Sarah Birl (Morrison) (Philadelphia, USA): Five Poems


you touch the lighthouse darely
as it tether-tarps your memory-taffy.
to the side faux whalebones converse
and I want to scrimshaw my love
into the very marrow of you.
behind us, the sea does not grant me
this wish and so I photograph their alibis.
the keeper’s shop is locked but still I climb
inside kissing the splinters I have hidden
within my mouth.


I sip the hours. Burn my tongue
realizing that jewel in the tree is you,
a luminous bird breathing my away
in a shimmer and a haunt.

My distance from you is a wishing well.
My distance from you is a comet swift-dipping
conundrums from the constellations.

The stars detect mirrorly our island parts.
Our mirrors are the wings of our song
and the melody spelunks and trapezes
again and again.


It is the glass chariot’s murmur.
It is the grave careening silence.
It is the marauder-cauldron of my heart
screaming poise, swallowing fecundity.


closer perplexed we, closer.
we two furls.
clue-set betting the betless.

the room, the face that is again.

in all this talk, we sketch and fret
ribbons of dominos, spools of find

somewhere kites kythe despite
our curveless raveling.

closer perplexed we. closer.


A poem in my vein
burst and landed
inside the balloon
of your detour. It
splintered cringing
the sign.

© Sarah Birl 2008

David Prater (Netherlands/Australia): "A821.4"


that place where we all someday hope to die
or rot at least (our skins like autumn leaves

in solidarity with those whose fame exceeds
our own (no matter now this system lets us

obscure the vain & support the humbled the
catalogue that protects that gives each of us

some space in which to rest canonised alone
awaiting some three miracles a beatification

in that heavenly curriculum (of ars poetica,
each brailled punchcard returned by hand to

its vacuum-sealed drawer (the airs condition
interpret you (guard against that lonely dew

© David Prater 2008

Jason Zuzga (Philly, USA): Four Poems


Cross pixilated ditches, cross hazard roar.
Where you wing a ball against a brick
Wall and get someone else. The chalk
Sloughs to score coastal terrace, points
Run cross concrete, like water,
Like heel of blue paint. Lie
Seeding among reeds and beer glass thimbles.
Lost you field in waves of dissolve
Contra same. Be lick of flame
To log. Be licked by flame-warmed dog.
Here be calm store of holiday nuts.
Here be jarred soups with low salt.
Is warm. Is just so calamity.
Time bites words that spot time's purl.
Caught in back flip, arm to small back's stretch.
Swing in held still and faces
Of cartoon cats. Knife comma stick.
Shine in march pants, shot
Deer leaping through
Dusk's bruise of suffice.
Oh glide of blade.
Oh weeping ice.


We lug our lovelorn tubes
In sacks of blown glass,
taffied plastics, barges
Crimped by nailed-on tires.
Do we ask love once. If.
Again. To skin the seal in two.

A seal holds form to sea.
Hold smooth—held sealed—
Hold still—unfurl coyote tone and tack
It still so as to form a place
Beheld. Now look:
To the left there is aught to see.
And on the right there is nothing at all.

Do we ask the piper's ass if it do love
To lug for us. Do we love each ass in heat,
Each odd-toed ungulate and whelping seal,
The length of each rat's tail. Oh yes.
Ask love if we do press our pants together fast.
If we do sing true tones to plants.
If we do this here. And if we do this there.
And back. And then. If we
can then behold ourselves
Beheld. The dawn shears fear
To shaped form's tool.
Stent releasing dawn to day,
Placed just so in vein.
And yet. And then.
We wake on lawn and tween to peer.
To sky beheld. In green.


Dust in raindrops are atomic babies.
They build a city in my heart.
They harness the power of carbohydrate.
There is an electric biscuit in the rain.
There is an attic where he waits.
Chisel a heart, a city of power.
Fasten the hinges to the crystal dogs.
Hind legs chug chug churn.
There are babies on the train.
Attics glisten open to a pine dream.
Lenses reveal texture, pools of gathered babies.
There are attics birthing in the babies
Hind legs chug chug churn.


Gorgonians chipper in the tide
Weigh on your brain
I'll pull you through the scuba war
The green cloud of concern
The starfishes affixed to your face
And your screen and your mask bright orangepink
Saltine impatiens burp out birds
When you kick them
And the bird in your hand can twist into
A model of democracy, two wings with a funny face
That I could push into your skin like a stilled drill
[One time I found a dead bird with a maggot in its eye socket]
Okay but I won't. The buddy system intact,
I fasten magnets
To your oxygen kitchen
to allow your legs to wave their rubber fins
The water blinds with thick green life
Any huge self-propelled birds
Meters away and closing in
The lavish pencilfish roll by fast
If time gets plugged shut, if the future
When you kick it
meters away
begins to purr before it arrives
on the back of the starfish's
lost leg
million feet working
together with collaborative suction
buddy system appears
intact and growing
a brain-like thing

© Jason Zuzga 2008

Lars Palm (Sweden): Eight Poems

(the great somewhere-or-other novel)

fork, he said. then he explained how to use one. she left


a big burly man & a bigger burlier woman are leaning out of my third floor flat painting the outside window-frames talking about how people handle the somewhat organized chaos on the street below. another big burly man is on a mobile lift in the
inner yard

(confused it)
faces grow out of the walls. yes. this is a third-rate horror movie disguised as a panda. pandering to their dust. lusting for disgusting things in life. back to the wall. & the featureless face it grows. repeating give my remains to broadway so many times he forgets to mispronunce it. then growing features to sell to some national newspaper

