NewPoetry

Category: Uncategorized

The Soul You Have Given Me

… אלהי נשמה שנתת בי

Adam Sol

 

The good widow keeps
………………….inviting me to
………..play online scrabble

but I can’t bring myself
………………….to let her win.
………..My life is littered

with missed chances to do
………………….better in the world.
………..The sum of these impulses

often ignored or late
………………….in myself and my
………..neighbours is what

God is. That’s who
………………….I pray to.
………..Whom.

Whom worth 12 points
………………….even without
………..the double word score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cis Girls

Gwen Benaway

 

he chastised me for
writing about cis girls,

his careful comments
nested in my poetry

like his dick nested
in the curve of my spine

when we lay on my bed,
his fingers in my hair

our breaths synchronized
to a double beat, dry lips

cracking as we talk about
the cis girls he fucks or

doesn’t fuck but wants to,
who think he’ll fuck them

but he won’t because he likes
lovers who don’t belong to him.

presuming our poetic foreplay,
how I fixed his line breaks

showed him how to write
a good fucking poem,

cleaned up his academic shit,
taught him to be honest

in his poetry about emotion,
his parents, and white male fragility.

his feedback to me, double edge
of “this is so beautiful!” heart emoji

laced with “you’re being unfair
to cis girls-they’re not monolithic”,

always their defender, the girls
he fucks are the girls he protects

except me, transsexual wannabe
is open season for double standards.

cis men assume they know everything
about cis girls as if cumming inside them

since adolescence equals knowing,
as if fucking is divination.

he fucked me like a duplicate cis girl doll,
a deficient copy without instructions,

pulled from the assembly line,
thrown out for missing parts.

he had to overcome his discomfort
by force, break me open by dark

while texting cis girls to hang out,
skype calls with ex cis lovers,

rearranging me in relation
to their primacy, a certain value

on my body naming me
as a trans girl more than

any function of biology, cis girls
shining in foil packets of desire

like vacuum pressed candy bars
in a vending machine at his school.

he made me lie for months
about our fucking to cis girls

watch them be loved in public,
in romantic dreams by starlight,

never knowing of me, what I stole
from them by nightfall, buried

his tongue in my milk skin,
drank his blue eyes whole.

he compared my breasts
to his cis girl lovers like

feeling oranges in a market,
appraising value by touch.

my sex noises, how I mewed
under him against them,

the high sounds they make
in the hollow of cis throats.

an entire ruler system
of trans on cis measurement,

an infinite and expanding way
to say I’m worth nothing.

the poetry finally broke me,
bent my resolve to leave,

even in the distilled wonder
of my mind, he brought cis girls

like a plague among the roses,
cis girls with their shit poetry

into the beautiful precision
of my poetic body, as if

cis girls belong everywhere
good and holy, and I,

the transsexual he fucked
when they weren’t looking,

was just a bitter aftertaste
in the roof of his mouth.

he washed me away
with cis girl bodies, rinsed

me from his cock
and moved on.

sometimes I stalk them
on social media, his cis girls

pretending to be cool
with stylized photographs

of mountain landscapes,
claiming creative vibes

basking in a soft privilege
imagining they’re powerful

when all they are is replicas,
unthinking in their performance.

it’s trannies like me that get
balled out for our femininity

then shamed by a cis boy
who tries to fuck us into death

for asking questions
or talking back.

sure, cis girls are just
as real as trans girls

filled with unique suffering
but they get some compensation

for their sex while trans girls
get murdered for ours

and I’m not allowed
to be bitter about it

but I am and maybe
it’s ok for me

to be something more
than a gender apology

wrapped in a pink ribbon
with bruises in my cunt

and his name burnt
on my body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONDITIONS OF ENGAGEMENT

Aisha Sasha John

 

THE LIE YOU TOLD YOURSELF THE RELATIONSHIP REVEALING

YOUR CLOSED HEART’S SUFFERING

THE WIND YOU PUT IN OUR REST

A BEAUTIFUL DULL NAIL CLIPPER

BETWEEN HOW EASY AND GOOD IT IS

THAT’S WHY THERE IS A DOLPHIN ON YOUR KEYCHAIN

WHO LOOKS STUPID AND I LIKED THAT

A DOLPHIN WHO APPEARS TO BE LEARNING

CHANGING POSITIONS IN RELATION TO THE INFORMATION’S RECEPTION

UNCOMFORTABLE

RECOGNIZING A FEELING AS DISCOMFORT

THE EMOTIONAL INTENSITY OF DYSFUNCTION BULLYING THE AWKWARDNESS OF ACTUAL INTIMACY

WHO BELIEVES IN ARCHIMEDES?

