Friday, June 3, 2011

The Morning Reading: "The hands fell off my watch in the night"

Time Problem
by Brenda Hillman

The problem
of time. Of there not being
enough of it.

My girl came to the study
and said Help me;
I told her I had a time problem
which meant:
I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes.
Numbers hung in the math book
like motel coathangers. The Lean
Cuisine was burning
like an ancient city: black at the edges,
bubbly earth tones in the center.
The latest thing they’re saying is lack
of time might be
a “woman’s problem.” She sat there
with her math book sobbing—
(turned out to be prime factoring: whole numbers
dangle in little nooses)
Hawking says if you back up far enough
it’s not even
an issue, time falls away into
'the curve' which is finite,
boundaryless. Appointment book,
soprano telephone—
(beep End beep went the microwave)

The hands fell off my watch in the night.
I spoke to the spirit
who took them, told her: Time is the funniest thing
they invented. Had wakened from a big
dream of love in a boat
No time to get the watch fixed so the blank face
lived for months in my dresser,
no arrows
for hands, just quartz intentions, just the pinocchio
nose (before the lie)
left in the center; the watch
didn’t have twenty minutes; neither did I.
My girl was doing
her gym clothes by herself; (red leaked
toward black, then into the white
insignia) I was grading papers,
heard her call from the laundry room:
Hawking says there are two
types of it,
real and imaginary (imaginary time must be
like decaf), says it’s meaningless
to decide which is which
but I say: there was tomorrow-
when I started thinking about it; now
there’s less than a day. More
done. That’s
the thing that keeps being said. I thought
I could get more done as in:
fish stew from a book. As in: Versateller
archon, then push-push-push
the tired-tired around the track like a planet.
Legs, remember him?
Our love—when we stagger—lies down inside us. . .
Hawking says
there are little folds in time
(actually he calls them wormholes)
but I say:
there’s a universe beyond
where they’re hammering the brass cut-outs .. .
Push us out in the boat and leave time here—

(because: where in the plan was it written,
You’ll be too busy to close parentheses,
the snapdragon’s bunchy mouth needs water,
even the caterpillar will hurry past you?
Pulled the travel alarm
to my face: the black
behind the phosphorous argument kept the dark
from being ruined. Opened
the art book
—saw the languorous wrists of the lady
in Tissot’s “Summer Evening.” Relaxed. Turning
gently. The glove
(just slightly—but still:)
opened Hawking, he says, time gets smoothed
into a fourth dimension
but I say
space thought it up, as in: Let’s make
a baby space, and then
it missed. Were seconds born early, and why
didn’t things unhappen also, such as
the tree became Daphne. . .

At the beginning of harvest, we felt
the seven directions.
Time did not visit us. We slept
till noon.
With one voice I called him, with one voice
I let him sleep, remembering
summer years ago,
I had come to visit him in the house of last straws
and when he returned
above the garden of pears, he said
our weeping caused the dew. . .

I have borrowed the little boat
and I say to him Come into the little boat,
you were happy there;

the evening reverses itself, we’ll push out
onto the pond,
or onto the reflection of the pond,
whichever one is eternal


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Submit! Entasis

via New Pages:

Entasis is a new, online literary quarterly based out of Irvine, California. Editors Robert Anasi and Greg McClure accept poetry, with fiction, literary non-fiction, and art at their discretion.

"Badlands" is the theme of the forthcoming issue. Anasi writes, "We weren’t thinking about the Civil War when we picked ‘Badlands’ as the theme for this issue but division and darkness were on our minds. In America today, we see a country that seems increasingly at odds with itself and a media that resounds with rage, mendacity and shrill desperation. The artists and writers for this issue all explore these growing divisions, separations, cruelties."

Entasis contributors include: Michael Barach, Nicelle Davis, Susan Davis, Brandi George, Evan Peterson, Justin Rigamonti, Elizabeth Wyatt, Cynthia Mitchell, Steve Geng, Sara Jimenez, Daniel Kukla, Joe Heaps Nelson, Andrew Lichtenstein, Angela Koh, Beth Raymer, Leah Kaminski, Lena Firestone, Mike Dubisch, Nathan Bishop, Rachel Hinton, Rosemary McGuire, and Travis Lindquist.

Entasis is open for submissions, accepts simultaneous submissions with an approximate one-month response time. The deadline for Fall 2011 is August 10.

For more info, visit their website and scroll around. To a direct link to submission info, click here.

To check out their blog, click here.


Monday, May 30, 2011

The Morning Reading: Memorial Day

Memorial Day
By Gregory Orr

After our march from the Hudson to the top
of Cemetery Hill, we Boy Scouts proudly endured
the sermons and hot sun while Girl Scouts
lolled among graves in the maple shade.
When members of the veterans’ honor guard
aimed their bone-white rifles skyward and fired,
I glimpsed beneath one metal helmet
the salmon-pink flesh of Mr. Webber’s nose,
restored after shrapnel tore it.

Friends who sat near me in school died in Asia,
now lie here under new stones that small flags flap
It’s fifth-grade recess: war stories.
Mr. Webber stands before us and plucks
his glass eye from its socket, holds it high
between finger and thumb. The girls giggle
and scream; the awed boys gape. The fancy pocket watch
he looted from a shop in Germany
ticks on its chain.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Morning Reading: "who knows what the earth's in the mood to eat"

The semantics of flowers on Memorial Day
by Bob Hicok

Historians will tell you my uncle
wouldn't have called it World War II
or the Great War plus One or Tombstone

over My Head
. All of this language
came later. He and his buddies
knew it as get my ass outta here

or fucking trench foot and of course
sex please now. Petunias are an apology
for ignorance, my confidence

that saying high-density bombing
or chunks of brain in cold coffee
even suggests the athleticism

of his flinch or how casually
he picked the pieces out.
Geraniums symbolize secrets

life kept from him, the wonder of
variable-speed drill and how
the sky would have changed had he lived

to shout it’s a girl. My hands
enter dirt easily, a premonition.
I sit back on my uncle’s stomach

exactly like I never did, he was
a picture to me, was my father
looking across a field at wheat

laying down to wind. For a while,
Tyrants’ War and War of World Freedom
and Anti-Nazi War skirmished

for linguistic domination. If
my uncle called it anything
but too many holes in too many bodies

no flower can say. I plant marigolds
because they came cheap and who knows
what the earth’s in the mood to eat.

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