Amber Burke, “End Times”

Amber Burke is a graduate of Yale and the Writing Seminars MFA program at Johns Hopkins University and teaches writing and yoga at the University of New Mexico in Taos. Her creative work, some of it Pushcart-nominated, has been published in magazines and literary journals including The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Superstition Review. She is also a regular contributor to Yoga International, which has published over one hundred of her articles and the ebook she co-authored, Yoga for Common Conditions.

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End Times

In those days, anyone with half an eye could see that we were living in the End Times. The apocalypse some of us had thought a vision of the inebriated or fanatic, thought metaphorical, or at the very least, down-the-road, was suddenly upon us, full-steam: bloody rivers, horsemen, the works. Blades of grass were sharp like swords, and swords were as common as blades of grass. Rulers were beastly. Locusts swarmed, of course. But look at us now, how comfortable we have made ourselves on the brimstone! How calming a landscape that is just gray and black and brown! How prettily the fires burn! How absolutely silent, quieter than anything, is the time between screams! Yes, we miss the birdsong and the green earth, the shade trees, the dirt out of which things grew, but most of us living never knew that world: the young ones have no trouble waking without the sun and have developed tastes for lizards, and what we tell them seems a vision of drunk men, of drugged men: a lunatic vision of farms.

David P. Miller, “A Bedroom Near the Tracks”

David P. Miller’s collection, Bend in the Stair, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books in 2021. Sprawled Asleep was published by Nixes Mate Books in 2019. Poems have recently appeared in Meat for Tea, subTerrain, Lily Poetry Review, and Nixes Mate Review, among others. He is a member of the Jamaica Pond Poets. His poem “Add One Father to Earth” was awarded an Honorable Mention by Robert Pinsky for the New England Poetry Club’s 2019 Samuel Washington Allen Prize competition.

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A Bedroom Near the Tracks

A golden shovel,* after W. H. Auden’s “Compline”

My hearing unearths the dawn trains. Nothing
sounds inside my sleep: subway-cleaved air is
the neighborhood’s reveille. My body turns with
that murmur, a hand shifts to the clock. All the me
comes together, once again. Lift the blanket now?
All the light I need for liveliness is here, but
my nerve’s still unprepared to rise for such a
stark unveiling. I want one more first sound.

*A golden shovel is a poetic form in which the last word of each line forms a second, preexisting poem (or section thereof), to which the poet is paying homage.

Nolan Lee, “Fishing in a Concave Mirror”

Nolan Lee is a Korean-American poet from New Jersey. He enjoys the work of Cathy Park Hong, Anne Carson, and Federico Garcia Lorca. His work is to be published in indicia and Élan.

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Fishing in a Concave Mirror

I am no less than a rainbow cuttlefish, awake in a year of peach trees.
He fishes in the fountain’s waters, sleepy enough to reel a pink one.
One should throw the sweet thing back, alone as both are in the courtyard.
It is snowing a white ash, gone as what it coats with where, when,

gone from the water’s conflagration, a sailor (shut-eyed) calls it St. Elmo’s fire.
Alone in old wishes and new symbols, a poet notes the fundamental elements.
Sleepy as drowning’s end, Nick says we should take care of ourselves.
Awake in a year of peach trees, I have still missed the farmer’s market.

Jared Carter, “Willows”

Jared Carter’s most recent book of poems, The Land Itself, is from Monongahela Books in Morgantown, West Virginia. He lives in Indiana.

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A whispering that would not cease
       rose up among
The leaves, as though to seek release
       from ancient wrongs

That had continued, all this time,
I am but mortal, not divine,
       I said, those deeds

Were never mine. And you assume
       that suffering
Can have an end? The leaves resumed
       their whispering.