Category Archives: Poetry

A Quiz

1.
Go to where you keep silverware
and pull out all your forks.  Which
was the last one you used
before hearing Michael Brown
had been shot?

2.
How many times
have you washed your sheets
since you first heard the words,
“drone strike?”

3.
True or False:
you have showered
with greater frequency
since September 11, 2001.

4.
a.
How many times
has a single tear
rolled down your cheek
as if in homage to
those icons of your childhood films
who were depicted as
stoic but for that one
brief moment of humanity?
b.
Which eye has served you best
in this regard?
c.
If this has never happened to you,
is it because
you cry such plentiful tears
that there has never been just one?
d.
If this hasn’t happened to you,
is it because you remain
unmoved, even now?
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Three Poems – JR Mahung



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Two Poems – Jessica Abughattas


 

Jess

Dogs are boys and cats are girls.
No one was looking. I dipped my baby carrots in sugar.
I swam in my pool wearing only underwear.
Girls are not supposed to be shirtless.
I told the girls at pre-school about my older sister and brother.
I don’t have a sister.
At recess time, the swings are my favorite.
My biggest fear is falling.
I found out a way to touch that feels good.
This makes grown ups angry.
Women are really pretty
in my mom’s magazine.
I only dream in the color red.
Circles are girls and squares are boys.
I don’t like to share my crayons because
I love to touch the pointy tips.
The kids color so hard my crayolas return as stubs
Riley said I am too bossy and called me a hippocrip.
I cried and cried.
I had a crush on Riley. Continue reading


Another Year, Marla

-on the second anniversary of the death of Marla Ruzicka,
an American aid worker killed in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq on April 16th, 2005.
Marla founded Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) in 2003. 

Each day of this war the body count
passes anonymous as an odometer tick.

We kick the tires, we turn the page.

Upstairs where my books breathe the article
that announced your death and life to me
sits clipped (wide Rolling Stone paper halved
and halved again) stirring like a fever dream
in my bookcase.

Marla, it’s another year for the sand of this war
to overrun the graves, fill in the craters, the details. Continue reading


Two Poems – Jonathan Dubow

 
FAR FROM HOME

far from home visiting friends who’ve become more radical
never am i such a stranger as at these moments
i could be dead it would be nothing monumental to me
at times like these i stroll back and forth
between this objectivity and that door that guards my dreams
these days everything is something along those lines

my friend was sleeping with this tantric woman
who’d just left her husband and three kids
i was traveling to see him
where he was holed up
all around us life went on assertion bragging defensiveness
and boasting forgery and greed

his dad with new girlfriend was at the texmex diner where we got breakfast
his dad paid our bill the grandma didn’t know his dad was dating
would write him out of the will he thought she should be in a home
thought it felt guilty he’d asked my friend to tell grandma she needs to
go to a home bought our breakfast and we left town
when should we live if not now
is what they say in california

in the car we talked about the relationships between other people and parents
other people and other people parents and parents
parents and themselves we agreed
it would be nice to define this relationship between anger nostalgia and insecurity
once and for all
sometimes there is a solution for this problem
with a rumor about ourselves in it that’s almost imperceptible
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Three Poems – Bud Smith

paper-skeleton

 

Rooting For You

unhappy but trying to not rip my own head off and punt it as my final dying motion

chewing tropical bubble gum and refusing to acknowledge the slow decline of all life on earth

but! kinda coming out of my fog, and seeing where to put my feet on the steps

think about a new baby girl crawling up the stairs
grabbing a cape mom hung on the doorknob
slipping the cape on, floating over the violent town

I look up to people who raised themselves

see me pop my bubblegum underneath
flickering florescent light

do people raised by wild wolves ever get tired?

do wild wolves ever get tired of raising babies they found somewhere, crying soft in the darkened forest?

