POEM BY ROBERT HAMILTON
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
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
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
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 for full list.
POEM BY BRIAN GLASER
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
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—
and lack of education:
now there is no one to ask.
So we must each trace the encounter back to its source—
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