What of gold?
13 - Beth Alvarado
12 - Stephen Mead
11 - Laura Page
10 - bvonhoene
9 - Madeline Cooper, for Bella
8 - Sophie Strand
7 - Thomas B Osatchoff
6 - Colin James
5 - Colin James
4 - Shareen Murayama
3 - Shareen Murayama
2 - Austin Anderson
1 - lw
13 - Baby A/Baby B
Baby A says he had this really bad dream where the one-who-wants-to-make-America-great-again took all the babies and put them in an old warehouse because he wanted them to use their tiny hands to make cell phones. And then he put wire netting all around the warehouse so the babies couldn't escape, not even by jumping off the roof! In this way, he would bring manufacturing jobs back from China. Dude, Baby B says, that is seriously dystopian. Have you been reading George Orwell again?
12 - What On Earth...
11 - International Zones
Like a lot of other white girls, I’ve thought about
resuming worship of a god my cohort has scrupulously re-
imagined as that faceless Jedi-guide. God is a force
other white girls tell me.
Today Washintgton sent up a trial balloon for
a coup and praying persons caught the shrift. The prayerful
that were here already they’re saving for later, but the
ones that were coming to
to be with their families, or just to be alive,
with special visas, veterans, interpreters for the U.S armed forces
in the fraught past, from countries I can count on one hand,
from countries that have never
shed American blood—they’ve stopped.
There were groups of people huddled on the floor, heads
bowed, so one might think they too were praying next to those of
all ages facing Mecca, foreheads kissing the too-bright
carpets of extraterritoriality at LAX, ORD, JFK, who
like me, were trying to harness a little bit of holy force,
penitent, pro bono, haloed in the cloud, in smartscreens waning power.
Airbnb keeps folding families arrived to greet the travelers
in its million kitchenettes.
Washington whispers registry and I just want to
believe in something again, so
I think, like a lot of other white girls, what if I tried to be holy again?
What if I could be?
Can those who have not suffered be holy?
Can I register as a Muslimah if it comes to that? Will I pray?—be
any good at it anymore? Is it too late
to submit my application to be a Jedi knight?
10 - kissing underwater
the day you brought home a dozen pink tulips was the day after flynn resigned. you vased them in collins glasses and a swingtop. you let me find unopened buds
on the nightstand, by the skull, on the toilet. it was valentine’s day. i kissed your neck. aren’t we at the same latitude as maastricht you asked. closer to simferopol
i said. you seared a ribeye in cast iron. when it set off the smoke alarm, i opened all the windows. we ate meat with golden beets - fed each other banana cake by flashlight.
I COME FROM THE BEARS.
ONE OF MY EARLIEST MEMORIES IS OF THE BEARS TEACHING ME HOW TO CATCH SALMON WITH MY TEETH.
FAMILY CONDITIONS WERE BEAR-LIKE.
MY PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD WAS SHAPED BY BEARS.
THE PEOPLE WITH THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON ME WERE ACTUALLY BEARS.
MY FAVORITE PLACE AS A CHILD WAS THE HIBERNATION CAVE.
I AM USUALLY MISSING THE BEARS.
PEOPLE WOULD DESCRIBE ME AS MISSING THE BEARS.
MY PHYSICAL APPEARANCE IS FURRY.
I LIKE TO WEAR BEAR COUTURE. MY STYLE IS BEARISH.
THESE FIVE PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME: BEAR, BEAR, BEAR, BEAR AND BEAR.
TEN THINGS THAT ARE TRUE FOR ME NOW:
I WAS RAISED BY BEARS.
BEARS ARE MY FAMILY.
BEARS ARE THE ONLY BEINGS I TRUST.
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FUNCTION IN HUMAN SOCIETY.
I CAN SLEEP FOR SIX MONTHS.
I CAN EAT SALMON STRAIGHT FROM A RIVER AND FEEL DANDY.
I HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE BODY HAIR THAN THE AVERAGE HUMAN.
I WISH I WERE A BEAR.
BEARS ARE SOFT. AND
I CAN CLIMB A TREE
IN THE NEXT YEAR, I WOULD LIKE TO BE REUNITED WITH THE BEARS.
IN FIVE YEARS, I SEE MYSELF WITH THE BEARS. IN TEN YEARS, WITH THE BEARS. IN TWENTY YEARS, WITH DIFFERENT BEARS.
IN MY DARKEST FEARS, I AM AFRAID THAT I WILL NEVER REUNITE WITH THE BEARS.
MY BIGGEST DREAM IS TO BE A BEAR.
IF MY DREAMS COME TRUE, I WILL BE A BEAR.
8 - November Requiem
Red this dawn, red the mountains, the stars
like pokes through skin to meat. Morning
color that sailors warn against before
returning to land to escape weather. But this –
this is no weather. Blood spilt from no cloud
but our own machine. And are the rivers red?
The firstborn sons, queer, already claimed? And what
of our daughters? Their lovers? Let us hope,
now, when we walk forth, the seas will part. This
is the country of old men and a worse man’s dream.
Here, rip the newspaper at your breast, your eye,
your threatened gender. Let us feel shame that the trees
stand witness to such smallness. If we will bleed,
how much wider will the wound be when it carves
through land? Water, red. Oil, red. Forest, red. Read
the warnings and yet, hate rose like a bloated sun
while we sat heavily with TV screens blinking
like the light thrown out from a dead star. I promise
I will hold you and I know you will hold me. These
arms, not steel but bone and skin, are the slender
pillars that could still be a country. If a light breaks, not red,
but any other color, violet, brown, white, unsayable blue,
let me hold it, cherish it like a newborn child, in my eye.
