Archives for posts with tag: poetry

I remember Grandpa Marvin’s
basement filled with beetles and
Missouri moths and crawly
things with feelers and shells
the color of oil puddles
he was an exterminator
who studied bugs alive
and dead in glass boxes
or picture frames nailed
to canvas through the
belly he had a snake
also but it escaped to the
zoo I was told as a child
I don’t remember touching
the staples in Grandpa’s
neck before he died but
I like to think I thought
they were hard
candy now perched
on a kitchen table
in New York I’m hiding
from this beetle in my
apartment I imagine Grandpa
dangling it by a curly leg
to show its hidden
colors then he’d poison
the bed it sleeps in
and we’d light a candle
or something knowing
Ralph that’s his name
died in beetle dreams
but really I’d call a
guy I met at yoga to
kill the thing and he’d
say something like “I’ll take
care of this” and come
to my apartment certain
as a Trojan commercial
he’d give a proud stomp
the sound of hard
candy cracking the beetle
twitching almost dead and
i’d cry for the beetle
dead and always dying
on the kitchen floor
last week I heard they found
snakeskins lining the walls
of Grandpa’s old basement
coiled in the insulation
like abandoned bedsheet
ghosts every night I sleep on
the kitchen table and every
morning I wake up with
a crawling feeling

-allison becker


Not night or day,
therefore both.
A sun, drycaked against warm lithe tar
tasting my brine throat
fossil crushed bottles on my palms
if the water had never tasted rock
and if stony lungs
flux an old well
with sea glass so small
you may never cough
without a sharp twinkling dust
stinging of brine,
tasting of iron.

-Arielle Martinez

Grandma loves to
tell the story
when they were too poor
in the ‘50’s to buy Sunday
dinner, one day a guy
at the office struck them
a cheap deal – Grandpa
bought twelve live
chickens, three
to a metal cage.
Grandpa, always quiet
and gentle had never killed
a bird before, and she says,
laughing so hard
her eyecorners start to
buckle and swim,
that the first neck he took
an axe to ended
up pulped
as applesauce
before he could
tell if he’d
killed it.
They wheeled
their legs around after
their heads came off,
blood and grey
sticky feathers covered
the strawberry patch.
Grandma took a hose to it,
Grandpa put the birds
in the meat freezer,
and the boys, five and three,
watched from the kitchen
window, and little
Johnnie was crying.

-Jade Conlee

the sound of slapping palms
black water, frothy spit
and fish eyes not on a fish.

-Arielle Martinez

i am drunk and on the internet
i am drunk and on the internet
this is the only way
i can type i miss my dog
more than you
my heart is a text box
my heart is 140 words
or less
im deleting my facebook
to show you
i can delete my facebook
and still exist
in your memory
in the memory of the
this poem is
in memoriam
of my dead face
book page
this poem drowned
in a Solo cup
Microsoft word
is so fucked
update yourself bitch
i wish i could get drunk
via misspelled text messages
i wish i could pretend to
misspell i love you
i wish i could pregame
then go to sleep
this night will be the same
whether i go out or not
my bones will still
be so cold

-allison becker


Fingers crumble around the leash of a dog
behind chainlink, sky burns through
the rainbow – no stop ‘til ash here just past
2nd Ave. it pools like fabric on the concrete,
and instead of the usual contest
of finger pads on metal
teeth lining the flowerboxes,
today hands wander through dirt-damp
roots, imagined cool of a petal-papered face
coupling with each hot inhale –
a ritualized rolling over under
covers toward an extinguishing glory –
Troy – famously inflammable, they say
the Trojans burned down their city,
they liked the smell of smoke.


Just as the Trojans smelled smoke
on their hands long after the sack

was forgotten, so my fingers are smoke-
soaked, and so are yours. Nothing happens

so quickly as flame: as you lit my cigarette
just now a man across the park disappeared,

his chess set left hovering
among dispassionate trees.


Nothing so slow as skin
to take in
the apple it owns.


We were at the Hudson down
by Prince St. in September,
the lamps staring down
on our curious smoke
paling into light like
letters hiding in words.


…and so Paris paled when he uttered
the word kallistēi, meaning “fairest,” …

…as if all the smoke that rose
rose as prayer from a censer, simple
stream from your lips, the body
of your breath, your embryonic thoughts…

kallistēi as in “fairest of five whippets,”
or “fairest assessment of my unrefined
passion for the female mouth”…


Paris was reading an apple, which is, of
course, neither flammable nor ephemeral,
and so of no interest to us at this time.


Your red wine whistles
behind the white fence, we
considered eloping, (afternoon
train sounds shuffle down 10th St.
all the little cars and clouds) but decided
you’re too much like an apple
and I’m too much
like a cigarette.

-Jade Conlee

Twice you have graced my dreams
in seven days.
On dog carpet, a wine soaked tongue —

“ Someone ”

Second, I gorged my heart
and chased a knife to my crotch

“ No. ”

Three moons linger
yellow on the wall.

One moon’s craters

the nose and mouth of your daughter.

One moon is caught
in the swollen hands and hair of your wife.

One moon preserves
your bald head

a stark crown.

-Arielle Martinez