I have started a long-gestating project:
The Mantle is an online quarterly journal dedicated to compelling, contemporary poetry, committed to publishing the most memorable poetry we receive and will nominate for both Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.
Send poems that are odd, poignant, beautiful, or oddly poignant yet beautiful. Send poems you’re proud of whether raw, refined, or jagged.
Check out the full submission guidelines here and consider sending your work!
Waiting in the airport and the ceiling fluorescents
are arranged like a runway askance and I know
I am running from what cannot be salvaged:
a week ago we soared through the sky
with all parts intact and fully functional.
I didn’t need to look out deep, endless windows
of fields and plane-paved paths and houses and wonder
where I belonged, how an engine could so quickly find fault,
how its parts could rust in her thrust into eternity–
we will never have the biology to fly, no matter
our construction, no matter the fantasy of the air–
and the air is a fantasy you breathe easy and pure
but the higher you go the more lungs constrict the heart
and light breathing becomes impossible in the heavy beating
that feels like so much excess baggage it will encumber
the great invention and bring it tumbling to earth,
where we begin and always end–
where, in the vast expanse of land I have no choice but to
stay bound to, I stare up toward the full, cloudy sky
and watch the great, miraculous wings of blackbirds
descend slowly on telephone lines beyond reach
to know what I am made of will never be enough.
(originally published in Rust + Moth, Autumn 2016)
(originally published in Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Winter 2016)
Sometimes I say what I don’t mean.
There is an algorithm which can make me forget;
the others remind me to remember.
Your action has been undone. As if my actions
needed a separate undoing– I did not expect you,
with your raven hair, to perch our thousand
miles, thousand days to bottle time
and cast to sea, a folded note to be read
by a stranger at shore. Here, I am a knot
bound to be undone, tethered to a battered shoe,
and in the sprint, wind coarsens your hair.
In the cold we move closer and closer until the breathing
is stale and fogs my car’s windows, the outside world
turned gray. Confusing a fluorescent lightbulb for the moon,
I would risk one more rejection to bring you even nearer,
past the point of no return.
(Originally published in Corium Magazine, Spring 2016)
in the orchard, a mother drinks rosé, bites
into a granny smith. the other apples
are rotten now, well– autumn
peels history off barks. the trees become
malnourished skeletons, tiny skulls. forget.
over and over. bees gather nectar
and you almost forget to laugh. they pluck
the fruit. too young to remember, too
momentous. one time he played too close
to the hive– well, life isn’t honey, she said,
even if you are mine. finding a diamond
in a diamond mine. hey, that’s still special.
who’s to say if it’s worth anything. all her
jewelry. diamond in her open palm. show
me. oh, how it glistened– no one asks
anymore. she does not want anyone to.
(originally published in Botticelli Magazine, Spring 2016)
I tell my girlfriend I love her
before we go to bed every night.
I tell her I love her in Vegas, in front
of slot machines spinning statistics,
neon colors blinding eyes beyond
our blur of vodka. I tell her I love her
before we fight in a tent on the beach
drunken under blankets and after that, too.
I don’t tell my mom I love her
on the phone when she’s alone
in her bedroom, when she cries
many nights because her twenty-
nine year marriage lives only in memories,
photographs, marginalia, in the musk
of dried sweat on forest-green cargos.
He had dragged an oak limb
after soft rain; now, crusted mud–
crevices alive in the treading
of boots– traces new footsteps
on less-traversed floors.
(originally published in Boston Accent Lit, Summer 2016)
Life imitates art in the way
memory imitates life– your face
reminds me of my last swollen
laughter held. Sometimes
there is no comparison– oh, we’ll rise
from geysers with sulphur still
in our fabrics– loose, blue threads
hanging at the maw.
We disassociate and wish
to converge into stars on a single strand
I remember that copper smell
of a new roll of pennies,
when fifty cents meant more than
being half of something
not quantifiable at all.
(originally published in Pouch, Issue #6)
wear sunscreen you’ll thank me faster
do not come to me bearing ailments
it was just yesterday gifts of topaz and corundum your ring-fingers will dance will light over penny slot screens aplomb
some shared jackpot of drunkenness
sparks from fireflies in the Georgia summer floating flickering stars lightly humming
when a hum turns into a birdcall we whistle like sparrows on a branch
twigs in our talons we offer to the other
twinkle of the moon through the swaying branches above
voices like an owl-song who
are we to hover over the other’s hopes who
will pinch us find we are composed of feathers too raggedy to summon the strength
fingers meekly bristle against your cheek soft as the whirring of the window fan we drift to sleep
so California is the drought I cannot feel it devoid of breathing like a sandstorm
California someday drifts into the Pacific I am my own island thirsting for wet soil
your cotton-morning taste will itself someday drift
(originally published by The Virginia Normal)
(originally published in Memoryhouse, Spring 2016)
(originally published in Vector Magazine, Spring 2016)