Thursday, April 24, 2014

a poem by curtis rogers

Coastal O

My done work is here.
Before any talk of withdrawn really
kicks in, I’m swinging from a canned chandelier.
I no-brainer the footsteps I’ll retrace. Pull the weather
it shows a rando hearth around its seams. The player
breaking huddle is my element I’m out of. Helmet of gloss
through a bubble I blow. The way I see it, I could have been
the Spirit of St. Louis of my family. The shout that dovetails,
before & more before, around the bullet I bite. I’m blowing
a bubble with the bullet I bite. Emotionally available
to dry mouth, dizziness. A camera-shying clarity overtakes
me, how a diving board swipes at what it promotes.
I tense & something hothead & motherly
is exposed. I break form when I pull
for the home team. My breath
upvotes pop in its excess.

Curtis Rogers received his MFA in poetry from NYU's Creative Writing Program. He has pieces appearing of forthcoming in The Literary Review, cream city review, DIAGRAM, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Atlas Review, and elsewhere. Currently, he works and lives in Washington, DC.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I'm doing a reading Thursday night. Music & dance is also featured. Should be an amazing time!

two poems by will stockton

Duane Asks for my Thoughts on Walden

I want to start forest fires –
my dearest darling darling Duane kills
as we leash dogs and walk to the woods
to front only the essential facts of life.

My dearest darling darling Duane kills
on these barbed acres, shot from a tree stand,
to front only the essential facts of life
as dogs pull against leashes leading

on these barbed acres, shot from a tree stand,
a river red and barbed, no swimming,
as dogs pull against leashes leading
to a windowless cabin good for raping.

A river red and barbed, no swimming,
a backyard playground of decoys and darlings
I want to start forest fires –

to front only the essential facts of life.  


Fred Phelps Dies in My Arms While Watching Cosmos

Aligned, we are bad at math. I never took calculus, I confess to Fred,
who points to the celestial rings of Saturn. I took College 
Mathematics. My professor said I was bad
at pattern recognition. Fred’s not
listening, still pointing
at asteroids.
Doppler shift.
Fag, tell me
a story. / Noah, an end 
of all flesh. On TV, an animated
Edmond Halley predicts comets. Fred’s not
listening. Repeats, Knowledge conquers fear. / Natural
causes. Windbreaker sleeve reaches for the cup as rain swells gutters.

Will Stockton teaches English at Clemson University. He has written several books and many essays about how people in the Renaissance had sex, and a lot of poetry about how modern people do. With D Gilson, he is the author of Crush (Punctum Books) and Gay Boys Write Straight Porn (Sibling Rivalry Press). His poems have appeared in journals including Assaracus, Bloom, Fourth River, PANK, and Weave. He self-promotes over at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

libby's post-coachella tu(n)esday!

Well, as always, I'm back and sick as a dog.  Isn't this always what happens post-Coachella?  I'm sad and reliving the best parts of the weekend.  Here is what I found to be the most amazing parts of Coachella weekend 1:

Duke Dumont

JESUS.  CHRIST.  The Yuma tent was absolutely packed for him and he showed why it was filled to the brim.  Seamlessly mixing his original material into a 90s house-laden groove, Duke was not to be missed.


They brought out Angel Haze right when I was about to run over to Duke so I stayed a bit longer.  The energy!  The overflowing tent!  Dan's hair at new heights!  Pretty freakin' awesome.


How could I count out Aluna?  She slithered around that stage in a mesh oneside, pretty much not giving a f*ck what people thought of her.  She even performed White Noise despite coming back out to do it all over again with Disclosure a few hours later.

James Vincent McMorrow

The first act we saw on Sunday was a stunner.  His falsetto didn't waver once and I was in shock with the caliber of his performance.  Amazing and what a gorgeous, lush sound.

Calvin Harris

I know many people are annoyed that Coachella feels it's being too EDM-oriented, but this guy had the second biggest crowd in Coachella history.  For a solid hour he had what felt like every single person at the festival going bonkers.


DUH.  Unfortunately, everyone else decided to go see them and we were stuck way in the back of the 40,000+ deep crowd.  But from what I could see, they were spot on and having a blast.  Having Mary J. Blige come out to perform F For You was a crowning touch on their set.

Aloe Blacc

THIS GUY.  He was tooting his own horn while performing "The Man" and then he goes and has the audience create a Soul Train line!?  Unreal.  And looking quite snazzy in a 3 piece suit.


Another perfect performance from the synth-pop group.  And watching the crowd witness Martin's dancing was awesome.

