Posts Categorized: Poetry

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Poetry Feature: “Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me” by Traci Brimhall

Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me

You used to recite the parts of my body like psalms.

I should have known when you started to kiss

with your eyes closed that your mouth would ruin us.

 

And I should have known when you slipped belladonna

in my buttonholes, when you started to bring me empty boxes,

when I found her dog asleep under our house.

 

She told me about someone she’d been sleeping with, and the someone

was you. At first, I didn’t tell you I knew. I came home,

and you were slicing rhubarb

 

and strawberries. You put sugared hands on my neck

and kissed my forehead.No, it happened like this.

When you fucked me, I could feel

 

how much you hated me. And you came. And I came twice. You stayed

on top of me and softened inside me as you kissed

my shoulders. I stayed awake to watch

 

you sleep and thought about the stories your parents told about you.

The wildfire you started. How you broke your mother’s birdhouses.

How your father paid you to kill bats,

 

a dollar a body. Last summer you let me watch.

As you waited with a racket, timber wolves announced

the moon, bats crept out of the attic.

 

The soft pulp of their bodies struck the house. Your father swatted

your back, handed you five bucks, and I went to pick up

the bats. One still shuddered

 

against the cinderblock. I should have left, but I didn’t. I crushed

its head with a rock and tossed it into the woods and went inside

and washed my hands and lied to you.

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40.1 SNEAK PEEK: AMERICA by NOMI STONE

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Nomi Stone’s second collection of poems, Kill Class, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019. Poems appear recently or will soon in The New Republic, The New England Review, Tin House, Bettering American Poetry 2017, The Best American Poetry 2016, Guernica, and elsewhere. Kill Class is based on two years of fieldwork she conducted within war trainings in mock Middle Eastern villages erected by the U.S. military across America.

 

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40.1 SNEAK PEEK: from QUARANTYNE by JUSTIN PHILLIP REED

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Justin Phillip Reed was born and raised in South Carolina. His work has appeared in Best American Essays, Boston Review, Callaloo, The Kenyon Review, Obsidian, and elsewhere. Coffee House Press will release his first full-length poetry collection, Indecency, in spring 2018. Justin lives in St. Louis.

 

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40.1 SNEAK PEEK: SHITTY FRIDA KAHLO POEM by JESSICA LANAY

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Jessica Lanay is a poet, short fiction, and art writer. Her work focuses on architectures of interiority, escapism, history of psychoanalysis, and southern culture. Her poetry has appeared in Sugar House Review, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Acentos Review, Fugue, and others. She has work forthcoming in A Bad Penny Review, The Normal School, and Prairie Schooner. Her short fiction was most recently published in Tahoma Literary Review and Black Candies. A short autobiographical essay was also published in Salt Hill Journal. Her art writing can be found in BOMB and ArtSlant. She is a Callaloo, Cave Canem, and Kimbilio Fellow; she is also a Millay Colony Residency recipient.