[Untitled], by J. Michael Martinez

Imagine—in front of us—they silently pass. And they believe unrelated
objects are machines
for recognizing the human. And, again, we are no longer interruptions.

Imagine—in front of us—the beginning is not a study. And they believe
the cicada’s larva
reveals narrow secrets. And we accompany: to form, to shape.

Imagine—in front of us—a beautiful garden. And they believe color is the
shoreline’s end
where we abandon our too sudden bodies. And, here, we are carriers of different
significance.

Imagine—in front of us—each word devolves a lexicon. And they believe
shape shuts on a hinge
within the voice they fable. And, here, we slaughter the spring lambs.

Imagine—in front of us—they pass us between nature, between history.
And they believe the door
frame alters the curtains’ flow. And we are a dark summer moving against oceans.

Imagine starlings circling in a postcard’s blue. And they believe oration is the living
thing, the end
of geometric space. And here, in full sunlight, we are gifts hoisted to the vanishing
point.

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Untitled, by David Meltzer

Art’s desire to get it all said
to all who thought him dead
in the joint & beside the point

Art’s struggle to sing it all
through jazz warfare & tell
everything he knew in brass
speed rap stir crazy utopia
of muscle chops push it in your face
rough unrelenting grace

fierce Art pitbull clamps down
pulls edges out in time to break through
scream knotty beauty
toe to toe w/ any joe
who thinks they know better

Art tattoos blue needles into moonlight skin
junk light makes mirrors perfect

Art’s smoke aches out of wounds

L.A. Art burritos & bebop
black guacamole serge zoots
Central Avenue cat copping

Pepper at Club Alabam
in Lee Young’s band
all the chicks & the hatcheck chick
have big eyes for Art’s horn

Untitled [A house just like his mother’s], by Gregory Orr

A house just like his mother’s,
But made of words.
Everything he could remember
Inside it:
Parrots and a bowl
Of peaches, and the bright rug
His grandmother wove.

Shadows also—mysteries
And secrets.
Corridors
Only ghosts patrol.
And did I mention
Strawberry jam and toast?

Did I mention
That everyone he loved
Lives there now,

In that poem
He called “My Mother’s House?”

Untitled [and the moon once it stopped was sleeping], by Erika Meitner

and the moon         once it stopped         was sleeping

in the cold blue light          and the moon          while the wind snapped

vinyl siding apart          slipped around corners          whipped the neighbors’

carefully patterned bunchgrass          our snow-filled vegetable boxes

the house unjoining              the moon       our yard strips          covered with

hollow shells          of hard remnants               ice      and my son’s breath

contiguous               static          a shard of green light          on the monitor

wavers with coughs                     the Baptist church                     in Catawba

the only place lit up          down the mountain          past midnight, someone

waving their hands             at something          so quiet              you can hear

the wind tear          at the houses          you can hear          the neighbor

coming home          though he’s .18 acres          away          it’s too late

for that feeling          (possibility)          the night       always   held

the wind                   is at it                    again            cracking

paint            on the walls              one day          it will            unroot us

one day        the wind        will tally        our losses

but        not yet             the moon        not yet