Meditations on Ginsberg Subscription

a couple of owls have taken up residence among the woods around my house

hoo hoo….hoot…..hoot

a call and response unwavering

communicating position among the darknesses

an owl moon shines down on all the consumable particles

the Arizona forest hums

i drag alone on my cigarette….. illumination

crickets sing in the undertones of melancholy

i hear an organ in the distance

what sounds like a gunshot at a neighboring house

my imagination rides

i think about the Velveteer and her curls

i remember curves of orbit

gallant grasps and sheets of loyalties patterns

in eyes of turquoise …goddess

envelopes cut up in ribbons

marquees of neon perfume emitted

the phone signals a dying battery

the brakes have departed

ghost coasting down the cliffs of insanity

carrying a trunk load of locked up musical effigies

things are said in passing with no real meaning

the lion hangs around my house now

bony, with hair falling out

anyone else with lions

are showing up with missing limbs.

locked teeth and white knuckles

Grand Pre is hanging around

with a sombrero and an eye patch on his face,

the shadow of every eclipse

iron tongues branded the eyes of Evangeline

i hear the whispers of pity aimed at me over the party line

“You don’t have to say that!’ i tell them

the moons shadow follows me around like a rain cloud

the raven outside my window has gathered his cronies

Sly Simeon the politician slides in the door and holds up Victor,

tells me that hanging out with hims gonna get me killed

tells me the worlds on its side and its head

tells me i need to watch more television

that the facts lay on the worlds wide web and not in the heart

just then the lion gets up off the rug and bowls him over

packs him up and carries him off

the ravens turn their attention and shriek with laughter

hit the scene and fly behind lion.

i watch from the living room and put  the revolvers back on the bookshelf

the chaos in the alley woke the sun

i thought about looking for my trumpet

the coca cola factory underneath my apartment is injecting the dew with synthetic colloidal happinesses

and the “I VOTED FOR THE WINNER” sign on my lawn has gone missing

Just then William Randolph crashed through my window

got up, grabbed the fire stoker and and said

“there’s a war to win down in Cuba”

and with that grabbed the keys to my lawn mower and took off

i went to the front door to get a glass of milk

found a sperm bank flyer rubber banded on my doorknob instead

went to raise the flag outside

found a barrel of monkeys hanging on the line

i saw my neighbor standing across the street on his lawn laughing

“what’s the matter? can’t take a joke?” he said

and then walked in to go set fire to his house with Freud

I walked back inside and grabbed the waffle maker

threw it in my suitcase and headed off to work

it was a normal day

 

-Sunshine Davis with William Teller


Rationalizing Privilege in Atzompa

A dry, hard lump, the shriveled foreskin

corn husk embalms

the white masa and a brown stain of cooked pork.

Eyes first, she offers me the tamal.

When I lift it from her grasp, her split palm opens

like dry-lipped mudcracks in Arizona in June.

The fissure on her hand crosses the life line, the love line, x-ing them out.

My pocket shimmies with coins and they fill her craters.

Here I am, hopping buses across the clay-rich countryside,

a region of Mexico that quenched Spain’s gold throat nearly five hundred years ago,

and to take a bus this woman, who could be

my great grandmother, who could be dead by now,

must steal her way onto the bus, slipping off ten minutes into the ride,

in the back pocket of a family.

It’s not about the wad of week-old tamal

or about the fact that it costs the same as the bus ride,

and that, this time, she pays it up—clinks into the driver’s neat stacks of change,

still warm from my pocket—

but feeling the gold marrow of my body

blushes my neck and my face contorts with…

pity.

And I don’t want to have it, to be burdened with gold teeth,

but now that I am, I must eat wedged tamales until I die of thirst.

I sit in my bus seat, knees pulled tight to my chest,

hugging all the pieces of myself, terrorized by their departures from each other,

by growth, by intellect, by simple observations.

 

-Zoë


NaPoWriMo AJ Style!

As the magazine does its thing at the printers, Alligator Juniper staff have decided to delight in the April celebration of NaPoWriMo or National Poetry Writing Month.

Yes, we know it’s already day three of April. This is not an excuse, but we’ve seriously been working night and day to format and bring to you—our writing family, fans, and loyal subscribers—the 18th issue of the magazine! So exciting, but we all need to just take a breather, sit back, read, and write poetry as we wait it’s arrival. To calm the nerves, you know.

On a rotating basis, the AJ office staff will be posting our own raw, uncooked, unrevised poetry. These are first drafts, y’all; that’s what it’s all about! We encourage all writers, no matter what your genre preferences, to give this NaPoWriMo a go. We would also like to invite our readers to post original poems in the comments. We will feature select poems along with our own throughout the month.

Keep connected: follow our blog and we’ll exchange the favor. Let’s generate some drafts for the National Writing Contest next fall…or just play, because spring, especially, is conducive to that!

Love, AJ Staff


Featured Poem: “The Moment of Unknowing”

At last night's photography lecture,
I drifted, heard shudder for shutter,
clicked my eyes and could see us
grasping after mystery in the dark.

There's a moment in photography
when you let the subject go,
the shutter closes and you know only
what you knew before it blinked.

What we catch on film, we get by accident,
yet it remains and is not less real for what
we didn't see, and may be more, quickened
as it is, into history without us. After all,

who are we in the dark? When we let each
other go from pleasure's gestures into the small
apocalypse of orgasm, the shutter's glimpse
which is not vision, but unseeing sense.

-Marta Ferguson
Published in the 2012 Alligator Juniper issue.