She wears green eye shadow. Sea-green eye shadow from her lashes to her brows. A crocheted sweater that exactly matches the eye shadow. A patterned skirt that exactly matches the sweater and the eye shadow.
She’s super-coordinated. The coordination strikes me as intentional. She’s chosen her outfit for its effect, although her idea of its effect and mine are probably different. It’s a trap, an assertion of control.
She reminds me of my Italian cousins. Square brick houses on tight suburban streets with Madonnas-in-bathtubs on front lawns. She has a mouth like Cher, glossy and pink. I can’t stop staring at her. I’m fascinated.
I despise her. I wish I was in Newark. I can see the entrance to the train station, the dirty tan stone steps. Hunched men in shadows and the late night underground glare. I can walk right past them or stop. I know I’m going to stop.
Karen Schoemer is a poet, author and performer living in Columbia County, New York. She was the inaugural Virginia Scholar at Instarlodge in Germantown in the fall of 2016, and her poem “November Sun” won first prize in the 2015 Hudson Valley Writers Guild poetry contest. She is vocalist for the bands Sky Furrows, Jaded Azurites and the Schoemer Formation.
As a black boy, I flew
Back when most colored folk
could only afford the Greyhound bus.
During those hour-long flights
between LA and Oakland,
I couldn’t tell if I was somehow Rosa
or if my grandfather was unsuccessful
indoctrinating me into the 60’s
or if I was just a black boy
or if getting selected for additional screening
every flight was still prefaced by the term “random”
or if they had rather used hoses instead of wands
Still, somehow, each time I boarded,
the jetway seemed a partition in which
I could change in an out of my skin at will
or I was just a black boy
or I was just black
or I was just a boy
Daniel B. Summerhill is an internationally recognized poet and performance artist from Oakland, CA. Currently an M.F.A. candidate at Boston’s Pine Manor College, Daniel has performed in over 15 states as well as abroad in Europe. He has shared stages with poets Jasmine Mans, Abiodun Oyewole and others. He has published two collections of poems and has been asked to perform at Ted Talk, Def Jam Poetry with Danny Simmons as well as Afropunk London.
Wanderlust knit a modern beat,
often synchronous, the way we dress.
Eight years would know:
there are always women a long way
from the world, smaller, interpreting
the lens of American skinny jeans.
The feminine, breezing around, messy—
we may be our edge, closer to home,
full with style.
This is an erasure poem. Source material: “Global Style Now” by Christine Whitney. Harper’s Bazaar, September 2014, page 94.
Based in Austin, Texas, E. Kristin Anderson has been published widely in magazines. She’s also the author of eight chapbooks, including A Guide for the Practical Abductee, Fire in the Sky andPray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night. Kristin is Special Projects Manager for ELJ and a poetry editor at Found Poetry Review. Once upon a time she worked at The New Yorker.
We’ve named all of the animals
& we’ve put our fingers into the names
of each of them. We’ve dragged
their names up to our faces
& forced them to meet our made
up world. Sometimes we are given
kisses. Sometimes there is
a great warmth. We know they
are wild. We know there is danger.
We know if we allow the sweet wolf
into our veins it will become
the alpha inside our own bodies
& yet, what a pool to drown in.
The chemicals of each breed
brings a new threat.
There have been so many Ohioans
eaten from the inside out
that I’ve been forced
to re-think exactly what these drugs
are in our world. They are wolves.
We’ve been raised by them.
Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (8th House Publishing, 2016). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He currently lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and children.
Doe Parker grew up around San Francisco, CA. They’ve been published in the Bay Area Teen Writers Anthology and Habitat Lit Magazine. Doe put together their first chapbook when they were a senior in high school and now attends Columbia College Chicago with a major in poetry. Their work is fed a lot by their photography and their interest in the psychology of place memory. Doe was on the editorial board for issue #29 of Columbia Poetry Review and are staying on as an editor for issue #30 in the fall. Find their photos at parkerphotography.tumblr.com and more poetry at doeparker.tumblr.com.