#Immigration #GunViolence: On Air, On Land, At Sea by Barbara Henning

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—when surfing in 28 degree water—or stuck in traffic—for 63 hours a year—your brain freezes—your chin gets stiff—no angry mobs in Tehran—shouting “Death to America”— No McDonald’s in Tehran—instead, a homegrown Mash Donald——dreaming—of a woman with blonde hair—chin length—at a restaurant table—with a younger dejected bully—hey, don’t worry—she says looking down at him—I’ll let you see em later—he drops his head—a sad puppy—so sad—so horrible—when the phone rings—we all wake up—to headlines with his name—oh no—and they’re just not true—he says—everyone must love me—digital twitter talk—can’t be recaptured—and you can’t bury it—it’s out there—scattered in air, on land, at sea—North Africa to Europe—Seawatch reports—2400 migrants rescued—four children dead—
(26 Oct 2016)

First published in Posit: A Journal of Literature and Art.

 

 

Barbara Henning is the author of several collections of poetry, her most recent A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press 2015). Other recents include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). She has published three novels, Thirty Miles to Rosebud, You Me and the Insects and Black Lace, and she is the editor of Looking Up Harryette Mullen and The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Born in Detroit, Barbara lives in Brooklyn and teaches for Long Island University, as well as writers.com. http://barbarahenning.com

 

Painting Double Flat G by Jenn Zed. Used by Permission. 

Red Dragonfly by Debbie Hall

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You emerge
from the dark
of my tiny pond
in the heart
of summer,
in the heat
of morning,
air brittle
and crackling.

You witness
with thousands
of eyes the world
break apart.
Your body
is the color
of blood lost
and remade,
your glassine
wings fragile
windows in flight.

Tell me,
is it sufficient
simply to sit
and marvel
at your existence
in these dark
and frenzied times?

 

First published in What Light I Have by Debbie Hall (Main Street Rag Books).

Red Dragonfly Debbie Hall photo by Jeevan Jose

Debbie Hall is a psychologist and writer whose poetry has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, A Year in Ink, Serving House Journal, Sixfold, Tuck Magazine, Poetry24,Bird’s Thumb, Poetry Super Highway and other journals. She has work upcoming in an AROHO anthology. Her essays have appeared on NPR (This I Believe series), in USD Magazine, and the San Diego Union Tribune. She received an honorable mention in the 2016 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and completed her MFA at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Debbie is the author of the poetry collection, What Light I Have (2018, Main Street Rag Books).

 

Painting, Glitch, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission. Red Dragonfly photograph by Jeevan Jose, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Before World by Risa Denenberg

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Now the earth was formless and void,
and darkness was over the surface of the deep. –Genesis 1:2

Birds don’t sing.
Jazz don’t swing.
Bees don’t hive.
Men don’t jive.

Life swims before it flies.
Life crawls before it leaps.

Before houses, men don’t build prisons.
Before fences, coyotes don’t kill chickens.
And then earth is partitioned.

Trees teach birds to perch.
Birds teach frogs to jump.
Frogs teach girls to skip rope.
Girls teach words to sing.

Songs sing before sin.
Sins teach women to pray.
And then prayers teach hate.

Before prayer,
Women aren’t spoils of war.
Black men don’t swing from trees.
Landmines don’t amputate boys.
Kids don’t drown in the sea.

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First published in slight faith, MoonPath Press.

 

 

Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, publisher of LBT poetry. She has published three chapbooks and three full length collections of poetry, including Whirlwind @ Lesbos (Headmistress Press, 2016) and slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018).

 

Painting, The Salinger Profile, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

“Things we lose are usually underneath something else.” By Alexis Rhone Fancher

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“Things we lose are usually underneath something else.” -Benette R .

1.
I dream there is hair in my food.

In the morning, my lover says, “Yes, there’s
a long hair in every dish you feed me.”

A strand of myself in every serving –
and he eats it like a condiment.

2.
“Looks like the same m.o.,”
the detective says, examining our broken
pane, bent screen. “He likes you
long-haired girls.”

3.
I find myself alone in the kitchen, eating
rice I don’t remember cooking.

4.
When was the last time we had any fun?”
my lover sighs.

5.
I mean, who are we when we
enter the Jacuzzi, and who are we
when we emerge?

6.
I dream there is food in my hair.
And gum. And a switchblade.

7.
“For the vast majority of people,”
my mother said, just before she died,
“The thing that’s going to kill you
is already on the inside.”

