Fog lies low over the land. Rain drives soft across the fields. Comatose landscape.
There is nothing immediate we can hope for, now we have nothing to do but breathe, until something better shows up.
We are holding each other, expecting a miracle at dawn, as if there were no one and nothing to hurt us.
Beginning in mid-May the nights draw in, our look turns warm and soft, the fog passes gently over us,
we’d like to ask the fog— don’t talk to us, our heart’s been broken, we can’t listen to you, we can’t see you,
but the fog covers us and says: I never see myself either, in my own mind I’m invisible,
that’s why you may feel I’m almighty, you are like birds, your flight begins and ends in silence,
you will find yourselves in each other only, silence is garden, among the growing dreams and precious wishes
you will discover each other again, everything that will ever be discovered, already exists in the mist.
David Dephy (he/him) (pronounced as “DAY-vid DE-fee”), is an American award-winning poet and novelist. The founder of Poetry Orchestra, a 2023 Pushcart Prize nominee for Brownstone Poets, an author of full-length poetry collection Eastern Star (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2020), and A Double Meaning, also a full-length poetry collection with co-author Joshua Corwin, (Adelaide Books, NYC, 2022). His poem, “A Sense of Purpose,” is going to the moon in 2024 by The Lunar Codex, NASA, Space X, and Poetry on Brick Street. He is named as Literature Luminary by Bowery Poetry, Stellar Poet by Voices of Poetry, Incomparable Poet by Statorec, Brilliant Grace by Headline Poetry & Press and Extremely Unique Poetic Voice by Cultural Daily. He lives and works in New York City.
What do I know of my own tongue and the taste of love? For one thing, I savor the bitterness of envelope glue. This is love; and the metal of minor open wounds in the absence of band-aids or tissues, and the rim of a water glass that has sat reverently on a nightstand for too long. All the food I eat on a day when I don’t feel like eating, and toothpaste…look at me, taking care of myself.
What does my tongue know of me, and the soft skin of my inner cheeks? The spots where anxiety has compelled me to bite. Blisters. Blisters are kind of like love. Too much friction, and evidence to show for it. How many flavors of Chapstick? Where sweetnesses and disappointments traverse the landscape. An ecosystem within an ecosystem. Mother tongue. My mother, tongue.
A muscle strong from carrying all the messages that never made it out of me. Laced with secrets, and receptors of breaths both known and foreign. A transformer, look! Slack, and pointy, and soft, flat, and rigid. Hot dog! Clover! Funny faces are love.
My tongue is well versed in survival tactics; like, how to breathe through smoke, and how to hold, and hold, and hold tension. Braving cold summer snow cones and steamy winter teas. It maintains equilibrium when the rest of the body cannot.
What does my tongue know of travel? Having trekked roofs, and hollows, and caverns. Cavities, too. A paleontologist in its own right, and a philologist, and a virologist, and a cytologist. Knowing of more -ologies than a brain might ever be. Teaching me, and teaching me, and teaching me. This is love.
For a prisoner of the mouth, my tongue manages to sustain a taste for life. For love – and the bitterness of envelope glue, and the metal of minor open wounds in the absence of band-aids or tissues, and the rim of a water glass that has sat reverently on a nightstand for too long. All the food I eat on a day when I don’t feel like eating, and toothpaste. Look at me, tasting it all.
Aliza Saper is an original Denverite, and a wearer of many creative hats. She is the winner of the 29th Paul Rice Poetry Broadside Series Contest, and a 2018 National Poetry Slam qualifier. Currently, she is a resident teaching artist specializing in theatre arts integration; fiercely advocating for arts education, and spaces that support it. Her affinity for self expression, and meaning-making has led her to pursue endeavors in storytelling via the visual, literary, and performing arts. Follow her on Instagram: @aliza_lynn.
