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.

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MY BRASSIERE IS A NATURAL WONDER

Lately, he says you might be dying. That you do it like you did astronomy under the blankets. Sip some tea or spill it. Get closer to him he says. He says, will the world care if you never glitter? You’ve lost so many gloves. You’ve laid behind a tree, you’ve distressed over gauntlets of altars of chirping inside the wombspell. You’ve seen the underworld and thought it grand if not a bit ruddy. You’ve been religious and non-religious and understood the innerworkings of crystals in a lover’s ear. You’ve been no child but you’ve been no child but you’ve been a naked thing because you shower without clothes. If you start the breeze, if you breathe painless and clear, if your uppermost mind becomes a sand-abandoned dawn, if for a moment you draw a blank with a pencil and then drive it through your ear. Lately, you think you might be dying and you idealize over bras thinking lacier ones will somehow save your life.

REVENGE IS A NATURAL WONDER

What will hurt you: a marsh no longer a marsh a memory which forged an entire wingspan to strut forth on the biplane and so you saw it—a clear picture of yourself at middle age or dried out arroyos, a brilliant noise of dancing in the Michael Jackson phase of your luminous little childhood sequestered. It did fester, those stupid dreams. Now your loans are deferred. Your throat quite possessive of just the right ooooh’s and aaaaah’s. Your supernatural cloak of perfect hair said you didn’t want revenge. You said it yourself: I don’t seek revenge. Little Jenny, how you lie.  How transparent your jellyfish egg. Your nature is hushed, your athletic pencil in the passive eclipse, an eclipse drawn to scale in the smart of your life. You too housed revenge with hospitality and gave it slippers. Nothing shown except the tremor of an archer’s quiver. Your fatigue conveyed in a mangrove, a forest that refused to move, until S. looked away. My revenge a celluloid photograph frequenting the most desperate of performances—the ache reserved for me alone.

*

Christie Ann Reynolds is the author of Revenge Poems (SUPERMACHINE, 2010) and co-curator of the Stain of Poetry Reading 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.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

I think my heart beats too fast now
post Olympics, pre the swooping
arrival of zephyrs, feeling around for
the gap from which my French
must be spilling. I can barely speak
to my new brother. It’s one week
since they turned on my neighbor’s
prosthetic hearing and what is biggest
is how replete the world must be with
invisible birds and how telephones
have been divested of actual zephyrs.
I don’t get it: If everything is expanding
is my body expanding? Is the atmosphere?
Are the animals’ voices?  Here on the island
of my sister’s wedding everyone speaks
at once. Palms flap like magazine covers.
Grass gets mown by rescuable donkeys.
I had been trapped in the tiny airport for
three days before my escape draped in
women’s robes, my tallest daughter walking
beside me to make my height less conspicuous.
A permanent draft passes between us.
Her voice sounds the most like birds.

*

Graeme Bezanson is an Editor-in-Chief at Coldfront and blogs at ohheyhowseverybody.

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.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

my mountain runs over your hill
erupting our double-edge sword
into a tomb of disintegrating snow
you’re my hero even if you don’t
think so, or how with bits of fog
particulating into ash, a green tree
trunk emerges with a rolling thunder
my role in thunder is to act as rain
cloud I’m falling a bit too hard
though like geodes coming
down from the sky
inside also crystal suicide
your hill pushes through with an
errant theater, a bobcat straddles
a hyperbolic rock on the edge
of the bluff, layers beneath
are little histories made into one
big natural applause

*

Paige Taggart is a poet and jewelry-maker. To learn more, visit her website mactaggart jewelry.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

Pragmatics attempt a lead/follow dynamic
My senses heightened
Open mouth chewing
Conversations about the market
That inflection of sincerity
Perpetual pubescence I suppose is what people might think
Dressed in a bright purple scarf
They wouldn’t be wrong
I want to be able to stop dreaming
I want to be able to take as long as it takes
Follow some handsome man to Virginia simply because he asks

*

To learn more about Jackie Clark, visit her blog No Help for That.

I AM A NATURAL WONDER

not like before the weeds are pulled, there
among other weeds, there along the lines
of bird hops or there goes another
whanger. I am wondering more than impossibly
wondering, more than tooting, yonder
yonder, I won’t go nowhere. I won’t leave
nowhere. I won’t rush away there is to see.

*

To learn more about Jordan Stempleman, visit his website.