Many Tiny Pagoda

Sheryda Warrener
— after Matthew Zapruder


In a poem about beauty, a mention
of paper, because isn’t paper sad? Origami cranes
slide through water toward us, upright

and industrial, catching mid-
stream on mulch islands only to let go again,
weighed down with nothing

more than a wish that will only last
so long. Just past the bend, a man in white gloves
removes each water-logged bird out of sight

of its maker. Dusk, we find a spot on the patio
overlooking the river, share a beer under the glow
of many tiny pagoda lanterns

strung above our heads. I resolved not to
place my fortune at the hands of the river, instead
spent the afternoon marvelling at great

wooden structures. Even pagoda five tiers
high, with intricate layers of multiple eaves, will not
topple in an earthquake, remain infinitely

intact. An invisible central pillar allows
for sway, like a willow. This, the only safe bet
for hundreds of miles. On site, a custodian

swept gingko leaves from the stone path.
Someone comes now carrying a plate of dumplings,
each dough-edge pinched, fanned by hand.

Paper partitions dividing us
from our neighbors distort nothing. Meticulous
cranes bob along endlessly with an air

of confidence I may never fully possess.
For now, we settle on the pre-verbal sense
the river makes. It tells us all we need to know.








Jeramy Dodds
– for A.L.


To cash in the cha-ching
of your winks I turned
to the creek for currency.
It’s hard to swim with a heart
of gold. The creek is breaking up
with us and the paper acres
of winter. You unfurl your water wings.
There is a cancer for everything.
Widowers get down off the hills;
their unpasteurized tears used to lube
the joints of Cossack acrobats.
The air uses our lungs as trampolines.
I went to ask the deafening creek
a thing or two. What do you call
a trapezist who won’t catch you?
Unrequited love is like asking
a mannequin to dress you with all
the loneliness of a glory hole
in Chernobyl. The creek is full of stone
peels. From beyond the beyond,
a twig of starving lightning wants
to make the vanished visible.
The soul is a perfume that stepped
into the wind. How far can a silhouette
get in a mule-kick of lightning?
My soul is blinged by your laughtrack
on its perpetual victory lap. I only
travel in a chicken-bone palanquin.
What do you call a chaperone
who’s always alone? I only brought
a match to see the glints of Glitzerland.
I’m the cataracted acrobat reaching
for twigs like a cutpurse with the worst
palsy. You, an old oak with no lower limbs.
There was a brass band around
your father’s wrist. Listening is the hardest
instrument to play. Fuck the soul
and its love of bad art. Still, the heart
wants what wants the heart.









Robert Priest







the nymphomation

the skinfo

the fingerfo





in foamation

to have an info




the infonex


she infoed me


to infotilize

the outfo

turning info into outfo




i want your information
so bad

the nonformation

to be info-negative



to be an info terrible

she is nursing an info

info mortality

the info christ












Dani Couture


dani couture








Alex Porco



Let’s begin:
“We neither confirm nor deny
Millennials are so progressive that,
As compared to previous generations,
Even the racists among them
Have Black and Latino/a friends
But, unlike ostriches, do not
Mourn their dead. Please, stop
Eating Nutella, and save the
Forest! Stop eating pussy, and
Save the forget-me-nots! This message
Is brought to you by
The piano toccatas— which sound
Like a drift of pigs
Playing at tombola— of Debussy.”
“The object of symbolism is
The enhancement of the importance
Of that which is symbolized.”
“I’m like a 4 and
8 on the crazy-hawt scale.”
“Pleasure is my greatest regret
Of inconsequence, every condom filled
With a fluish hue, the
Plausible deniability of our love
Child, or contracepted palace coup,
As foreseen by the oracle.”
[The oracle— say what now?]
“Warning: microwave sushi may make
Kabuki Theater of your gastrointestines.”
“This morning I messaged Mo.
I told him I’m sad
Because ‘It’s a blank verse
World, and I want to
Rhyme.’ What I meant is
That my date I think
From last night is okay
With gays— but definitely not
With Jews, Mexicans, or haikus.
One thing led to another,
And….” I’m fucking and quoting
Serially to forget about you.
Meeting adjourned.


