Margaret Rhee

Sweet, Robot 

sometimes love greets you warm

	like dry clothes hanging on a line

where ice cream melts down 

	your hands and her arms  

all you taste is the sweet and salt of her. 

all her metal eventually in your mouth

	changing everything. 

do you remember how it began? 
	
	evening fell and she asked, can i take you on a walk? 

then, can i kiss you? 

you both entered the part of the forest so deep

	there are only echoes here. 

and soft light. 
		dust dance like stars. 

and dark beautiful birds disappear, 

	one by one, 

from the corners of your eyes. 

you fall deeply into the small of moonlight. 

					      fall deeply into circuits and glow.

 im still learning how to listen, you confess. 

	im still learning how to walk as i'm learning how to ask, she says. 

but here we are. 






ALGORITHM SWEET 

1.	config = source
2.	loop
3.	loop
4.	greet 
5.	melt into here
6.	     if (config == goal) return goal reached;
7.	     if (config == plus step of size) 
8.	light  
9.	dark  
10.	fly 








Stanley 

Drive me, like a human would. 
Ignore the shadows, and tell me if it's a 
divergent road. Your algorithms 
were wrong for us. There are tumbleweeds
in this desert, but let's accelerate anyway







Wire-feed 

for Chris 

...just more machines that do not think, and are made to think with springs. - Rousseau 

Collapse suspension. 	
Moonlight refines my language. 
Your body against mine is like
a grain of sugar
between our fingers. 


	
Pull out 
the wire 
until it 
can clasp 
unto the lid.  



Consider the axis of my rotation





Consider my depression 





then





Uncoil 




Barbara Jane Reyes

To Fear the Self

The changing body, the hungry Aswang         	We blame,

Her reflection when it’s become familiar        We conceal,

Captive, afraid of her own body still         	We hate the self. 

The inverse body, cleaved in two             	We disrupt,

The self interrupted, the mother of this        We avert,

Old skin, nerves, and circuits – Listen.        We lie to live.





To Slaver

Blame the Pinay,         		We split ourselves in half
Sad like her country 

Blame the Pinay,         		We leave our bodies behind
Work that bitch properly

Blame the Pinay,         		We fly, and we feed
She won’t give you pussy

Blame the Pinay,         		We unmake your marrow
The kind who fight back

Sheila E. Murphy

Location Location Location

Of all the reasons to relocate,
shame disguised as wanderlust
became my cover.
I feigned big dreams,

to blur the fear of
rheumy looking
booze light in the eye,  
baptism by evaporation

of a lapsing holiness.
I knew not one of us was pure,
despite immersion in
the many non-contagious principles.

Transition has long ago grown truer 
than its impetus. All players
are gone. No blaring FM radio,
no gut strings, no first safety.


 
Mi Casa

Every time she tried to move,
Her sisters followed her,
ran up the phone bill, 
Ate all food in the fridge,

and when she’d found new digs,
they followed her again.
She held no hope
of solitude.

“What are families for?”
They asked, explaining
that they knew she knew 
they knew her loneliness.  

They were always comfortable,
they told her, in her home,
their home. 
They would always be together. 


 
Evolution

I decided not 			(Settle
to stay				(or repent
there.				(for making change. 
Form				(Seasons inherently seasoned
is not				(draw us
equal to style.			(back,
Individuals break apart 	(Marginal
families until			(blue color		
families			(of infinite sky
retreating			(replaces the canvas	
have lost			(at least
reasons for being. 		(once.

