of surviving as a ventriloquist Sphinx
for novelists, filmmakers, memelords
—& poets like me. Spectrographic
erasures bloom with threadbare
in 3D flurries of foxglove crowns—
posters & t-shirts dwell in too much
possibility, while her jasmine tea blend
boasts to rival sunset in a cup.
How fresh can brandy black cake
taste in the rewind of how-to-videos
or namesake ice cream flavors prevail
in the melting? Like her herbarium,
collected & pressed dry—Emily’s
riddles may tire—rickety dialogue
slanting between spirit & dust.
Rikki Santer’s work has appeared in various publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Margie, Hotel Amerika, The American Journal of Poetry, Slab, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Grimm, Slipstream, Midwest Review and The Main Street Rag. Her seventh poetry collection, In Pearl Broth, was published this past spring byStubborn Mule Press.
We applaud, adore and adorn
the holiday tree in Rockefeller Plaza,
embellish its natural beauty
and render it unrecognizable.
When its brief stint in the starlight
is over, the man-made magic
gone, we’ll carry it to place far
from view. Reluctantly, we’ll return
to our tired selves, all the while knowing
that there’s always next year. Another tree
that once held a winter’s worth of snow
in its arms. Another star on the horizon.
Another chance to build up and tear down.
The possibilities are endless.
Ellen Saunders’ work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Toronto Quarterly, Calyx, Pearl, Apple Valley Review, among others. Her first chapbook, Masquerad” was published by Long Leaf Press. She is currently working on a second collection.
You’re from a world where seasons never varied their routine
and construction workers waved from beams on high
and a revelation could be as simple
as a bucking trout pulled from a stream.
And now you’re with a woman, in a bed
her body barely a shiver away from yours,
suddenly aware of how little touch is needed to identify the other
while always imagining the worst that lies in store for you.
You got from hatching to imago
with the usual helpings of slime and ooze,
to where you’re heel to heel with the desired one,
and yet still can be startled by such close companionship.
You’re from a place where so little flesh went into the making of you.
And here being fully grown is not something you find comforting,
Yet from lack of light, a strange cadence emerges.
low-breathing, low-flying beings navigating their way through sleep.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.