December 19, 2015



Whose bells chatter in the pine needles that never sing
of winter, never glitter in the shag-shuffed ice of shivers:
those long ago seasons that crawled from polar reaches
and touched our skins and glinting shelters -- tools
rising to meet sunmelt. We put on our boots and coats.

At first
all was mudmelt, mudheart. A half-moon nursing
the hare-cubs, the wolf-girls.
But then a starched acceleration
of haunted winds, hot with our own hunger
blossomed along ravines:
ravenous sucking rivers full
of so many days, so many skins.
Sinews invisibly thick with every death --
exhausted, expressed.
What resurrection we’ve called forth!
Our own fat beasts full of animate wailing!
They are so like us -- the way we are, were --
slithering: shocked by fear, desire, starlight --
                    heartbreak, heartsleight.

But today, now, I am so tired.
                             I want to look away.

Tell me
that it’s going to be okay. That it already happened.
That it’s over. That we’re in heaven.
And then
let’s have a picnic. Let’s mark those moments
when the trees touch the clouds, when the grass
hums the sweet green song that thrums our bones
to blooming.
& after
let’s watch the constellations of kindness -- our familiars --
come softly out to bless us, safe and sound
                                          and blissfully stupid, 

                           all wrapped up in

this blue and beautiful house.

MICHELLE DETORIE is the author of numerous chapbooks including Fur Birds (Insert Press), How Hate Got Hand (eohippus labs), and Bellum Letters (Dusie). She also makes visual poems, poetry objects, and time-based poetry. Her first full-length collection, After-Cave, is just out with Ahsahta Press.  

December 18, 2015


respect, communication, integrity, excellence
(for Sherron Watkins)

-tiny town of Optimism, population 6,000
-responsible for each other’s children
-a bite of ice cream sandwich
in the year of whistleblowers

why didn’t you just leave?

-do something right about wrong
from west coast to east
-remaking itself every seven years
innovation always

dark side of innovation is fraud
-too creative. never uninspired
-demoralized, I led the effort of invincibility
bright and sharp but crossed a line

-I pushed back, reprimanded
-took cover, switched positions
divisions comfort group think
-corporate mask kept

from digging deeper
{{respect communication integrity excellence}}
-value cracks in our façade
evil empire reputation

-crashing, eliminated hedged
with raptors
-rafters paper structure
paper companies

see circular, hidden losses
-shocked me to my core
-future market price like water
through a sieve

what was going on in the pit of your stomach?

-market panic
we will implode
-can those of us who’ve not grown
rich afford to stay?

-our value system messenger
would not be shot
-naive to the point of stupidity
grown up a lot since when

-I wanted to be sure
he took me seriously
-my analysis come clean
-I was moved downstairs

with rental furniture
-no real work to make me uncomfortable
-in December the ship sank
I got as much cash as I could

-opened cloud of witness
weight that burdens
-the race marked out for you
-so many villains made me a heroine

-choices I made sent an early grave
stressed execs die every day
-I should have gotten more
people to go with me

BETSY FAGIN is the author of All is not yet lost (Belladonna, 2015) and Names Disguised (Make Now Press, 2014) as well as a number of chapbooks. She is the current editor of the Poetry Project Newsletter.

December 17, 2015



Our theme today: Nazism.
April nooses, cruel Hitler cream.
Improvised dressage with a unicorn in jodhpurs.
Today I’m Mother’s-Birthday-fatalistic,
turn on the waterworks, I’m on fire.
Kiss my feet, Hitler youth, in all your streaming
blondness braided
a bog-person-to-be 
elaborate stitching and
all that ayahuasca in the 
moors and mosses.

I heard you can fuck yourself
through a crystal straw, though
it’s not important as long as
the single-horned bull plunges
further to the right.  The sa-
cred mysteries of street cred,
plastic money and due props
trine Hitler riding a unicorn,
I meant, riding down Wall 
Street on a moist mollusk
masquerading as a
fat narwhal, sleek as
Diana Nyad.  And 
that’s your card-reading 
for today.

Maria Damon is professor and chair of the Department of Humanities and Media Studies at the Pratt Institute of Art

December 16, 2015


From “The Gilded Age of Kickstarters”

There Was A Company of Flexible Dancers

69 backers

pledged of $10,000 goal

6 days to go

Hard work

enervates Royal Flux Dance Company

to take you

on a magical journey
captivating and challenging your mind
leaving you on the edge
of your seat craving more…

For which we need money

Eileen R. Tabios just released INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New. More info at

December 15, 2015


Pattie McCarthy’s new book is called Quiet Book & is due out in Jamuary from Apogee Press.

December 14, 2015



for/after Douglas Kearney at Emergent Forms, Ashland, OR

take a familiarity in hand

once i was many women

gathered in one face

once i was whole- ly un-selfed

i resemble many women

i hardly resemble myself here there the accidental name

already can imagine father abraham

one hand raised reverent faux or otherwise

had many sons

how many have delighted the blood

how many letters constitute a performance

how many letters did you write me

(always letters)

many sons what numbers

correspond had father abraham

in what sequence do the words

perform in what way do the words

allow themselves to be


when human cruelty is performed

where & who are you / are you?

i am one of them

JJ Rowan is present at the moment. Her current moments take place in Southern Oregon, in the breath of a stride, and in her chapbook, the selected jesus (Shirt Pocket Press, 2015).