Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Andy McGuire

Alone in the kitchen,
I think of the word Kalamazoo
for as long as it takes
to move past
thoughts of little league, cold
as Minnesota memories in Texas,
past the dumb desire
to want a picture of myself
in left field,
because for that I would need a baseball
diamond and a glove,
not to mention a camera
with a father attached.
Past the slow fireworks of October
and weather that causes sleeves to turtle
over hands,
because they did me no good
crossing the Davis Strait
aboard the Lyubov Orlova,
unable to shake
the serpents of early Arctic maps, looking out
over teething whitecaps
with the intensity of a pro dart player
about to throw. I realized
I could slip away
unnoticed, a thousand clicks
north of where the trees and soil split
over creative differences.
After I left the Orlova, she broke it off with a tow
line unable to hold
the whole of her, opting
for a derelict life in the North Atlantic,
where she is now
believed to be relieved of her buoyancy.
Only the righteous would linger
in a landscape that makes you feel like the first
and last speaker of a language.
Martyrdom has its disadvantages.
I lock my life goals
and death drive
together in solitary
and watch them get their Stockholm on.
Because I have never been
to Kalamazoo. It sounds like a cheap place to shoot
over breakfast, holding the thrill
of the thought of something surfacing, but not.
Because only on a sleepy avenue
where they still say Yes
and Okay
and Alright then
can I score my civil war
in peace.
Cast in a sunbeam that would just as soon bleach
my bones, I airlift
my last spoon of cereal and brace
for the breach, ready to seat
my breaker, arms
crossed like the opposite of Christ.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Jaime Forsythe

Evidence I am still here:
dots and dashes through wet grass.
The balcony’s squeak, a bell-shaped
shadow. A beating locket. The body’s
slow drip. (Also, the smoke
detector in the garden, the unhinged
gate, reflection in a filled bucket).

Still halfway submerged in a slow dance dream
with a stingray, enveloped by floppy wings.

Smokestacks, shipyard, sky all striped.
The bridge was plucked apart yesterday
and carries buses dyed pink this morning.
I am forever trailed by a hovering crow,
low aircrafts. The creatures
in the harbour catch
my eye before going back under.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Jamie Sharpe 

I mourns sweethearts sins.
I begin, without regard
to grammar. I end,
hoping you won’t read
C.P. Cavafy. Sunrise,
Sunset. Perry Como,
seventh son of the seventh

son, your day dawns on
a vainglorious anagram.
Marry Wikipedia’s sloppy
seconds: Brit painters;
Greek poets; Yank singers. 
My monster brides, you were,
you people, a kind of solution.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Phoebe Wang

Dressed in our Sunday best we came to pay
our respects but found you out to sea, with no time

to tide over. We’d hoped to share some
idle chat about the fishmonger’s son,

who’s starching his collars in hopes of capturing
the eye of the parson’s daughter

the way the uneasy waves snag the scowl
of the lidless sun. We wanted to swim

alongside your trawlers and drifters, to see you
through all weathers, and to be seen.

Many times you’ve come close to catching us
while schooling cod, skate and Dover sole

on their tacit fates, hauling your worth
in weight towards scalloped dinner plates. We get that

you’re keeping one eye on your shrinking quotas.
That you can’t afford to look away. The light burns

through the lost years the way unpleasant
facts can sear the shell-shocked,

the daydreamers. But you’re wide awake.
There’s a way out of this tangled net.

We’ve already given ourselves up. Now your turn.
We know there are men you call monsters

but we can’t fathom how you tell them
apart from those creatures you claim as kin.

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Susan Glickman

Come unto these yellow sands

The monsters splayed on this sulphurous beach
are nothing like those whose tentacles
slither languid through your dreams,
nor those hulking hunchbacked
down rainwet cobblestones, nor those 
whose shadows slide under bedroom doors 
whispering to grey brethren in the closet. 

These creatures intend nothing 
but the truth, their gaping mouths amazed
by daylight. They were safer where they were,
the weight of the sea pure benevolence.
Here, now, oxygen shreads their tender gills
and the sun laughs.
It is exposure that deforms them.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Nancy Jo Cullen

The day opens its gaping mouth,

(It is as reasonable to ask why not as it is to ask why.
My father said that and he is dead now thirty-three years,
my oldest brother nearly nine, my mother eight, my former partner ten,
and my sister’s son, just three years.
But you could just as well say for all eternity.)

the leaves vibrate, bracing for their abscission.

We are so tiny.

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Matt Robinson 

Apology’s often a thin, callous eye—an aperture’s squint-
slurred re-framing of the arc of a day’s bright complaint
with its breaker. It’s a matter of naming. A smudged sliver of
a thought’s cataract; a wry pseudo-erasure, a narrative
weaning. Like love, a fervid translation—a fraught, stuttered attempt 

to mitigate loss or gloss over the making of meaning; a review
of what has or hasn’t been said, of what’s been cut
on the bias or cut to the quick. It’s an ad hoc sheet music—loosely 

transcribed—of an elegant logic’s new bridge. Or chorus. Or verse.
Even worse, the time signature’s as good as gone, clearly missing—
heart’s tacky, over-used cardiac snare the only thing there
to establish what we’d wish as a rhythm to serve as this fugue’s counterpoint, 

to punch up this now jaundiced tune—this near-sighted, one-sided
limning of what it is we’ve been living. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

by Tanis MacDonald

Take this simple test to see
if you should spend more time
in the natural world. Name ten
kinds of local trees. Ten local
birds. Ten naturally-occurring
local flora. In what phase is

the moon tonight? When did you last
see a sunrise? When did you last
sleep beneath your canoe on a tiny
island? Natural. Do you believe in
the power of sunrise to dispel
sandflies? How high did you jump

when the morning bugled in with
a dog’s head and the torn
remains of a net? How quickly did
you launch your canoe? Have you ever
fallen from a great height in a cloud
of wax? Are those your legs disappearing

into the water? Are you now or have you
ever been dumped
overboard for the insurance? How close
are the monsters? Test to see. How much
do you believe the scholarly
theory that the monsters are just

fish? How will you
string your rod? Name ten
successful lures. Are you sun blind?
Are you giving up the ship or just
going down with all hands? When were you
last boarded, press-ganged, seized

amidships? Are you a Jonah or just  
not wanted on the voyage? Is that
an albatross around your
neck or are you just happy
to sea? Take this. Why did you

bless the water snakes? Where did you first
meet them?  Were you drinking water water
everywhere? (By gum, that’s mutiny,
sir; that’s entrapment.)  Did you lure
the monster with your shapely pegleg?
This island’s mine, by Sycorax

my mother; that’s her swimming
starboard. Stand up now, grip the
gunwhale if you must, and show
some goddamned respect. Simple.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

or Turner’s Morse

by Conor McDonnell 

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