Poem of the Week: August 24th, 2015

Francesca Bell’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Willow Springs, North American Review, River Styx, 5 AM, Passages North, and The Sun. More of her work can be found in Volume 2, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Francesca Bell

In the beginning,
every last one of them
overshadows like a god.
Their flesh, with its insistent power
of resurrection, rends easily
your inadequate membrane,
silly shroud that surrenders
as destiny is foisted upon you.
A woman’s door is always ajar.
A child makes itself at home,
swelling her, as death does
the body, leaving it belching
and bloated. Be it not unto me,
you’ll beg, to drag this weight
through the marketplace,
made to love what excruciates.

Undo the indelible.
Speak your belated No
to the great god –
His rigidity, His swarming,
innumerable spermatozoa.


Poem of the Week: August 17th, 2015

Another poem from our latest issue: Volume 4, Issue 1. John Andrews’ work has appeared in The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on The American South, Columbia Poetry Review, Eunoia, Short Fast & Deadly, and others. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Oklahoma State University and an associate editor for the Cimarron Review.

By John Andrews

Last night, I made a map of my bed,
sandbar where everything ends up
without cellphone reception.
I can hear you now,
crying in the bathroom.
The tile breaking against –
I kissed you.
I am sorry, I’ll say it again.
St. Elmo’s fire: sailors swear
comes all at once, the sky
burning for something that isn’t
there. I wanted to find something
at the end of the world. We lie,
strangers floating on soft
water stuck inside the bed.
The ocean is mostly made up of ash:
my grandmother, your uncle,
it doesn’t matter who.

Poem of the Week: August 5th, 2015

Fresh off the press! Our poem of the week is from our latest issue: Volume 4, Issue 1. Ashley Roach-Freiman is a second-year MFA student with poems appearing or forthcoming in the Dunes Review, Midway Journal, THRUSH Poetry Journal, and DISTRICT Lit, among others. She also coordinates the Impossible Language reading series in Memphis, TN. More of her work can be found in the latest issue of burntdistrict.

By Ashley Roach-Freiman

My friend the city herbalist gives me a new language,
gives me tulsi, protector of the heart, holy in the scissor sunslant.

In his kitchen, it is green at the windows, green at the doors. Green mixes
with alcohol to act on the condition of a home to stain and stain.

In the garden of yes and yes, I let the split calyx of word spill into my spoon:
one teaspoon of extract internally as needed. May cause a feeling.

Tulasi before bed – effective against nightmares. Hold the breath.
Night unscrew the lid. May cause a feeling of burlap,

back of the throat, where the words are drug. I nod like I know something –
cool to the nerves, the whorls, my heart.

Sip the bitter skullcap; gnaw the green rind of sleep.
Tulsi acts upon the liver, deep like a bite in the throat.

In the day garden of sleep, I splay like a cat in lavender
lobes, all soft leaf, all sharp stem, all ants attended.