Anna Antongiorgi: “everybody’s autobiography”

everybody’s autobiography

keep reading this poem because
it’s about you – choose this life carefully,

be bold, and breathe in only the air that
suits you. do not let any man convince

you that emotions are not the most
beautiful thing to inhale and witness.

that’s gendered. I will hold your hand,
squeeze it as the monsters jump out of

screen. it is ok if you’d like to close your
eyes. I’ll be waiting for you to lift lids

and begin to take in the world again.

 
Anna Antongiorgi is a writer, choreographer, and dancer originally from Redondo Beach, California. A member of the Harvard Class of 2019, she graduated cum laude in English and Theatre, Dance, and Media. She is currently working toward her MFA in Creative Writing at the New School.

Ian C Smith: “Uniforms Interview”

Uniforms Interview

(With thanks to SM Chianti)

The old-timer said, the Salvation Army band played here on Friday evenings opposite the Palace Hotel, known in earlier days as The Bloodhouse for its brawling patrons after the six o’clock swill when they lined up full glasses before last drinks were served at six p.m. by law.  Those Salvos, a small group in uniform, the lasses wearing bonnets with chinstraps, brass, tambourines, sweet voices brave in belief, sang hymns of redemption in the face of drunken obscenity while I sought pleasure with the publican’s daughter in an upstairs room overlooking this same Burke Road tramline.  Our lustful antics, and believing we are happy, are things that haven’t changed.  Other familiar uniforms suggesting stories were seen in public then: nuns, nurses wearing capes, scouts, policemen on foot, soldiers in slouch hats, sailors, including merchant seamen, the blue-grey of air force personnel.  Now, everybody’s dress, though gaudy, seems anonymous, the mysterious niqab, which resembles nuns’ garb, one of few exceptions although xenophobes’ reactions to these back then would have been more widespread, even uglier than today’s.

At night we sometimes climbed a narrow stair like a priest hole to the roof where we heard the paperboy cry, Late Extra, looked down on all the glittering lights, green trams whirring and rattling to Camberwell Junction, Silver Top taxis whisking people into their futures, that great pulse of what was to happen.  We saw a satellite.  People talked about these then.  Up on the Roof became our song.  Keenly argued sport filled the following afternoon, football, horse racing – yet more uniforms – after some of us worked overtime Saturday mornings.  All sport on the same afternoon, except boxing at the House of Stoush on Friday nights which was also card night for older people.  Can you imagine that?  Everything is so much more diversified now but here is where the magical whispering of my heart returns to, these echoes of memory spread out like those dealt cards, a ruin of nostalgia.  Have you written this down?  It’ll soon be history.

 

Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in, Amsterdam Quarterly, Antipodes, cordite, Poetry New Zealand, Poetry Salzburg Review, Southerly, & Two-Thirds North. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island, Tasmania.

Meer: “Theo and Autumn”

Theo and Autumn

Theo left the window open,
She ran in together with autumn,
Took over the walls with her trembling voices,
Throwing a threatening gaze.

Ran up the roof and looked again softly,
And then left,
as if sleepy,
leaving dry leaves on the stairs.

 

 

Meer (Anastasia Osoianu) is a multimedia artist born and grown up in Moldavia – on
the eastern fringes of Europe, from where she roamed across Germany, France,
Netherlands. Her words come from the deepest archaic, voicing the cultural and
political dissonance of the East-West crossroads, evoking and trying to resolve the
tensions between the masculine and feminine, between the reality and the anatomy of
the soul. http://www.meer.al

John Tustin: “Clubbed into Submission”

Clubbed into Submission

Clubbed into submission with the buzzing
Of the alarm.

Clubbed into submission applying soap
In the shower,
Applying toothpaste to the toothbrush,
Looking in the mirror,
Trying to comb my hair.

Clubbed into submission gliding along I 70,
All of us on our way to another soon forgotten day.

Clubbed into submission with the taxes taken out,
The child support, medical, dental.
Eating the shit and climbing those steps
Ever upward to nowhere,
Forced to grin and bow.

Clubbed into submission eating a sandwich.
Not even tasting it.

Clubbed into submission
Sitting in the same chair,
Hearing the same music near the same shuttered window,
Drinking the same beer with the same books stacked
High, reaching up and up
To the same ceiling
That seems to lower a little
Every night.
I am nearly bent in half.

Clubbed into submission at the keyboard
Remembering the few good times.
The phone call unreturned.
The doorbell unrung.
Remembering the few good times,
Sitting alone with this bloody face,
Bruised knuckles,
Kicked-in heart.

Clubbed into submission,
Lying in bed, thinking,
Thinking,
Turning out the lights.

Clubbed into submission in the total darkness,
No one to see the bruises
Much less soothe them.

 

John Tustin is currently suffering in exile on Elba but hopes to return to you soon. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.

Richard Dinges: “Witch Three”

Witch Three

Afterwards, locked
behind glass doors
and packed between
clean linen sheets,
she frees me
to wander her weed
grown yard. I discover
emblems nestled
in cleared patches.
She constructed
stick figures from dead
plants, her children
that watched her pass
short shadows in late
afternoon. She created
wonder from their
fragility, not meant
to last, her hands
a bridge from her
ever more brittle mind
to these brief reminders
of what it is to bring
life into this world.

 

Richard Dinges has an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa and manages information systems risk at an insurance company. River Poets Journal, Stickman Review, Hurricane Review, WINK, and The Cape Rock have most recently accepted his poems for their publications.

René Saldaña: “From Behind the Postmaster’s Window”

From Behind the Postmaster’s Window

(an internal monologue, bored to death these last 32 years)

I can hear those fishes
calling out my name.
Oh, to be out on that lake
right now on this pretty day,
this pretty pretty day,
out there on that lake—
me, my rod and reel,
and those fishes,
insteada stuck here
behind this counter
asking would you like
a book of stamps with that like
the kid does at the McDonald’s
asks would I like fries with that.

 

René Saldaña, Jr., is an associate professor of Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies at Texas Tech University. He is the author of several books, among them The Jumping TreeA Good Long Way, and Heartbeat of the Soul of the World. René writes that “From Behind the Postmaster’s Window” is a found poem, a conversation he eavesdropped in on.

Matt Dennison: “At the Great Library”

At the Great Library

Amid the guards and neoprene
I studied a holograph copy
of Waiting for Godot
transcribed in unreadable
scrawl. But instead of placing
my hand on each page and briefly
closing my eyes, I should have
grabbed the book and run—
for I was hungry, and no one
was waiting for me.

 

 

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s
work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon
River Poetry Review, and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short
films with Michael DickesSwoonMarie Craven and Jutta Pryor.