Let’s begin:
I’ve been told
That my sneezes
Are a combination
Of karate chop
And laugh that
God’s the main
Man in my
Cosplay as Skeeball
Champion of Cleveland
I’ve travelled to
The future on
Your sugar that
My snogs are
Comets of commas
And Lawsuits from
Sultans the main
Mangos in my
Kittens I’ve travelled
To another galaxy
On your summons
To the gala
Of commies and
Mannequins sunbathing on
Your summit and
I’ve been warned
That snobs laxatives
And superstitions are
Aiming like sunbeams
On snowflakes to
Slow the gait
Of love’s funnel
Cake so put
On the filthy
Tight dandelion dress
And wear it
Like the unheard
Instrument in the
Saxophone family that
You are while
An army of
P.J. Harveys clears
Out every woodpecker
From every bidet …
And yes that’s
A euphemism for—
Meeting adjourned.


Let’s begin:
Self-esteem is one of the leading causes of death when popped like a mislabeled
………………..bottle of bowling balls that strike all the pins that prop your feelings
………………..up with sadness down
To a size
Manageable enough for
Your fingers
To fit
(Down your throat).
And tomorrow sex will be bad again, thanks,
Fist deep in what Love doesn’t bend; but
At least there’s no illusion of freedom—
Not even in the Chinese ideogram for lubricant
You once believed meant something more Zen.
The birds,
I don’t know what the birds’re yipping about, but it’s some kind of melodrama
………………..pitched at what’s bothering us beside sex, marrying the world
………………..this early hour at all costs with characters, as the saying goes, on
………………..whom nothing is ever lost.
There’s no sword to strike against
A ghost.
RM Vaughan asks that I take my top off, and I think I’ll do it one day because
………………..he’s a great poet but I also think I won’t do it because my chest
……………… is equally great— not in the sense of “first-rate,” like RM’s poetry,
………………..but in the sense of “unusual or considerable in degree, power,
………………..intensity, etc.,” like my chest hair.
Though maybe there’s no difference between the two. That is, between definitions
………………..of “great,” I mean. Not RM’s poetry and my chest hair,
The latter of which makes me look
Like a quokka.
RM’s poetry makes me feel
Like a quokka,
“The happiest animal in the world,”
According to a recent study published by the Perth Zoo
Or according to Disney cartoons.
I can’t remember which. Doesn’t matter.
What matters is
RM’s a great poet precisely because he would’ve figured out how to rhyme quokka
………………..with cock. I tried for a month. And failed. It’s been a difficult April.
………………..But I like how I’ve used it well enough,
Now that it’s May.
It’s hot today. 31 degrees.
I think I’ll take my top off, after all—
for the poem’s sake.
For R.M.
For Canada!
Motherfuckin’ Canada!
(I’m a baaaaadddddd mama-nationalist…)_
I never understand what I mean. So
I keep the official minutes,
like a fig leaf
to bless the dentist who makes a mess of it
by pulling all the wrong teeth.
I love you? (Blood.)
I love you. (More blood.)
I love you? (More blood with chunks of dentin and pulp.)
Meeting adjourned.


Let’s begin:
“How do you feel about short sleeves and a tie?”
“It’s a good look for an 8 year old who wants to be taken seriously.”
Sloppy Haiku #834
She’s got an asshole
Rolled tighter
Than pork belly roulade.
#BlessedBBQ #Farmtotable #NotyodaddysRichardAldington
“My mom cussed me out for wearing ripped jeans when she cooked nice
……………… for dinner— I mean,
she overcooked the asparagus.”
The fundamental problem necessary to consider is both formal (i.e., sound) and
………………..political (i.e., authority): what is the relationship of Rime to Time?
The hominini of Siberia, in the Altai mountains, are homonyms with
………………..whom— eighteenth-century Grub Street poets sipping tea pulled
………………..from the mahogany caddy? Once upon
An Alexander Pope did the realms of “tea” (Shropshire, Cathay) sometimes rime
………………..with “obey,” from the Latin to hear. The ear
No longer obeys
The eye.
Love you,
p.s. And eye is the bikini, erogenous and radioactive: when your hard-on rimes
………………..with a (“A”) bomb (ecological disaster, displaced Micronesian
………………..families, stillbirths), erectile dysfunction is the side effect of History.
………………..It’s difficult getting it up
For anything
It’s difficult getting it on
With anyone
In good conscience come summertime.
One-Word Italian Sonnet
Like a refrigerator warmed up in a microwave,
Aubreys tend to be the hottest chicks you’ll ever meet;
And Kim— five miles away— has sent you a fuck request,
And HotMommy33— two miles away— has sent you a fuck request;
And the right to be drunk on the front porch of a private home was upheld
……………… the Supreme Court;
And we lined up
From Belmokhtar to Baltimore for Age of Ultron one day,
And the next forgot about Freddie Mac and Freddie Gray.
“‘Annoying’— how so?”
“You know, like, the way she inhales air after she laughs. That.”
“So you don’t like… how she breathes.”
“You know, she’ll die if she doesn’t, right?”
Meeting adjourned.









