Poem of the Week: March 30th, 2015

Gregory Mahrer’s work has been published in The New England Review, The Indiana Review, Green Mountains Review, Volt, Colorado Review, and Haden’s Ferry Review. More of his work can be found in Volume 3, Issue 2 of burntdistrict.

By Gregory Mahrer

All my disobedient bodies cannot refuse
the allure of light bent by water or glass

as if I were a lanterned thing, more guest
than occupant: a small blaze of self at wick’s end
as the iris in the field of the body is also the night’s eye
fraught with half-shapes and phantoms
finding its way in the thinnest light

among the small and large catastrophes of fire –
the house, the car, the missing brother
the one who centered his life around the rung bell
gone among rivered and branching places
as will we or so say
those who know the weight of such matter:
all that can be measured in paper and ink
sent aloft by the unseasonal appetites of fire.


Poem of the Week: March 1st, 2015

Katherine Frain edits Blueshift Journal and her work is also forthcoming or published in The Journal, Sugared Water, and Vector Press, among others. Her poem, “1973” was recently published in Volume 3, Issue 2 of burntdistrict.

By Katherine Frain

That was the year I looked down and saw frog
    bones jutting from the open tops of my toes. By which
      I mean I learned how to jump when needed. We all

steal the dead’s muscle memory. By which I mean
    I flinch even when men who are not my grandfather
      salute the flag too quickly. It wasn’t his fault. Vietnam

LSD, experiments in forever tracking the red
   shadows of what could not be shot. That year, summer
      was sneaking into the break between bank

and rapids, was interrogating
   surly sixth graders about war’s secret
      plans. We knew blood, the intimate ways

of the body, by which I mean like toy
   planes. We knew how to leap
      off the curbs into our own

Mekong deltas, Chicago swarmed over
   with a wildness of rice. My first shot
      when I was eight, by which I mean my father

threw a knife across the room
   and then offered me a drink.
      My mother had turned the kitchen to a war,

the flour jar broken against the sink. Everything
   rising. We sat like a poor-
      boy’s planes after that, trembling for the flight,

all cobbled together from what wings we could find.