20190318

ONE DAY I WILL BE NAKED ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE


Ian Martin





a haplessly scribbled page won’t bemoan further scribbling. get your pen out, that’s an invitation. in the ink a truth becomes apparent on a future page. i can’t stress this enough: there are future pages. now dog-ear me. remember where it feels good. as much as i hate op-eds, knowing me is necessary. love is a corkboard and string. how you read into the folds of my body. how you read knowing i am reading you. we are books, not librarians. we can gesture at a system but text is born manic. patterns can’t be trusted but i want to love again. but love to me is scribbling. but love to me is papercuts. where we draw and let ourselves be drawn on. where does all this ink belong. yada yada. anyway would you be interested in a second date.






Ian Martin is nobody's mom. Ian's work has appeared recently in where is the river, Bad Nudes, Plenitude Magazine, and Pretty Owl Poetry. Ian has published 4 chapbooks, most recently PLACES TO HIDE (Coven Editions, 2018) and YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER (AngelHousePress, 2018). When he's not writing, Ian develops small games and complains online. [http://ian-martin.net]


20190311

August on the Terrace

Ariel Dawn



Forest fires rage so close the morning sky is ash, the city smoke and gold, haunted with tree spirits and elementals. All month I cast spells. This one for love: circle of red velvet, rose petals, felt heart and silver earrings sewn together with hair. Shadows cross antique light. On the street a lady wanders in regal gypsy dress. She looks heavenward for the guitar, the fiery ancient song a boy plays, while black and white birds land on rails and windows open above and below.


Ariel Dawn lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She spends her time writing, reading, and studying Tarot. Recent work appears in canthius, (parenthetical), Foxhole, Room, and is forthcoming in A Furious Hope anthology.



20190307

An interview with Catherine Graham


Catherine Graham is a Toronto-based poet and novelist. Among her six poetry collections The Celery Forest was named a CBC Best Book of the Year, appears on CBC Books Ultimate Canadian Poetry List and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Michael Longley praised it as “a work of great fortitude and invention, full of jewel-like moments and dark gnomic utterance.” Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Award for Poetry and her debut novel Quarry won an Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal for Fiction, “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction and was a finalist for the Fred Kerner Book Award. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Toronto SCS and was also winner of the TIFA’s Poetry NOW competition. Her work is anthologized internationally and she has appeared on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Visit her at www.catherinegraham.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @catgrahampoet

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

The loss of my parents turned me to the writing life. My mother died on Christmas Day during my first year at university and my father, the September of my last year. Introverted, shy and overwhelmed with sadness, I was consumed with grief. A worried family friend suggested I see a therapist. The therapist suggested I keep a journal to “write out my feelings.” Journaling provided some sense of relief, an outlet for the confusion, anguish and guilt that accompanies loss, but it wasn’t a cure.

One day I started playing with words—memories of my parents, images of the limestone water-filled quarry we grew up beside. This engagement with language, so different from journaling, was energizing and exciting, it led to discovery and surprise. Although I was writing about sad things I was absorbed so deeply time disappeared. When I worked up the courage to show that same family friend, she told me I was writing poetry. I knew what poems were of course, but to my mind poetry was written by old men with white beards, not young women steeped in grief. From that point on I wanted to know as much as possible about the art and craft of poetry. This took me to Northern Ireland where I completed an MA in creative writing in poetry. What keeps me going as a writer is the act of poiesis—making—when the outside world disappears and I’m immersed in language and the imagination.  

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

Influence is something I can’t say I’m completely conscious of as a writer. I began my poetry journey in Northern Ireland so poets from both the North and South have impacted me: Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Joan Newmann, Paula Meehan, Louis MacNeice to name just some, plus UK and American poets. Only when I returned to live in Canada did I start connecting with the work of Canadian poets on a deeper level.

Have you noticed a difference in the ways in which you approach the individual poem, now that you’ve published a handful of books?

The blank page is still the blank page. Facing the unknown through the twitch of a line or image encased in music never goes away. Having published six collections of poetry, I’m (somewhat!) better at trusting the process, the leap of faith creativity demands.  

How important is mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

Looking back I never had that English teacher to connect me with what seems so obvious now, the love of poetry. As mentioned earlier, loss led me to what language can do in such a condensed rhythmic form.

My journey as a published poet began in Northern Ireland. My first chapbook The Watch received positive reviews in Poetry Ireland Review, Books Ireland and led to my inclusion in The White Page / An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V, truly an honour. When I returned to Canada I knew no poets or writers. Eventually I made my way into Toronto (from Burlington where I was living at the time) to a reading series created by Paul Vermeersch: The IV Lounge Reading Series. On instinct I asked Paul if he might have a look at the manuscript I was working on, my first full collection. He kindly said yes. A week or so later we met at Kilgour’s on Bloor Street. Page by page we went through the poems chatting collaboratively about what worked, what didn’t, what needed work, etc. When finished, Paul looked at me and said, “You know, I’d like to publish this.” Until that moment I had no idea he was the poetry editor of Insomniac Press. Five collections later, our relationship continues. Paul is now Senior Editor at Wolsak and Wynn with the imprint Buckrider Books. I am eternally grateful for Paul’s continued belief in my poetry.

You published your first novel in 2017. What is the difference between working on poems to working on fiction? Are you able to work on both poetry and fiction concurrently?

Quarry was published the spring of 2017 with Two Wolves Press. There were things I couldn’t do in poetry that I realized could only be done in fiction. That’s what led me to the form. The first draft of Quarry actually began with poems. I wrote prose passages between them, linking the narrative, to find my way into the story. Looking back the poems were like training wheels. I needed them to start. Then, once my skillset was strong enough with what fiction requires—character, dialogue, plot, setting, and so on—I took them away.

I’m able to work on both forms with prolonged chunks of time. For example, if I work on poetry in the morning, I can work on prose in the afternoon or vice versa.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

All poets should receive more attention, the dead and the living. There is so much to gain from reading poetry—engagement with language, mystery, ambiguity, emotion, thought, musicality, imagery, humour, madness, beauty—the rewards are endless. There are so many poems out there waiting for readers to find them. It’s the intimacy of the form I love most, the one-on-one experience—soul-to-soul, dare I say, in this mass-marketed, consumer-driven world.

Poems have the ability to rip your heart out with their word-force and aural energy then put it back in before you know what happened. They can take you out of yourself, give you a fantastic buzz, and leave you without any hangover. And they’re free (libraries and online), though poets love it when you buy their books (bookstores too!). The League of Canadian Poets has started a poem-a-day program called Poetry Pause. Readers may find more info here: http://poets.ca/poetrypause/


20190304

Treatment


Terese Mason Pierre



I don’t know how I feel about rain.
It means your call

a long sigh into
the receiver

You say the rain makes you think
of society and the universe,

how we are all each other
and nothing

you are purposeful
in your elegy of islands.

I refuse to ask
if you need anything

I know you will insist
I am the answer

and my legs will locate the will
to kneel before your threshold

soaking my jeans on
your wet doormat.

In May, I went to Grenada
and surrendered myself to the sun

You called
to collect me

I say I am experiencing a different kind of water
that makes me think of how we are nothing

You joke that you’re upset
we’re not seeing the same sky.

I rub dry sand
on my skin—

there must be a reason
it never goes away.




Terese Mason Pierre is a Canadian writer, editor and organizer. Her work has appeared in the Hart House Review, Collapsar, The Brasilia Review and others. She is the poetry editor for Augur Magazine and the co-host of Shab-e She'r, a poetry reading series in Toronto.

20190225

Pause Processional

Kate Feld


1.

that was the summer we got lit and joked about it opening windows with fat of shame thick in our mouth. that was the summer face gathered to the surface stove in became subtly. that was the summer: a cloud. that was the summer we felt tenderness for the screenglow banked closer to the little noise spinning. that was the summer oldknown unfolded, peered in at us. that was the summer of scorchmarks on streets from the heat of our ravaging pity, peeling out. that was the summer of splitting bag. that was the summer with suspicion creeping to the top of the measuring jug and the string section rising up the scale. that was the summer the hooks from the eyes came softly apart.