Grant us, but for a minute, the gift of vision so that we may see
us crossed over the fire, in the land of a better color, a thunderous love.
7 - DTs
DTs are some sort of confusion like delirium tremens or d. trumpens that can really trumpet themselves when any sort of something happens getting weird geared serious around seventy years
of age but sometimes there is early onset. Either way what happens is like right now how the world is in the aftershocking transition into a new era
where a series of confused earthquakes makes for a new error of Holy Roman roadway. Or to
make a fairer era get off the road, hey, and let’s get some crab soup on this rainy day
stretching to halt these DTs like we gotta throttle the weather how we want it to be how
production on Sunny Isles Beach started and stopped around 2009. We’ll start it up again and
cameras will not be allowed at the pool but a lot of bottles and look at this image! When
our construction of a money-factory didn’t pan out we stopped play
to make a plan for a new golden way while playing football soccer with a coconut our salamander
souls readjusted to the holes in the new numbers stealing away in our ongoing numb bet also
the dehydrated cucumber feeling of inevitability let us leave the redbelly music play while we were
gone the jack-hammer stopped started jackhammering. Humility got jackhammered.
In the humidity an old frog croaked in an older palm and oldish snowbirds yammered near a nude beach a partially finished hotel lingered in its yo-yo humility an unsold sunburn shadow
scaffolding above the ocean of bigger waves than usual. That always moving thing inside us
got stuck up the tree with a pollywog. Penumbras. We both tried to pee in the surf a feeling of
what reassures but didn’t tell one another. Afterwards we walked the dog, never noticing
the mutating or tiny seizures
trying to tell us another tsunami was on its way. We didn’t tell one another, we saw one another as treasures.
We decided to stop using terror but somehow it came out anyway.
6 - IN DEFERENCE TO THE RUEFUL NIGHT
Just stepped out of the office
to purchase a sandwich
from Ohare's Kosher Delicatessen
& was crossing the Curt
Schilling Memorial Bridge
when an unsuccessful jumper
clambered back up the side,
the river basin dry as denial.
She was about nineteen
parents both relapsed alcoholics,
boyfriend neanderthal violative.
She consented to join me
for coffee and sandwiches. We sat
near an air conditioner and talked.
I got her a taxi home agreeing
to meet the next day, but never
saw her again. Double checked all
the nostalgic skylines I could find.
5 - A CARTOGRAPHERS PANDERING TO SCALE
Note the well worn hand holds
close to the side's pockets of
that which is not somnolent
nor sleep deprived or deterred,
just half studied by interns
and left for dead.
Reviled by the more serious
hands across the water types.
Sustenance like pools of gratitude.
He needs simplicity more
than she needs proteins,
and barters successfully for an edge.
That sail mistaken for a moving van
protruded above the conifers
which are about the only plants
that will grow crowded here.
4 - A Mistress's "Dear John" Letter to America
I woke this morning
feeling less full of want:
a solitude of space
A capsized vessel
may recover on its own
I begin at Alakea n Nimitz
1 minute earlier.
I didn’t see you there,
crossing over lines
Didn’t you order it
on the side?
I wanted to spoon again,
against slanted sounds
of words—fake or real:
Staying with the boat
can help. I don’t know
the words I needed delivered
but I could have hummed along.
And I hate kari-oke.
This morning, I was running
16 minutes late:
my faith is more hollowed
than your blindness.
There are no survivors’
instructions because a black box
flipped inside-out is not solitude.
I press my lips together.
The weather chaps everything now.
-line credit: Emily Dickinson’s “There’s a solitude of space”
3 - "There & Back Again: Dystopia is now, America."
while I lied
in my sweat
on the backyard patio,
the breath I breathed hard
then fading. it is winter
still. yesterday, the sun lost
its gilt, caught without
its gold in a fog, become just
a coin whose glint is
gone the moment I look
it in the face—
yes, the geese called
flying, but the fog rolled
the gold off
their wings; yes, lake reeds
lined the highway, but the fog
spilled their gold
in a breeze; yes, blue was between
a ridgeline & a fold,
but the fog forgot
the sky’s gold spiraling
up the horizon; yes, weeping
pine in the garden
was weeping long
before, but the fog
chased the gold
on the breasts of the robins
who now have left
their eggs & left their nest;
yes, a star & another
sparkled, but the fog hid
up their beams & grabbed
their black & grabbed their gold
& gave the night a grey
garb, the moon split: its gold
gone too, its silver
& copper, its shadow.
to hear the geese
calling now, to see
the gold they fly to.
1 - catapult
what of gold when we have dropped the ball / what of fashion when we have slit throats / what of dawn when we have smothered the night / what of wine when our boots on one another's necks / what of warm fire in winter when we have drones / what of square meals when we, our mouths full, yelling / what of a live symphony when we can hear the wall being built (jack hammers & oboes) / what of making sweet love beneath the fallout / what of wars on terror when violence is domestic / what of your grandmother's quilt when the new jim crow / what of saunas & Japanese loose leaf over our eyes when limbs sever, catapult across the foggy bay /