Sunday, September 13, 2020

Four Poems, by Geoffrey Olsen


             would I consult the dark
            in the form of …

              off the tips of my fingers

      in the soil excavating …

                        the cavern, cavity

      phoneme tongue / fertilizer sunsets

   profuse down tone sounding out

                 moldy wall crumbled, soiling
          I’m    come out into
    waves where anger focused

          enveloping in finance

                       our faces commune in

                     dark other silent rooms

  plot on screen

        dream splits open

    a bourgeois flesh

         at the edge of bleeding

            stitched close


    anxiety threads first
the blue dark

            my room enveloped

    blue depth.

the second part
  is immiseration

the third part
   is recognizing the

enemies of all beings

                     and the wish to see
     in the blue light imbued
  a collective moon

  a little glint


   slept interior

    lonely blue-green

   the trace leaves me

      concrete world

 watch of hands


     its distance and


       not coercion

   in the purple field

trusting in others

   my bleak garment

wrapped words that tune

    this ocean

       a layer

         of warm


  have selves submerge in blue

 plangent rising form as song

      where starts

  temper torpor, my translucent

failure, concrete attention

     in the eve of waves

   know a form despair

  know what it is to chase

     up slender stair


material wealth shadow

     sound in attention to

    thin half-light, ears plugged

   an ocean

    black-purple inscription

   allege spring night trails

 behind me river

            streams intent

          anti human stockpile

            think themselves survival

                  fond for themselves

              a leaving for an eye

    a leaf a boll

                     substance me, tongue

                               pool of my hearing

                        plugged into
                      twilight’s off-

Geoffrey Olsen is a poet and cat guardian living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of the chapbooks End Notebook and Not of Distends : Address Panicked. Recent poems are published in Prelude Mag, Entropy and Vestiges. He has chapbooks forthcoming from These Signals and above/ground press.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Competing Ideologies, by T.W. Selvey

Competing Ideologies 1



Competing Ideologies 2



Competing Ideologies 3



Competing Ideologies 4



Competing Ideologies 5



Recently, T.W. Selvey’s work has appeared in The Shore, The Wild Literary Journal, Feral, and petrichor. T.W. tweets sporadically @docu_dement, and is the proud curator of a haphazardly curated blog,

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Two Poems, by Luke Bradford



Ireland fogs.
Foreign lads
signaled for
fire and logs.

Fog in alders,
a fiord’s glen.
A golden firs
ring of dales.
soaring, fled
a finer golds
island forge:

rain-elf gods,
refolding as
gears infold.




bugs that buzz; tiny, 

busy nuns that hide 

that Lady deep amid 

some waxy maze; that

wing over your park, 

your farm, your plot, 

your lawn; that call 

upon each iris, lily,

posy, vine, plum tree, 

palm tree, pear tree, 

lime; that draw from 

each that rosy wine;

that come home, legs 

dyed with pale gold 

dust, then buzz, dozy, 

into some cozy room





Luke Bradford is an experimental poet living in Brooklyn, New York. His latest collection of constrained poetry, Glossology, is available for purchase as a book or for free download as a PDF at His work has been published in print and online by Penteract Press, Timglaset, ToCall magazine, No Press, and more.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

WOLVERINE SEASON, by Kasia van Schaik


This dream of       freestanding pine
and wolverine tracks       a field

in white spring       by cabinlight  
this opening      through which you

mark your hunger         
          a skirt of dogs 

following      indecipherable human

my smell is       tenderness to them  
my name an opening      

follow             the river now
crossable by boat     the river    
where I first learned the word boat  

it was here I saw      the sun
complaining in a glass 

where I watched     you train your dogs     
to urinate in circles     


follow     the too-slow river    boatless now and deep     the river



wet-footed through the shivering   
nightfield       who controls the path 

two masts and a question       cracking
my teeth         who’s there   


I saw the sky for a moment / How
unbeautiful    the too-slow river
how indecipherable its bank     your face
lights up           like the red weather

of another planet    this question
hurts me    


yes I knew then      for death
always waits beside a river    this one

has no name     except in spring  
the blind swimmer reaches the bank
flips over on her back             

this one knocking
on your window hello         
posing an earnest question      can you

hear me   
Somewhere out there is the wilderness    
alone beside the river    it’s wolverine season   

the red planet in orbit  
we know

Kasia van Schaik is a South African-born writer and critic based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. She is the author of the chapbook, Sea Burial Laws According to Country, and her writing and criticism have appeared in Electric Literature, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Jacket2, The Best Canadian Poetry Anthology (2015), CBC Books, and elsewhere. In 2020, Kasia received the Mona Adilman Prize for poetry related to environmental concerns. Find Kasia on twitter at @KasiaJuno

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Four Poems, by Julian Day

Ghazal for End of Winter

Aphantasia: when you close your eyes
what do you see?

