Online Exclusives

12.01.02
Baba Ganesh, Ubiquitous Authority (from the Books of Ubar)
We divide the rectangular glass terrarium diagonally across the bottom, into triangular halves of clay and sand. [...]
10.08.02
Drafts, Updrafts, and the Physiognomy of Air
This might have been a story about Vincent van Gogh. Might have been, I say, because most of it takes place within that very asylum where the “Mad Dutchman”—as he was remembered by the local population until recently—spent the last full year of his life. [...]
09.08.02
Certain Hazards of Living without the Assumption of Timing
Being and changing are almost one and the same thing
Not changing and not coming into the crisis is almost one and the same thing with not living
Being and living are not the same [...]
08.30.02
Three Poems
    Aunt sleeps on, neglecting our selves; her rustic
devils furnish us with sorrow. [...]
08.23.02
Two Stories
“I completely forgot” is twice as true as “I don’t remember that.” “It hurts” is as often untrue as “I don’t know.” Opinions are less often lies than facts. [...]
08.16.02
The American Green Machine
Good morning, CLARENCE T. FORDHAM, please do not be alarmed, because I can imagine what you are contemplating right now as you struggle to attain consciousness and the answer is no [...]
08.09.02
Three Poems
Silent trees are failure and fault

Half the creatures come when called, half tilt away [...]
06.28.02
From Dear Laird Hunt, Author of The Impossibly
Cold has descended on the county. By week’s end, we expect a hard frost.  [...]
06.05.02
Shelburne Falls
A hand in a crevice, the tongue at rest in the mouth,
and also,
the pressure of one body against another: summer, waxed and honeyed. [...]
05.30.02
All Winter Long the Girls Smoked Tobacco Leaves
Up in the hills the talk was of the men all disappeared and presumed dead. [...]
04.10.02
DAU AL SET
If only we could plunder rumors kept well-guarded.

But are you there and are we troubling you?

The stars suffused with aspects no one can discern. [...]
04.03.02
Three Poems
Song after a song after story
one of the stories which end in stumps or falsely
which are made up of poses of positions and transpositions
of positions [...]
03.19.02
The Sound Gun
We are dragging it by hand now. The engine gave out days ago in a ravine two kilometers south of the parallel. [...]
03.01.02
Vague Swimmers
Thank you for saying pathos instead of pathetic, keeping us the same size as before. [...]
01.19.02
Disintegration: Poem for Eva Hesse
Compulsive winding, bandaging 
or what am I worth 
and also why don’t you leave me alone when I am doing these things? [...]
01.17.02
Three Poems
He’s sleeplessness pulled through
a sieve, snake branch beliefs
dangle from, overgrown
with flourishing abjections.  [...]
01.06.02
Reverse Song
not because there is a road
and a woman walking,
nor the trees lining this road,
the light at half mast [...]

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In Print

Vol. 79
Onword
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

January 25, 2023
The birth of color begins in the entanglement
of water. Color is the birth of light.

Low clouds morning visitation, the words are
forming separable from their origins. Stars

crease the heavens. I have been moving
into their stream, heavenly bodies, the architecture

loose and ungainly. I’m not one but two, the occupancy
of a system, here in the apparel of another’s

light, to come down these stairs, dawn
weighted with silver, a perimeter that hooks

sky, bleeds our nights into day. There is this
sanctuary, intricate respite, cut-out, here on the floor
January 18, 2023
A second-growth forest is not the same as a first, and a third is not the same as a second. Those old dying oak and chestnut trees saved a century ago from axe and saw to shade the grazing livestock are surrounded now by all the wrong progeny—birches and popple in one case, pine trees in the other. Absent a mature overstory’s broad canopy, the understory receives too much unfiltered light, and low thickets and dense copses of trees and shrubs all the same age spring up.
     In ancient times a carpet of fallen leaves and ferny ground cover was lit by long beams of sunlight descending from openings in the treetops as if from the clerestory windows of a great cathedral. Humans and other animals walked easily among the tall, straight trunks and had unobstructed views from glen to vernal pond and stream to the glacial moraine beyond. That was a forest, not a woods. But the forest was not replaced by itself. It was displaced and replaced by these woods, which is a different and lesser thing.
     My dog darted through the brush ahead of me, tracing the lingering spoor of a deer or bear or coyote, led by his nose instead of our man-made trail. And as I walked I remembered again a story from the village, part of which I saw, part of which I heard from witnesses, and part of which I imagined.
January 11, 2023
A brick-shaped piece of architectural rubbish. A brick of someone’s missing place. My brick, but only because I’ve taken it as my own, to collect, among my menageries, set alongside small shoes made of mottled glass and rusted railway spikes and silver-clad icons sold to me by aging nuns in old-world churches I’ve visited. I have shelves full of this stuff, little artifacts of the beautiful/not beautiful city. I collect glass and tarnished things. I collect memories too, all kinds, some that might fall into the category of demolition garbage, what might be too sharp and embarrassing to keep out in the light.
     I learned in AA to call these kinds of inmost collections my inventory. I haven’t been to AA recently, but when I used to go every week I loved the inventory step meetings. Step Four is to make “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” Step Ten is to continue “to take personal inventory” and when we are wrong to promptly admit. My inventory/my me-ventory/our we-ventory, one might say—an everyday assessment of the invisible collections residing beneath and within.
     I don’t believe in the Christian version of God but I do believe in the spiritual wonder located in material presence. Like my brick. Any cubic space in the world is a brick of multiple histories. I interrogate all of what feels like mine.