John Looker (Chapbook Confessions #1)

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here. Below, John Looker writes on his 2015 collection The Human Hive (Bennison Books) Asked to explain the secrets of his craft, the…

Adam Penna (10 Poems)

How to Worship Today, a thousand fallen leaves: some yellow, some red, some green, some circling the trees. They teach us how to worship, and the wind— it lifts the worshippers. It whips them up. They seem hysterical with happiness. I am hysterical with happiness. The sun shines on my head and on my hands….

Ion Corcos (4 Poems)

These Mountains In this still bay, limestone blue, the fall of mountain steep with scree. Clumps of hard grass grip the slope, shorn like valleys I have seen in eastern Turkey. Don’t tell the Greeks, don’t tell the Turks; some of them at least. The far mountains, covered in a haze of sun and clouds,…

Michael Vecchio (5 Poems)

A Mythical Bird A mythical bird said to breed in winter In a nest floating on the sea is more actual than sand drifting distantly over dunes when darkness builds a canopy because belief removes any doubt that wings will be feathered full and the glass they cover fished through. From ‘An Allegiance to Some’,…

Stephanie L. Harper (7 Poems)

To the Dead White-Throated Sparrow in my driveway: Would you at least do me the courtesy of an explanation? What’s with your belly-mound-cenotaph arisen from the stony gloom spiel? And why this exquisite bundle of yours, with its still-tender russets folded in the unbounded repose of a napping cherub, as if you didn’t believe you…

Hannah Rousselot (4 Poems)

Hollow Glasses clink and mouths smile and jewelry sparkles and eyes are hungry hawks. This dress is too tight. My smile is too tight. My stomach is too tight. I wish I could peel off my skin to stretch it out over the curve of the Earth. Maybe I would finally be skinny enough. I…

Richard Weaver (10 Poems)

The subject of these poems, Walter Anderson, a Mississippi Gulf Coast artist who died in 1965, spent most of his time on the Barrier Islands off the coast of Mississippi. The first 6 poems are reflections of that. The final four are set in China during the Cultural revolution. Anderson attempted to walk across China…

William Doreski (2 Poems)

At the Grave of Randall Jarrell The clunk and rasp of building a wood fire distracts but warms me. You love the grunt and groan of chores, talking to the cats, paying bills we can’t afford to pay. Meanwhile I’m picturing a pair of cypress almost doubled over with ice in a North Carolina graveyard….

Irene Hergottova (7 Poems)

Nothing of Me on the Moon The moon where I live sucks up all darkness, it’s a pond upside down. The moon that I know casts a circle of brightness, a Chinese lantern in the sky. Like a pot of honey never falling, she just sits there, waiting for my glance. I no longer ask…

Barton Smock (8 Poems)

funereal as some things incorrectly have wings, we stamp a chicken into the hood of a cop car. the groundskeeper on break inside the church wonders aloud how much is left of the lord. a boy not part of our boyhood bikes over to us with his feet he’s named individually show and tell. the…

Pablo Cuzco (5 Poems)

Flowers of Dawn A yellow moon over the rooftops—striking in silence—blue sky, dark and twinkling—stars meld into street light—alleyways cluttered with bottles clink | a cat howls in summer heat— water washes away the smear | bleary-eyed and broken, I stumble among dust bins and sediment of the living—crowned with a halo—spirits | God and…

Tom Laichas: 9 Poems from “Naming the Animals”

Named and Nameless In the midst of the naming, the boy asks: What’s your name? The Voice remembers: years in the future, others will ask this question. The reply is the same: I am what I am. The boy: That’s not an answer. We’re all what we all are, nameless or no. The Voice: But…