2.

fall came early and we knew it was coming but only theoretical as a not ours as a hers. fall came early with one precise snip at the base of the stem. fall came early and the gag was we’d thought maybe we weren’t a party to this biblical racket though she is born with death coiled sleeping in her bowels little snake of expiry ssssss. fall came early that year which we’ll call the year of our unmaking we had only known making since we were made, since we were made and went on making. fall came early, unlooked for but the rules of hospitality being what they are we thin-lipped we crossed her name off the list so. fall came early now we fall we fall we keep falling until we touch the until we hit the wait where 

3.

but the winter carved pipes from our bones and played that old jingle sound of which makes you tear your eyes out to fling steaming. but the winter unwhiched us; we might have continued passing, looking up, being momentarily. but the winter: clouding, cloud-dark, loud and cowing crowed down our backs herding us to itself. but the winter waned with a wound up wind winding sheets of whole woewhirled world and the word was gone. but the winter we didn’t understand so we frisked ourselves and turned up a few salty fragments. but the winter swept each crumb from the tablecloth with a silver-backed brush and retreated ‒ it was very thorough and very silent.

4.

now, spring. now springs internal yet we can’t make a positive identification. now spring stands up and we pin ourselves to its lapel. now spring and we are ready to, haunches tense tentershooking for first warm gust we are lightening. now spring with a fine worm moon for turning up underneaths or what still lives to peck out of unmaking. now spring because what is an egg but a room without a door or some sly cracked crake come among your crows. now spring swings in beating her rugs raising a cloud and we watch for this new age like a parade balloon floating past upper stories to scattered applause. now: spring! for what is a body but a room you must destroy to leave.



Kate Feld writes essays, poetry, short fiction and work that sits between forms. Her writing has appeared in journals and anthologies including Hotel, The Stinging Fly and The Letters Page.



20190221

An interview with Erin Emily Ann Vance

Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work is forthcoming in Coffin Bell Journal, Augur, Post Ghost Press, and Bad Nudes. She is a contributing reader and writer for Awkward Mermaid Literary Magazine. A 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction, she completed her MA in Creative Writing in August 2018, and will complete an MA in Folklore in 2020. Erin's debut novel, Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019.

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I started writing as a child. My parents were readers and my father is a songwriter, so I had plenty of inspiration and encouragement. One of my fondest memories is coming home from school to dozens of books laid out on my bed- my mother would go to the thrift store every so often and load up on books for me and my brother to read, and leave them on our beds for us to find. My grandmother lived with us growing up, and she was also a voracious reader. I think that seeing the people I loved surrounded by books and finding joy in those books motivated me to write and try and spark some of that joy.

I think what keeps me going is seeing how much incredible work is produced every day and wanting (selfishly) to be a part of that! I find it hard to fall in love with a novel or poem and not be compelled to write afterwards.

Your author biography mentions a novel forthcoming this year. Are you able to work on poetry at all during the composition of a novel? How are you able to keep the two separate?

I almost always write poetry and prose simultaneously. In my third year of university I took two full-year creative writing classes in poetry and fiction. I spent a year negotiating between the two genres. It was such an incredible (and challenging) experience; I had classes until 9pm, sometimes 10pm Tuesday and Wednesday for an entire year. I wrote so much in that year that I couldn't help but grow and adapt. Since then, my writing has become more hybrid (my novel has poetry interspersed with the prose), and I've come to use different genres as a sort of 'reset' button. Stuck on the novel? Write a poem. Stuck on the poetry manuscript? Write a short story. Writing poetry makes me a better fiction writer, so I can't imagine writing one without dipping my toes in the other periodically.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

There are scores of poets who I admire and return to over and over. Right now I am obsessed with Sonya Vatomsky's collection Salt is for Curing and the work of Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. I found that, while studying at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Belfast this past summer, that the culture around poetry I grew up in was very much anti-sentimentality, anti-feelings, anti-cheesiness. I absolutely think that overly sentimental writing can be weak and overwrought, but it doesn't have to be. A lot of the Irish poetry I've read leaves hints of sentimentality and emotion in, and the work remains strong and poignant. Ní Ghríofa's teaching and her work gave me permission, in a way, to write about my feelings unabashedly for the first time in years.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

