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Four Poems by Jenn Koiter

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Easter Night

After a long sleep, I wake,
long after the chill of sunrise services in parks,
after high heels sinking into wet grass,
after even late morning services,
hum and shuffle of warm pews.

I have slept through frilly little-girl dresses
and grown up hats, through hugs and handshakes
of smiling strangers, through earnest, quavery hymns,
through He is risen and risen, indeed,
through the slow egress of crowded parking lots.

There exists a tribe of monkeys
that gathers before sunrise, looking east,
and when the sun crests the horizon,
they all clap.

I wish I were a woman who could
worship the sun rising.
I would stand with them and cheer.

Though someone must greet the dark
each day, and how much more
today, when all is new?

Since yesterday, the earth has tilted.
The day’s last light curves
differently over my arm
on its habitual armrest, then dims
and dims to night.

What will I do with darkness in this new life?

Samsara

In another life, says my Indian friend,
and it would explain so much,
never lost when I was lost
in Amsterdam, and of course
that tree in the Vondelpark, right there,
right by the river.

When haven’t I wanted to believe?
My mother called me briefly away
from my sixth birthday party. I looked out
the upstairs window and saw my friends
still climbing the monkey bars,
still swinging, shouting to each other.
How I raced downstairs. How I forced my way
onto the swing set, as if
I had never left, as if I could insist
there be no world without me.

After Your Suicide, I Do Yoga

My instructor says dead body pose
seventeen times during hot yoga,
which is, as they say in Hollywood,
a little on the nose, especially since
I’m lying on your yoga mat.
Even I find that kind of morbid, but
it’s a really nice mat.
You only used it for a month
while we were breaking up, and
not even every day, at that.
It bothers me more that
when your yoga teacher said
set your intention at the start of class,
you directed your thoughts to me,
leaning into my leaving
instead of your own body.

I come because I am only body
here, in the heat.
You left me with so much
to not think about, and here
I can’t think of anything,
can’t think of you at all, until
I have nothing to do but
lie here. Savasana,
my teacher says, Relax.
Dead body pose. I think of you
thinking of me, my absence filling you
as your absence fills me now.
Relax, says my teacher, again,
and I try, I still my limbs,
I slow my breath, but there
you aren’t. Savasana, he says again.
Dammit. Dead body pose.

After Thanksgiving

I am eating
leftover brandied cranberries
mixed into plain yogurt
not because I
particularly like them
but because
my mother does
& I feel closer to her
when I eat them
than I do when we talk
sometimes & because
my mother will die
someday & I will need
all the practice
I can manage to draw
close to her when
she isn’t there

Jenn Koiter’s poems and essays have appeared in Smartish Pace, Barrelhouse, perhappened, Ruminate, and other journals. Her first book of poetry, So Much of Everything, is forthcoming from Day Eight. She lives in Washington, DC with three gerbils named Sputnik, Cosmo, and Unit. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @jennkoiter.


Image by André B. Matos, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Three Poems by Brandon Blue

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The Twin Fawns
After Peregrine Honig’s The Twin Fawns

In the backroom of this club
music so loud you could never
hear the traffic, a drag queen downstairs
collecting dollars with a Whitney mix
silhouettes fill and come to life
draping themselves in who I want
to be— like those two asleep
coiled next to this night’s lover
too many vodka tonics I’m sure
listening for movements— heart beats
never a thought of who’s watching
never a thought of how they’ll be seen
just asleep with a brother and never
of the labor that brought them to pasture.

Brandon Blue is a black, queer poet and French teacher based in Washington, DC. He is a reader for Storm Cellar Magazine and his work has or will appear in [PANK], Rigorous, Lucky Jefferson, and more. Follow him on social media @writindirty_


Image by Kaloozer, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Violent Glamour by Calum Roberston

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Violent Glamour

Cuchulainn, o ancient celtic drag queen
struts her stuff onto the plain, sashays across the battlefield
intent on sowing pain and reaping lumpen carcasses
which to her slaying o queen slay attest
with leather battlebelt worn and crested helmet adorned
a monstrous battle cry is left to summon up some demons
for a little fighting fun
to writhe guts and make of each bone a deadly blade
corpses all – the men of Connacht are scared
as Cuchulainn in gory glitzy glare storms the day
lightning spear flash quick as Ru Paul’s snap
Dolly Parton’s cattle owner revenge made home in Celtic vengeful flesh
Cuchulainn butchers the competition
lining her hillfort with the rotting, decaying heads
of those who dared test and try her
taking scarlet kitten heels for defeat
and not the threat and hints of raw furious strength they so clearly are

Calum Robertson is a fulltime daydreamer, part-time tea-drinker from Calgary, Canada. Their work has appeared in Bourgeon Online Magazine, deathcap, nod, Tofu Ink Arts Press, and In Parentheses. They’d like to be reincarnated as a peacock, next time around.


Image by Haydn Blackey from Cardiff, Wales, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Become by Ferris Jones

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Become

Alone, in silence.
The multi-glows of children
pedal in their futures.
It dropped.
The five-petal ruffled cluster.
The earth preserved
its importance.
Change, though turning,
protected in color.
World as we need it.
What is; becomes.
What becomes; is.
Old bones remember.
Smile.
The bite of many ages’
crawls.
Finds its home.
Rests tranquil for the night.

Ferris E Jones is an award-winning, internationally published and screenwriter living in Puyallup Washington. His work has appeared in both print and online magazines including as the featured poet for Creative Talents Unleashed. Other magazines include: Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020, Glo Mag, Piker Press, Se La Vie Writers Journal, Write on Magazine, Outlaw Poetry, Degenerate Literature 17, Tuck Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, Warriors with Wings, In Between Hangovers, and many other literary publications. He is the recipient of two grants from the Nevada Arts Council and the Editor/Publisher of Nevada Poets 2009. Ferris has twice received honorable mention awards from Writers Digest annual screenwriting contest. He is also the Author/Editor of ten collections of poetry. You can learn more about Ferris E. Jones by visiting www.inquisitionpoetry.com where each month he features the work of other poets. The goal of this site is to spread the word of poetry throughout the world.


Image by Rocky 734, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Three Poems by Marsha Olitsky

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Marsha Olitsky is a poet living in Philadelphia. Bourgeon is delighted and honored to provide a home for her first publication. She writes:

Growing up with dyslexia writing and reading was always a struggle for me. I remember as a little girl crying in the kitchen to the point I was gasping for air. Reading was like torture. I avoided writing like the plague. As I grew I gravitated more and more to writing as an outlet of expression. I never let misspelled words or horrible punctuation stop me from accomplishing my goals. After some encouragement I have chosen to submit some brief writing. I am praying for the opportunity to prove to myself and others the only limits we have are the ones we imply on ourselves.


Image: Open Road by Adam Ward, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons