29 December 2022

Four Poems by Mark Young

A Night at the Opera


The template enters accompanied by

an enclave of characters. There are


ducks on the lake inside the window,

busy engaging with some ambiguous


sprigs of lavender which had sneakily

grown up overnight. She smiles, &


feels her trapezoids shake. Elsewhere

the unseen audience is underwhelmed.



Let Σ = { a, b }


                        I think it's funny we are

             both wearing the same

                             outfit, a cute little channeled

                input with a finite alphabet


                      of cardinality, decorated

                         with principles & processes


               designed to change subconscious

                    beliefs. Only available from

                   the Auto & Home Supply

                         Store in Kahnawake, Quebec.



Conjugate Desire


This verb is rarely used in con-

tinuous tenses since there is

no real action. What we desire

does not happen. An example.

First Nations peoples still live

with the trauma of colonization;

is recent in the collective memory,

occurring within just a few gene-

rations of those living today. Up

to us to do something about it,

collectively or singly, but we

usually decline to take on the task,

feeling that the weight pushing

against us will be too great. So we

pay lip service, sit back, turn our

backs. Ignore past tensions, even

though they continue to present.



geographies: Peoria, IL


My steel-cut apple risotto is

shaped from a single template

which is a mix of a wedding

event site & a car mechanic busi-

ness. Both are on the National

Registry of Historic Places. There

are 1000s of Illinois historic & pre-

historic locations that have been

designated as important resources

worthy of preservation. I'm so

hoping my risotto will join them.

09 December 2022

Ukraine by Mykyta Ryzhykh

As a child
I did not understand the meaning of the words emancipation devaluation 
     evacuation but now
I am an adult and
I want to cry at the sight of children who have known the meaning of these 
     words since childhood

exhausted by memory
stained by memories
the birds will not return after wintering

scream so loud that the forest hears
be silent as caustically as only air can
touch the vast flesh of the water with your hand
miserly e-clouds float inside a template email

today is the best day to translate a poem into the language of trees
or learn the facial expressions of stones
people gather around a tall pillar to learn the language of death
today the witch will be burned on this pillar

the universe is snow-winter
one day we will fall into the grave
slowly like snowflakes

I want to congratulate you on your return
For the twentieth year in a row
I meet the first snow as a friend

a man sits under a bush
a man without a home sits under a bush
this mans house is a bush
temple of the forest

Вead of dead
Farewell took place
The rain gave water to drink
Further there will be stone calm
What makes me obedient
Leash and leather mask
Sweet bone from a dream
Clear water of submission
We all want love
I want to be a puppy and love

cartoons about painted animals resemble an empty shop window
zoos with real animals resemble a showcase with minced meat
and intestines and the bloody stench of a corpse
a world of strange balance

every night dictators take golden guns out of the safe and suck
guns reciprocate

There's a void inside of us that can't be filled with porn movies
There is an emptiness inside of us that needs to be filled
A jug from the human body broken into fragments of time
The clay from which we were created softened
The earthenware jug of man is silent
Everything has already been said

We soared into the sky in the form of steam
Will we be able to return to earth?

The white cat of my younger sister is afraid and hides under a canopy
Every time it rains from the sky

Scourge on the muscles
Prick in the eye
Dead bird
Burnt drawing
Decaffeinated coffee
Life without electricity
You are my love you are my mortal war

Boy without a soul
Boy without a body
skinless boy
The snake boy who shed his skin
Now lives far beyond the forests that have grown after the tearful rain 
     of parting

Hate Portfolio
The ship of misfortune
slime minutes
Integration of meanings
Cultural Approbation
Damn historical process
Every time I die inside me when little kids play toy soldiers

god's assistant
with nobility in hand
makes rapists and maniacs

She will come to me tomorrow
She will be called love
Love of a living being to a living being
She will prick with bristles
She will breastfeed
Love does not know what we call it love
She will look for her name everywhere
She will be the life of all
Love will undermine all the stars in the sky
She doesn't know what the future is
She doesn't want the future to come
Oh love we'll all suffocate without you in the electric sky of wires        

The clear lake cried bird tears
Waterfalls poured down from the sky
A flower grew without a genus without a tribe

The hours have passed
The seconds flew by incredibly fast.
The sky burned or the sunset burned