‘glad god said i’m allowed to be alive’ he said to whomever was listening, sang a tiny song to praise god and included everyone in the room buildings across the street bathed his armchair in rainbow neon the combined aura of different advertisements at different distances he sang a praise song to combat difficult feelings the neighbor’s little girl asked him not to die until he got older he promised not to die until he got older so when she dies, everyone would be there to meet her in heaven to walk her to her room
he washed dishes and wondered if they were still rolling dice down the street, he wiped down dishes and wondered if all the stores were open, he found his armchair was a neon tinted throne his shadow on the floor held a stairway he knew if he went down into the shadow stairway he could keep going down forever he wanted to go up instead forever but there was no staircase in the ceiling, not now god said it was not his time to go yet god said he was allowed to stay alive
there were just moths there, studying the lightbulb there were just moths on the ceiling with crushes on the lightbulb he was sure the ceiling wouldn’t open until death he promised her he wouldn’t die yet she wanted to die now so she could see grandma he assured her that grandma would still be there he told her to live a life, find a man, have kids, grow old she didn’t listen she was afraid of going outside when she went to bed there wasn’t any music just her voice improvising praise songs to combat difficult feelings he fell asleep before her
didn’t dream of anything at all every night is a strange mystery still he said ‘glad god said i’m allowed to be alive’ when he prayed at church we caught his cheating, opening his eyes a crack to copy our wishes opening his eyes a crack to check on his own shadow to make sure there wasn’t a stairway there to make sure the trapdoor was closed so he wouldn’t fall into his shadow and leave the sanctuary suddenly
the streetcorner crowded the stores still open the street goes past the bridge but there it is just factories and warehouses nobody there are night except those who don’t know what’s going on the people who stand around like ghosts and disappear when you turn your head to look
Tall City (Chris Bullock) was born and got bigger on Long Island, New York. He did a few things then moved to Colorado Springs after trying to study in Paris. He did a few things there too, then moved to Denver, where he went back to school for foreign language. A couple of years on scholarship in China, and he is back in Denver.
this isn’t the rain we asked for it runs like lava down leeward rocks, seizes the cities, it looks like smoke sizzles on pavement like hot grease but might it still wed weeds to soil might corn still marry earth & sky in late july could it still caress valleys soak hollers dress mountains in a technicolor coat of wild- flowers temper flames that torch the mountainsides could the children still grow healthy & tall soft-skinned & singing to open acrid sky this isn’t the rain we asked for but it is the rain we’ve made love to dropped to one knee bound ourselves for life this could be a celebration windborn praise songs crawling toward mountaintops bodies dancing by moonlight bring your pots to the bonfire let us boil what drips off eaves- troughs into our gaping mouths
My boss asks me to watch 16 hours of camera footage. Instead I watch dandelions lose their heads at the slightest breeze. Nearby weeds shed their mustard petals. The sky dares me to name its every shade of blue. Cotton, Chromium, Seafoam, Tremor. There are more important things to worry about today than work, like breathing the grass-cut air, catching the sun’s bright spears. The swollen clouds are an army of angel wings descending. I watch their feathers fall.
Eric Raanan Fischman is an MFA graduate of Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He has taught free writing workshops in Nederland, Boulder, and Longmont, Colorado, and has had work in Bombay Gin, Boulder Weekly, Suspect Press, and many more, as well as in local community fundraising anthologies from Punch Drunk Press and South Broadway Ghost Society. He also curates the Boulder/Denver metro area poetry calendar at boulderpoetryscene.com and is a regular contributor to the BPS blog. His first book, “Mordy Gets Enlightened,” was published through The Little Door in 2017.
This is a found poem from Grant, Mira. Symbiont. New York. Orbit, 2014. Print. Pages 444-472.
Jen MacBain-Stephens (she/her) went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and now lives in Iowa where she is landlocked. Her fifth, full length poetry collection, “Pool Parties” is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2023. She is also the author of fifteen chapbooks. Some of her work appears in The Pinch, Kestrel, Cleaver, Dream Pop, Slant, Yalobusha Review, and Grist. She is the director of the monthly reading series Today You are Perfect, sponsored by the non-profit Iowa City Poetry. Find her online at http://jennifermacbainstephens.com/.
As snow does to a fire gods who bit flowers of ink a nest of mad kisses down the long black river the milky way sky’s pale vertebrae archipelagos of stars
framed between small branches
blossoms of small arms , nails us naked to the color of pink hyacinth singing singing in deep red ripples your voice is a pale street lamp on calm black water
just (a word planted by the water
before I am a stone in a stone-swallowing river thrown
————————————————– your eyes
Donnie Hollingsworth has lived in many small Rocky Mountain towns and currently resides in Lamar, Colorado–where he teaches Art and English at the local community college–with his wife, cat, and dog. His art can be found here.