Future Islands

Witnessing Samuel T. Herring go completely apesh*t on stage during each and every song was something I will never forget.  His moves!  Dear God.  I was screaming-laughing during every song.  And then his stage banter: "let's ride or die, motherf*ckers!"  What!?

Bear Hands

If their performance is any indication, they have a bright future ahead of them.  Great first showing and they definitely picked up newfound fans.

Ok, back to dying on my desk!

-Libby Hostetler

a poem by steven riel

Pigeon in Subway

I followed the popcorn
constellation but
lost the sky
hopping down.
Far-off squeals
talon my ears.
The grounded ones with turkey
legs crowd this shiny ledge.
Do they know the way out
but wait for crumbs?
I keep underfoot.
I mark their moves.
No one fakes as if
to kick me. Today
they stare down--
sad-eyed storks.
I pity them, their naked wings.
I bob along the yellow edge:
it’s no great drop,
but reeks of rat!
Can their whiskers smell me?
A huge snake with four
red eyes pops out of its
windy hole.  I flutter back
with time to spare.
Mouths split the snake’s side,
spitting out more herons
in a hurry. My adopted flock
crams inside the snake’s throat,
leaving me with time to preen
while rats grind their teeth below.

Steven Riel's first full-length collection of poetry, Fellow Odd Fellow, was published by Trio House Press in 2014. He is also the author of three chapbooks of poetry, with the most recent, Postcard from P-town, selected as runner-up for the inaugural Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and published in 2009 by Seven Kitchens Press.  His poems have appeared in several anthologies and in numerous periodicals, including The Minnesota Review, International Poetry Review, Evening Street Review, Christopher Street, The G.W. Review, St. Andrew’s Review, The James White Review, and The Antigonish Review.

Monday, April 21, 2014

a poem by javier zamora

The Shatter of Birds

           after Abuelita

Javiercito, you’re leaving me tomorrow
when our tortilla-and-milk breaths will whisper
te amo. When I’ll pray the sun won’t devour
your northbound steps. I’m giving you this conch
swallowed with this delta’s waves
and the sound of sand absorbing.

Hold it to your ear. I’m tired
of my children leaving. My love for you shatters windows
with birds. Javiercito, let your shadow return,
alone, or with sons, but soon. Call me mamá,
not Abuelita. All my children learned the names of seasons
from songs. Tonight, leaves fall.

There’s no autumn here. When you mist
into tomorrow’s dawns, at the shore
of somewhere, listen to this conch.

Don’t lose me.

"The Shatter of Birds" first appeared in Four Way Review

Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador. At the age of nine he immigrated to the United States. He is a CantoMundo fellow and a Breadloaf scholarship recipient whose work was selected for inclusion in Best New Poets 2013. His chapbook, Nine Immigrant Years, is the winner of the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest. Zamora's poems appear or are forthcoming in Connotation Press, Four Way Review, New Border, OmniVerse, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He is an MFA candidate at NYU.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

a poem by dan rosenberg


Our bed is elevated. The serval hunts
on wires. Breaks open a butterfly. Dust
crushed in a vertical pounce. Lovemaking

on the proscenium. And lovemaking
in the hardware section. Our bed,
strung on wires. Our serval makes

a proscenium of love. We break
open the butterfly with a vertical
crush. Our eyes closed in deep grass

for up to fifteen minutes, the stillness
before the leap. Your paws clamp down.
Break open our lovemaking: the dust

crushes out. What else so honestly
powders itself to our paws? Butterflies,
hunted. Make do with the wares

we have offered each other. We receive
a proscenium closed in deep grass.
Your serval breaks open her hardware,

dusts our bed. And at my pounce
a proscenium closes. Your paws clamp
our bed: a lovemaking. The hunter

sleeps a hunt in our bed. The feline
twitch and flex of hardware. We elevate
our hands, the bed, we hunt the butterfly,

a vertical pounce. This lovemaking
breaks open. What dust crushes out
from us. What dust on wires we are.

What dust so honestly itself in deep grass
for up to fifteen minutes. The eyes clamp
on wires. The butterfly, dust-hunting.

The proscenium closes our lovemaking.
What else on wires, what else breaks
open: the hunter the hunted loves making.

"Serval" first appeared in Conjunctions

Dan Rosenberg's second book of poems, cadabra, is forthcoming in 2015 from Carnegie Mellon University Press. His first book, The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press 2012), won the 2011 American Poetry Journal Book Prize. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, Salt Hill, Conjunctions, and Blackbird. A PhD candidate at the University of Georgia, he co-edits Transom.