This question always leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy. I've been SO fortunate in terms of mentorship. Judith Williams has been a mentor of mine since I was about twelve years old. She has been a rock, a cheerleader, and an incredible support in my life for years. I owe so much to her. I had the opportunity to work with Sheri D Wilson when I was younger and learned so much from the Mama of Dada. She taught me fierceness and courage. Lisa Murphy Lamb met me when I was fifteen and the fact that she put up with my ridiculous teenage antics at summer camp and became a strong mentor to me is proof of how dedicated to enriching the lives of young writers she is. Sandy Pool was instrumental in helping me find my voice, and Aritha van Herk changed my life, taught me to have a thick skin, and her classes were nothing short of fundamental in my development as a writer. Suzette Mayr is my masters supervisor and has helped me through procrastination, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome. I could talk about these women for hours, and they deserve every accolade. In 2019, I will be engaging in my first formal mentorship under the guidance of Kimmy Beach with the Writers Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program. I look forward to this greatly.

What are you currently working on?

I JUST finished my masters thesis, which was a novel about a young, isolated woman who has epilepsy and falls pregnant. It's a ghost story and is very close to my heart as I also have epilepsy. I'm also working on polishing my novel, Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers, set to be released next year. I just finished a chapbook, The Sorceress who Left Too Soon: Poems After Remedios Varo and will be working on a follow-up chapbook of poems after Leonora Carrington. In addition, I'm working on a full-length poetry collection and a short story collection. In July my partner and I are moving to Dublin so that I can pursue folklore studies at University College Dublin, and I'm excited to see how my studies in Dublin influence my writing.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

I discovered Sandra Kasturi's books Come Late to the Love of Birds and The Animal Bridegroom this past summer. I devoured both books and Kasturi has since become one of my biggest literary influences. I think she should be read more widely as she is doing interesting, important work that is unique and exciting.


20190218

Purple Turbines

Mike Ferguson


First it is insects, then bats are eviscerated. Hearing they could be painted another colour, he was blown away. The transparency of air churned without censure or colour-coding. Ugly things in the beauty of function and relativity. Normally white yet not even for that hint of happiness. What becomes of the purple sandpiper? A blade of anisotropic eroticism in some whirls. A giraffe’s tongue deters sunburn and the flittermouse.



Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK and widely published in online magazines. His most recent print collection is the sonnets chapbook Precarious Real [Maquette Press, 2016] and he edited with Rupert Loydell the music poems anthology Yesterday’s Music Today [Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2015]. A retired English teacher, he co-authored the education text Writing Workshops [Cambridge University Press, 2015].


20190211

Golden Para-Shoot

Christine H. Tran


Paratext paratext paratext; you are a floating footnote
And satellite moon to the index of someone else’s Kronos,
behind the scenes footage; the dampest of lecture notes
Paratext makes the round go world

In a solar system of citation
I am your official cinematic novelization
To the motion picture Cars 2
Fanfic, mods, soundtrack, author biography, press clipping, ad-games,
full-body character pillows,
In every ovum there is an unregistered trademark
an ectopic sequel & un-expanded cinematic universe
waiting to be furbished (adv: “furnished by a Furby”)

In retrospect, the ability to rearrange vast amounts of colonial knowledge
by the teeth of my skin (jaundiced)
into nostalgic polygons
was
not the best foundation for a personality 




Christine H. Tran is a PhD-wannabe & Vietnamese-Canadian whose work has been featured in untethered, alt.theatre, and ATB Publishing's Outside In. Her writing explores the shared histories of Internet culture, video games, race, and the folklore of technological meritocracy. And also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She 'grams for nine people at @the_chriscourse and assists at Brick:  A Literary Journal.

