Jeff Crouch & Nicolette Westfall


angry march
say it, peace
give it to me

from you?


bring it here
let it go
white knuckled
to the floor

gasping in
out crawl

angry patrol
say it, peace
give it to me!

peace, crawl!


jagged nail
sandal strap
unheard of
feet keep
keep keep


lump atop the ancient
moans a lump for not

neither concrete
nor cement
her milk is heavy

but milk spills
drip, drop
like a fleshy faucet

the soft


the soft

forms form
a lump a lump
a lump

lumps cool and fresh and hot

the doe the buck the bread
a lump filled lymph
streaming lump of snot

for landfill lumps
and glands and
lumps clogged up

indentured lumps
and a dirty water colored lump
and lumps
by the serving cup

while the cleaner lump and detergent lump
release and sink
with the tug of a heavy lump
and a slurp

forefather as much an ancient lump
in with lumped together lump

take or steal or take the hump

while there are
lumps like earth
and tits go limp
when sucked lumps
sugar and skinny milk

Richard Parks

"Poem for a tiny felt cap"

If a swift nibbling
my element would deride
and larks take flight
in cartoon colors
light night light tights.

We say goodbye
but we do not mean it
we freight our shit
our thoughts upon a trestle
way the fuck up in the sky, atop a cloud
and we just let gravity push us down
gravity's pinned minions
ain't that sweet
—shut up
—I was only asking if—
and ellide a larconaire, a female jacket
we both ride.

"No trees"

No trees

only makeup

and trashbags


inches and inches

an awful fragment


a tower rising from the sand

sinewy and bent

upon which

monks might genuflect

or cozy cities

be laid down—

a pastry on a pastry pad

A pastry on a pastry pad

a pastry on a post-it pad

a penis on a pantry post
a pen cap on you, mom and dad.

"Edwardian untethering, now"

To mull about, and mulberry—

like the tree we had when we were young.

To Martin Mull and mulled wine
to Andy Trammell (did I dream him up, baseball fans?).

Easing off my slip (I am a woman) I slow up and prepare to get drunk


like the tree we had when we were young.

If I were a tree
with branches unconvincing and long

I would chop myself down

with some swag-like butterknife from Disneyland

and mulch myself

a million times over.
Mulch, mulch,

and mulch

Does this poem make me sad?

Would it, if it were printed on my mulchy stomach

and me, if I were splayed out on your soiled dormroom desk?

"A new international poem"

If I wrote this poem on a lil slip of paper
and managed t gitit
t slip it
t sneak it in
t your pocket, ma'am
would you trundle it down to Mexico?
would it still sound the same in ole Mexico?

My lil poem
because of all that travel
so much sandwich meat
between ass/jeans and transit seat.

Would Chiapas make my poem strange to me
or would it remain
—would I be the same?

I could still sneak in there
my persona
my fat face
a lil ass curtain-obsessed youngster
writing poems on the back of liquor store receipts
about ass curtains?

Hey: what's the Spanish for "ass curtain"?
—Perhaps, is there some dude down there thinking
the same thoughts as I?

j.a. tyler

Inconceivable Wilson

We teach because we want people to know, to follow us, to be a mirror, stumbling blindly in our wake. We trail. We want fingers of people following us, lingering in our shreds, attempting discovery in our footprints, our bones. They pulverize bones and drink them in warm water, the solution of trees cut and carved out, the insides. I am inside. It is a collection of scenarios, these environments, the places they exist, these people I have found who were, until I mentioned them in my whispers, in my sleep, without. And here, under palms and in desert, where the trees change from Serengeti to pine forest, these people wash my outsides with their blackness. I remain moon-white. The last plane was a bi-plane or something wooden, the wheels not wheels at all but floats that somehow touched earth with a wind. I became a spot on a speck of light that was diminishing circles. Everything circling. I was nauseous and dizzy, forthright in my fear, dipping into my own panic. I blacked out and was resuscitated by careless pilot lips that kissed before blowing back out. I was arrived. Planes boats and the way in. The last set, the final line before I broke, made the center, them, they in their last line locked arms, elbows as shields, knees as spears, guarding me out, boxing. They were not protecting the inside, they were protecting me. I did not listen. I never listen. I wanted the center. I made the center. I am the center.

John Yohe

The special ring decoders of our youth

When we were old enough to know
that things did not make sense
but young enough to think
that there was something
that could make sense of them
something that came from outside of us
but was from us
invented by us
we were old enough to know our parents weren’t the ones
to know
but young enough
to think someone
we had
the special ring decoders of our youth
available in five different colors
and pink
for only three cereal boxtops
and two dollars
when they arrived in the mail
they soon broke
or were lost
and mostly
along with our two dollars
they were small
didn’t fit very well
made of plastic
and when we held them to pieces of paper
or our parents
or the window
the same messages appeared:

Oh I don’t know

Can’t we
and why not
go snorkeling at Cabo San Lucas
and find drug money

that smugglers had to ditch
and take it
and have them chase us north
at high speed

over the Mexicali border
and into the Mojave desert
where we could make love
in spanish

at night
in one sleeping bag
while coyotes howl?

It’s five dollars
for another dance
—she said—
or twenty-five
for three songs
in private

(for Robert Creeley)

Ileanna Portillo

Lemon and Salt

I’d be reading a book
and she’d walk up to me,
my grandma,
and silently place a bowl of
carrots with lemon and salt
next to me.

I’m looking for you now,
the way I would feel for the bowl
of carrots without taking my eyes
off the page.
But you are nowhere in this
city of dry heat and fast food.
Not in my house that gets hot
by midmorning and chokes me with stale air.
You are not in the sunflowers that
died while I was away because
I wasn’t here to water them.

You become a face printed on paper.
It’s difficult to conjure your hands,
how they wrapped roses in paper for me.

Sometimes a breeze will blow in and
it seems to carry your unguarded laugh.
I’m not as sure of myself as I was when
I knew the bowl of carrots would be there.