19 August 2022

Three Prose Poems/Nonfictions by Janelle Cordero

Do I feel good about hiding behind the barbeque in the backyard when my neighbor with dementia crosses the street to talk to me? Good isn’t the word for it, but I’ll say this behavior feels absolutely right and necessary in the moment. Some days I can’t face her questions of who I am and what the hell I’m doing at Carol’s house (the woman who died here years before). I can’t take her lifting her thumb and trying to smudge away the scar in my eyebrow, her talk of modeling when she was young, her short gray hair mussed up from napping on the couch. And on days like this I hide when I hear the clink of her gate latch being lifted, the leash of her twelve-year-old terrier dragging on the pavement, her footsteps as she peers through gaps in the juniper hedges and says, now where’d she go? 
There’s a dog barking nearby and the cadence of it sounds like someone saying fuck you, fuck you over and over. The twenty-something-year-old asshole with the child-sized dirt bike does circles around the block, muffler thwapping and popping, black smoke trailing behind him. Fuck you, I whisper, but I don’t really mean it. The neighbors all come home from work in their shiny sedans, checking their mailboxes before going inside. But the guy who works from home is on his porch in sweatpants, smoking and watching TikTok videos on his phone, full volume. I hate him and forgive him all at once as he pulls the day forward into evening, as his cigarette disappears right before our eyes.
Washington Square
He’s writing something in a notebook while sitting on a bench in Washington Square and every few minutes he looks up at me. He’s wearing a black t-shirt, faded blue jeans and red Jordans. His light-colored afro is tied back in a ponytail, and a few of his upper teeth are capped in gold. He gets a phone call and smiles, starts speaking in a language I don’t understand. French, maybe. I haven’t written anything down in nearly a week, and I stare at the notebook and pen beside him with something like desire. I realize he’s FaceTiming someone when he lifts his phone up and does a slow 360 for the dark-haired woman on the screen. He’s a visitor here, just like me. When he’s done talking he puts his phone away and slides the notebook into his backpack. He lifts the bike that’s leaning on the bench beside him and takes off without looking back. I’m sad for a while after, wanting only to know what he was writing, what magic he was bringing forth as dogs bark nearby and tourists take pictures of the man balancing on the bicycle, painted in bronze and pretending to be a statue, pretending to be art. 

06 August 2022

Four Poems by Mark Young



Can't tell you any-

thing you haven't

heard before. Only

change the timbre /

pitch / accentuate

some different

syllables in the hope

the telling might

come a little closer

to you. It is vanity




A line from Bishop Desmond Tutu


Glacial erosion waited in the dun-

geons of the slave factories. Rocks

carry imprints of the environments

they formed in. Churches & mona-


steries were burnt. They had the

land. Discovering a continent can be

tricky, & expensive. Pakicetus looked

nothing like a whale. Meet the duplex.



An / outstanding example / of the artwork


A Poisson model for

genetic evaluation


of tick resistance can

be a robust mechanism


for exchanging ω-auto-

mata, & much more


cost-effective than

buying chicken nuggets.



An old macramé book


The number one resource for

hot springs in the west helps


cyclists share knowledge of

good bicycle routes. Soon we

will be offering an economical


option for boat owners. Globali-

zation is finally getting traction.