Tanja Bartel


Who was I to diss the hipster poet?
Bowing my head into my late grading—
I’ve used the word ‘iffy’ in a reference letter.
I’ve cancelled two classes to watch Survivor.
–David McGimpsey “Orville Redenbacher’s mistress rejects the label ‘porn star’”


I came up from under the city, satchel
full of bad handwriting. Tide of the train
crowd washed me to the edge of the platform.
Above, the skyscrapers with their many layers
of breath. Yellow ballet of some stranger’s
piss swirled in the lone cafe toilet,
greeted potential geniuses stalled in the line-up.
Hymn of an anorexic boy spiralled down
from the hotel balcony, circled my head like a satellite.
Who was I to diss the hipster poet?


That grimy guy who always sat cross-
legged on the sidewalk, petting
a chunk of pyrite directly under the edge
of a torn awning, rainwater sluicing over
his drooping head. The part of his hair, a bald
stripe. Mistook him for a poor fool, fading,
till I heard him talking to a uniformed man
about his manuscript. My own, flabby,
unfinished. I’m a ham teaching English, ageing,
bowing my head into my late grading.


I’ve reused personal report card
comments; laughed at others’ jokes
at one meeting, then mirrored them
in another; borrowed someone’s apple
from the staff room fridge; forgotten unmarked
papers at home; used a stencil to render
the word ‘Original’; parked in the Drop-off Only
spot when my heels were too high.
I’ve watched my students leave and felt better.
I’ve used the word ‘iffy’ in a reference letter.

Soaking up the curses and cigarette smoke, I circled
the school parking lot and dreamed of coddling
capybaras in a sprawling Amazon tree fort. Sleep-
walked inside and toiled under fluorescent rays.
I’ve languished too long with frozen feet and lank hair
for a half-hearted coffee, pinching a French cruller.
Longed for gushing lava instead of cold appliances:
tinfoil sparking in the microwave, false warmth. I’ve lapsed
and relapsed before, squeezed in a one-hour mai tai bender.
I’ve cancelled two classes to watch Survivor.








Adam Sol


I get all these boys poets confused
with their pop culture references
and their snappy wordplay. Also
the brilliant women reinventing language
for ambiguous purposes, them too.
If it weren’t for the bright noise
emanating from the stadium
I might not know my true purpose

but I can hear them chanting – all
of them, the pullets and mercies,
the ruptured uncles and night shift
telemarketers, the date rapists
and drama queens, the valets and vagrants –
all of them raising their magnificent voices
in grand exaltation – shouting DE-FENSE
DEFENSE, my holy, unbroken name.









Adam Seelig


adam seelig








O Canada

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea.
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


Sous l’œil de Dieu, près du fleuve géant,
Le Canadien grandit en espérant.
Il est né d’une race fière,
Béni fut son berceau.
Le ciel a marqué sa carrière
Dans ce monde nouveau.
Toujours guidé par sa lumière,
Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau,
Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau.
De son patron, précurseur du vrai Dieu,
Il porte au front l’auréole de feu.
Ennemi de la tyrannie
Mais plein de loyauté,
Il veut garder dans l’harmonie,
Sa fière liberté;
Et par l’effort de son génie,
Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité,
Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité.
Amour sacré du trône et de l’autel,
Remplis nos cœurs de ton souffle immortel!
Parmi les races étrangères,
Notre guide est la loi :
Sachons être un peuple de frères,
Sous le joug de la foi.
Et répétons, comme nos pères,
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi! »
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi! »

The King of Birds

Amber McMillan


Here are two memories I keep like photographs.
First is a field on fire, lit up in the heat wave of 1989
that tore through all of Ontario that August. A white van
at the edge waiting to collect us kids for the hospital
where mum hollered herself through another labour –
you this time – wild flames stealing up tree lengths,
rapid and terrifying, the hazy, broiling air
haloing the swing sets, our abandoned bicycles.

The next is of my father, always unfashionable,
edgy only as a teenager is edgy, drunk and careless,
thinly concealing kaleidoscopic turmoil, a frantic mania.
He is standing on a table – a lit cigarette in his hand
for character – he is telling a story to an audience: look
at that confident smile he wears, that double-dealing grin.
The story is an old one, spun to tease and to rouse,
an old one about a fox and a crow and hunger.








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