I AM A NATURAL WONDER

I want to finger-bang my profile pic.

See-thru has to be all new
about the space between my heart.

But I just want to be invited to things.

When conversations lull, Cecilia volunteers
terrible things about me.

Wafting through
some sort of holiday lamé parade,
I enter the Paris of sleep.

Fellow travelers will deign us
child-like or disgusting,
and we will roll together
with our bodyguard-slash-dance troupe.

There needs to be some sort of Antabuse, but for food.

*

Dan Magers’s first book of poems, Partyknife, will be released in early 2012 by Birds, LLC.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

The stream is ravaged
just as the banks are ravaged.
Bank as in earth formation
or financial institution?
You’re both right.
Disorientation is easy
but only sometimes informative
like watching cable TV:
the dog left locked
in the car in the middle of summer,
the radioactive crab growing not
to giant, pissed off proportions,
just getting sick.
What are you supposed to do?
My brothers are
a string of pearls,
a nest of spiders.
Human beings robbing pharmacies
then going on picnics from hell.

*

Brad Liening helps edit InDigest Magazine.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

Comb it, just off the fueled jetting highway

where the gravel just sits until you

run it over. Then it crackles and browns

into a cloud, and the picnic is ruined!

The wonder lies in how both explanations

are wacke and that one doesn’t feel responsible

for either, but if one were anything else but

human, there would be no distinction, but

then again there may be no problem at all

if one were not human. Usefulness, show

the way with your flare guns and booby tassels,

show me your footwork and how to slick

back my hair like you. What you dip yr comb in,

the special ordered jelly made from on high,

Certified Trademarked Natural Wonder,

a company which knows its way around.

And what is the reason to sit next to anything?

*

Drew Scott Swenhaugen lives in Portland, Ore. He co-edits Poor Claudia and co-curates the Bad Blood Reading Series.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

I wake from a dream of kissing clouds*****my eyelashes grow longer and

longer*****I wash up before taking my tea on the porch*****with a lap full of

berries*****some berries are tart*****and some sweet*****which is exciting

seeds and twigs fall from the trees*****into my hair and nightgown*****the

breeze is polite*****I read a book about a girl growing up and cry*****and feel

unbearably old*****I am scared and I close my eyes*****my memory offers

the feeling*****of riding downhill on a bicycle*****in a warm rain*****on the

way home from a really terrific picnic*****I hear chickadees twittering*****cars

passing on the road below*****the hardest part is knowing*****when to

reconfigure*****my eyelashes grow and grow*****they could be a way to

generate wind*****I could be a windmill

 

Caroline Cabrera has a fancy cat and lots of vegetables. She is also the managing editor of Slope Editions.

I AM A NATURAL ETC.

I am organically awesome
My car is naturally wrecked
My other car’s a parade, out circling the town
Looking for the ticker tape I rolled in the dark
I would have a bike if I was one
If I was a claw foot tub I’d use ‘em
To confuse bathers, If I was a bather
Forget all of this/Fuck it/The end
Begin again with questions
How does a seahorse not become a bathtub toy
With ocean
How do you find the sources of the ocean
Drag the deep end brother
How do you do that thing with your tongue
Clear off the countertop
Pull the cover over your head and down
Tell yourself it’s not even her real name
It’s only a word/A mantra/Say it again
Say nothing’s just anything to your brain
Watch the comets fizzle
Take a vacation from yourself with yourself
Get “othery”
Call him Steve

 

Tyler Smith is from Rochester, N.Y., and currently lives in Boston. He has poems in Interrupture.

I A M A N A T U R A L B L U N D E R (evaporite)

She said I knew we weren’t careful
enough that night. That’s the final

form of wanting. On the way to her
mother before us: two mesas. 412, the

road to Dodge City, west: the sun in
the rearview the first hundred miles,

the red clay of the Cimarron behind
selenite. Or else, if by six he meant

six, breakfast in Woodward, the sun
breaking as we drove between them.

Young, I knew want as she did: a trail
up past the plateau’s edge that I never

climbed, unlike my brothers. I said I
won’t go ’til there is someone to come

down, someone to push aside the order
of things.

