Deborah Poe and Gene Tanta

chewed casket

Language is the big house of being
so we keep hearing
while they chew
instead of smoke their cigars
but the dead are dead for a reason.

The flat part of either side of the head
between the forehead and the ear
is the house of being.
“For the past year or so
we’ve had new facts, new realities
to live with” said the astronaut
coughing when he shouldn't cough.

Someone passes a straw
and the movie continues to unreel from the wheel.
Call it a day
or with the other letters, call it
a toothpick in the eye of image on a blank screen.
Check you on the moon.

O no, said the rough: what happened to your snout?
The moon leapt over the cow
singing: o buy me a brisket, o buy me o risk it
glowing above the slickened eaves.

sun lampoon

sun lampoon and a dickinsonian dash infrastructure
belabor me this, now you're talking apple pie
i say contrapuntal, you say whose poem
take that poisoned fang from out my melon
it's not the fang that's poisoned it's my kind
it's not my kind that's poison but my workforce cuticle
that's not my workforce cuticle, that's my work face beautiful
if beauty is in the eye
of the stock holder
we be left beholding the bag

tango vowel over

a fog is mainly thin unless you get
silent, seated meditation, a 19 hole pile on
the lingua franca buzzing large and charming
kiss the prince, suffer the talker

leaning on a farm implement
lower lip trembling
with judgment
swimmers never know no better

scratching at the screen
a fevered sign posting, rooted amok
hooded and lost in dark rums
a gentleman and a scholar he
bygones be bygones but turtles
                                              they bought that house for a scream
ended up looking to the heavens in fits of
                               give a dog a bone

babbling in a foreign language used for smiting

tango vowel over
with a switch
her windpipe working a bony chance

a fat chance under Tuesday's newspaper
rain rumors in inky runnels
duck into a pageant preceding the reception
of a debutante’s comeuppance

Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections Elements (Stockport Flats 2010), Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008), and the last will be stone, too, as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press 2012). In addition, she is co-editor of both Between Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang 2012) and a collection of Hudson Valley innovative poetry (Station Hill Press 2013). Her poetry is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Handsome, 1913, Shampoo, Denver Quarterly, The Dictionary Project, Yew Journal, Mantis, and Bone Bouquet. Deborah teaches literature and creative writing at Pace University, Westchester. For more information, please visit deborahpoe.com.

Gene Tanta was born in Timisoara, Romania and lived there until 1984, when his family immigrated to the United States. He is a poet, visual artist, and translator of contemporary Romanian poetry. He has written Unusual Woods (BlazeVOX, 2010). Most recently, he has chaired a panel at the 2010 AWP titled, Immigrant Poetry: Aesthetics of Displacement. Currently, he is teaching creative writing online while preparing to leave for Romania as a Fulbright Scholar.
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