There’s this rumor going around that the world didn’t end May 21, 2011, as some had predicted. Well, after looking around locally and reading the
international news, I think the Jesus freaks had it right – sorta. The world did end. But it’s been a process. Not a day, but rather the stretch of our recent history. This issue brings you the subterranean perspective from the ones – the majority – that didn’t ascend.
The Poetry Editors
By Nils Michals
And at dusk when men in rolled shirtsleeves
give themselves up to newborns I couldsee
for once the trees as nothing
of any concern to anything except other
trees, the uninhibited turning of their leaves
as no leap skyward in me, nothing atall,
no beat ampersanding in the chest nor good
intention unfolding in the slow terror
of a rudderless body blindered, starstruck.
To shepherd an error in some practiced cripple’s rhythm—
one leg feather, one leg jackhammer—
as the town fills with whirling bits and turned-out umbrellas
is nothing kind, is no pure burning color
to expect the sky to receive.
One child draws a blue boat where the heart’s supposed to be.
Another says give me red I must make
thegrass on fire, and the landscape in a far
corner explodes, form and color slapdashas cornfields
before the specter of a twister, its bruised end
essing like a massive anchor awry.
Leaves, rooftops, cattle chucked silly.
After, a boat and some pieces of a lake
where a barn used to be.
What is a child to the maple still standing?
To burn darkly or brightly just for
the mere fuck of it, to set ablaze the skyline
leaf by leaf so fiercely
the child watching from his father’s forearms
years later cannot discern which came first:
or the memory of fire? (more…)
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