touching, no pictures, no faces.

The salt-soaked sky taps
these questions, and is sullen.

Desks, insults, movie sets--the things stripped
and shouldered forth. We are the fish.

The ink and paste we’ve produced mix
into my coffee with subtle soft curls.

At the gas stations,
we sew ourselves into each eye.


This is not unlike what I wanted you to know.

I am saucy (drunk), fatigued,
Talkative in the times we grasp for silence--
the clumsy piano player
in the red-lit bar at the back of your mind--
all you never knew you
always wanted.

I know all the neat lines
in your gardens--the way you order
memories (playground--hot dog--pretzel).
I negotiate these sandboxes
but these are not the secrets
as I want them.

You flinch at me. I buy you presents
but they dissolve at your harsh touch--
so much burning paper. I keep
to the middle of your thoughts,
listening for the right instructions.
is there something you want known?

You shrug at us, the world, yourself.
You come to the part where you must
walk a tightrope above yourself
and I just want you to know
I wasn’t going anywhere with that question.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW! 3 poems by Robert Fernandez

Robert Fernandez




Red today, and like a wave-field fanned along the length of Overtown, a hummingbird-red universe or saturnalia, St. Keith. Avail us of your administrations. Certain dead president mythotypes perched on the topmost peak of Watts. Delayed. Abetted resolutions. I enter the studio and of these sour, convalescent faces: a logopoeia of flayed reds.


What moves along the course of a line must learn the single line, single statuary’s flanked revision of scan, and learn reluctance. Is hateful. Pools wrath in porcelain. A mandrill clutching the throat in the billiard hall of Pele. Hasten to work? Wither goest, Ruth in strange corn: the concise fft of levitation. The backs of the knees sloped like rock elm. The tonal steps of the eyes pushed vaguely on.


Boom. Gainsay death metal is a window, ram’s-horn ripple. RZA shaved the track, niggaz caught razor bumps. Ascyltus: “To sell ‘em piece by piece, brick by brick, a catch!” Encolpius: “Twice the street value…” Homage gainsays a death-work of preterit lexicons. Tramlines etched adept, colossal rounded patterns.


Printed “adagio, et in Arcadia ego.” The caryatids of Miami, our golden bough. Because we endeavor to end in a fuck-all of resolution: blooms of the crotch and raining credit. THE WORLD IS YOURS. Laundered ax of draconian abilities. A fast, red-eyed vireo hollows the duodenum.


Of all your lauds, thinking like a course in statistics but not yet raw of wheat uninhibitedly pounded not yet sun, wild in your ears. Then, anxious for news of Mike Tyson. Then I seemed (Thanatos) to Wifredo Lam (sought) a concise logic revealed, of my situation: forearms like reddened glass lovely, able to move freely.


Then violence and practice and make it happen. On the map with the delicatessen that falls through your mind, that shudders in its hide of brick and awning. This is not how we would have wanted it. Village and music box with a little pentacle on its back, and not what we would have wanted for anyone involved. I escape arrhythmias into the heart’s normal operation. The valves run smoothly. The hide’s parched and pleated but runs smoothly: a bucket of ice and a rhinoceros, a Syrian flag and a recliner. Falling through the rug in the grip of a stomach that sees, we slip past the odds; we feel fortunate. From the bedroom, from closed booths, we plot our victuals. What illuminates the morning better than the souls of the dead?


Lethal as ever. We link up. We stay exact. We are the clean cut through the middle quadrant—with box cutters, through pin-stripe, though cardboard—we have not yet decided. We are the letters spilling out onto the bare table today. These rash communications. A virus, like carousels of glass; like flame poured on the table, cut cleanly—into quadrants—whether in lattice-work or arabesques we cannot decide. Whether a young man walking up from the asphalt or through shadow, we have not yet determined. Look at the waves, they are like blood packets rising, falling. Look at the gulls. Look at the clean shore and the bodies, the parables (I glide a muzzle over the sun’s oscillating bands of purple and white).