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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 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

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.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

The fake gods call to say hello. They ask that I stop chanting
Levitate me. It’s not going to happen. When is the happening
going to happen? Don’t know. They’ve got a psychic on loan
selling airline peanuts from 5000 years ago of our good Lord.
The psychic is fake too but when she feels my wrist for pulse
all systems glitter. She says Face up spacegirl you’re lonely.
You’ve not been felt in centuries. She is standing on my chart
holding tarot cards. She’s still got teeth in her head. I whisper
Hey witch what’s for dinner? Strawberry candles & peanuts.
We choose wands to bruise each other purple. We black out
the windows & let flint rip. I eat her magic peanuts & belch
soft tarantulas. I say Will you please botch my future.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

Peristalsis headquarters altered our glucose tolerance & I was given
no clear warning. Half of my fellow humans received white letters
alerting them that they could continue eating candies ad infinitum.
They are blessed. I no longer feel we are part of the same species.
The other half received no such letter & these letterless humans
are now my humans. It is good to be aligned with a congregation
of special bodies. It may be its own blessing. When they complain
about chocolates & maple syrup they sound like geniuses to me
because chocolates & maple syrup are my melancholia too.
This morning I tried to eat an orange & my belly stopped working.
To finish my breakfast I first had to go out & purchase a new belly.
I used to feel really cheated when setbacks like this would happen.
I’d say Oh well thanks god thanks. Now it’s eggs & bacon forever.
But I see down that pipeline & know it leads to a dead battery feeling.
Instead I am grateful that I can buy a new belly for immediate use.
If this happened last month, I wouldn’t even have a buck.


Melissa Broder is the author of WHEN YOU SAY ONE THING BUT MEAN YOUR MOTHER. She is the chief editor of La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

When his wife left me is when he started coming

clean can you dig it hell I’d much rather bury it when

we go to work we work dirty work and the finger

that points at the moon it is the moon trust me on

this one next thing you know it’ll be Brussels sprouts

but in France he’s known as Bob l’eponge it was so

a bad year for Diet Mt. Dew with your cheap shoes

outdone only by your cheaper socks it started as a

challenge and it ended up like this if bangs just look

better but not on men ever every Christian lion-hearted

man will show you talk about transparency when the

cardinal returned the robins were much less fabulous

for all the useless blunders they are my masterpieces

very much on top of the latest news and it is not fair

*

Stephen Caratzas is a writer, musician and visual artist living in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

WE ARE A NATURAL WONDER

Suppose I never make it to San Francisco
or stop trying to describe the light in Paris

in those brief violet hours between three and five
when we are permitted happiness.

Suppose that’s not true at all.
How there may be nothing to say about light

or the way emotion seizes the body
imprecisely, indefinitely.

We are the animals who can’t leave things at wonder.
We want wonderful, we would kill for it.

Somewhere in New York I take the moon into my mouth,
under my tongue, over the black earth.

I’m looking for one secret about people
no matter the season or city or how dark their eyes are.

Arrivals, departures, few words, less wonder.
If it’s rain we are least like, let us be rain.

 

To learn more about Alex Dimitrov, visit his blog.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

I used to be a store in the mall
but after a while, I didn’t sell well.

I was rain sticks and Mozart mixed
with wind chimes.

I was solar-powered car kits kids
could piece together.

 

I was amethyst, pyrite, trilobite and
small suede pouches to house them.

I, then, was the whispered kill
of an animal thanked for its flesh.

I, then, was the total package,
and although my façade of a rock face

 

remains, I have been replaced
by an oxymoron:

a family-owned clothing outlet
with dusty-looking ties

and instead of a doorman,
my old door still always open.

 

I now encircle the mall’s
almost-abandoned fort.

I am the wind as wound up
as Hell’s second circle.

I lust for new souls or
at least a new location.

 

To learn more about Christopher Phelps, visit his website.

 

To learn more about Ryan MacDonald, visit his blog Brief Epigrams.