Two Poems

by Michelle Angwenyi

dans la maladie

I came across it in my dreams and I woke up singing the French for it – dans la maladie, dans la maladie.
A meshwork of metal
Inside the disease
Becoming an illness.
I saw it the next day and it was
All over the place, in pieces.
It must have taken more than strength to pry my eyes open and
collect them, and once there, put it together again, paint it
tell it to relax, try not to kill me.

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The Making of a Canon

by Michael Onsando

What you are about to see is the creation of a canon. As with all creations, it begins with destruction. Your front row seats are free, they have been paid for, in full, by history. Time, again, is the title sponsor of this event. If you look under your seat you will find rose coloured glasses. They are there for those would not rather see what the act of creation entails. Every seat accommodates one and one only. In the theatre of dreamers every mind speaks for itself as every heart beats for itself. Please keep your cellphone on at all times during the performance. Be sure to take as many pictures as possible – the best of them may survive the journey. If you hear someone next to you talking, kindly join in the conversation – you never know how long you’ll have them near you. 

The names and faces of the people in this show have not been altered in any way. The organizers of the show wanted to make sure that there is no mistaking who it is and what they are seeing. If anyone in the show appears strange or out of context for any reason kindly reach under your chair. There you will find a sign with the word “FAKE” on it. Hold the sign up for the whole audience to see as you state the name of the offending party. The makers of the show will take note and proceed to do nothing about it. However, it will now be public knowledge and hopefully this helps. This, of course, is an optional measure. Feel free to listen politely or just change seats.

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The Anguish and Vigilance of Things

by Richard Ali

The Will: An Introduction to The Anguish and Vigilance of Things

by

Imru al-Qais

The poet is a grey eminence always sitting at an angle to the market of affairs, making notes, seeing everything, entering into every nuance in intercourse. From these notes come the poems, things distilled. The job of the poet is to agitate words so they yield their true core as does wine, to induce in the reader what each word is nakedly, that is, pure mood.

In these poems, Richard Ali presents his life as a patient on a surgeon’s table and there are no, have been no themes, to his life, as these poems reveal. There have been only a series of glances, his eye resting on this or that, his poems becoming points of emphasis, seeking to undress and pare away adjective and lie alike. My son is not naked in these poems. But these poems are a testimony to what is laid naked. He is naked beneath these poems.

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Bullet Points & Other Poems

by Jericho Brown

Bullet Points
I will not shoot myself
In the head, and I will not shoot myself
In the back, and I will not hang myself
With a trashbag, and if I do,
I promise you, I will not do it
In a police car while handcuffed
Or in the jail cell of a town
I only know the name of
Because I have to drive through it
To get home.  Yes, I may be at risk,
But I promise you, I trust the maggots
And the ants and the roaches
Who live beneath the floorboards
Of my house to do what they must
To any carcass more than I trust
An officer of the law of the land
To shut my eyes like a man

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