All posts filed under: Poetry Journals

“Considering Their Pale Faces” and other poems by Erin Wilson

Seed tōgarashi / omoikonasaji / mono no tane the red pepper / I do not belittle / seedlings ~ Bashō I keep a chestnut in the breast pocket of my secondhand leather jacket. When I picked it I thought of (I don’t know why) my mother. The last time my first husband and I made love I knew my womb, because of my mind, was tipped at such an angle that no seed would germinate  there. This is also a true story. Our children and I collected acorns to use for a project we had not yet imagined. They exploded into weevil larvae all over the floor.   A Letter to My Ex Concerning Houseleeks I retrieve the hens and chicks, reminiscent of farms, from my sister’s yard and press them to the dirt in the small half-circle we dig in our own yard and then leave them there to grow and separate   The Mother The last bladder is emptied, the last gleek shot into the sink, the last struggling out of and into, …

“Eat Up” and other poems by Fiadha McLysaght

Eat Up   At home I bury my face in the crease of your elbow You cover my mouth as though quenching a flame In return, my fingernails incise the back of your hand as a gift to you coupled with a promise: I would never do that on purpose I cannot understand why you are not thankful I would be so grateful for that promise, so grateful someone had etched themselves into me   In the morning we sever ourselves on the rim of the tin can that encloses our breakfast haphazardly pried open to devour its kernel I blot my bleeding lip against my shoulder and leave a trail of watercolor stains moving down to the crease of my elbow I reach the back of my hand and realise that should you walk in it might appear as though I am purposefully applying hickeys to my body like a curious teenager   You beckon me into the kitchen once more Having forced open the can and fished out the discernible scraps of tin …

“Tarmac” and other poems by A.M. Cousins

REDRESS After Junichiro Tanizaki. Give us this day your problems. Allow us to torment ourselves about shadow and beauty and good taste and we’ll swap all that we’ve got for one hour in the life of a tortured artiste who wants to sit in a fancy lav and listen to a mosquito. We’d leave the shadows to the banshee and the pooka, and the nun who died young – she lurks and snaps bony fingers as your backside hangs through a hole in a bench. You tilt forward to tear a scrap of newspaper. All useless decoration stripped in Sunday’s Well where Little Nellie dances for Holy God, Artane boys march and Heaney’s henhouse child views the moon through a chink in a plank. Ancient Magdalenes and crones – sister-stitchers with blackened teeth and white, pinched faces glowing overmodest grey kimonos – enhance heaven’s cloth, embroider Limerick lace. Give us this day. (published in The Stinging Fly.)   BLESSED after Padraic H. Pearse. I grudge them – more than any of you will ever know …

“Since She Did That” and other poems by E.D. Hickey

Home I rub, and RUB my eyes; Ferocious; Don’t, Don’t, sweetheart. Then the plane tips toward the cool thick Irish sea So that I can face it Gaze into it From my seat. Home! Clouds bubble over the razor wings The light jumps into my tired gaze. Home!   Steel There must be steel in women Who say no. I am made of utter fudge Compelled, somehow, to reply and smile And be grateful for the fleeting interest. This is exactly the kind of thing A better me Would never do.   August I have never been so hollow I will never be so hollow I just felt so hollow When I refused to fix it When you left that city a day too early When you cried to your mother on the phone She doesn’t even know me I wish I could tell her I was sorry.   Stucco I want to build I want to – I need to restructure Gut my foundations Cut into the old black brick below me Throw it …

“Viksdalen” and other poems by Fiona Smith

Shell shock   He built his laftehus in the old way, As it should be done, using cured wood, Beam on tremendous beam, an X joint With interlocking notches at the seam.   Sweating over plans, permits, rights of way. Helicopter drops in snow, cajoling The bureaucrats, architects, authorities. His wife, to just let him get on with it.   A truffle hog, he sniffed out each stick, churn Implement, coaxing farmers, dealers, Collectors to part with their cherished pieces For him to enshrine in his sacred wooden space.   In the hard work it took to fell trees, drag them, Haul them across the forest, dig foundations, And shape the beams, he buried some memories. Then he nailed a few more into the walls.   You can hear him up there still, pottering, fussing By the woodpile, stacking tins of condensed milk, Cod roe from Svolvær, provisions to last him Until he is forced to cede to a new generation.   Already they come, screwing up his systems, Logging their jaunts in his cloth-bound …