Poem of the Week: February 24th, 2015

Lillian Kwok, author of our poem of the week, lives and studies in Sweden. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Hawaii Pacific Review, Salt Hill, NANO Fiction and other journals. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Check out more of her work in the latest issue of burntdistrict.

LE CARNAVAL DES ANIMAUX: LE CYGNE
By Lillian Kwok

We wake up very late, I pull your arm over my body and we sink back into sleep. This is the last day of our lives so we can do whatever we want. This is what I want. I want you always, but always means less than nothing to me. Let’s paint our bodies white and roll around on the dark roof so the gods will know that we were here.

Poem of the Week: February 9th, 2015

Anthony Frame is the co-founder and co-editor of Glass: A Journal of Poetry. His first chapbook, Paper Guillotines, was published by Imaginary Friend Press. More of his work can be found in Volume 2, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

EVERYTHING I KNOW I LEARNED FROM RACHEL MADDOW
By Anthony Frame

If truth really is relative, then power
is defined by the size of your voice.

I’ve studied enough semiotics to know my body
is a sign and every word is significant.

Like my beard, which has nothing to do
with my wife. My cover-alls are a costume

worn to ward off customers who say,
It’s none of my business, but are you…

I don’t know how to keep smiling, how to be
comfortable in my confused DNA. Mostly,

I want arms that don’t surprise when they
lift a ladder. I want hair that is the twin

of wind gusts, and I want it nowhere near
my ass. It’s the crisis I see in trees just

before fall. I know this is a zero-sum game,
but my voice needs more than a blow horn,

especially when editors encourage me to kill
my I. So, don’t ask me, I’m too busy

blowing smoke out of my truck’s window.
Blame my molester for his definition of love.

Blame my uncle who trimmed my girly eyelashes.
Blame the 1990s, when every window was

cracked but none were shattered. My problem
is I’ve never been good at self-

analysis. My expertise is in incomplete
metamorphosis. So, go ahead, blame me.

Poem of the Week: February 3rd, 2015

Leah Sewell is assistant editor at Coconut Poetry, an MFA graduate of the University of Nebraska, and a book designer, poet, and mother. Her chapbook, Birth in Storm, was the winner of the 2012 ELJ Publications Chapbook Competition. Her poem, “Eat Something,” can be found in the latest issue of burntdistrict.

EAT SOMETHING
By Leah Sewell

The food has grown not moldy
but barbed. To eat is to fish
if my tongue were a worm. I can’t shield

myself from the fact of geese dying
of fish line and hook obstruction.
Every crumb is a bezoar. I spun

a spoon a million rotations
over the stove, fattened
my husband, patted his rotunda,
delivered too many beers to count. Now

I dole sharp grapes down my gullet.
Food gives you energy.
I peck a crusty bread because
food is life is a thing
they say when they tell me to eat.

The life travels
through goose esophagus,
through body sleeve.
It does reward energy

to resist the want
to quell the rumbling
of my husband’s stomach
where he thins across town.