There was a woman in the mirror of the water
And to the right of the woman was a lake
To her left waterfalls roared

Geometric figures of silence crawled out over the woman's head
The dead ascended to heaven and touched the stars with their heads

air swallows me and I get inside the pump
it's dark but dry
my soul's cheeseburger is stripped of any sauce
I want to drink
this pump pumps air after a nuclear explosion

the white bird turns into snow
and jumps from a height
onto the black earth

this morning my heart became a bird
unfortunately this bird turned out to be dead and ate my soul

the cemetery guard refused to let me in

then the cannon fired into the sky and wept bullets
it so happened that life is now worse than death
my heart skillfully love in vain

03 December 2022

Five Poems by Clara Burghelea

My daughter killed me a in story yesterday. She beautifully orphaned herself next to an unfailing father. She then crumpled the paper and tossed it behind her desk in a corner, next to a ball of socks. There is a problem you might have someday, baby. Mothers are known to bulldoze their way into mind and heart alike, their absence, ripe as heavy fruit. My own mother, gracefully haunting every room, the humming of her cracking bones, body thinned with worry, a buzz and cackle when our live wires touch. Behind the open windows, this clandestine sun, a gaggle of Sundayed children and your desk is begging for more paper and pen, eager to feed your thirst for unbinding, untying, unawares it takes a daily slamming and slapping of hard things to occupy the present before crocheting an unravelling future. But I am ready to gift you a thousand deaths, baby, should you need me to untangle the stiches on my belly, one by one, until no bad bloodies your dreams, baby girl, let mother milk run your veins and cocoon your breath, I am here to stay.

For a while there

You called them pet names and lazed around midday, nibbling on pretzels and apple bites, hands, eyes, breath shaping, crafting, weaving. A mother’s heart, a zipper, done and undone, can make all sorts of things fly, a sigh, a kite, a balloon, time. You can save no one past a certain tilted smile. Off go the braces, next a different kind of metal befriends the skin, some human blur collapsing inward from the touch. For a while there, you had them bleed in your belly and they were yours to hold. Everything is made of labor. Even little explosions called Sasha or Mihnea.



A mother has a crystal tongue, the spinal cord of worry exhausting all her cells, an animal flicker in the eyes, a whisper for every cold nose, the petalled touch of a cactus flower, when my turn comes, I scar her from the inside, you would think this hardens the heart, instead, she’ll carry my name on her lips, between smile and quick breath, for thirty more years, one day the wind blows her into a new shape, a kite we fly to appease the absence, when my turn comes, I wiggle my toes in my socks at night to chase away the numbing pain in my belly, next a succession of leavings, little deaths or explosions, a son tearing up flesh to grow flesh, a daughter exhumed every year to appease guilt and hang desire by the throat, eat your fill, cradle those hungers, says the man who tries to shatter every sliver of my tongue with his metaphor-laden teeth, a mother knows how to open her mouth into a snow globe, every soap flake into a boy, girl, poem.




That time I got sick


I slept for twelve hours in a row

and dreamt we smuggled scrapings

of ourselves into feather suitcases.

Where are we going? your curious

eyes, denuding the morning skies.

Other than the length of this warm

bed, the flawed metaphor is my next

favorite thing, that little patch of

quicksand, and my mouth begging

for momentum. Behind the curtains,

the day boxing light spills, October

sun gamboling in the dry grass, say

you are ready to slumber back into

hunger, and I will hold this bird

of a poem inside my chest, feed it

from my atrium while you wrap

your heart around my naked back,

let them dizzy worries skirt around,

sometimes we don’t die when the day

strikes but before the hand comes

to measure the unaccounted hours.


Algorithm with broken search

The vibrating muscle of a Richardson day.

First, in the early oat milk single-shot venti,

later, in the conversational code-switching

Haide, vino să bem another coffee împreună,

it is the little things that whop away the stupor,

the jellyfish stinging of dor in every aching cell,

more coffee soothes, a murumuru butter burgundy

for only $ 2.35, on sale, living on discount joy

in the Marshall’s heaven, measuring unfamiliar faces

always smiling, never catching a glimpse of the bird

in the throat, sewing butterflies with a clenched mouth

while correcting rhetorical papers for nineteen students.


At night, a splinter of moon, eyes chasing shadows

in the small room, a frijoles scent seeping under the door.

Clara Burghelea