20190207

An interview with Erin Bedford

Erin Bedford's work is published in William Patterson University's Map Literary, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Temz Review, and Train: a poetry journal. She attended and won a Certificate of Distinction for her novel Fathom Lines from the Humber School for Writers. Currently, she is acting as shill for her newly-completed second novel, Illumining, and a manuscript of poetry.

Follow her to find out more @ErinLBedford

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I began writing because of an idea that wouldn’t settle down in my head. During my fourth year university historiography seminar, we were talking about memory and truth, bias and perception, and what this all meant for what we can actually know, about the past of course, but also about what’s happening right in front of our eyes, and about the people we love, whom we think we understand so well.

I think most of the other people in class just packed up their books that day and went to their next class. I walked around mulling that idea over for a year and then began writing my first novel, Fathom Lines, because for me there was so much to explore, so much under the surface.

Ideas like that are what keep me writing, of course, and curiosity.

Your author biography mentions that you are in the midst of a second novel. Are you able to work on poetry at all during the composition of a novel? How are you able to keep the two separate?

I don’t know the answer to this question yet. The second novel is done and I am looking for a publisher. About two months after I finished the novel, I began to write poetry with more intention than ever before. I was able to edit the novel and write enough poetry to put together a full manuscript, but I am not sure if I would be able to do the focused daily writing work that a novel requires and also be able to access the same intense emotion that I draw on for my poems. When I write a novel, it’s all about the routines. The window of time I have is regulated, and the coffee and meal breaks are scheduled interruptions. When I write poetry, it’s very different. I feel a bit like a mad scientist. Everything but the page becomes a terribly unwanted distraction. I often won’t get up to eat or drink, I will stay up late into the night or decline social activities because I don’t want to leave that place of emotion I’m writing from.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

There are certain collections of poetry or even single poems that continue to influence how and what I write about, not necessarily because of any specific style, or beloved artistic kindred, but more because I was ready for a particular work at that moment in my life. Alastair Reid’s translation of Neruda’s Al pie desde su niño (To the foot from it’s child) is a polestar poem for me, and Oliver’s The Forest.

So many by Heaney.  I read Atwood’s You fit into me when I was about fourteen and realized poetry didn’t have to be endlessly symbolic, contrary to what I was learning in high school. It could just crack like a whip. I think that’s what I want my poetry to be—a combination as life is, a kiss that turns into a bite, or vice versa.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

It is incredibly important to me. I am fairly private about my work until I feel it’s ready. I have never had desire to work with a writing group for this reason. But to have one person who spends dedicated time on my work and cares about it, but who is more detached from it, and from me, that’s when the big leaps in my writing skill have happened.

Most recently, I worked with Betsy Warland on my manuscript of poetry. She was so direct and insightful. Every consultation felt like a master class. I always left with new ideas and concrete ways to improve my work.

What are you currently working on?

I have two complete manuscripts— one fiction, one poetry—that need to find the right publisher. I have a terrible habit of orphaning my finished work and so I am being very careful about choosing my next projects. But there is a short story about a housebroken raccoon, a sort of meditation on the end of wildness, and a personal essay about receiving a massage from my ex-husband’s girlfriend. Of course, there are always new poems to write. I have an idea for a novel, the kind of idea that won’t settle down, so I imagine I’ll begin that once my other works are adopted.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

Rachel Rose. Marry & Burn is such a poignant and powerful elegy; a perfect encapsulation of the emotional tumult that one undergoes as a relationship dies. Poems of slow brooding on resentment and grief, uplifted with such tender imagery.

20190204

harvest

Erin Emily Ann Vance


when you were laid off from the honey farm
because the wine wasn't selling, I wondered
if you should have told the queens before you
left, because they should prepare themselves
for the rough hands of other keepers, they

need time to forget your smoky eyes and the
way you thanked them for their honey. when
you came home smelling like honey and mud
for the last time I wondered if you were a
different person than you had been before
the bees I wondered if I was a different person
than I had been before the bees I wondered
how much of us had become honey and wine.
when you kissed me with the thickness of
unpasteurized honey and the ache of unfiltered
mead I knew that the bees had followed you
home that each august would bring swarms
and that every time a wasp entered our home
we would somehow expel it and continue to
create our own shelter and food and love



Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work is forthcoming in Coffin Bell Journal, Augur, Post Ghost Press, and Bad Nudes. She is a contributing reader and writer for Awkward Mermaid Literary Magazine. A 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction, she will complete her MA in Creative Writing in August 2018 and an MA in Folklore in 2020. Erin's debut novel, Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019.

