poetry quarterly

10th anniversary

stevenallenmay

 

THIS POEM...

This poem will not end like an Oasis song
This poem will not travel the streets of Manhattan at 3 in the morning, seeking fresh coffee and hotcakes;
This poem is all about itself
This poem is apolitical, anti-religious, and apathetic
This poem is asleep at the wheel
This poem is not for you
This poem will not dye its hair or get a tattoo
This poem is the answer to all things certain (or uncertain)
This poem

This poem has no interest in reality
This poem buys clothing from Coupon Clippers
This poem does not have an American Express card
This poem is a statistical anomaly
This poem does not read poetry
This poem watches Monty Python reruns while eating Cheetos
This poem is not about sex
This poem

This poem does not follow trends
This poem wears UGG boots in summer and flip-flops in winter
This poem is not a nuclear deterrent
This poem is 90% seawater
This poem does not see itself in the mirror
This poem makes my daughter giggle
This poem doesn’t have leaves on it
This poem is no substitute for a college education
This poem is not printed on paper
This poem is a laxative
This poem will not keep you up at night worrying about your mortgage
This poem

This poem is fact free and non-fattening
This poem will hide under your bed
This poem will defeat Communism, and Glen Beck
This poem will self destruct in 10 seconds
This poem has an hour glass figure
This poem will end

BOOM!


HOW I DISCOVERED ZEN BUDDHISM

In the library
under Z.

 

OLD KNOWN STORIES

Old known stories, there
that hung last like morning
still golden, light dim too strong
The city brick-dreams and waking
we all had been

Moving through Handel's water music
fell in smooth sheets
a river, the pavement alone
from the second floor window gaze
all knot-earth and green-moss
wood, all memory crystal frost patterns

And this hand of cards you offer
trembling insight for the price of buck
steerage on a freighter named Titanic,
when the skyline from the ocean bobs
white peaks reflecting—

artwork

Katy Jean May
Climbing and Kneeling

mixed media, 2007


MUST BE THE SHADOW

Pregnant women
telling me
you're the father
you're the father
you're the father

I never know
I always wake
before they are born.

 


GOODBYE TO BONDAGE

You too my suffering silence, my
opiate answer, walking scenery
answers time undazed seen
but can not want, I whisper

Phone they taste, you walked
grey skies taste of rain I have
been woven; still
it's fruitless once we
continue to boil newfound
friends, weakness a shadow
befell your tired mind your
beautiful thoughts betrayed
by leather

Strapped into noisy exchanges
and difficult features, like pig squealing
GOD SOLDIER I BATTLE
float kisses depth song
blinking wisdom cradle cries

These falling questions measure the grief
holding when the body is cold,
passed on, stiff in its emptiness
can not touch the memories

A sad December, no sparkling pines
this sad December, writing a birth
because sunlight because street noise
because disbelief weighes nothing
and pity a ton

Tomorrow black waters mirror
lonely clouds horizon to dusk
barely keep my eyes adrift
when sorrow could easily drown

Jump sprinkle coffin dirt
quivering prayer for life everlasting
small words of comfort crow from the treetops
finger snaps and they too fly off
into the distance like the end
of this poem.

 

 


stevenallenmay is the co-founder and head of Plan B Press. He earned a Masters of Arts Management Degree from George Mason University. He curates and hosts the Poetry Lab at the Soundry in Vienna, VA. May is author of three chapbooks from Plan B Press, fra ctur ede velo pment (2006), Plastic Sunrise (2003), and Spontaneous Chili (2001). He is a "stay-at-home" dad, and lives his hectic, chaotic life in Northern VA.

 

Published in Volume 12, Number 2, Spring 2011.

 

To read more by this author:
stevenallenmay's Intro to Plan B Press Issue (Summer 2010)