Gabriel Lee, “The Dove Hunt”

Gabriel Lee’s work has previously appeared in Into the Void Magazine and is forthcoming from Riggwelter Press. He attends the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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The Dove Hunt

it is September and men
with painted faces come
to take the sacrament
of an immaculate morning

the sky looks solid as a sheet
of glass balanced on the pines
clouds condensing from God’s breath
when the first brace appears

the illusion is shattered—
replaced with the image of empty
space disintegrating into feathers
while the doves fall into dogs’ mouths

smoke still whispers in the gun barrels
when the dogs return exultant
the doves twitch their pockmarked
wings in a gesture of resignation

to the Assumption of birdshot
reaping of the naked air until the men
throw the birds over their work worn shoulders
and trudge downhill like setting suns

 


 

 

 

Missile Hymnal Amulet

Poems by G. F. Boyer

These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”

 

 

Brian McCloskey Leibold, “Loss Follows”

Brian McCloskey Leibold has worked as a construction laborer, a conservation corps member, a dishwasher, a Papa Johns delivery driver, a Panera Bread delivery driver, and a cashier. His poetry has been published in HeartWood Literary Magazine and Muddy River Poetry Review. He lives in Mount Jackson, Virginia.

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Loss Follows

Who knows how to go boldly from womb to tomb?
Who knows how to chow on, chow on, chow on
From month to month to month?

Go for cozy worn-down vows.
Long for worth from soft words.
Stop. Hop downtown

To clown off
Or drown on
Old Crow. Lo,

Loss
Follows.

No good to hold on, nod off, slog for gold
From morn to noon, howl for God
From noon to moon. Soon, too soon,

Loss
Follows.

Look, don’t worry, knock on wood
To block knocks on doors
From old knock-down doom.

No good, good world:
Food rots. Fog dogs
Most moods. Moss grows.

Loss
Follows.

 


 

 

 

Missile Hymnal Amulet

Poems by G. F. Boyer

These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”

 

 

Jan Bottiglieri, “[You’re talking about memories.]”

Jan Bottiglieri lives and writes in Schaumburg, Illinois. She earned her MFA in poetry from Pacific University and is a managing editor with the poetry annual RHINO. Her poems have appeared in journals including Rattle, Court Green, Sugar House Review, and Best Poetry of the Midwest. She is the author of two chapbooks and the full-length collection, Alloy, from Mayapple Press.

Editor’s note: The following poem is from Ms. Bottiglieri’s current manuscript, titled Everything Seems Significant, which is a chapter-by-chapter ekphrastic response to the Final Cut Blu-ray of Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film, Blade Runner.

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[You’re talking about memories.]

Memories—you’re talking about memories
I’d said. Then he spread hers out: memories.

Shot after shot, my black-banded bottles:
boneshape to blur to blackout memories.

My photographs, my artifacts. Collect
and re-collect: what place without memories?

Daydream of hoofbeat, pulsepound in white.
So much sound and light make me doubt memories.

Snake-scale shaped like a tear, a drop, a seed.
What could I plant that would sprout memories?

What was becomes what is. The little veils,
the listen, Pal. Fashions rout/e memories.

Do you love them? Do you trust them? What can
we ever rely on that won’t flout memories?

Asked my name, I blurt B263-54,
then blank. What’s that say about memories?

 


 

 

 

Missile Hymnal Amulet

Poems by G. F. Boyer

These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”

 

 

William Miller, “Shelley’s Boat Boy”

William Miller’s seventh full-length collection of poetry, The Crow Flew Between Us, is forthcoming from Aldrich Books in Spring 2019. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, and West Branch. He lives and writes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

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Shelley’s Boat Boy

Who remembers me?

I was hired by the day,
served the Englishman
with the funny voice,
skinny as a water bird.

Someone in the village
said he was a poet,
a bankrupt Lord
on the run with two women.

I only wanted a day’s work,
enough to buy fish and bread,
feed my mother and myself.

And what man sails into a storm,
a bad sea churning,
as if he wasn’t mortal,
food for sharks?

I told him once, twice,
three loud times, “Basta!”
But he refused, never reefed
the foresail.

That was all I recalled
until I heard the village priest
croak like an old frog,
ask me if I was sorry
for my sins,

What sins? I only knew
someone has to cut bait,
bail out the bilge water,
die for poems about death.

 


 

 

 

Missile Hymnal Amulet

Poems by G. F. Boyer

These are poems of survival—especially survival of religious indoctrination. At the same time, these poems celebrate a rich natural world: the physical and sensory world of plants, animals, and insects; the innocence and presence of nature; and even an animism that overpowers Christian fundamentalism and the increasingly revealed indifference of God. Through it all, time, aging, and dark humor provide a strong pulse, saying life will go on with or without us. The title’s missile, hymnal, and amulet represent the three sides of this conundrum, as rage, beauty, and love interweave in these crisp and incisive poems. “That’s how bayonets are made, you say. The wound is triangular and doesn’t heal easily.”