December 11, 2010

December 11th: Deborah Poe

Death and the Woman (Tod und Frau)

object exactly the size of any space
we occupy, shadowed against
a shadow as it is. if this is
to be being and to be being
in it irremediably without
refuse materiality how
do we remain silent, left
for deaf, how do we occupy
silence, how do we leave, do we

             -Jen Hofer, from One

muscle, bones, sinew—back’s arch leg’s fierce tendons
toes grounded behind the body—first figure, Mother—
as if to reject apparition or sprint, knee
lunged forward

skeleton—mocking monster
leg bone defies the lurch
arms bound behind by scaffolding
costas stacked upon skinless figure

second leg arrests Mother’s pitch
head reared back, the abnormal stretch
neck bared to the inevitable

child you climb a desperate branch—torso
of the body—hands reach above breasts
this gaze’s impossibility

shadow of three bodies, one violent mass—
your small right foot in the resilient light

Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections Elements (Stockport Flats Press 2010) and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008). Deborah’s writing is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Fact-Simile Magazine, Peaches & Bats, Jacket, Sidebrow and Colorado Review. Deborah Poe is fiction editor of Drunken Boat and guest curator of Trickhouse’s “Experiment" door 2010/2011. For more information, visit

December 10, 2010

December 10th: Susan Briante

      for Farid

You post
a link
to a love song
on my wall
I tell you
to wear
a coat
it’s cold
it’s months
since we’ve stood
at a baggage
O brave
new country
of short days
this year
I just want
to love
each other
let each
day stand
our red door
like David Rawlings
singing the part
of Emmylou Harris
singing the part
of Alison Krauss
we will work
something out
in our own voice.

Susan Briante is the author of Pioneers in the Study of Motion (Ahsahta Press, 2007) and Utopia Minus (Ahsahta Press, 2011). Lately, she can be found translating the work of Uruguayan poet Marosa di Giorgio as well as writing poems about the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Briante is an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas. She lives in Dallas with the poet Farid Matuk and their daughter.

December 9, 2010

December 9th: Julie Strand


Where is the horsebed, the mall square, the sea length equator? 
What words are without eyes?

Without clothes she landed.
Maze legs longer, the people mistake
her for a doorframe. Walk through and things
are cloudy. Sense no longer alive. Squint to see
all the better to hear, a language of audience and skies.

Things here taste weird, they mace weird, lace up the face weird. 

They guess a mask or shoe?

Ears stare, hands feel to learn of the what.
Lost and loud, the mouths yell out, 
What are you? Smoke and mirrors and legs
that hide eyes. Words wrap maleus in the pinna
the people listen for light and sight. The alien
she has all the eyes.

From 2004-2010, Julie Strand served as the Education Coordinator at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, WI. Currently, she's in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Boise State University and works at The Log Cabin Literary Center. Julie is the author of The Mae West Defense, (Dancing Girl Press, 2009). Her poetry has appeared in Caffeine Destiny, FOURSQUARE Editions, Wicked Alice, Arsenic Lobster, WOMB Poetry, Boo: A Journal of Terrific Things, Weave Magazine and others.

December 8, 2010

December 8th: Jen Tynes


Adults in early winter love
                                 climbing toward open skin, walking in
 the center of trails where weeds do not
                                 brush against them. Burning it
with a match. The next best things
                                 to wide masking tape are the eyes
and hands of small children. Myself, I feel
                                 black as the head of a pin. You may want
to put this in a jar of rubbing alcohol
                                 permanently marked with the date
and location. You may want to mouth
                                 like a tiny barb, use petroleum
jelly or nail polish. I have displayed
                                 the ruffle of your waist band
marks like a bird that eats all
                                 the gardenias. I have rivered off
the yard dust with a half-frozen
                                 coil before we close in
on the evening.

Jen Tynes lives in Denver and edits horse less press. She is Reviews and Interviews Editor for Denver Quarterly. Most recently she is the author of Heron/Girlfriend (Coconut Books). A chapbook collaboration with Mike Sikkema, Autogeography, is forthcoming from Black Warrior Review.

