Hermit Crab

Regardless of what you’ve been told, I moved in because I didn’t want to hear the ocean anymore, the slosh of water autopsying itself— a reminder that I would one day be an unclaimed vacancy. That endless hum and pulse rattled the limp spiral of my body, echoed through the sideways cadence of my thoughts. […]

By Michael Prior • "Hermit Crab" is taken from the book Model Disciple, published by Véhicule Press • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

The cellar room

Tightly drawn curtains in the windows. Clay pot planted with balsam fir. Hung with glass balls, walnuts, apples on the boughs. Hand-painted rocking horse. Porcelain doll. Teddy bear. The house is silent. My mother, Magda’s, hand-loomed dress. Eyelet petticoat, the colour apricot. An old family photograph on the stucco wall — in a garden, the […]

The Manly Arts

Most lawns are shit. People mow too short, mow one way, use dull blades, over-water, never topdress, grow the wrong grass. They let their rugrats run roughshod on shaggy, dun turf gouged with dead spots they’re too lazy to seed. Shot to hell, yards flower and flutter their hawkweed in the breeze. I’ve set my […]

By Carmine Starnino • "The Manly Arts" is taken from the book Leviathan, published by Gaspereau Press • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditions of High Anxiety

My dear Mirchik, the days here are long. Hurray for grease-pencil daffodils. Hurray for slanting drop curtains of rain. Seven years listening to ‘Wild Thing,’ weaving, then waving a deep-pile Blue Peter flag. When little thread remained on the bobbin, so to speak, I turned myself into two children, three, four, so we could hobgoblin […]

By Joshua Trotter • "Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditions of High Anxiety" is taken from the book Mission Creep, published by Coach House Books • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Muskrat dives

Muskrat dives, heavy, into a ditch.       The water-sound shimmers like sheep bells. (Yes, it’s really like this where I live.)       Today the light is yellow-orange and very clear. Today I see a perfect yellow bird among the gray-brown crowd.       If I were a hawk I’d dive at him: he’d taste so sweet.

Shape

My ex keeps asking do I want the cat back,
but my place is a wall short
and where pray tell to put the litter box?

By Carolyn Marie Souaid • "Shape" is taken from the book This World We Invented, published by Brick Books • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Yarrow

There’s the country somewhere outside the car.
The country where the elm fucks the maple
and the elm broods as if auditioning
for a new PBS miniseries.

By David McGimpsey • "Yarrow" is taken from the book Asbestos Heights, published by Coach House Books • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Everything is a circle

everything is a circle completing the pages

of history to repaint it

retranscribe the traditional legends

By Natasha Kanapé Fontaine • "Everything is a circle" is taken from the book Do Not Enter My Soul in Your Shoes, published by Mawenzi House • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

Nursery Rhyme for Big Brother

Palace flags and shoot-to-kill orders,
cardboard tanks and well-lit borders,
dungeons and lice, grenades and books,
photos retouched and high-kicking boots,

By Derek Webster • "Nursery Rhyme for Big Brother" is taken from the book Mockingbird, published by Véhicule Press • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month

The Story of Bones

The archaeologist’s daughter grew up in tombs. She spent her early childhood crawling through the volcanic ash, which preserved time. Her father dug tunnels in the ground, uncovered death masks, stumbled upon bones of winged beasts, while her baby hands clutched the cold earth.

By Talya Rubin • "The Story of Bones" is taken from the book Leaving the Island, published by Signal Editions • Read our review • Posted Filed in Poem of the Month