Saturday, October 6, 2018

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Souvankham Thammavongsa

What had once been many shades of sun

and cloud and what we had predicted to have

a chance of is now. The face looking at us is

an outline floating in with two eyes and

a mouth. This face could be ours looking back

from some past we’re going toward or just an

expression trying to keep us out. Whatever it is

does not matter. Wanting to live does. If

it is saying something we can’t stop for it. If it is

reporting the future and says what’s happened

sew it shut and anchor it to sink and to stay sunk.

We were going before anyone could call us gone.

Souvankham Thammavongsa's fourth poetry collection Cluster is forthcoming from M&S in 2019.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Joel Giroux

What am I but your own 
inhuman eye, blind to all 
but the red vision I am 
and am not, surrounded by 
an amber world only periphery — 
visible only from above, below; 
my ochre centre rattling the crux 
of a world you wish did not exist 
but expands, still, like a gas, 

an ephemeral non-thing, 
a transparent lid lifted 
by a blackened hand 
to reveal a red iris, a disease 
of vision bled into a broiling landscape 
that lacks the utter nightmare 
of me, gleaming like the rotten ideal 
of your dulled, inevitable horizon. 

Even in God’s bloody eye 
I don’t exist, I do 
in yours, and in the gold glare 
that borders my face 
growing slowly, approaching you 
from out a darkness disguised 
as everything the sun sees 
but does not speak of, ever 

out of immortal fear.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Alanna Schiffer

We wake up despite ourselves.
Intermittent static and tempura
squid-fingers of a yellow dawn. 
I love you in that gross, Irvine Welsh
sort of way; cross-hatched in difficulty, in
city fog. Garbage birds populate the shore
of my sluggish adamantium, pathogens and rust
coagulate into a Magic Eye likeness of Freddie Mercury.
Scotch tape blisters, the papery kid-puke smell of mid-century
library glue, loose vertebrae peeling away. Ping is the sound of my
heart, the sound of a screw falling out from a sleeping piston engine.
Ping is a story about punishment, or a duck fishing on the Yangtze.
All of them are asleep. Before they come for us, I brush chalk
from the creases of my pillow. At some point in the night,
we must have attended Coachella. Now where, on
the surface of the water, should we put this sign?
Achtung! There are three monsters. Each time
one is born from me, I say the same thing.
What have I done.
What have I done.
What have I done.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Nick Thran 

To be drawn to a certain quality of abstraction.
The shape-shifting stains

on a monster’s teeth,
the miasmic wash
of a monster’s breath. To consider

monsters who emerged
at the crest of the wave
or in the valley that followed the wave

or at the crest of the wave
after that. The clock
next to the log

has sunk. The log
has sunk. The sun on deck is less
a summer’s morn’

and more like a diagnosis.

Had we chased them far enough from shore?
Were good ones lost?
Is to love this smeared image
a morbid love?

Why cast two eyes
on a sunrise like this?

Because otherwise only
a monster does. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Ally Fleming

It sputters, then it surges; 
ocean enconched then at- 
ankle, rising, ripping want, 
a whip-wave night, stars 

my squall-scattered teeth. 
Lear-blind, scale-palmed 
monster me, roaring we 'til 
morning groans horizon: 

the yellow smoke that rubs 
its back against that rubs 
against the yellow fog the 
smoke that comes and goes 

The lustre of red wreckage 
queasing, gored gorgeous: 
sea-glint glut of pitching 
eyes and eyes and eyes.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Roseanne Carrara

I swallow every time I see it. An old 
man's calf, piece-jaundiced, shot with veins 
so adjective they'd take any impression. 
An end table, for like, must have stamped that owl 
of a sea-cottage on his leg, the leg 
in question. The kids love it. When he lifts

his pants-hem to show off the extent,
they’re mesmerized. They want to climb 
inside that muscle, purple shed, and scavenge, 
run their fingers over things, fill their pockets 
with ceramics and manual-wind watches 
they emphasize are chipped, inoperative. The kids, 

they take and take, and large. Course, they don't know 
my brother lived in there. Who knows what would 
have happened to them if they'd gone inside 
that bruise when he was holed up there. Least, 
they would have missed curfew. He’d have kept 
them talking, forever, he was going to make,

the commonest, his first and second million 
in as many ways. Worst, still mild, though, 
he'd have dragged one of them across the carpet 
by the ankle  — the girl, maybe — to get 
himself fixed up with that glass of water 
he didn't want to fix, himself. Did that 

to me, once. He didn’t live for water, 
though, he should have done. He wasn't placid, 
then, but physic-pale. And I was right. 
If he didn’t kill someone sometime soon, 
he’d be the accident himself. I'd already 
suffered so much over him, the whole of his body 

inside that calf, that when he slept good, 
finally, took some real hue, bruise-indigo, 
himself, and stiff as anything, I felt adjective just. 
Red flag's out now. Wait, they say, for the helpers,
help will always come. But that’s a false tip,
loose bunting on consignment, Long, 

loves, I swallow every time I see it. 
It'll make you terrible, I tell them, so they’ll look 
back into that calf’s swelling, stare, 
and wish they could have pocketed 
something smaller, more efficient, 
when they first went rummaging in there.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Stuart Ross

A horse sat down
on the bench beside me.

“Look at the bunny,” it said,
“leaping into the sun.”

Water is very popular. You can see through it. A horse and I noticed it in the distance. We couldn’t get enough of that fluid. It constituted much of us. We became unusually thirsty. When we tried to hang the water on our living room wall, it tumbled to the floor. There it did roil. Aye, it roiled.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Peter Norman 

after Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

Oh scale-shawled twineye
your undulations call to me
as krill-rimed finblotch
on barnacled monstrosity.