You’ve made a hash of this.  The good news
is some things can’t be repaired, only remade.

The cupboard is bare.  An empty sugar bowl,
three lonely bags of tea.

Tomorrow March 5th.  Next month
the blackbirds return.

Neither curved nor flat, the universe
becomes a long, silver thread.

We each find our way, knowingly
or not.

I do by leaving. In the door
then out.

IM On Your Last Day

Where were they, then, those endless nights, the lost years
we promised ourselves? So much empty talk, unspent
electricity. We would have been the only light
on the highway, built bonfires from the sparks that passed
between us. Oh, we could have been, we should have been
so much more.


having tried and failed
to hold back the sun
their efforts turn
to white magic

From Bio/luminescence

what will be the karyotype of this age?
blue as in phosphorescence, not ink.
tyranny, control: two crooked lines.


doom-scrolling twitter,
my wife asleep beside me:
o sacred bonding.


you could lose yourself in this
glow. dim avatars, most honest
selves. do you feel it too? say


seventeen and I fell for a girl
whose details feel like dreaming
so many years and oh her still-sweet name


becoming breakers
on the open sea. incandescent.


is anyone out there searching
for me? I exist between,
expressed as ghosting, burn-in,


who will archive any of this
when the world ends? briefly sweet, our lives go
to flower: rooted in marshwater, a field of bakeapple.

Julian Day lives in Winnipeg. His work has recently appeared in Cypress and Train, and his debut chapbook will be published by Anstruther Press in early 2021.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Two Poems, by rob mclennan

Five poems for The Pi Review


Hypothetical: the distance
a poem may travel. Margins spill, a flock

of miniature birds
or ants.

One speaks to the long journey
and the short flight, the position

of the sacred. How far
and at what pace.

To include everyone, one must leave behind
this entire world.


One speaks of positives, options; a way
back home. A pandemic

of misspelled options.

Picture the lily. Filament, labyrinth, treacle. Vines
parry, jostle, pick apart

the bonds. A brick wall, groans
against the pleasure

of a single seed.


I can tell you


When we say forever, we do not mean
without end. We have been here,

but at one point, we
were somewhere else. The limitations

of a single myth. I am airplane,

starling, patterned
clipper. The sedentary rudiments

of layered rubble.


Picture the house. These hands
are spilling. Rise up, gather. A concordance

of flowers, stone, abandoned clothes, his
errant speculations. I am not

your noun, your verb, your
action word. It is

impossible to write. My father’s texts

have reached their end.

Four poems for Spacecraftprojects


In the beginning was the imagination, the classic enemy
of boredom. A lavish absence

of artificial light.

Can I see stars? Do I know English? Stories, away
from the semantic charge.

A revelation, visually
in place, in space. A fixed act, sequence

of discarded scraps.

Imagine: once we looked up, without
the thought of force.


To determine we are horizontal
in the language. Perceiving only dots

across horizon-line. They say to realize
is to unearth. Is ours a measure

to reach beyond

for improvement or ruin? Warm hands, pulling hot
and cold dead planets

down to where we drown.

If this a means. A means
of access.


Shadow shapes itself, provides
a deeper shadow. If one aligns, perhaps,

a different order: Saturn, Mercury, Ganymede. Fly me
to the moon. Firmly focused

on infinity. Mark the first word, and the first
in space. These foreign bodies, exile. Formed

by rhythm, language. Changed,

for the viewing.  No matter what we do,
obsessions rise, and coat

the surface of this inquiry.


To shift a little distance. The children flutter,
decorate their bedroom door with scraps of paper,

carving stars and planets, birthday hearts,

writing out their names. All I want to do

is work.

Born in Ottawa, Canada’s glorious capital city, rob mclennan currently lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. The author of more than thirty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, he won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012 and 2017. In March, 2016, he was inducted into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour. His most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), with a further poetry title, the book of smaller, forthcoming from University of Calgary Press. An editor and publisher, he runs above/ground press, periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics and Touch the Donkey. He is editor of my (small press) writing day, and an editor/managing editor of many gendered mothers. He spent the 2007-8 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta.

Four Poems, by Geoffrey Olsen

3.19              would I consult the dark                         in the form of …               off the tips of my finge...