New work by Gregory Pardlo, Anna Claire Hodge, Alex McElroy, Wesley Rothman, and more
No turning back. Deep in the Utah desert now, having left one home
to return to the temple of my grandfather. I press the pedal
hard. Long behind me, civilization’s last sign—
The potholes in the road were filled with muddy water because it had rained the night before. Some of the holes, jagged around the edges, were the size of mini craters and every time we reached one, we stomped our feet in it and sloshed the brown water on each other. We roared in excitement…
When I think of it now I still see just how ugly and dirty the place was, what a bare unprotected monk-like life it was that year, living first in the old tire warehouse on the outskirts of town, no toilet or sink, no furniture, nothing except two ratty mattresses, fruit crates, blankets from home, unfinished splintery lath walls…
i watch him touch him self over a screen
and pretend it is with my hands
how you pull a quiver from an arrow.
he moans and i grow jealous of the satellites.
“Who was it who decided on where Tallahassee should be?” Toby asks questions, and we laugh a lot. Stupid things really. But it makes you think, and it helps to pass the time. He takes the money when people pump their gas, and I do most of the other things, like brake jobs, tires, and shocks. Mostly minor repairs, quick jobs that get a good price for the boss.
I know forgetting myself is a good thing, the best loss.
The trees look soft in the fog’s distance, egg-colored light
all over them. Even the sheep,
The earth dries in ribs the rain has drawn on it.
In this installment of “Between the Lines” we talk with Issue 5 contributor Wesley Rothman about poetic process, the creative relationships between different art forms, and poetry’s place in contemporary culture.
Milena always reminded me of a backdrop to a bleak landscape, a woman unlikely to arouse much conscious consideration, though she hovered around like an uncertain but inescapable future punishment. She popped in and out of our lives at random, insignificant moments. There was, for instance, that typically drab October afternoon in Frankfurt.
Not being stupid
I took what was offered: the job
was waiting and I did it
with sand and mirrors, in glitter
while I paced. I waited, I fell
in love with waiting …