Groupers implore you
from jaw-girdled skulldome
(haplessly hung there
twixt crinkly fangtrusion)

that you decline to rend them
with heaving gobbersmacks
of gangleous codcruncher.
Likely you won’t.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Ashley-Elizabeth Best 

In the morning's breath of mist I stare at the sea
that tells me nothing. I pound clothing into a scarp
of slatted rock, water seeping into porous stone.

The winds hunted howl of sound disguises his approach.
Calm with experience, my voice slowly breaks out of its
own heaviness.

He's promenading in the hang of blue fog, I conjure
the ground as I walk towards him. He's saying something
about god's that live in the trees but I know only of the sea.
I unbutton his shirt, uncover the wound so beautiful it is
forgotten in its loveliness.

He was smiling in the way I fear, shrugged himself nearer
like a thing waiting to be hurt. A gasp of time, pink forage
made a quick flush on my face where his mouth disgraced.

The tragic consequences of his presence suffocates, nearly
reveals the wealth of hate in me. What was Eve's apple of
choice? This must be mine.

There is much in me to be forgiven. My deciduous memory,
pleasure-flawed in the slow everlasting disease of grief.
I promise to tell him as much as I know.

The life in me trembles to the life in him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Melanie Janisse Barlow 

there were no snacks at the breakup
there are no monsters at this ressurection

in it
it is so tender, so so tender
a heart-accordion
each chakra lighting up like a light bulb on the upswing
in it
a battle between earth and water
interactive Geminis
in it
the cup of anger ferments into a dangerous scoby
we drink tumeric until our mouths are yelloworange
sweetsalty blend
in it
you are a dead giveaway

if the sun is god it's a win here
only a whisper of a trap
set somewhere in the silt
of a morning coffee

in it
an inner
            pheasants on Brush Street scattering, multi-lingual 
the skirt of Martha Graham evertwirling
in it gold tinsel swishing

an old, knowing dog crouching
a tin ceiling bent downwards

init some kind of holy order

morning light is on pause
bent into a broken thing

two men in their cups on a beer-bottled brown lawn
candles keeping away bad spirits

plants reaching skywards 
old peeling signs
a wilted text message

tuning forks, tuning

did it die of lonliness Gwen?
was it the last of our mysteries?
it did, it was

ladies dressed in white lining the walls 
in it such an inner
in it the bricks are burning
we are eating garlic sauce and 3d pita in Hamtramck
with the sun kinding

perhaps it is all friendly
and really what we have here is fish
but the mothers are voiceless
and loud in their inference

in it my language opposites
in it i tell you to hang pictures of what happened
a productive Tuesday
in it problem solving is A1
in it i was thinking of tying a porkchop around my neck so the cat would play with me

everyone is sorry to see you gone
its just two fish
what is wrong with you?
they are middling

in it the stars are on an upswing
a pearly white dashboard only practical in the a.m.
in it an inner

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Jonathan Bennett

Where there is doubt, there is
information stacked upon data
shoved in between factoids
that I catch and lob back.

If you could just open your mind, he says                                                           
you could begin to believe the evidence.

Air brakes expel, he ducks 
as if shot at, we normalize
the moment for passersby
who flip us weird or pity.

If you could believe the evidence, he says
eventually your mind would begin to open.

Where is radical cool? Frequently 
missed across the dial, surely.
I catch and lob back white noise
squelching as ever-retreating loss. 

Sad face, he says. You are too skeptical. 
You can't believe evidence way back there.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Nathan Dueck

umami chamomile lathers algae
and acetous ducts salivate C. albicans rheum
alkaline brine

kombucha curdles acerbic mucus
dopamine D4 undulates sulfurous chute flume
and lye vitellus

and saccharin fungi chardonnay gurgles
igneous tracts percolate β-keratin spume
ethanol gall

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Alice Burdick 

Sun rides us, inspired by the bristles
that stretch into the mainstream.
The moon rides the deep-down creatures
too. This is every day as a planet.

Whatever sits and stares at us
mixes our colours into a bright portent.
That’s a word you don’t see every day,
but you could. Sun rides us,
long tail into the atmosphere.
I told you it was a bright beginning
but that’s not the whole story.
When you live at the bottom of a bright
day, the mud is a warm and fertile
bed. You are happy there,
and happy here, where all the smallest
breathers dive. They blink right
into your golden maw. Horses
of the ancients paw the clouds
for water’s fall. When you are small
the smallest ancients too loom large.
Will we catch them? We try. We dive,
but we’ll never finish - instruments stuck
deep in the lowest muck.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Jason Heroux 

Every sunrise

brings its own

sea monsters:

one morning

it was just a rabbit

we saw on our way

home lying injured

alongside the road

in yellow grass

hit by a car still

half-alive gazing up

at us as we went by.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by John Melillo 

every relief shows a response that refuses to remain

a return

all the mechanisms fell down and took apart the light

from there

now that they repeat a manifold, only the holes broken in it


the limited that was ours with the trash that said

okay I’ll have

it that releases the shared into this one thing not yours and no common

space in the maelstrom

will pull the you from the I or the surface from itself, wave

from wave’s wave

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Susan Gillis 

Another grey morning.
Only bare trees
break up the middle ground
between snow and sky.

As usual, I take a bowl of coffee upstairs.
As usual, snow begins to fall lightly.

Small sounds occur, like the fan, the refrigerator,
J. placing his cup on the tray, shushing the cat
who is whining for something more.
Shh, he says, then more sharply, whsht!

Looking up from my book to another dull sky
the wish for light, real sunlight,

the kind that opens cracks,
that makes wet shine and damp gleam,
radiance even the coldest rock absorbs

rears up wildly, rushes into my throat.
That’s what I say to myself then, whsht!