Cosmogram & Stump by Will Cordeiro

Cosmogram

A smooth stone tablet—slightly larger than a paperback, but smaller than a laptop—etched with a few odd divots, scratches, marks. A very modest piece in the museum’s display case. Neither the famed calendric disc of the Aztecs, heavy with the rites of sacrificial violence, nor the intricate mandalas of Tibet composed of colored sand which are brushed away upon completion. The placard simply states “cosmograma (?)” with no other attribution. The few lines and points scored upon it could be a record of the stars, of comets, of the cycles of the moon and sea, of the seasons—equinox and solstice, the earth’s daily rotation: a systematic ordering of the universe demonstrating how its far-flung mechanisms implicate our earthbound routines. Morning, noon, and night; play and work; worship and mourning; sowing and harvest; death and fertility. Coordinates, trajectories, fulcrums where the sun and its many relatives, billionized across the dark beyond, operate their spooky action-at-a-distance deep inside our every cell. Or maybe it means none of this. Maybe the lines were only childish doodles, the divots little spots for counters in a gameboard. 

Stump

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Will Cordeiro has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Blue Earth Review, DIAGRAM, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Nashville Review, Poetry Northwest, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.

Two Poems by Andrea Rogers

THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS*

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*The Museum of Broken Relationships is an actual museum which showcases stories of heartbreak from around the world and their accompanying mementos. The organization behind the project describes it as “a museum about you, about us, about the ways we love and lose.” It boasts both a virtual presence and physical locations in Zagreb and L.A.

 

THE LONG WEEKEND

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Andrea Rogers is a poet, musician, and postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech, where she teaches writing. She is the recipient of the 2015 Agnes Scott Writers’ Festival Poetry Prize, judged by Tracy K. Smith, and two Academy of American Poets awards. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, The Adirondack Review, District Lit, and anthologies by Black Lawrence Press, Negative Capability, and Red Paint Hill. She and her band, Night Driving in Small Towns, have been featured by Rolling Stone and NPR.

Two Poems by Jill Talbot

When Hatchimals Came To Town

The ugliest toy of the season

emerges from its egg—causes

riots in the street. If Furbies had

half-night stands with Tamagotchies—

meet Hatchimals.

 

Which witch is which?

 

Nevermind Aleppo, nevermind Trump,

somebody just paid $500 for a Hatchimal.

You evil little elves—it’s Christmas.

Somebody had a three-night stand

with a Neanderthal. Hatchimal, Hatchimal,

wherefore art thou Hatchimal?

 

Is it made of Gold or silver? Does it speak

fluent Latin? It has marbles, they are eyes.

It has an egg, it has a due date.

It’ll be in a landfill by next

season. Will you buy it?

 

The Real Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit lies on the bed,

his fortune awaits—will he become Real

some day? Will he lick salt and frolic

with the other rabbits? For now

 

all they want is for him to lick salt

from the boy’s tears. In the Real version

the rabbit ought to be angry with those

who bought him to begin with.

 

A furuncle develops deep in his skin,

a tiny bit of Real is trying to break free—

until it erupts. He is becoming Real slowly

 

then quickly. At first he is hinky—

unsure of himself. Then he becomes

 

animate and fervent—he shakes and moves

and dances! His fur grows shabby and starts

to grow longer, he becomes bearded

like a goat and becomes older and wiser.

 

He jumps on the boy’s emerald green dresser

to eat a prune, why shouldn’t it be his?

The boy wouldn’t eat it.

 

Some might say that he is not as cute

as he used to be but he knows

this doesn’t matter any more

 

for he is Real and all the other toys

are jealous, as they should be.

 

This is the Real version of the story.

Who would want to be bought then thrown

into a pile, waiting to be set on fire—

 

to an oven—I can think of where

that has happened before. To be Real

 

is not always easy, of course. It hurts

sometimes, they got that part right.

 

But it hurts especially to know

one was Unreal before.

 

This is the story they do not teach

so when I became Real I set down

to teach it.

Jill Talbot's writing has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM and others. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.

It’s Only Seasonal, I Promise by C.C. Hannett

It’s Only Seasonal, I Promise

Goofy shit: ornamental pickles
a tradition without rhyme or rhizome
blends in the dew drop fascicle
At first I thought you meant an actual pickle
slick with vinegar brine, yodeling from branch
to branch all slippery and slap-happy—
not painted, inorganic glass.

Then there's Dill Pickle Soup
Your pet name for me
I'm told it's polish like Gombrowicz,
Witkiewicz, and Schulz
There is a clumsy sophistication to it
akin to kilts & Jester's caps
I don't recall exactly when it happened.

You always bring me cold,
half-eaten food--
and I hate it!

But what about when I leave you
my pickle spear &&
split shots of pickle vodka
I don't mean for my expression of love
to have a very specific
pickle theme,
It's only seasonal, I promise.

C. C. Hannett is the byname of Kris Hall; a poet who writes and lives with his wife and their animals in the PNW. He is the author of I Gave This Dream To A Color (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018) and the chapbooks, Notes for Xenos Vesparum (Shotgun Wedding, an imprint of Alice Blue Books), and Dillinger on the Beach (Horse Less Press). He is the former curator of the reading series Da'daedal and Ogopogo. Both series took place in Seattle, WA and focused on showcasing interdisciplinary work. His next book, Triune (Spuyten Duyvil), will be released in the Summer of 2018.