Tag Archives: M.K. Foster

Volume 18, Issue 1 is Now Online

CPR Volume 18, Issue 1Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 1, is now online. Enjoy new poems by Maria Sanz (translated by Lola Hidalgo-Calle and Mark Putnam), Tim Cresswell, M.K. Foster, Colin Schmidt, Yehoshua November, LeRoy Sorensen, Yuko Taniguchi, Ben Debus, Mary Moore, Elijah Burrell, Charles Harper Webb, Amorak Huey, Allison Joseph, Cassandra Cleghorn, Jennifer Highland, Danielle Mitchell, Michael Hurley, Judy Kronenefeld, Amanda Doster, Laurie Klein, Daryl Jones, T.J. Sandella, Janet Hagelgans, Doug Ramspeck, Jennifer Bullis, Tina Richardson, Lynn Schmeidler. With reviews of Ada Limon and Kristina Marie Darling by Dave Seter and Donna Vorreyer.

Fugue from the Burning Piano
by M.K. Foster

At some point during his concert, Yosuke Yamashita’s sonata
fails, flames licking the lid, warping the wood, the stringsmelting
everywhere, here’s a fact for you: a song played on a burning piano

can never be replicated, not even by its own voice, its body cracking
under all that heat and pressure, wailing a single concerto of black smoke into the sky, releasing sparks like starlings, all while he plays on

and down, his hands striking the keys until they are numb and blind with ash— listen, I kept your tongue in my mouth long enough to learn it was a hammer and held it there long enough to know that all music

starts in the skull, not an instrument’s chest, kept it there, a reminder
that the muscle bending mine was the same that spoke into my neck
nothing is complete without a few holes in it; which is to say a man’s mouth

is, if it is nothing else, a wound trying to close another and itself and failing, that’s all: bodies are always happening to us, and they’re all
that happens. Even when Yamashita walks away, the music goes on

without him—wood and metal breathing together and each other
and loud. And someone starts clapping: it’s not over, but someone
is trying to applaud what has passed or to join in as a mallet.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 1.

M.K. FosterM.K. Foster’s poetry won the 2013 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize and has been recognized with an Academy of American Poets Prize. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and currently pursues a Ph.D.

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Visit M.K. Foster’s contributors page.

Orpheus, Ascending
by M.K. Foster

out of the underworld, doesn’t yet know it’s only ever been in his nature
to, looking back, lose everything: maybe what we know of love is not
unlike what we know of death. Even now, years after, my grandmother
still wears her dead husband’s clothes around their house, drapes herself

in faded golf shirts twice her size to garden or sleep. She says they still smell
like him,
tells me about the handgun she keeps under the pillow on once-his
side of their bed, —things I think about when you take my hand and help me
into your bathtub to smoke cigarettes through the cinderblock window hole

in the wall. We breathe out standing in a wintered dark blacker than burned
animal skin, flick our ashes like dead stars into the standing water of the sink,
and I won’t say what I’m thinking there, won’t tell you this is how I want you
when I’m with you,
but maybe later. And if later, then only this: Listen to me,

from here, there is no way back for either of us—turning away will always feel the way
burning sounds.
No,—not even that. This: I love you the way suicide loves porcelain.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

M.K. FosterM.K. Foster’s poetry won the 2013 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize and has been recognized with an Academy of American Poets Prize. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and currently pursues a Ph.D.

See all items about M.K. Foster

Visit M.K. Foster’s contributors page.