Poem of the Week: April 27th, 2015

Aran Donovan’s poetry has appeared in the journals Rhino, New Ohio Review, and Southern Poetry Review. More of her work can be found in Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

on the up and up
By Aran Donovan

gallows make order

of witches and new

colonies but to find a ladder

trained up this building like

a climbing rose – there’s no

way past it even

for a simple task

like groceries.

I am so recently

recovered: my shadow kept

circumference of

me, a pack of dogs

leashed shortly and insisting

on words like marooned.

like eggs.


of the moon are named

for loneliness or

Spanish governors, but I

am on the up and up,

compiling grocery lists:

no gate, no Beatrice, the moon

is not for you.

Poem of the Week: April 19th, 2015

John Nieves’ first book, Curio, won the 2013 Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award Judge’s Prize and was published in 2014. He also won the 2011 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and was a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poem, “Kennings,” can be found in Volume 2, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By John A. Nieves

If I called this
body a bonehouse,
would my flesh feel
cheated? Would it
sallow and wriggle
itself free? If I
called my soul other
smoke, would it wonder
what fire? Would
it search for the teal
center, the whiplick
withering the wick?
What if I called us
us? Would it close
the road like an accordion
with mile marker spines?
What note would it
play? What note?
What if I called?

Poem of the Week: April 15th, 2015

Kara Dorris is the author of two chapbooks: Elective Affinities (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) and Night Ride Home, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poem, “Like the Negative Side,” first appeared in Volume 1, Issue 2 of burntdistrict.

By Kara Dorris

of a film strip, nights of small survivals
& small sacrifices bleeding through until
you can’t tell one from the other.

Until guessing at ghosts is the only thing
left. I know, I hear the moans,
giving birth to litters on the air, I hear

the coyotes taking what they think
is theirs. I hear the protest, the mediation
between mother and country: take
this one,
                                   not those two.

Poem of the Week: April 6th, 2015

Megan Gannon’s chapbook, The Witch’s Index, is forthcoming from Sweet Publications. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has just completed her first novel, entitled Cumberland. More of her work can be found in Volume 1, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Megan Gannon

All around here the neighbor-lights darken
and darken to surrender this endless
tumble we never stop dropping down.
Mumble the dim sounds of shifting
in the deep of the dark of all our stumblings,
alive with the lit and eye-bright
of rested, fed, and humbled, kept.
Hungers touched and tended, fingers
fumbling buttons over keys holding spoons
inside drawers around doorknobs, the ten
thousand thousand oceans and the rumble
of tides, ears sloshing up beneath dream,
the stinging of hourglasses crumbled
and all the jumbled gone gritty with wrested sighs.