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Jan Beatty

Dear American Poetry,

By Jan Beatty I see you’re publishing:
straightman/straightman/white white white how
nice.

Are you kidding me?
Leslie Anne Mcilroy

forge [fawrj, fohrj]

By Leslie Anne Mcilroy (1) to form by heating and hammering; beat into shape, as in the child’s back
burning, shoulders of flame, ribs of shame till she is no longer what she
was, but what you want her to be; 2) to form or make, especially by
concentrated effort, as in pride, see the girl, my girl, take credit, look what I
Ellen McGrath Smith

Spelling Down

By Ellen McGrath Smith I wanted bad to advance to Washington, D. C.
I wanted to be anyone but me.
The nun who had trained me for the spelling bee
needed a ride, and I was so worried all the way across town
Kelli Stevens Kane

bitter crop

By Kelli Stevens Kane blueberry blackberry as always
bleeding, back road or boulevard,
our boy crowned with baton,
Jill Khoury

Certain Seams

By Jill Khoury The boy across the street points at me and lisps—now I know what they mean in books when they say children lisp. He wears a red and white striped t-shirt, addresses my friend who walks beside me. I ask people to please walk on my left side. It’s the eye that’s not completely dead I say. They always move over.
Brian Fanelli

Political Soundtrack

By Brian Fanelli Every Sunday, I came dressed in punk rocker black,
checkered pants, steel-toed Docs.
No tie dye on me when I joined
DaMaris B. Hill

Stewing

By DaMaris B. Hill I dream of hounds. Their teeth loose in my veins.
Their howls consume me. They growl and feast.
She whispers not to run. I can't refrain.
Elliott batTzedek

Sunday Afternoon as Oil Pours into the Gulf

By Elliott batTzedek Across a small suburban lawn
a very large man is riding
a very large tractor mower
Jan Beatty

Zen of Tipping

By Jan Beatty My friend Lou
used to walk up to strangers
and tip them - no, really -
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