நெருப்பிலிருந்து மேலே பார்க்கிறேன் / பாதி உதயமான சூரியனுக்கும் பின்னும் / மீண்டும் /
சூரியனின் குளோப்ஸ் என் பார்வையில் ஒட்டிக்கொண்டது / ஆரஞ்சு பழம் போல, / வறுத்தவுடன் கொழுப்பு கொண்டது
Looking up from the fire / to the globbed red sun and back, / and again, and back: /
with half-suns stuck to my vision / like tangerines / fat with roasting.
Madhan Raj lives and works in his native Chennai, after studying and working for several years in Italy. Returning home this year, he has discovered again the great cultural wealth of his home, and language, Tamil.
Now comes the temptation to quest after essences, to lift the veil and uncover what is hidden— puff : headrush :: crunch : honeyed tongue smoke and sweetness, I manipulate them, combine them, then place them at odds with one
another puff, another crunch. It becomes me, the way I talk about such things, I am told— “attractive” “penetrating” “poignant”— I furrow my brow, I say something about the nature of smoke and about sweetness, this satisfied smile as I puff on my cigarette then crunch into my apple, chew, savor, comment upon the eye that has opened up, revealing the core: a little black seed visible now.
O Vanity: I was lost before I ever began. Butt : core :: Self : object of contemplation
The velvet cloak has been folded over upon itself, its span unaltered, its magic immune to such feeble incantations.
I huck the apple core out into the tall grass, the cigarette butt smush into the ashtray, the smoke and the sweetness dry on my tongue.
Shane Ingan is from Indiana and lives in Detroit. His first book of poetry, Lost Loves, will be released early 2023, through Forsythia Press.
I shall drink my morning coffee, Lord, In relation to death. The bubbles on The black brim pile like spiders’ eyes, and I am in them. Death is like a fat spider, hiding.
I shall wipe my brow of sweat, my Abba, With your Kingdom ever in my thoughts. Death is like a frail man, his head hung, Meekly tugging shirtsleeves, as for alms.
My Christ, it seems too hard to be a man. I will lie down half forever when I’m done, Or crawl about you, sobbing hallelujahs. Death is like a dancer on a roof.
I shall not forget him. He is bright, Like the sun. You make him bright for me.
Eugene Kamensky is a divinity student at the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been long inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins’ masterful use of poetry to praise and exalt God in secular spaces, and he hopes to follow in those footsteps.
it’s coming along. i’m getting back to all the submissions these days. Collecting for volume 4 now. Been in the desert for 40 days can’t wait to go home (but not before I put these lit mags in all the used book stores from Pheonix back to Detroit)