Yes, Poetry

August Poet of the Month: Peter Burzynski

Peter Burzynski is a first-year PhD student in Creative Writing-Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.F.A. in Poetry from The New School University, and a M.A. in Polish Literature from Columbia University. In between his studies, he has worked as a Sous-Chef in New York City and Milwaukee.  Peter’s poetry has appeared on The Best American Poetry, Kritya, and Bar None Group websites, as well as in the Fuck Poems Anthology. He has poems forthcoming from BORT quarterly and the Great Lakes Review.

Hot Mama

If I were a woman
forged of tin, smote
in an oven with hair
of barbs and toes
of hinge, I would
want a parasol.  

Rice Petals

Here is the river,
here is the sun,
tell me you feel
me, love. I can tell

that I’m late
for sometime.
I guess that’s why
rats run.

You Have Teeth, Too

Sunsets are a moot point
in the schedule. They bear

the weight of tube-hearted
trombones and yet still falter

through puddles. Collections
of marred concrete, rubber

bones, cracker-thin placard—
you call them home.  You left.

You spat tin into our garden—
a brass furnace. Heard bluebirds

cracking. We’d sing broken
heartedness to the stars,

measure the consistency
of our bones. Skin is pricey.

You had filled our world:
every petunia a parabola,

each house key a colossus,
a scarf a sarcophagus, every

telephone a thunderstorm.
Now it’s empty—deflated

of the last blips, of memory,
dregs of sunlight, of our star. 

 

July Poet of the Month: Lisa Marie Basile

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Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor of Luna Luna Mag and the micropress Patasola Press. She co-edits Diorama Journal. Her work can be seen in Best American Poetry, PANK Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Nervous Breakdown and others. She is the author of the chapbooks Andalucia and Triste. Her first full-length, APOCRYPHAL, will be released by Noctuary Press, run from University of Buffalo. Lisa Marie teaches poetics and was named one of the top contemporary poets in New York by NY Daily News and Relapse Magazine. She is a graduate of The New School’s MFA program for creative writing. She is also a freelance writer and citizen journalist. 


the letter says,

show me your most honest self

but I don’t want to be a body today,

                                    it doesn’t feel right,     

like something stuck up inside me

that wasn’t meant to go inside,

a whole life,                 fermented,

            green as grass               pale as flesh

a darkening, the ankle tied to the chair,

the wrists tied too         knotted

for abandon.                this dimension of you

so horrible, as leopards lounging

upon a leopard print chaise,     I desire it.                                            I put the photograph in a glass box

beneath our summer cellar and look at it,

sometimes.



*

 

I am afraid of photographs.

I am ashamed they will show where I really came from.

From particles of light, a slow holding of breath as if I
were filling with dirt &                I am, because where I come
from is a place outside             and it is not natural.

I use my body to tell stories, though not the ones of being
left or rolling in sand near the sea.  
                                           Javi knows I am scared to murder
that old me, and the bodies living inside of it, scared even
without pistols, even if I kill it organically,  maybe by only
looking at it, maybe by saying you cannot have me. this is what
you do with pain.

you stand naked with the sun behind you. every silhouette
says death.   every breast says death.
               every time I show my breasts I die.

when the robe falls down I let it and then prop it over the
armchair and say, this is for everyone who hurt me. I get paid for
the naked, but I feel ashamed. I let him have me so I can
be filled.

When we are done I wear the curtains and the light likes
me like a child. Javi says it is not in our nudity, but in the
covering, that we find sex. It makes no difference
to me.

*

Javi is enchanted by the room’s secrets, a gallery where
photographs have reduced people to their place upon
furniture        & he captures me in an afternoon darkness
so saturated I become a pillar of ivory and smoke.

you are a castle of a woman he says, opulent.                            and this makes me real, o really weeping real

a slowburning sigaretta down my throat.

                           I am in 1967 Balenciaga.
because in me there is an inauthenticity hoping

for spectator [to be seen is to be real] & the speckled light of dusk is slicing the excess of me.                 what is left is
the venom-bodied apparition you will hard and hardly fuck. I am not a skinny girl.         I will destroy you.


*

NOIR

If I knew why we kill I would tell you. If I knew why the sun            moved here the way it does             [a blinking eye]                        I would tell you.          There is no splendid reason  

I live here now.            I am damaged 

I live in a small mustard room            

the bed is shaped as heart,       a reminder      

to stay alive.   

I live on the first floor, without the balcony,  

so I can gaze up at the palm trees from their roots,                 

            as if I am rooted.                    

As if I am rooted        

but I am not,    not I.               

Not here.          Unhinged as a doorway          

swinging open

for a faceless crowd.              

I like to live with animals.                   

Men, I mean,              

who drills holes for their body parts.              

Let me be clear:           I mean glorious holes,            

for beasts of glory.      Sometimes I wide open my mouth      

and wait.                     

I get scared at the last moment            

I leave a pair of pink panties for the glory instead      

I don’t know why I do it.        

Soft light          warm sand       beach chatter  

like clinking glasses                            

the sea is a conversation a girl should have.               

They beasts      they keep this place in business         

as a beast does when hungry.  

I do my part.

Summer 2014

Dearest Readers,

In this issue, I asked each poet what makes them uncomfortable. If I could only ask one question for my entire life, that would be it. Exceptional writing comes through revelation, and that insight only results from duress. What would humans learn through complacency? We learn most about ourselves, and our world, when we want to change it.

Anthony, Karolina, & Aaron use language so eerily that their ghosts follow me around no matter where I go, pushing me to find the different parts of myself. 

Always yours,
Joanna C. Valente
Founding Editor

________________________________________________________

In this issue:


Anthony Cappo
I always thought it was about / the music but it wasn’t.” 

Karolina Manko
It whispers, but only / to its own emptiness. / Filled with ghosts, but unburdened.”

Aaron Pinnix
When I said ghosts are assholes I meant dogs are smelling at the ghosts of assholes.”