We’re kicking off Halloween week with “Translation” by Ryder Collins, who also has a novel, Homegirl!, available from Honest Publishing Press. For more poetry from Ryder Collins, pick up our Summer 2013 issue.
By Ryder Collins
my hair’s not golden, & it’s not stairs.
this is what my sister says now that she’s gone. this is what i think she says
my mother wanted parsley, only parsley, not radishes or rampions. my mother
made a mean tabouli. my mother had tea with Gothel; they would go dancing.
my father putted around his garden. in this version he was old & infertile. in this
version he didn’t do us any harm. in this version, he wore a straw hat stained
with sweat. in this version, my mother came home from witch tangos, kissed my
father, & turned him to venison.
he made a lovely stew every night.
We’re closing this week with a poem from our newest issue. John Goodhue is currently a student majoring in creative writing through Western Washington University. His poetry is forthcoming or has been published in Jeopardy
Magazine, The Write Room, and OVS Magazine.
By John Goodhue
We drag the body aboard
clean its bones, and look for a reason
in its chest, as though one is needed.
We stuff the body to keep it dry,
plum pits and ash, bricks and sheep’s tongue,
whatever we can find below deck.
I have to steady myself
once it is time to break the arms back.
Even if this body was of a saint
there is still a time
the arms must be broken back.
There is still a time
it must fit below deck.
Supposedly, this is the noise God hears
every time you tell a lie.
A deckhand says this,
as he torques the wrist
up to the shoulder, and smiles.
“What We Know of the Decimation of Lips,” by P.J. Williams, can be found in our Summer 2012 issue. His work has been published or is forthcoming in PANK, Mixed Fruit, Cartographer, Salamander, and others. He is also editor-in-chief and co-founder of Utter.
WHAT WE KNOW OF THE DECIMATION OF LIPS
By P.J. Williams
There is a kiss in every bomb
(the moment nosecone meets
groundfloor). Humans kiss each other
to death. There is the scattering, the scars.
There are legs that have been completely kissed
off. There are suitcases full of dirty kisses
and road-side kisses that nobody notices until they tongue
out of themselves so fast and violently that you think
kisses can scream. Kisses are sticky fire.
Sometimes we kiss hospitals. Sometimes we kiss through
schools. Sometimes we kiss bad men right on the forehead.
We are reintroducing the foolishly beautiful world
to what we’ve known for ages: some kisses are guided
like love. Some kisses stray like love.
This week’s poem, by Paul Hostovsky, comes from our first issue. Paul is the author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), and A Little in Love a Lot (2011). To read more of his work, visit him at http://www.paulhostovsky.com.
By Paul Hostovsky
I want to say something about the names—
Ahmed, Fuad, Tarek, Toufic—
that are in the news these days—
Yusif, Anwar, Umar, Ismael—
and the way the newscasters have had
to practice pronouncing them. Abdul, Amar, Abu
Muqtada al-Sadr. Don’t you just
love saying, “Muqtada al-Sadr?”
If you lined up all the names and just
said them, one after the other,
it would sound like you were fluent
in Arabic. You could pull one over
on your friends down at the pub:
lubricate your tongue with a few beers,
then turn to Geoff or Bill or Steve, and say,
“Muqtada al-Sadr Ahmed Fuad
Abdul Abu Umar Muhammed,” and just
wait for a reaction. Chances are
a painful silence would swallow the pub whole,
because everyone would think you had been praying,
or reciting a poem, or a fatwa, when in fact
all you were doing was saying the names,
just lining them up and one by one
firing off those frighteningly beautiful names.