FASTER AND TENDERERER AND STUFF

DO YOU BELIEVE PEOPLE? I DON’T

AND OBSERVE HOW THEIR BODIES REACT TO WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

HORSE TRUTH, TEETH

DONKEY TRUTH, SLOW

MALLARD DUCK

THE AGE IS IN YOUR HANDS

I DON’T WANT TO EAT A SPOONFUL OF CRUNCHY ORGANIC PEANUT BUTTER AGAIN

ICE CREAM

UNRIPE PLUM ANYWAY

LOGIC OF NAMING SOMETHING SOMETHING NEGATIVE

WHEN I USED TO SEE YOUR BIG-ASS HEAD ON COLLEGE STREET

I BELIEVE I THINK YOU ADDRESSED ME

I BELIEVE I THINK YOU THINK US INTERLOCUTABLE

LANGUAGE I BELIEVE I THINK YOU THINK WE SHARE

STANDING UP AND THEN SQUATTING

GUESS I’M IN LOVE WITH MY HOBBIES TIMES A FRILLION

I FIGURED OUT WHAT TO DO WITH EVENINGS EITHER SMOKE POT OR DON’T SMOKE POT

IS EVERYBODY LIKE ME UNACTUALIZED OR AM I THE ONLY ONE

IS EVERYONE LIKE ME LIKE IS EVERYONE LIKE BASICALLY ONE PERSON WITH DIFFERENT PARTS AND TIMES

IS THERE ONLY ONE PERSON TIMES VARIATION

FUCKING THE TIME AND TELLING

WARP AND HOW

WHEN YOU WHY

MACKDALICIOUS

IF ONLY IF ONLY IF…OK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love the Laser

David James Brock

 

I love the laser that kills the man in the first
minutes of the movie. I love the laser’s boom.

I love the elephant ivory grip of the laser held
at the cowboy’s thigh. He didn’t know he’d kill

The Fox today—with the laser—but there is
pink blood in the dirt of a Mexican cantina.

There is a laser in the backdrop of the sunset.
There is a blue eye taking aim from the back of the

laser’s barrel. The casings clunk on the horse
trough’s oak. A man’s skull is deleted over yonder,

and the undertaker titters. I love the rumoured
laser that shut down an animal phys exam in ‘99.

The laser that was sold for a tasty profit in the
pawn shop. We are on the hunt for lasers to kill

the ten best terror boys. Lasers that kill a reporter
and a cameraman live! That fit in the wide receiver’s

sweatpants pockets, that steal a Slim Jim or a pack
of darts, whisk apples from heads without singeing

single hairs. But then, I fired lasers at beer cans, begged
Pal to bury the photographic evidence. How murders

are covered up, let alone the death of a Coors can,
is an A&E nooner mystery. Come on, Pal. A laser in hand

will kill my rep. I feel no little pang of guilt when the
8-bit duck explodes, when Bambi’s mom dies, when

someone calls the knife a man’s way to bite it. A kid
gets shot and cooked through the throat in a movie and it’s

labeled a comedy. I can’t cry in the face of each laser
pointed directly at me. Psych! They ain’t pointed at me.

The laser is a God’s gift. So go on, give lasers to
teachers and students, priests and believers, sinners

and pilots, one secret passenger. The plane cruises
at 30,000 feet, no one aims up, and we sleep all right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STANZA AS INFINITY FILTER

Liz Howard


The first person singular does not exist in the physical world,

it’s a ghost.
……………………-V. S. Ramachandran, New Scientist

 

A room with a view

summer holidays digressing

into the heartstrings of a bad faith

chorus. Along the balcony of our latter

days each subatomic thrum is a past

note there’s no coming back from.

Fullness of forest mushrooms

before rot sets in. The reward centre

of minor sins, post-present. A tender

pressure against the caul or thin

gauze of skin infinity filters though

and finds us human. Nothing but rain

for days my Id a sump pump so I’ll not

argue with this weather. I’m already lost

to the hard plumb of a liquid centre

a dead ringer for the first person singular

on my knees and partially dressed

as you’d have it but I’m outside of this

waiting for my arraignment

within expression while the lights

along my street are leaking beams

teething a sodium brace along the base

of my skull. Grave-to-cradle cap over

a brainstem I can’t slap for blooming

a draft I’d never have picked.

My wet cells kindling another

mirror the sense-presence of you

as in childhood false promises flew

like wind through poplars. Each leaf

a paper snap, a little skirt in the updraft.

The stars aren’t keeping track but I know

how to score this. I don’t forgive you

and you don’t need to be forgiven.