Matt Hill

When Space Dislikes You

backyard jitters are manifest aplenty
when the grilling season approaches

it’s tough having to listen to the retronauts
who won’t stop their endless nostalganating:

“Yessir, they ran the numbers on him,
and sure enough, it was mighty grim”

sometimes one learns the hard way
about how & when space dislikes you

maybe the evidence will be viscerally hilarious,
or else akin to whatever lands on the front porch

& if one embraces the mundane hallucinations,
the entropic creep will certainly further the vexation

as by roughly doing a random psychogeography,
this should keep the circumstances fiercely valid


Walking is its own Mythology

trodding through the hypnotic dust,
through the vague street subcultures,

under a late sky spiked with
slowly-released splendor,

tactical pedestrians lurch onward,
propelled by strategic ebb & flow,

the rambling folk dressed in kinetic surprise,
these contradictions that walk their walk,

this might be where blur is the Zeitgeist,
and wayward feet groove the pavement

propelled by these barely braking strides,
surging steps taken towards omniscience,

this intrepid walking with long purpose
has a tendency to reshape the terrains

Terra Gnomics

through days littered with abandonment
through a wasted world of defiant plastic

live on these malleable terrascapes
beset by blowing sands, this serving
as a rocky rolling metaphor for time

geographic delusions usually occur most
unexpectedly in places without names

by a leveraging of the ancient ways
by a determining of the values of light
a proper regard for chaos is retained

fraught with so many Dirty World problems

Peggy Heinrich

Sarajevo
for Mario Susko

He tells how
when passing to freedom
an official hand seized his dog,
tossed her over the fence.
You won’t need this.

Which hurts more?
The heart that rages
at five fingers of power
or the heart that weeps
for a little white dog

drowning in a pile
of clothes, suitcases,
decaying food and
heaven-knows-what
the man with a badge
chooses to heave.

[Previously published in Porter Gulch Review, Spring 2010]

Mrs. Glass

She had escaped to America
and worked for my aunt and uncle.
She hadn’t always been a housekeeper.
Her friends were musicians from Berlin.
When she came home in the evening,
she would unfold a screen
to close off the dining room
and change the couch into her bed.
Classical music streamed from her radio.
I was thirteen and afraid of making her sad
so I never asked Mrs. Glass about her life.
Had her family vanished into those camps
where our cousins disappeared?
I wondered what Mrs. Glass thought
when my aunt and uncle entertained:
one evening with Jewish relatives,
another with new acquaintances
from the restricted country club
they had secretly joined.

[Previously published in Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, 2013]

Jack Crimmins

POETICS #2

	the old cellist
	comes to grieve
	his mind is going
	wild lilac

the Dry Mountains
in sight of the Inyo Mountains

	language as the water

inlet

	knife blade

     dusk

one hundred miles from Alturas
double hummingbird and the early work

 


SOUTH TO TIJUANA

1

eucalyptus trees in this regard
			  havoc in the hills

cows roam

	the danger
	some say, we are strangers


2

	my family in the old taxicab


in Tijuana
	cardboard shacks
			we’re lost

owls

		twilight

	dream crowd and the faded soul

 



NIGHT #1

Oakland early
airport dreams and fractured light
inside barriers

convinced
of the pathway
full moon consideration

yes

all the old ways

distance
psychotherapy
silence

made of earth
resistant to change
changing anyway

mountain with a new name

 



STRANGE CARS

	women and children
belief in the unknown


churches scattered
across the continent

even with the loss of religion
driving, driving

strange cars move through the night


we are passengers in a dream
or
	occurrences in nature


emptiness
the transformation of gold

death as alchemy
the resurfacing of the roads

Michael Caylo-Baradi

Lacustrine Dwellers

Nostalgia brought us here, to appease
anger and loathing of previous geographies
that conquered our hearts. The calm
of Echo Park Lake floods through
polyvocal memories of castrations and
fruitions around Lake Tanganyika,
Taal Lake, and Lake Como. Smiles and
hellos welcome us with reluctance,
part of the feast, of an idea, of
being eternal wanderers clawed with
startling visions of beginnings,
as though standing under noctilucent
clouds above bodies of water
haunted with superstitions. The streets
offer silhouettes of remembered
lives, masks dawns must burn and
tear apart so we can start all over again,
amidst endless freeways that steer
the sun into our plans.