Prose & Form Poetry

Featured Poem - Editor's choice

WALLETS AND WALLOWINGS

Wallets and wallowings, pursings and prayers—minding the business, then
falling down stares. Watch him in worship. Adonai! Adonai!

Watch him cauter-wallow in his fine hide wallet, purchased from Neiman's
for pliancy. But the cow-eyed woman, milked dry and calved, lies in the
skin—though not cured nor soft—with purse strings bound round her neck.

The wallet is wanting—the silk purse from the sow-cow; kow-towing to
profligate Venus, the keeper of swine and lopper of ears. Mawings and
mouthings: momma got trussed and basted, momma got lost and wasted.

Io, big eyed, leaps, jumps over the moon when the gadfly stings
in the mournings. The laughter of dogs paws the breakfast nook.

Demeter spins suspended, hangs by her feet. Sweet old Ceres!

Commercialize the grains while the maiden roams in the dark, dripping her trade, her scarlet commerce; superficial, sacrificial, and oh so saccharine.

Blood weeps from the eyes of the pomegranate, running red food dyes to
grow carcinogenic. The crocus, the rose, and a hyacinth lower their
heads—all rot on time in their vases.

Bull power! Full power! Utterly udderly! Testing and tasting, and making it go through the grinder of meat and through the chew of the two-bellied cow.

Io, hot, hops smack smack smack, then bounds right over the son. The man
in the moon brings on his slaps to break the brash bovine back. Bellow,
bellow down below. Bellow then low. Again.

Caul and collar at the milking time, "Sook you, Heifer! Sook, suck and
chew! Ciao!" Cud the creature. Cud the day in a puddling. Ruminate the
ruin of the altar.

But wallets are caves and caves get raves in the dark and in the witching
land of cow hides and hungers that purse, and udders, those mudders, and
wallets in fall.

Exorcise some demons and start from scratch! Intangential discourse. Of
course. Off course! Off on a tangent, just like on a horse—giddy up,
giddy up, bear Banbury's Cross! Pluck hair from the mare that bit. Hide!
Hide wallets and wallowings, tangents and pairs not minding their
manners, still tripping down stairs.

Originally published in Recursive Angel.

Pamelyn Casto has articles on flash fiction in Writer's Digest, Fiction Southeast, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letter, Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading, and Critical Insights: Flash Fiction.

Better than Starbucks began wholly as a creation in my mind. Now the wonderful collaboration of dedicated editors is creating a monthly magazine that I could have only dreamed about when I was starting out as a one person organization.

 

Having said that, there are no direct connections between U Penn, Al Filreis, KWH (Kelly Writers House), ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry), or any of the actual affiliated programs to ModPo and this magazine, other than I have been a part of ModPo for several years now. There is, however, a strong spiritual and intellectual connection between BTS and ModPo.

 

If I had not gotten involved in the larger community of ModPo, I don't think I would have restarted a literary publication. I am certain I would not have added a Formal & Rhyming Page, and probably not a Translations page. I have a pretty narrow preference for poetry, but the course and the people at ModPo have expanded my view of poetry to the point that I decided if I could find good people to help me do it, we would make BTS as broad of a source of styles and genres as possible. We have been fortunate to establish a team of talented editors and are in the process of an ever expanding quest to find poetry wherever it may be.

Thus, it seems fitting that we dedicate a page to my fellow students at ModPo, and/or anyone who wants to share experimental poems. The thing about experiments is, they often fail, but as the point is to learn, not to create perfection, even failed experiments in the lab or on this page, will offer something for us, if we will find it. and when the experiment doesn't fail... well, you will see! - Anthony Watkins

Welcome to the Anthropocene
 

The world you want

could all be yours

on demand—would

you want one where

instead of trees

withering like

orphaned salad

you watch polar

 

bears capsized, gray,

bloated in a

plastic soup sea?

Or would you log

 

out, nuke a cup

of that soup, and

praise the grace of

the world we'd made?

 

Is this any good?
 

Falling like wind

through the alleys

between buildings

in Winter came

the afternoon.

Bright or cloudy

it would have been

the same. I can't

 

remember which 

of them it was.

What I can put

a name to is

the sham into

which my summer

bloomed like concrete

thickened in clouds.

"These are written in a little four-stanza/four line-per-stanza form that I developed."

Matt Stefon is the author of The Long Contraction and Shaking the Wind. He is poetry editor of West Texas Literary Review. He lives north of Boston.

Senryu

 

A private meeting

between two single colleagues

... silent looks, few words

 

Nursing my wounds from

The nurse's needle

 

Road works when walking

to an international

traffic conference

 

Crowded rock platform

— a bikini girl fishes

for compliments

 

Lunch at KFC

I'll buy the chips because

they're out of chicken

Ben Taylor lives on the Central Coast, near Sydney, Australia. He enjoys writing, beach-going, being in nature, and laughing with friends.

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