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I Am That –,
by Ezra Dan Feldman

Now wings,
now water

beneath me come
drunken things

and clear skies
I follow

now iron
now steam

beneath a stream
tracks run

you trail
a girder’s sorrow

now birdsong now ecstasy’s
o

beneath us
go our bright hands

our hungry breaths
our marrow

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Ezra Dan Feldman Ezra Dan Feldman grew up in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from Harvard in 2002, and received his M.F.A. from Cornell in 2007. His first book manuscript, The Body as One, was a finalist for the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Awards and the 2011 NFSPS Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition, and a semi-finalist for the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.

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Scraps,
by Michelle Matthees

A picnic table in the rain stained with brandy
fumes in clear evanescence. Dent it with a fingernail.

A last name that when uttered, back in town
is met with an awkward silence, a silence that’s a semi

full of empty shoeboxes. At night inside
the poor farm one can smell green beans.

Will they let him keep his powder-blue suit?
It disappears into the rending house of something useful,

for sky down on earth does nothing for the shovel.
An older woman at the historical society brings me

one photograph, 1950. She says, “I think they are beautiful,”
tapping the team of plow horses, but not the man

who drives them. Tractors can be heard in the photo
jamming up the horizon, and I won’t stick myself here.

I’ll even remove myself from the unframed picture of watching,
the doorway where I was born, the copulation back

in the old country beside the narrow-gauge trains
forcing their way across the forests and back to the sea,

past the white house with high ceilings, a careful garden
with bugs that threaten to eat the taut fruit through.

If I’m not told what to put
in those empty shoeboxes, I will make it up

to match these faces’ pallor. Call it a rest home,
father. Success and failure thrown past us

through the cattle car door to the dogs.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Michelle MattheesMichelle Matthees’s poems can be found in Pank, The Prose Poem Project, The Bellingham Review, Bloomsbury Review, Prove, and elsewhere. She is a current recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and has received awards in the past from Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, The Jerome Foundation, AWP, and other arts organizations. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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Daemon,
by Sandra Kohler

The August lilies flower, the butterfly bushes,
the rain-bowed tree hydrangea. The garden’s
my challenge this morning. To see life steadily
and see it whole – who could say that today?
Whose life? A man’s life, a woman’s, an Iraqi’s,
American’s, Italian’s, Somali’s? See with what
lens? In my dream’s, we’ve just moved, I’m
showing the rooms to a man delivering our old
rugs. We are transplanted to a life that’s new and
familiar, old pattern in a changed setting, laden
with baggage, belongings. The dream’s action is
constant as our breathing, sleeping and waking.
The morning’s murky, dark. Autumn in summer.
We are between storms – rain last night, rain
predicted. The porch is quiet, no hummingbirds,
finch. Insect buzz. When I open the door, start
out, coffee in hand, a great blue heron’s flying
through the garden, heading north in the mist.
I’m startled, stunned. A daemon at my threshold,
appearing as I come out to practice my craft.
Anointed, blessed, I could sit here and write
till the cows come home. What cows?

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Sandra Kohler’s collection of poems, Improbable Music, appeared in May, 2011 from Word Press. The Ceremonies of Longing, winner of the 2002 AWP Award Series in Poetry, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in November, 2003. An earlier volume, The Country of Women, was published in 1995 by Calyx Books.

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