 

First published in decomP.

 

 

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Plume, Rattle, Diode, Rust & Moth, Nashville Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems,(2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), and Enter Here (2017). A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.
http://www.alexisrhonefancher.com

 

Art, Dis-Integration, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission. 

#Immigration #GunViolence: String Ball by Barbara Henning

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for Nevine Michaan and Charles Blow

—the body’s organized—on a square—so says Yogi Nevine—I walk around Tompkins Square—all four corners—surely this is the center—of the universe—the goal in life—should be joy—in Larung Gar—the Chinese—are tearing apart—Tibetan monastic—dwellings—plan your life—like a chess game—move analytically—with intent—it’s very practical—the way to attain joy—even for civilians—trapped in Aleppo—with artillery shelling overhead—defeat in life—is bitterness—buck up—writes Charles Blow—it’s over—the bully’s—in the white house—for the time being—alt-right is not—a computer command—they’re a batch of fanatical racists—if you’re happy—you’ll help everyone—if you’re miserable—you won’t help anyone—in Shuafat—a refugee camp—in Jerusalem—Baha helps the orphans—work, find direction, survive—then a drive-by—ten bullets—one of the children—will surely—take his place—you can follow—fake news sites—from one to another—unravel the molecular structure—of ribosomes—a tangled mess of rubber bands—and coiled wires—a new pattern—of income equality—life expectancy in the US—declines slightly—be careful—it’s like a string ball—if we keep going around—in the same direction—we will surely unravel— (1 Dec 2016)

First published in Rascal.

 

 

Barbara Henning is the author of several collections of poetry, her most recent A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press 2015). Other recents include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). She has published three novels, Thirty Miles to Rosebud, You Me and the Insects and Black Lace, and she is the editor of Looking Up Harryette Mullen and The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Born in Detroit, Barbara lives in Brooklyn and teaches for Long Island University, as well as writers.com. http://barbarahenning.com

 

Painting Loop by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

While I’m not familiar by T.m. Lawson

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My skin, its color, the textured Spanish of eyes
My skin, pitted and poxed
My king of snapping teeth and blood gum
My king of whips and chains and cliche gaped asshole
My king of breathlessness and choking
(oh those kings I smothered in red rooms,
not mine, the light hiding my dimensions)
I’m not familiar. A familiar.
And the daughter dog curled in bed with bone
And the red collar with orgasm in heart
And the bird cage shadow
And the spiked heel song
And the homeless native, night crawler in old day
And the animistic tattoos prescribed with hunger
And Hossein’s hill of a belly, the daughter-dog slept on
And the father-boyfriend who held the hair
And the mother-boyfriend who stomped on chests
And the line of fathers, railroading
And the jaws
The parrot silence
The matricide
The cock-craving
The orphan-kin
The rope
The pillow
The blinding candle
The mind fuck

 

 

T.m. Lawson is a writer and poet living in Southern California. They have been published in Los Angeles Review, Entropy Magazine, Poets.org, White Stag, The Other Journal, NILVX, and Women’s Studies Quarterly. They are a 2015 Academy of American Poets prize winner, and a 2016 Thompson Prize winner. Formerly the Poetry Editor for Angel City Review, they are now an M.F.A. student at UCSD’s Creative Writing program.

 

Painting, Pagan October, by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.

 

Four Micro Poems by Alexis Rotella

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In a Letter

Mother tells me
I’m such a sweet person
when I’m not a grouch

 

A taxi ride
through Central Park
the scent of magnolia
after last night’s rape

 

Waving goodbye
to relatives
while the toilet overflows

 

My heart goes with him
as my husband
leaves the table –
a friend’s joke
about Italians

 

 

Alexis Rotella has been writing poetry since the 1970’s. She served as president of The Haiku Society of America as well as its house organ, Frogpond. Founder of Prune Juice, a still active senryu journal, Alexis is also a well known mobile photographer and licensed acupuncturist in Arnold, Maryland. She has written dozens of books including the curation of Unsealing Our Secrets (MeToo poems) available on Amazon and Kindle.

 

Painting Signs and Stains by Jenn Zed. Used by permission.