***************

Each night I go to bed, one sleep atop
another. The days pass, the days pass,

a stack of nights like a book. Every
dress hung over my desk-chair, and

I, the ever-present, my hand beneath
what falls before me. Not unlike the

mesa, I am not, without what I shed,
myself. A curious thing, and a wonder:

Who are you, brother, now you come
down from the hill? That rock in your

hand: temper me like it: from above:
remove: I found the desert rose in

clusters under the wheels here. Yours
is clear. Put it to the car window:

another set of lines. Now put your
eye to it: another platform in a city

somewhere else.

*

Michael Lala curates the Fireside Follies series in Brooklyn and writes on Katelan Foisy.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

I have tiger blood        Adonis DNA        I’m on a drug
called       your face        if you take me you will die
& your children will weep         over your exploded body
that’s how I roll        I’m me
a rockstar from Mars         winning        for life
I use a blender        I use a vacuum cleaner         I dare you to keep up
come on        I’m not wearing a golden sombrero
I’m a naked tornado        riding on a mercury surfboard
if that’s too gnarly        then buh-bye        losers         buh-bye

 

Matthew Suss lives in Amherst, MA.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

Things fall, ebb
descend or dissipate
The land ends where the glass web
Rises like a prayer
And what is
Is repeated on the balcony, the stairs, in gleaming cars
In the spaces between windows
We hang mirrors
We smile, shift our weight and lift our shirts
We drift between two parallel realities
In the morning dressing for the evening
Walking with our teeth out
Look at us
Delicately upright
Our organs exposed
Our throats like another face
We use the bed
Instead of sleeping in it
We tell each other, “When I die I don’t care
What happens to my body”
As though we were boats of air
Until little by little
We are encroached upon by shadows
The echoing voices of ominous
Upper equipment
Until our responsibilities have been reduced
Or moderated like an invalid’s
We sit upright inside
The great room full of wind
Watching the birds and ants and golden bees
Swarming right up to the sleeve of death
It is natural to love what is impossible
It is natural to say what is and mean
What is impossible
It is natural to want to call
The air
Between your fingers nothing
It is a wonder that we ever see
The pattern is what is assembled
When you aren’t paying attention
And it is still called inconsistency
Even if it happens constantly

*

Marshall Walker Lee lives in Oregon. His favorite tree is the mighty American Paper Birch. (He also co-edits Poor Claudia.)

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

After Ishmael Houston Jones’s Without Hope****

****

*********************This is a pas de deux for a man

Who takes a cinderblock as his partner.

*********************He kisses the brick, sets it on his back.

One shoulder leers at the ground.

*********************He walks like a man condemned

To lift his hammer and break stone.

*********************When he drops the brick it crumbles

And the dancer breaks his silence.

*********************He names each chunk for a bone.

Names them again for fractures.

*********************Before stillness claims the stage

The man steps out of the light

*********************And leaves the brick for his body.

Often my dreams are adagios.

*********************I dance the part of the cinderblock.

When I wake my hands look wrong.

*********************What they touch I name for myself.

Name again for how I use it.

*********************The splinters in the floorboards

A spider I drown in the sink—

*********************These exhaust me. I carry my trash

As one cradles a wounded arm.

*********************I bring it outside and a plastic bottle

Skitters its way across the lot.

*********************If I picture bending down for it

Touching too becomes my hands.

*********************There it goes into the street.

****

***

To learn more about Allyson Paty, read her poems on Low Log.


NATURAL WONDER

When her eyes moved I saw the field too. We walked through the garden, over the cobble toward the woods. A mountain had risen where the hideout was. Branches lifted slowly, as if under water. The universe is breathing she said. I said yes. What is it saying she said. I said I don’t know. I was sure I’d locked the door. She passed through too. After the road split we were forced to stand in the rain and later we reached an open circle in a field. We walked inside my little hut. I saw how my skin had absorbed the dye off my clothes. I knew she was a witch. She sat cross-legged and took the tarot out from my vitrine, reaching in among the feathers and bones, a little bottle of water from the fountain of youth in Collioure, near the Spanish border. We shifted the cards in waves back and forth. She pulled The Hangman, I pulled Death. I turned on the TV but she wanted to go. I gave her a music box and I think she still has it.

Ben Fama is the author of Aquarius Rising (Ugly Duckling Presse) and New Waves (forthcoming this spring from Minutes Books). Visit him at www.new-waves.tumbler.com.

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