20190128

DELTA 9: WATER HYACINTH UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS DOUBLES IN SIZE EVERY 10 DAYS


David Koehn


As weather cools, largemouth feed closer to the surface.
Slow down. Take time away from the buttered asterisk.
Do I need to explain that I am watching a golf tournament on T.V.?
My kind die all the time. We laugh. Cry. See the lesson in it.
Work has given me a lego person, and a brick for each year of work.
For well over a decade I have practiced remembering my last drunk.
And what does this have to do with others? Nothing in particular.
Our dog Barky brings me the ball, I ignore him, he throws
His head sideways and the ball rolls under a hedge.
He is a small dog. The ball is blue. The size of a tennis ball.
He brings me the ball. Cause and effect. Not cause and effect.
When John died, I was notified by email.
His son sent a note, knew we knew him well.
I want to end-stop every line because I have never written a poem
Where every line was end-stopped. Damn.
Notah Begay looks good In his light blue oxford.
“Captain Love,” he says, “knows these guys.”
I remember a low punch shot John hit at Poppy Hills,
There was nothing remarkable about the shot.
It was not a poor shot. It was not a great shot.
Remember when slow food was a thing?
What is remarkable is that I remember it.
Is the afterlife nothing but the memories of the living?
That’s all that exists forever until there is no memory of you --
And then there is only everything in everything?
If the dog choking on the cover of the tennis ball
Was a set of tools the flat head screwdriver
Would sing “Hallelujah” as an encore. Enamel on enamel,
The green ewer painted over what was a coffee cup
Holding a broad-leafed fern in mid-foreground sits
Just behind the maroon orbs afloat
In front of where the eye locates the canvas and the image in it.
To see a thing and describe it is difficult enough.
Driving home over Vasco Road today my son said,
“I love you, Dad.” And I responded, as I often do, “I love you more.”
And he said, “Do you? I mean, how do you know?”
Earlier that day I’d driven an hour north to meet a woman I barely knew.
The lot at Skinner Classics had dozens of VW Bus skeletons, all pre-1968.
If there was an app that measured love expressed -- like a sound meter
Showing the pitch and intensity -- the dimensions of it -- if we
Could wear the meter on our wrists -- would I use the word?
When John died my first thought:
If he hadn’t been sober the last 20 years, he’d have been dead already.
In the Scoundrels, “Beijing Honey” there is a line,
“I’m gonna love you until I break your heart”
Threaded between a guitar waggle.
His partner a club-footed expatriate from Columbia
Found him. She described herself as “occasional.” John was not one for disaffection.
Sometimes he just ran out of kindness. Borrowed time, baby,
Borrowed time. According to the Web: bhergh- means "to hide, protect."
Root of borrow, burial; bury; and harbor. John sold recovery
Services, you know, debt relief products. You loved your credit card,
You lost your job -- and now what? Then your phone rang.
The voice on the other end of the call, that was John.
Slow down. He knew the imperfect perfect.
I do not forgive myself. You can not forgive yourself.
Water hyacinth under the right conditions doubles in size every ten days.
The invasive fingers hold leafy pads, appear calm, indifferent,
And the shine of their bright lavender flowers want
For presentation. Note the clean-cut stems in the opal vase.
All night, in a Phoenix hotel, the bar was open.
If I said I drank 15 martinis, maybe more,
Only 16 million of you would believe me.



David Koehn's first full-length manuscript, Twine, now available from Bauhan Publishing, won the 2013 May Sarton Poetry Prize. David just released Compendium (Omnidawn Publishing 2017), a collection of Donald Justice's notes on prosody. David's second full-length collection, Scatterplot, is due out from Omnidawn Publishing in 2020.