December 7, 2010

December 7th: Katie Jean Shinkle

There Are So Many People Who Want To See You While You’re Home

For mothers who need avenged, a son’s killing, this son’s
    killing a weakness of mother, dear Mother,
Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas,
    The Furies seek and destroy, do not kill anyone
including a parent
    this parent, apparent, we are backing up and down
we are backing up back back it up back back it up
and velocity, killing me, this is killing me—

Even now, the Justice, this Justice, the neighbor says
    she doesn’t want you talking to her little girl
anymore, she doesn’t know you, doesn’t know you
    the Justice the Justice. Before a court of law,

these weights and measures, a sword to the sky and scales
    so many scales, this Athenian tribe,
this impaneled jury, this hung and hung jury.

In reverse, an upheaval. Merry, Happy, Happy—
    Happy, Merry, Happy.

Katie Jean Shinkle is Assistant Poetry Editor for DIAGRAM. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Eleven Eleven Journal, American Poetry Journal, Bluestem Magazine and NANO Fiction, among others.

December 6, 2010

December 6th: Jenn McCreary

6 January

psalt.  shoes.  dates & honey.  pomegranate in hand, throatful of thistles & thorns, all celebrated with like devotion.

La Befana was approached by the magi & asked for directions to where the infant Jesus was, as they had seen his star. She provided them shelter & the magi invited her to join them on the journey to find the babe, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, Befana had a change of heart & tried to search out the astrologers; she was not able to find them & is still searching. She leaves all the good children toys & candy/carmelle, while the bad children get coal/carbone &  garlic.


La Befana was an ordinary woman, with a child whom she very greatly loved who died, & her resulting grief maddened her. Upon hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to find him, delusional that he was her own dead son, returned to her.  She presented the infant Jesus with her child's toys, which she'd wrapped & carried on her back, & the babe was delighted, & gave Befana a gift in return: she would be the mother of every child in Italy.

& so on.

In any story, there is a Befana, who is always lost. 

There is a broomstick for sweeping & riding, a bundle carried on stooped back, & shoes to be filled with candy or coal.

There are little hats in the manner of the Romans, careful slices of treasure cake & a hidden king.

There is incense & coal in the stable, figs & hay on the altar— another sweeping epic & technicolor epiphanies, exposed. 

Jenn McCreary is the author of :ab ovo:, published by Dusie Press in the spring of 2009. She is also the author of two chapbooks: errata stigmata (Potes & Poets Press), & four o’clock pocket chiming (Beautiful Swimmer Press); the e-chapbook: Maps & Legends: (Scantily Clad Press) & a doctrine of signatures (Singing Horse Press).  She lives with her husband, the writer Chris McCreary, & their twin sons in Philadelphia, where she co-edits ixnay press with Chris, works for the Mural Arts Program, & serves on the board of the Philly Spells Writing Center.

December 5, 2010

December 5th: MC Hyland

Barely a skyline

there perhaps is a kind of loss within the hotel     but yes this is
a doorway into the river

the day rippling over brick where the ditch is a bright slash

so high in the hand tree     fronds block the coffins
faces rippling in sentient light

a few leaves left at the edge of reason     open
to a slow sunlight

sucking mouth berthed at the side so the way light moves
might be a set of tubes over all the white walls

a freakishly wincing predator    
tears at the breast     above the rain-filled street

man-up on a park bench     understand
that dress blinking in the sun    

MC Hyland’s first full-length book of poems, Neveragainland, is being released in January by Lowbrow Press. Her chapbooks include Every Night In Magic City (H_NGM_N, 2010), Residential, As In (Blue Hour Press, 2009) and (with Kate Lorenz and Friedrich Kerksieck) the hesitancies (Small Fires Press, 2006). She lives in Minneapolis, where she runs DoubleCross Press and the Pocket Lab Reading Series, and works as an administrator and occasional letterpress instructor at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.