Anything Shakespeare Has Penned

No one has seen time stop,
not now, not then; the sun
never fails to keep its distance,
daytime crosses over, a colorful
seamless moment.

In the eye of this chilled eve
a lump of darkness collapses
and spreads its black weight over
an old bird’s nest, and the wind weaves
the discarded feathers into flight.

Still, there’s me, trembling, a little,
in this frigid air, where this thought-pain
soars to new levels, and, skipping
hours of questions, it flies straight
into my head, like a stabbing beak.

Perched in a tree, a wind chime’s voice
rises into unruffled-like birdsongs,
and still this ache holds its own load,
lodged in my head, tangled with darkness,
and concerned with neither rhyme
nor reason, nor anything else that
Shakespeare has penned.

Somehow, in this overly, head-crowded
condition, I feel closer to the sky.
It’s there that anything can happen,
and it will, after the world cracks.

Dah Helmer’s poetry has been featured most recently in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, Words & Images in Flight, and Miracle, and is forthcoming in Perfume River Poetry Review, and Berkeley Poetry Review. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is to be published by Stillpoint in 2014. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

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Earth

Earth, builder of beauty;
her plumb line: a still point,
precious center, damp
minerals.

What I’m composing are
earth-words: a swathe of heat,
painted deserts, morning musk,
saguaro green.

Upon my lips, misted whispers:
a fog’s low roots, moist glaze,
dawn’s red vine, dappled light,
cypress, corn silk.

I shake my pen
and from its throat spills
night’s ink sac: salt,
stones, spicy stars.

I shake it more: it empties
the imagery; my feelings;
black sand, spears of pine,
a river’s idle yawn.

Earth pushes us from her womb
where an underground gurgle, like a god
blowing into a straw, creates star bubbles,
first breath, birth cry.

Like birds, we build nests, lay eggs,
feel earth buzz in our bones:
a jug of dreams, seasons, necessities.

Dah Helmer’s poetry has been featured most recently in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, Words & Images in Flight, and Miracle, and is forthcoming in Perfume River Poetry Review, and Berkeley Poetry Review. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is to be published by Stillpoint in 2014. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

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Nowhere To Be Found

As if praying, white clouds
cross blue sky’s bright light;
a slither of breeze on a perch:
in its summer’s width, the air is hot,
nearly still, glassy and free.

The horizon’s thin sepia haze
whistles, flickers, chips away at the blue,
then dissolves into a valley of seaweed.

Some footsteps implanted in the sand,
a still life stranger, invisible passer-by,
near a thunderous tumble of waves,
a rumble, a torrent, a radiant slope,
salt, thirst, sustenance.

Born from this, we become
the bitter flavor, the dust, the haze,
the churning stock of an unconscious
arrival, absorbed, consumed, immersed,
we become agitated from outside in

where so few of us can hear our pulse
within its clear-cut vanishing; stressed,
jittery, so few of us can feel earth:
Salvation. Essence. Primal Nest.

When time brakes its last hour
the only expression left will be
speechlessness, and we’ll know nothing,
not even ourselves.

Dah Helmer’s poetry has been featured most recently in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, Words & Images in Flight, and Miracle, and is forthcoming in Perfume River Poetry Review, and Berkeley Poetry Review. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is to be published by Stillpoint in 2014. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

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Journey

If you close your eyes
and stand still,
you can feel yourself
being pulled into the future,
and holding on tightly causes
an unwillingness to let go.

River reeds hold to the mud:
a steady drumming of current
against the silk of their slime;
the gleam of silverfish whistles
in the light, in the water’s turnstile,
in the passageway.

The idea is to loosen your grip,
close your eyes, stand still;
to stop the mind’s drag
by pushing when something pulls.
Push and pull: like insects loading
a nest; a swarm as strong as a blast,
the hum of dust waiting for the carrier,
the wind, the distance, the narrow aperture.

Everyone is an inhale, an exhale,
a natural death mask, an inward rage,
a sudden tear that loses its grip
and is pulled into the tapered opening:
pulled, the way an Exorcist pulls light
from the dark.

This is how
we’re buckled into the passenger’s seat:
riding shotgun into the future,
a finger on the trigger of apprehension.
This is how we come face-to-face
with the awakening, the remembering,
the liberation.

Dah Helmer’s poetry has been featured most recently in The Sandy River Review, Stone Voices, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, Words & Images in Flight, and Miracle, and is forthcoming in Perfume River Poetry Review, and Berkeley Poetry Review. The author of two collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, his third collection is to be published by Stillpoint in 2014. Dah lives in Berkeley, California where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

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Naming of parts

Round ruby blood cells, the grey
labyrinth of nerves, and then my heart.
Ingredients: Bone, white matter, muscle.

We are filled of fluids with intent,
unconscious muscles that power us
in a continuous pendulum.

I never recall my numerous parts
until there are parts that hurt.
My shivering skin, the scraped kneecap –

interactions with the outside world
that bring my insides to the surface.
I have waited all day for the feeling to come back –

Contusion. Clavicle. Collapse. Coagulation.
Platelets rise to my protection.
How careless we are with the skin that holds us all together.

I learn that what we ingest and what we remark soon make us –
with you, I am made of clashes. In the absence of you,
still the red marks remain.

Rebecca Connors is a poet living and writing in Boston, MA.

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Imprint

They want to tell you
stories of stark stairs
and stubbed toes
childbirth, that impressible

yawn, the white stucco
on beached knees.
Summer skin indented
with well-worn bruises

and the savory insect
bite. We are swell.
Let’s collect our bodies
in the corner, offer

the un-mirrored perspective
of each other. Our scars
are field notes. Tiny tributes
of the way before.

Tired traveler, know
your body holds you
and the way you bump
through life.

Find the love note
next to the scapula.

Rebecca Connors is a poet living and writing in Boston, MA.

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A.P.B.

be on the lookout for
a big black male
he has been known
to write poems and give
them to girls and then walk
away
he can be seen at any
coffeehouse in your town reading for hours
at a time
or listening to jazz and classical
music
some says his poems are subversive
others, thought-provoking and
insightful
he is unarmed
and very romantic

Erren Geraud Kelly has had his poems featured in many print and online journals such as Convergence, Hiram Poetry Review, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Ascent Aspirations Magazine and others in the US and around the world. Erren is the author of the chapbook Disturbing the Peace from NightBallet Press. He received  his B.A. in English—Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Erren lives in Portland, Oregon.

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