(wake up screaming)
for some reason known only to themselves four teenage kids have gone to a cabin way out in the woods with the stated ambition to drink themselves stupid. one of them sees a man in a hockey-goalkeepers mask lurking behind the trees. he goes to tell the others & they are paralyzed with fear & do weird things for about an hour. then the man removes the mask. the kids are relieved to see he has no face

(witch trial & (t)error)

trees spawning dark matter don't matter much anymore. any more moorings to cast off? are we talking about a revolution? something about the number of them per minute. the hour stretches into seconds. served by deadpan cops along with the summons & the rubber bullets. shedding your mortal coil. coining another phrase for excavating any number of cavities. caving in through the door. before. & after climbing that tree

(small treatise on the habits of balls)
for Jonathan

bouncing. paris was closed cold dark & rainy. more annoying than romantic. another jumper writing notes on how to fly dogs out of the islands. entry blocked by elephants. their drivers say nobody here even heard of mutual aid. or wolves. rolling. the navy base is quiet. a little too quiet. let's riot. & possibly general health. or cathcart. if he ever got himself promoted. not with a bang. but with fangs bared. barred the door. flying over fences. fending off airplanes. he fancies himself the bane of all things winged. & rosie rings. a ring of roses. hoses pose as toasters. causing a small diplomatic brouhaha. all but forgotten three days later. when finally the ball is set rolling. bouncing all over the square. where had it been made of metal instead of leather. perish the thought. though the thought was tougher than that. just sat down on the ball & said diddly squat. hurting when squeezed or kicked. swear by your nearly extinct balls. calls back immediately. rosie says she rang a bell. bell calls from his resting place saying not to disturb him. he will get back to work when he feels like it. in the meantime do what you will with the roses. or go to paris in the spring. & spring that trap. now clap. one hand

(winning taipei)

a helping hand brings you closer to a secret goal. a joyful reunion awaits your arrival. a new friendship will help cast a spell of enchantment. a secret goal is in sight. hang in there. a visit with friends will prove an enjoyable occasion. accept the next proposition you hear. all the little things will add to a happy journey. an unexpected gift will add to your pleasure. another's expression of appreciation will delight you. be patient & the answer will be revealed. bouncy ball is the source of all goodness & light. concern for a friend's happiness will enhance your own. know yourself so that you might understand others. meet a new challenge with calm assurance. memorable moments will make your trip delightful. new experiences & new friends will enrich your life. stay calm, cool & collected, & all things will fall into place. strange new experiences will add to your joy of living. that fleeting thought is worth pursuing. the concern of others will make your trip a delight. through the eyes of love all things will take on a new meaning. travel with a light heart & happy expectations. unexpected offer deserves serious consideration. unseen forces are working in your favor. unusual offer will enhance your future. welcome the chance to learn about others. what you do with sincerity pays the greatest reward. whatever you do, make it fun. wherever you go, there you are. within you lies the power for good - use it. you will attend a party where strange customs prevail. you will relax in the lap of luxury. your trust in a friend will prove well-founded

(a king's alibi)
for Amy

a machine played back the story. mother phoned father to me. enchanted the little kettle dripped hints of home-ground coffee. a cornershop spirit. an old minstrel show. warm featherbed & hope chest. a glimpse into the black. cigar so historical. set upon the anteroom shelf the words keenly followed. a crew telling in-jokes to themselves. the tailor divining milk from its coat pocket. that was the day a battery box suspended quiet. history told as an eminent doctor above water. napkin-folded boats find purpose at sea

make a miraculous bluebird. make wine to toast the tender empty church echoing bats. cage the dog's bark. veer into stampbook etiquette of peace. photograph a functional razor where unarmed people approach the hovering trees. sing songs of memos on tender tendons. break from citizenry & become the land you've always meant. lip-sync history along with the world. brighten the woman on the curb. report before sundown

they live as if within a large city nestled in a valley. husband mows & wife vacuums. they stretched each other to influence. they were like moving in. she broke every crayon in the box. household acts boiled over the likelihood of work. your signature loving you stings paying a piper's penalty. bulletproof people who classify ketchup as a vegetable with or without faith. you cannot believe the wind last night. made of water & light an iceberg floats into you. a patchwork seamstress watches her flower garden. i eat the neighbor's mountain side. i steal lines only to ask if there was ever a question. i have lived on the rooftop in internal weather. sun on top. i'm also taking your small house. shocked that one day i fall asleep the crowd never acts on its own theme. giraffes feed on leaves from my upper branches. streets report back to me. like snakes we shed guns

another freedom learning only the lights of asylums. city-born flies bark & reach toward the rafters. mosquitoes & night moths fill government

a capsized girl holding court. neighbors on a fence rumble. ramblings of old men seated on stoops. they discovered color returned. he dons his work-worn cape. resists a person who has false teeth & makes a certain hour. he was a bee in summer & in the wake of your buzzing bridge. played a sleepy harmonica that pushed puddles to deeper lakes. a peony eats its neighboring cow. after dinner teak wood fell for cork. lightning drowns veined wooden frames. fat berries ripened brought back from dust fields. peasants dance stomping tile flowering with sin & perfection. bourbon-doused dusk. every twig snapped. vipers in the grass heard their sleekness between thin blades. wars rained upon the fields. wine-stains or silk vest. background cow smiles loudly. silver night spreading westward. toad on an old country road exit. creek babbles brook-like. disappearance messing with directions on the drive back. sleepy gravel road pours forth evening breeze

some of these poems were first published (sometimes in slightly different form) in revista encuentro virtual & on Amy King's blog

© Lars Palm 2008