Tree in new leaf
in front of
a brick building
slung under panes
in which a tree
before an audience
do the splits
as I once did
Rae Armantrout won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
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It’s the Chinese Year of the Fire Drill.
I walk the fields — alfalfa, falafel, falderal.
Nothing out here but syllables, high as
Aegean okra, and a few post-agrarian silos,
dotless i’s that dormice catch some z’s in.
They’re rich like me, this time of the season.
Convair CV-300, play that dead band’s
last black-box seconds. I can’t imagine that Can’s
records were favorites of Ronnie Van Zant’s.
Gary Rossington (later he married Dale Krantz)
broke both arms and legs and, yep, his pelvis,
two months after, yup, the death of Elvis.
Star Wars had opened in Wichita…
Jordan Davis: How about the Leonard Cohen story?
Kenneth Koch: I met Leonard Cohen on the island of Hydra in Greece where Janice and Katherine age five and I had gone for a summer vacation. And we became very good friends. We traveled also to Turkey together, to Istanbul. I liked Leonard a lot and so did Janice. We saw each other then a few times after that, it was nice and intense, but never more than a day. After some years, we were already living on West 4th Street, Katherine must have been ten by then. I ran into…
In the middle of a pool of falcons, I am voluptuous
but lame. And marbles. And more
marbles on the table. I wear a rose
dress perfumed with lament.
In this room, I have hurt myself so I become
dangerous, fatal and even the mourner’s bouquet
cannot save my wolf head.
I am a cadaver but what do I do with it?
I am dead labor but what do I do with it?
It’s like having blood but no prey.
My visions are pale gold shadows over my eyes which make my head just ache and ache like…
But come my poppy
Tell us of your travels,
Tell us the fate of October
Of optimism, of the emptiness
Ladowich Magazine is available in the Apple Newsstand — https://t.co/bhbBwDr0F9 — offering just enough poetry and one longread a month. This poem will appear in issue seven, arriving before the new year.
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K. Silem Mohammad
I am the holy idiot of rhymes;
I dish these tasty iambs in my sleep;
I’ve solved a hundred literary crimes
With anagrams of FREE URIAH HEEP.
I’ve bedded lovely ladies who were moved
By sentences I stole from Google searches;
“This Lime Tree Bower My Prison” was improved
When I replaced the title tree with birches.
My “Squirting Ringworm Taco” won a Tony
(An honor rarely granted to an ode);
A limerick I wrote on Rice-A-Roni
Made Biden and Obama blow a load.
You wish you could be so successful too,
You sweetly unsuccessful losers, you.
Leprechauns refer to us
our greens and golds
a waxed anorak, what’s so good about that
we’ll shed everything
all the layers
I am best stripped
to open up a new wing
they kicked all the people out of the building
the one with turrets
and moved in
I don’t want to be their neighbor
I want to be Helen’s neighbor
and discuss animals, our bones
sexual harassment on airplanes
April was dumb, it made us dumb
actors stood in for us
flubbing their lines
It snowed white blossoms
now it’s May and excuse me
I’ve siphoned quarries of amygdala
to whet the parch of white
from a faux leather couch
binging through Star Trek and lost arks
in a room we just painted Behr Interlude.
I might be bordered on the lop side
but there are slick traces of you
metamorphosing from the pancake dreamer of treachery
under the sink plotting with a whisk
to sprint from the pantry with a jar of onions
fractured at the base and dripping scent
to extract the Well of Souls from tear ducts.
Quick, swipe a dish towel to wipe my eyes and yours together…
Situated at the end of a long covered walk
my summer house looks out on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
It’s a quiet retreat where I can read or write or be read to.
My car is in the driveway
and the city is just two hours away.
The plush mullein is almost five feet tall.
I think it also grows in Rome
along with yarrow and half the plants in this meadow.
Please do me a favor and find a good painter
and have him copy the marble portraits
of your town’s illustrious native sons. …
there’s a passage in Mencken’s diaries —
now, I think Mencken’s a great writer —
so don’t take this wrong —
anyway, he describes a
immigrant Jewish family
down the street
and how they inspire
powerful feelings of disgust
and the thing is
my great-grandfather lived on that street
with all his sons and some of their wives
we have the census records
we know how many were employed,
and I know from my uncle
how proud they were
to have Mencken as a neighbor
but I guess since he called his…