This month we offer dust: a cloud, concrete kisses, shine.
In July we go with:
Submission guidelines can be found here.
it settles over everything
sinks into the skin,
and when I cough,
poof, a cloud of it bursts into the air
I’m filled with dust, all the things I tried and wanted
all the things I grasped at and caught and let go and achieved and did not
every single wish and love and hope and dream
leaves a fine gray sheen I try to wipe away, but it stays,
clung to the latticework of my lungs,
each time I breath, it folds deeper and deeper inside of me,
way down to my soul, collected like pieces of a whole,
and you’re there too, and you and you,
the entirety of my being is what I’ve seen and what I’m seeing,
so be careful with me, I’ll carry you with me to the very end
the dust of what we’ve been to each other, in this life and all the others
Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina with a degree in Studio Arts. She lives in Graham, North Carolina with her cats James Cagney and Janis Joplin.
The Mineshaft, Little W. 12th Street
Before there was a gay gentry of pastel
blouses and thin cigarettes—there were
the bears and pigs of the proletariat. An animal
farm with no time nor money for celebrity,
just feelings for the flesh, music under concrete kisses
and the friction felt when passing another man’s chest.
In abandonments, they danced with iron-eyes and swayed
as indigo handkerchiefs until the unwanted lights flashed
on and chased them from dark to dirt, from park to pier,
until they danced and died on Christopher Street. All of this happened,
and here I stand today, able to side-step its sidewalk without
even considering for a moment that I should first bend down
and lick the stardust off their boots of leather.
Craig Moreau holds an MFA from New York University and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been published in BOMB, Lambda Literary, Electric Literature, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Philadelphia Inquirer and various scholarly journals, among others. His first collection of poetry, Chelsea Boy, was published in 2011. You can keep up to date on his work at www.craigthewriter.com.
The 100th Psalm is about Joy
But, God planted a Lily in my heart.
Because joy is as short as sad —the
Difference is in the colour of the ashes
Which they leave behind. The wind is
Always ready to fly me anywhere. But,
My body is the problem. It’s too heavy
To float in air. The voice said Arise —&
Like dust, I am waiting for the feet of
Despair to trample on me, again. Arise —
A command which quickens the bones of
The limbs. & I can manage that. Even with
Feeble knees. The voice said Shine. But,
All my life, I have been a reflection of every
Light in the sky. Shine —To emit radiance.
Do I really look like such magic? Or do I
Lie in my hearing? Shine— To break the
Commandment. Kill a firefly & steal its
Ability to glow in the dark. But, that too
Is an ability I do not have. I have killed
One thing: my longsightedness. It’s why
When they say tomorrow, I see a boy trying
To break into a house which is meant to be
His. Shine— to understand that the moon
Can only see in the dark. And descent is
How a leaf grows wings. There’s no ladder
To the clouds. But, the pyre for men turned
Smoke. The ground, for men turned dust.
The river for men turned steam. I haven’t been
real enough to this point. But, I want to be,
In the next line where a boy is buried. And
Believe me, my brother swore his body against
A bullet to save the moon. Because, the fastest
Way to reach the height is to be lowered to
The base. Shine —to be speculative. To teach
Your body what it wasn’t designed for. Lord,
Forgive me. For I too, attempted to save a star—
I felt was my brother— and wounded the Lily
You planted in my heart.
Chinedu Gospel, frontier IV, is an emerging Nigerian poet. He studies Anatomy in Nnamdi Azikwe University. He won the StarLit Award for the 2021 winter issue of Aster Lit. He also won an Honorable mention in the Kreative Diadem Annual Contest (poetry category). Some of his works have appeared or forthcoming in Fiyah magazine, Absynthe, Hoax magazine, AsterLit, Roadrunner Review, Savant Garde, Temz review, Rough Cut Press, Icefloe Press, Agbowo arts & elsewhere. He plays chess in his leisure. While he tweets @gonspoetry & grams @gospelsofpoetry.