Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Whether Love is Parallel or Perpendicular
Straight lines. Road that goes and does not cease. Road that
asks, "Where to?" Road that sees, and wide. Road made of
asphalt, road of tar and fumes, road of man's hands and women's
knees. Road that came upon you in a dream. Those lines,
those lines man, they came to you in the night like a heat
like a fever like a milky-eyed troll looking for you. A troll
that knew your number, love.
This road is not the hi the hello the how are you the what
did you have in mind for tonight. It is not, even, the ask me
anything you want, anything you want, just ask. The goodbye
was not the savagery. It was this road that goes nowhere and
its lines. Nothing but our breath on this road, our selves of
meat and gristle, and our lines, lines, lines.
You won't forget the tight jeans, the hole in the wall
staring you down. It is clear now that love is not
the road we sowed. Love is this road, this plain
and potted road, our lines, my continuous yes
to your dumb dog darkness, and the day
break after, fading
in the rearview.
Nothing but children on this road, too little to fix a flat.
Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has been a Fulbright fellow (Morocco), a New York Foundation for the Arts' fellow of Nonfiction Literature, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grantee for Literature, and is currently a Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Sarah was co-recipient, with photographer Tiana Markova-Gold, of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their joint project on women and prostitution in Morocco; their collaboration, which includes a long-form essay by Dohrmann and images by Markova-Gold, is forthcoming in Harper's Magazine. Sarah's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, TIME, LightBox, British Journal of Photography, Joyland Magazine, LUMINA Journal, Some Call it Ballin', Teachers & Writers Magazine, and Bad Idea (England), among others. She is currently at work on a book of creative nonfiction called Point of Departure.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Dating App
In God we trust, all others send data.
No fatties, no femmes. Dick pics?
Can you host? Can you bottom?
Can you get into roleplay? Sodom
& Gomorra? Teacher & Student?
Doctor? Patience, it could be fun.
Networking. Looking for friends.
Here's a selfie in my Mercedes-Benz.
President: John Wayne Gacy Fan
Club. Seeking Granddaddy: Fixodent,
Bengay, 401(k)s turn me on.
Allergic to cats. Allergic to latex.
Undetectable. Discrete. Tie me up
and tickle my feet. Where do you want
me to cum? The sum of two parts
is greater than the whole. Are you my soul
mate? Is your hole clean? Great.
Be there in ten. Your looking for a hookup?
Gross. You're looking for an apostrophe.
The heart, a muscle, begins to atrophy.
Let's makeout. Let's get takeout and cuddle.
Piss on the floor. Now lick the puddle.
D. Gilson is the author of Crush (Punctum Books, 2014), with Will Stockton; Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Indiana Review, and The Rumpus. Find D. at dgilson.com.
Monday, April 14, 2014
The History of Black People
after Jean-Michel Basquiat after White People
The saddest triptych
is in our blood.
Once I said, Our troubles
are passed down.
I would rather
with the devil than be
alone. I would rather know
the moon without
seeing the moon.
Florida, Kentucky hemlocks
a dream— and they lose
the word for white. We make
our enemy disease
in our blood.
If you cut open my heart
it’d be midnight at the greatest
party of all time: a small
Shawn Carter, Audre Lorde
A black boy’s hairline
feasting on difference.
On the first page of every library book
there’s a question mark
for us, backs bent out
of exclamation. We don’t know
any of your words
but our children have licked
them up in pools of sweat.
Have you ever felt
like a square peg in a round hole?
Do you sometimes dream
of a handful of Skittles
sprawling on the February lawn?
Imagine the fear of night’s sugar.
Imagine your bones are damned.
Do you ever wake up fevering
the dark, ashamed of trusting?
If our legend was allowed
it would sing alligator’s scales.
It would be written in red clay.
In the beginning was red clay
warming in my hands
vibrating Blue Train.
It was an open and shut case.
It never lived to shuck for gems.
Or, it could be joy
of slippery crescent.
Sometimes I feel teeth
in the grass below my feet.
I think my body could live
somewhere else ultraviolet.
A version of this poem originally appeared in Issue 3 of Spook magazine.
Morgan Parker's first collection of poems, Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, was selected by Eileen Myles for The 2013 Gatewood Prize and is forthcoming from Switchback Books. Recent poems are forthcoming from Tin House, jubilat, and Forklift, Ohio. A graduate of NYU's Creative Writing MFA program and a Cave Canem fellow, Morgan lives in Brooklyn. She works as Education Director at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and Poetry Editor of Coconut Magazine.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I do not want
the Earth and everything
that’s in it
Unless I want
a thing a little more
fur, want ermine
please a burlesque me
or want for
mortal corsetry, laced
Unless my want is
jars of piquant mystery
in the fridge
fewer napkins, fewer keys
fewer lockets, fewer peas
Unless the want I
want not tries the heart
for sympathy, won’t
pave a road with comfort, no
Ask not me for
favor, love, respect, or change
Unless it’s free,
I have no use for virtue,
full house, a stooping mind,
two pair, or turned-out hips
I lay me down
I wield and own
I give the ground I walk on
Lauren Neefe has an M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University. She is a Romanticist who studies letters and letter writing in the interplay of manuscript and print. Her poems have appeared in Kenning Journal and 1913 and are regularly featured in Emotive Fruition’s poetry-performance collaborations.