picturing wild wolves having to go to a PTA meeting

picturing wild wolves bringing a child to tee ball

picturing wild wolves having to meet their adoptive human son or daughter’s prom date and the wild wolves sitting on their haunches, knowing this’ll all work out

wild wolves thinking ‘okay, try me’

earlier today I accidentally cut my hand wide open and I purposefully let the blood fall on the snow and make a heart shape

a big ol’ heart shape

hope you can see it from up in the pink clouds

if you’re separated for me, I’ll continue to believe it’s because you are out secretly saving the world from forces I cannot comprehend.
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Two Poems – Nick Stanovick

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Pruning Season

Nothing nothing nothing and then a spark of something I once knew:
The old farm house on a Missouri country road,
a pandemonium of wild flowers in the sky every evening
and who would need a skyscraper then?
The bustle of cities to the peepers shredding the dark with song is no comparison.
I want the night hanging in tatters from the good noise,
I want the purple scales of the fish across the street,
the pond next to the yard next to the house that Jim and Mary Lou keep.
The dirt road that nana scraped her knee on,
my father lapping up the last of the bourbon.
the trees & the trees & the trees,

gummy July and my father’s slicked sweat dripping after another day pruning,
and you try to say that the California heat is oppressive?
Missouri is a skillet,
flat and butter yellow in summer and trees take shape for the Christmas taking.
I carry the buckets of saplings through the rows,
my father rises like an elevator to spray the tops of the five year old trees,
I put the babies in the ground and the wet mud slurps them home,
gobbles the shy roots and there it is, life,
the Christmas tree farm has birthed another son, or daughter
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Three Poems – Alfredo Aguilar

rainout

 

in a forest of pine

you found a nest & held it in your palm. small speckled
eggs lay in a fragile home built of beak, twig, & spider

silk. you crushed the nest, whispered an invocation into
your clasped fingers & a flock of doves rose from

your palms. they covered the sky. it began to rain. i sat
inside a mountain with a meal of hard bread, grinding

my teeth down on the memory of hunger. how i tried to slow
the passing of everything sweet that touched my tongue.
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#2 – 26 Things Emotionally Strong People Do

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Today DMC is Three! We are celebrating by publishing the top-ten most-read posts from the last year!

 
1. Emotionally Strong people are less discouraged by the stresses and discouragements of life than people who aren’t Emotionally Strong people.

2. Emotionally Strong people are able to unemotionally express their emotional needs.

3. Emotionally Strong people don’t focus on the hurdle itself, but on the nourishing Light near and around and on the hurdle.

4. Emotionally strong people eat correctly and exercise the right, and correct way.

5. Emotionally Strong people are able to recover quickly from the emotionally harmful nature of emotional wounds i.e. rejection, failure, or when Whole Foods is out of umeboshi paste.

6. Emotionally strong people get the amount of sleep they need, and understand how to best navigate their own specific and Loving sleep patterns.
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#5 – While Watching the Music Video for “Only One” at Midnight, Kanye West Walks Into the Fog Holding His Daughter in His Arms and I Can See the Clouds Outside of My Window Parting Into Two Wings

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As we approach our 3rd anniversary on February 6th, we are counting down the top-ten most-read posts from the last year.
 
 
& there, gentle smoke cleaved by a small girl’s face
looking into the eyes of her father as if it is the first time &
the shape of her own eyes are a gift from a buried woman
& I realize this part of the performance is not for us
& maybe all life is the years being plucked from our arms
like rose petals & cast into the fields by some god
until we are nothing but alone & eager for the rain
& the mist that rises from it & carries our voices
to those who have survived the wreckage we left &
Kanye West is alone on the screen now & he is alone
in the rain & he is alone clutching the heavy air like he knows
that there is something living inside of it &
I know what it is to never actually be alone
I know what it is to think you are alone &
instead be in the arms of an entire family &
I hear my mother’s voice in the threatening
of the sky & the small silence that comes after lightning
pulls its bright dress over the dark of night &
this is something the wind cannot paint over
even as the clouds are split from each other Continue reading