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vaistarsartworkapril2009012boatsatdusk.jpg
"The Final Dream," watercolor by Viestarts Aistars

Matthew Hittinger

 

 

Dog Barking at Moon

 

November light breaks apart the architecture

as we walk down the parkway away from museum

banners that spell out the letters V-A-N-G-O-G-H.

 

You fall quiet your voice replaced by the wind

as it scratches along the pavement the cracked

consonants of leaves howled vowels in our hair.

 

I have something to tell you. The words sink stomach

to bowel as you start the story you have only told

till now in pieces : crickets : a car : the heavy lid.

 

We enter Logan Square. Mist settles on the naked

fountain gods’ green muscles on your stubbled face

as your story takes form like a painting by Miró :

 

the cliff : a sloped curve separating the brown field

from black void; a strong contour for the yellow line

white line; vibrant red for the blood in your sandal.

 

Was a moon out that night? Was a dog barking?

And if so what did it look like? A jumble of color

as you slipped to the precinct? Beyond the canvas

 

edge. How to paint those things? Fleshy purple

furrows cross your knee. Where the wind slashed

your words I trace by finger I brush by tongue.

 

 

š 

 

 

Rowers

 

Light frames the boat house

scrapes the oar’s long line a gold

 

       slope a gold edge two

 

men pull as one snug form hull

oar double slice the water.

 

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Matthew Hittinger is the author of Pear Slip, winner of the Spire Press 2006 Chapbook Award, Narcissus Resists (GOSS183/MiPOesias, 2009) and Platos de Sal (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009). Shortlisted for the National Poetry Series, the New Issues Poetry Prize, and twice for the Walt Whitman Award, Matthew’s honors include a Hopwood Award and The Helen S. and John Wagner Prize from the University of Michigan, the Kay Deeter Award from the journal Fine Madness, and three Pushcart nominations. His work has appeared in many journals and the anthology Best New Poets 2005. Matthew lives and works in New York City.

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Aditi Machado

 

 

Dear Ravi

 

I found your shawl beneath the harsingar tree.

Made me think of you in winter, talking

of the seasons as if they were handcrafted

for you by an old friend:

 

“Spring is shorter than my thumb.

I can hold it up to the sky to hide

a cloud, a bird, a fist of figs —

and it’s summer already.”

 

I wonder where the harsingar went with its head

of white flowers. It had grown out of a lamp-post

and our imagination, but now

 

only the lawn remains, sprawling

out of tin cans, pavement crevices,

even in my roadside shack.

 

Sometimes I’m lucky and coins dance

into my bowl — dahlias in the wind.

 

 

š

 

My husband

 

 

Monitor light drums against his leather

face. He glows as a god.

 

I watch from the garden. It is the day

for practising kathak. My hands move

like the blooming petals of a lotus.

 

He is blind with music

from the lute-shaped speaker.

He has a new devotee.

 

In the shade of the mango tree, roots

claw me in an embrace tight as death.

The garden balls up into a leech.

 

It is all his now: the house,

where even spider webs glint the colour of wire.

 

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Aditi Machado’s poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Eclectica, New Quest, A cappella Zoo and Soundzine. She won the TFA award for Creative Writing 2009, which is given to Indian writers under the age of 30, and also edits for Mimesis. She lives in Bangalore, India and blogs at Blotting paper.

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Marit Ericson

 

 

Poem-sized elegy for perception

 

I could be lying

 

on a blanket curved

over a field,

 

listening through a wall

of dark:  forest, soon…

 

For now I barely tether

to the sense of a coat:

 

       (shell of powder blue)

  (ink stain on the secret pocket)

 

because I also

feel this blanket: lavender

 

and a line of uncaptioned trees: swish, wish

 

as I slowly return

to the dark… 

 

so the afterglow of trees:   all there is,

 

so the cool wind through the branches:   all there is,

 

so the alone-looking moon:   bleached peach,

 

 above a blanket,

 and its field,

 by a dark window of forest,

 

 where my body stood once:

 

 

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Marit Ericson grew up in New Hampshire and West Virginia and earned her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, where she was awarded the Virginia Butts Sturm Creative Writing Scholarship.  She lives and writes in New Jersey.

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