It's getting hard to breathe, America
by George Drew
I was born in the middle of the second
great war almost in the middle
of the greatest scientific century,
MUSING ON THE STATE OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY: AN INTERVIEW WITH RAYMOND P. HAMMOND
by Brian Fanelli
Raymond P. Hammond’s Poetic Amusement is probably not a book that is included on any M.F.A. reading lists, though it should be. The book is brave for its willingness to confront and critique the current state of American poetry and the proliferation of M.F.A. programs and tenure-track creative writing positions.
Ashes in the river
by John Grey
My one regret
is that we didn’t toss his ashes
in this river,
the slow meandering stream
by Maralyn Lois Polak
I wake up one morning and learn — according to another so-called “scientific study” emerging from California, the land of fruit and nuts — that I have “Lesbian Fingers.”
So what did I do? Crawled back into bed, natch! Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with making major lifestyle changes first thing in the morning, you know? Before breakfast? All this time I thought, you should pardon the expression, I liked men. Silly me.
from a train window
by Michelle A. Belluomini
it’s nearing 5pm this second of November
and the light is glowing on the trees
I watch the countryside roll away
while geese fly chevrons overhead
The new lieutenant
by Allen X. Davis
What’s that on the road up ahead? asked the new lieutenant as their jeep approached the center of the small dusty village. It’s a body sir, answered the driver. It was lying in the morning sun like a pile of dirty laundry. Probably an enemy collaborator left there as a warning, sir. Villagers went about their business as if it wasn’t there. Slow down, said the lieutenant when they were almost up to it. He took out his camera and snapped pictures as they inched along in slow motion.
by Eileen Moeller
is stitched together with pine needles and song.
The air is a clean quilt wrapped around you.
It smells like dug earth and resin.
Democracy's poetic voice
by David Livewell
It is appropriate to reflect on the poet Philip Levine during the early days of the Trump Administration. The inaugural ceremony did not feature a poem or, sadly but fittingly, the current Poet Laureate (a Mexican-American poet in his second term), Juan Felipe Herrera. In a PBS interview, Bill Moyers once asked Philip Levine what made him angry. Levine paused, then stated two American embarrassments: racism and the way we treat our poor.