My mistrusted I velvet fastened

to whatever happens. Such is the feeling

as the moon rises perpendicular to my view

outside of time and half-bred consequence

you can’t send me back to my room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing the News from America in Stalled VIA train 635 near Trenton Junction

Nyla Matuk

 

Dusk on wet birch, naked as early April,
lights an apse of chivalric Scotch pine.
We’re like anyone would be, in this situation,
the snacks attendant singing to make us forget: Shiiiiine
bright like a diaaaaamoooooond constellaaation!
and all we think on is a crucifix against mother-of-pearl.
At nearby St. Peter’s, children light

the fourth, dark purple candle
while white-tailed deer walk in a line.
Une histoire d’amouououououour….she continues, in a conniption
before the forest’s recrimination, both cancelling and preserving in time
a podcasted Rio Ancho flamenco that kills the hour like abstention
from the Blarney Stone, and helps stars twinkle
in spite of or ahead of, a great fright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD GOD / BAD GOD

Sachiko Murakami

 

HONESTY
I try to sneak my god in, which obviously won’t work. She is not a sneaky god.

REGRET
My dead father acquires a god. The only evidence of their relationship is the backyard full of shit.

RESPONSIBILITY
I am to take out someone else’s god for a walk, and someone else’s child from school. I wander off on a journey, alone.

FEAR
On retreat in the country, the locals and their gods mock me and my god. We barricade ourselves against their threats.

RAGE
Near a sidewalk crowded with god walkers, I am stuck in a car with my angry, unleashed god.

LOVE
Some young gods fit in the palm of your hand. Some have definite heft. All are cared for by someone else.

INTELLIGENCE
My god is prone to attacking children. We walk with purpose into a schoolyard.

SHAME
I take my god to an improbable park. She finds the only mud puddle and rolls in it.

REDEMPTION
My dead god is waiting for me, near the pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken and the bone marrow is laughing

Margaret McKeon

 

crow-cawing break of dawn’s fast
stir of wind on lake’s morning glass

exhale chimes stillness of leaves
first drop: pluck of rain or friendship

this thing broken and inbetween
but ….. live here

yes ….. here
in loon’s cracking night holler
before the hill-echo, the hum of your flight

and spider that one week
took residence in my rearview mirror

hurry, hide, I’d say
I need highway speeds on this highway

yes, new webs of silk strung from her spinnerets
yes ….. here

here, where whale is air and water
and puffin returns shoreside to nest

what rest …… oh
in the between of our gendered world
but
…………………. here

……….. the airbreath edge
of living/death
of energy and matter, live here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dick Van Dyke is a crackerjack wizard.

Sadie McCarney

 

I’m waiting on the voice of the alien God in
a spit-white motel north of Eden, NS. Can
you hear the wicker-work chairs that chatter
outside the rain? I can. Motley murmur.
Motley money. When I left I took $833.65

exactly. Exactly half left my wife and kids.
They’re no more mine in this spindly existence.
The alien God told me to leave them. He said,
“Wait for me in Eden,” He said, “Hate all
those who do not love me.” The Gideon Bible

in my motel nightstand says something like that
in red, only Bibles are biased and were redacted
mid-60s and the truth lives only in tastebuds,
in sounds. I’ve heard the aliens whisper for years,
in the deep roots of weeds dug up in summer,

in black ice seasoned with road salt and lime,
and in this rain that communes with the wicker
and the birdshit-baked birdbath it’s slowly filling.
And in every love song, every old sitcom. First
they told me through Dick Van Dyke that clocks

are all useless, so I threw out my watch. Then
it was running them little errands, turn left at
this fork, shave in that pattern. They lent some
togetherness sense to my life. A diagram through.
Patter goes the rain. I thought it would just be

benign little mutters, but then their God with a voice
like a cannon tells me to leave Maureen and my kids
or he will burn down the house with me in it. I could
tell it was Dick Van Dyke again, but through some
kind of amplifier the aliens made to make me know

reason. Reasons why, reason raisin. I sit here
and shrivel, wait for further instructions. This
motel and the corner mom & pop where I buy
my canned ham are the only sanctified spots still
left. My damned money dwindles. I, too, am left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

public intellectuals

Nikki Reimer

 

it’s easy to remain safe on the streets
if you employ intelligent posture
walk with confidence lead with your jaw

whiteout can be used
when something is wrong

constantly scan but don’t be obvious

parked cardinals, daughter-in-law unlit corpses are
planetariums you should avoid
when you’re out alone

always make eye contact
make occasional eye
contact make fleeting eye contact
do not under any circumstances
make eye contact

even if it’s a quick jazz
keep your keys ready
hold on to them inside your pocket

then, bring them out:
your hands should rest lightly in your pockets

think: bitch
think: bitch, please