“Swifts” by John Brehm
Early fall, the light thin and brittle, and if
it’s true that deprivation is a gift,
I accept the gift. . . .
“John Cage and the Anechoic Chamber” by Jay Leeming
Arranger of absences, gray-haired composer
of blank, Zen-minded man
who’d given accident a voice . . .
“Elegy for My Queer Drake” by Mark Smith
Such a murder mystery this morning,
I have barely touched my eggs.
My fattest drake is missing.
“Lyrebird” by Bruce Beasley
The lyrebird’s on his tumulus again, scratching
out his song
made all of mimic-music, the strung-
together mating chirrs
of butcherbird and honeyeater.
“Villanelle” by Billy Collins
Examples of the type are written every day,
and whether uplifting or drear,
that first line just won’t go away.
“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” by Roberta P. Feins
In the Avignon studio, the painter spreads
rabbit-skin glue across the surface
of rough linen to prepare his canvas . . .
“What Our Mothers Know as Love” by Sarah Kain Gutowski
The sow watches the farmer apply grease to her son,
a young boar with a wound long and thin where he rubbed himself
clean of bristles and skin. This itch belongs to more than just disease
and parasites. She recognizes the anxiety foaming on his chin . . .
“The How Come of My Father’s Gold Tooth with Music by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys” by John Bargowski
I hope he was dishing out more than he got
when some jealous hog-sticker
busted his smile-maker in that packed beer joint
across from a slaughterhouse on the outskirts of Detroit. . . .
“People” by Douglas Goetsch
Who are all these people . . .
ducking into boutiques, bouncing out
of cafés, younger, taller than ever—
Generation Dude? Generation
type w/my thumbs? . . .
“Linguistics” by Lynn Domina
The orderly aisle: fettuccini, fusilli, rigatoni,
round, folded orecchietti, edible ears;
cappellini’s wispy strands, trumpets, wagon wheels, screws;
for white clam sauce,
I choose linguini.