Online Exclusives

From Indivisible
Etymology of undulate, circle and cloud. We sign our letters in undulating skies. [...]
Five Poems
O moon my pin-up,
how I wish I were a woman frescoed

in a loose dress, pulled by the hair
to heaven. Or Titian’s voluptuous Virgin

rising above everyone who tries to touch her. [...]
The Pale Rider Pauses So His Pale Horse May Graze
My neighbors convened a kangaroo court. The charge against me was stealing newspapers. I contended that after 9:00 am they were artifacts not news and were therefore fair game under international archaeological conventions. [...]
Four Poems
Like you were always
waiting in line for something
just vaguely wanted. What makes us

more human than waiting. [...]
From The Autobiography of Jean Foos
Shapeshift at quonset in a military theater by the sea
west coast bildungsroman scrub data field salt flat doubt drains
the projectionist’s daughter popping in and out of the frame [...]
The Almost Audible Passing of Time
Cycles of sleep and waking. Birds migrating from cold region to warm. The rate of polar ice melting. Or the beat of iambs or the subtler pulse of prose. [...]
From Meteorites
Let me say this one thing, that the meteor is a woman of varying biologies and the crocuses are rising up. In only three words I can convey a schism: x, y, z. Insert here for pleasure. [...]
Two Poems
Here is Pitkin Plaza, three boys
sharing a cigarette, antibodies
bound to platelets that fuzzed-out guitars
in headphones eliminate. [...]
Night Music
Once upon a night, she landed
On an airstrip of impotence     Whoosh! [...]
Four Poems
by Matthias Göritz
translated by Mary Jo Bang
There where the night broke an arm
on the lamp at the end of the houses
I explain silence [...]
Six Curves
this body I can’t find

is just a crow my eye was following until it slipped
through sky’s white crease [...]
Radical Closure
That is the true philosophical paradox: not how you can travel from point A to point B without first traversing a spatial infinity, bridging all the subdivisible points between them; but rather, how you can travel from mind A to mind B without first traversing a psychological infinity. Leaving the apartment in one frame of mind, how could you ever arrive at a new one? [...]
Something about the building of the Tower of Babel, he thought; yes, it seemed likely, in that instant, that the foundations laid for the Tower of Babel had been the subject of the sentence he’d started and then abandoned, but when he looked down at his lecture notes he could not find the words “Tower” or “Babel” written anywhere in them. [...]
Our Human Neighbors
Time after time, I saw overlapping images everywhere. Even when I looked at my children, I didn’t see two of them, but six of them. Only when I looked at my wife, I saw just one image. As for the neighbors, they became a large flock of countless things. [...]
He ties a bell to her ankle, but she removes it in her sleep. He ties one of her wrists to the bed frame with twine, but she loosens the knot with the other hand and slips out. That night she wakes upside down, slung over his shoulder. [...]
Three Poems
A dancer dragging her arms across the stage, slapping feet through a watery pool
            panting from a bent body [...]
Something Human
One: he must leave at night. Two: he must come back the next day immediately after dark. And three: he couldn’t tell anyone where he worked, couldn’t discuss what happened in the prison at all. [...]
Six Elsie Poems
Big bovine heads float over the destroyed city
Laser beams of mean girl miffed fury zing
Down from their eyes the rubble smokes [...]
The Body as Archive
The body is an object that orients vision. As much as I want to, I can’t stop looking. All the people getting on the subway—strangers. And yet I look at them, hopefully, vacantly. I stare. [...]
Four Poems
In the palace of music, a gathering of the mute:
this became the body. [...]
The Experimental Subject
Parts 3–6
Coiled in the mother’s womb in the birth sac is a small creature with a large head and flat puckered face, tight-shut eyes, tiny clenched fists, that could be mistaken for a purely human fetus, or, from another angle, a chimpanzee baby with somewhat human features. [...]
The Experimental Subject
Parts 1–2
By measured stages seduction, sexual relations, impregnation. And if impregnation, gestation.
     Birth, and beyond birth. [...]
Four Poems
Under cover,
the ground seems
legless. [...]
Four Poems
All day all I think is I’m tired and typing, ticker. Am I talking too much or for. And why a girlish void person of emotional scaffolding a demon, a deadness. A depth, nonromantic. As though. The real deadness front-paged and swallowed. [...]
Three Poems
a few acorns forgotten
under the national soot

so much wonderland
a can of borscht in the larder [...]
Four Poems
He was looking out a window
in a room he had agreed to. “What then,”
he said, “let a few more in?” [...]
From The New Encyclopedia
Little is known about the pre-Socratic philosopher Polycyathus, and that little unlikeable: he was born at Dodona, and was old when Socrates was young (Plato reports that Socrates once tried to question Polycyathus, but that the latter quickly “succumbed to wine-sleep”); he taught the doctrine that “nothing is good”; he believed that, of all the forms of governance, tyranny was best, because “it breeds monuments.” [...]
Three Poems
mirrored      clouds                now
virtual                  glitter         their
idyll                      the first person [...]
Bleached Pink on the Line
We’d been there too long. Portia’s red slip bleached pink on the line, Mr. B getting to know the local girls by name. [...]
Three Poems
I was struck
By your brevity
Can you speak further
About honing that
Particular skill [...]
Internal Report on the Rise of the Inconceivable
Overall, The Inconceivable believes itself of clear mind and conscience, and as such, a model of elegant comportment. [...]
Metamorphosis and the Surreal
The surrealist universe is unabashedly sexed and eagerly embraces nature’s infinitely mutable manifestations. [...]
Two Poems
Damp-squib grammar of pretty things and wild mignonette.
Quercitron bark. Old Fustic’s persistently pissy stamen,
the peony-stained wallpaper. [...]
The Compound
The money was from a corporation, if that makes any difference to you, and not enough to buy everything we wanted. [...]
Ten Poems from Passagen
Pan speaking panisms at the church
of Christ, Pantokrater, in place
of the usual docent, breast of sportscoat
bulging with his pipes. [...]



In Print

Vol. 79
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow


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.