POEM BY ROBERT HAMILTON

 

 

 

 

 

PSYCHOPOMPOS

 

 

The scarred earth. Valleys promise life

below. But here the land is bare

as if left in draft. Not a bone, a leaf,

a twig: ideas, the form of land. A bit scared

 

of this shadowless latifundium, of formal cause

buried too deep, I move to the ridges of dream:

it will take more than tomahawks & saws

to build a set on a landscape without seams.

 

What cold stream touches my toes?

The Lmuma or Lethe? Does it leave a trace

on the bare world? When tormented land rose

 

to meet its gods, the signposts were erased.

Learning to pick one’s dead out of innumerable rows

is just a skill, like learning a language or a face.

 

 

 

 

Robert Hamilton 's work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Axolotl, The Curator, Blue Bonnet Review, Eunoia Review, and The New Verse News. His poetry was twice selected for the Poetry in the Arts, Inc. award at the Beall Poetry Festival, in 2011 (John Koethe, judge) and 2013 (A.E. Stallings, judge). Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he now lives in Texas, where he teaches English at a small college.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM BY  MILLA VAN DER HAVE

 

 

 

 

 

Chollar mine call

 

 

Slowly we're set

adrift in the dark.

 

We don't go deep,

there's no need to.

 

We can imagine

tommyknockers, widowmakers

and the sounds of a disgruntled earth

 

all too well

in the modern-day light

 

with fine air

vented in for us.

 

There are stories here

but also something

 

firmer rooted

like heavy layers of cloth

 

you just can't touch.

It lingers overhead,

 

watching our progress,

it seeps in the beams

 

that keep the world

from falling.

 

A carefully grained dust

an unheard call perhaps

 

that stays with us

when we've once again

 

erupted into day

with our loose-minded

 

prayers to celebrate

this second dawn.

 

 

 

Milla van der Have (1975) wrote her first poem at 16, during a physics class. She has been writing ever since. In 2013 one of her short stories won a New Millennium Fiction Award. Milla lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Milla's work has been published in: Bare Hands Poetry, The Lindenwood Review, Off The Coast, Right Hand Pointing, Word Riot, Kentucky Review, The Meadow (forthcoming) and Apeiron Review (forthcoming).

 

See www.millavanderhave.nl/publications for full list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM BY BRIAN GLASER

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIJUANA

 

 


In high school, one afternoon of my last year
my friend and I ditched
and drove to Tijuana.
He had done this before, and I followed his lead
to a bar where we drank tequila
and women approached us at the bar
and rubbed against us,
offering, inviting us to a fucky-sucky.
I was repulsed,
though I cannot say why—
was it their forwardness, or one woman’s surreally dark lashes
and plum lipstick,
or the thought of venereal disease,
or just the prospect of paying for sex?
Now I am older than they were then
and I marvel at the human capacity
for humiliation
in the service of money, the acquisition of it—
what was I looking for in Tijuana?
They may have been mothers,
or addicts, or both—
or hostages of a pimp—
I don’t know what or whom to blame—
poverty, perhaps,
and lack of education:
now there is no one to ask.
So we must each trace the encounter back to its source—
desire, unlikely—
self-hatred, woundedness—
need,
the fallenness of things, abandon, a love of risk—
hunger, rebellion, fear.
Without the desire for money they never would have approached me—
that is all they let me know,
and it sufficed for an answer
to a young naïf.

 

 

 

 

Brian Glaser is a professor of English at Chapman University. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, North American Review, Literary Imagination and other journals