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Seven Poems (Assorted)


Frontier of My Self-Consciousness I by Lezhang Wang



“Of course the hunter-gatherer’s atlatl,”


Of course the hunter-gatherer's atlatl,

crudely hewed by a flint and notched


using maybe a bleached tine of antler

for the thinner ancestor of the javelin


to sit in, which then hurtled far better

toward one forest-dwelling mastodon


after another, was brought to daylight

for its greater simplicity of killing; that


and out of hunger, a desire to fashion

an object well from the yielding world.



Erick Verran is the author of the nonfiction collection Obiter Dicta (Punctum Books, 2021). His

writing is forthcoming or appears in the American Poetry Review, the Georgia Review, The

Drift, the Harvard Review, On the Seawall, the Michigan Quarterly Review, the Cortland

Review, the Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. He is also an independent scholar of

aesthetics and digital games. He lives in New York.



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ON NONATTACHMENT


Glass is good.

Cool the light slashing down in diagonals from all angles,

silent the pope’s scream across a plain of paint.


Let the eye see plainly

how pain might be stripped from paint:

how light and glass will never marry.



Suji Kwock Kim is author of NOTES FROM THE DIVIDED COUNTRY, which received the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters .  She is 2023 Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, and 2024 Writer-in-Residence at the Gladstone Library, Wales.



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Confession


There were so many people I wanted    to tell about the fire

on the way to hear the famous poet    read from a book of grief.

It billowed from every open space &    made from smoke a house

of the street, its smell a word that failed     to reach consensus in the crowd.

Some who stopped to watch the family,    silent in their pajamas, pointed

their wrists at the scene to remember it.     I resisted the urge, not wanting

to appear graceless. The smell was     everything in the house.



Elaina Friedman is a writer living in Queens, New York. She reads fiction for Electric Literature and

reviews books for Kirkus Indie.



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Civil Twilight


opening the window 

to smoke billowing

from the corner

    of our building 

apricot flames

lurching at the fatted

air    because this 

happens in my dreams

these burning 

            buildings

opening   up to me

   engulfing    this 

adipose my 

indistinct friends

       in the top

room screaming 

  these fated encounters

in the projection

booth     plastic smell

black plumage   

because I dream 

of being 

extraterritorial

away from here

from this hypertrophy

on a real    I run

outside   to watch

flakes of ash and

windborne litter

     as three engines

tackle the blaze

and think   synecdoche

metaphor

because I can’t

abandon the head

      rummaging

around the possessions

I packed    ready

to be unhomed

  like a glowing stub

in civil twilight

  what will be made

 of this combustion

what artefacts

      fire is an event

a spectacle

not a thing at all

people gathering 

like wildflowers

breathing in

the same particulates

coughing for days

hacking up soot

assuming no one died

in the top room

of the corner   shop

            or overnight 

in factories

and shelters

east of this fat globe 

   videos of war

glowing on our

phones   civilians 

of the ground 

lips annexed 

grit-split 

because dreams are

of this now this 

irreconcilable now 

opening the window 

to see what changed

overnight 

people gathering 

at borders

         like wildflowers



Tom Branfoot  is the writer-in-residence at Manchester Cathedral and a recipient of the New Poets Prize 2022. He organises the poetry reading series More Song in Bradford. Tom is the author of This Is Not an Epiphany (Smith|Doorstop) and boar (Broken Sleep Books), both published in 2023. 



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Farewell to a City

 

A man in a "Salvador Dali for President" shirt wrote a farewell letter to a city. He had a brief affair with her skyline. Her bridges. Her moon. The city was good to the man in a "Salvador Dali for President" shirt. He couldn't deny it. The city was seductive, addictive. The people, warm, approachable. What better way to commemorate a visit than with a letter, a poem. After the man in a "Salvador Dali for President" shirt finished writing the farewell letter to the city, he drove on the iconic bridge and threw the letter out of the window on the way to the airport. Farewell, until next time, sweet skyline. Farewell, city of trees and bridges. 



Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) Bad Mexican, Bad American (Acre Books, 2024) and The Parachutist (Sundress Publications, 2025). He teaches generative workshops for Hugo House, Lighthouse Writers Workshops, The Writer's Center, and elsewhere. Additionally, he serves as a Poetry Mentor in The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.



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nDada (11/14/23)




Whiskey Radish started writing poetry daily on March 10, 2009, and a year later began to add visual art. The nDada style began on a train ride from NYC to Boston on August 23, 2022. She and Meinzer are now working on an anthology of nDada poems written by people like you – see nDadaPublic.org if you would like to join the fun.



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Ungelīc

Your fates are forked, says the bird on my roof.

It looks and it sees skies trembling with chemtrails

And clouds parting for them. Your fates are forked,

It says.

Smoke rises from my roof, over forests,

Leaves, over more houses, their people

Not alarmed. The bird on my roof grows

Intoxicated, wrenching, from my smoke.


It turns to me. You are otherwise, it says,

You are both otherwise. My roof begins to shake

with the force of a flying bird: away now,

Ungelīc, not so nearby.

Flying to you, where skylines fracture

And nests sink, further, far out,

To sing of you to me.



Jess Hind is a first-year English undergraduate at Lincoln College, Oxford.



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