Part 4 Contributors


Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro

Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 3 Contributors

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis

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Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
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Mabel Lee
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Click to enlarge picture Mary Fitzpatrick
Mary Fitzpatrick
Californian Poets Part 4: Five Poems
Mary Fitzpatrick




As if the star clusters of the Milky Way
were each a nation on the night sky’s map
serenely blinking, touching gleam to gleam
until a few knots turn angry red
then yellow    or sputter black
and dying pull
thousands of memories
into their holes    and     like the rest of us    stretch
new arms to keep     touching for only
in constellations
do stars form stories
stories of how they belong.

        **    **    **    **

How numerous the world the human
species how ripe
for annihilation we are: masked,
pocked, weaponed—at last
the zombie apocalypse: ‘going viral.’
Chasing news and rumors, deep
shock of behavioral change. A week’s
cascade—one e-mail
then the next—flattening Spring’s fat
agenda: all those celebrations planned.

        **    **    **    **

This loss and that sacrifice, small when stacked
against the ER’s blue blizzard of gloves and gowns,
gurneys beeping into a morgue. I embrace
renunciation, this purple Lent of solitude,
abhor the squawking crow—
its black untethered feathers falling.

        **    **    **    **

One month in, I pass the research institute’s
astrophysics video screen, where Hubble’s
remote galaxies once spun—
        those pulsing clustered worlds being born—
and I see the screen is white.
                                                It’s just me—
                                a little bleak—
        and this world,
this here, this now.

How the Doctors Prepare

One must stay motivated                                or slip. A slip
could be fatal. One must                                 stay motivated: who
do you love could die?                                    Who, if you die, would
mourn? Change or die —                                 this anthem of change
managers—and here                                      we are. Stop celebrating
gathering shopping                                         learning—our hunger
for the world is post-                                      poned. Who is tempted? Who
squanders caution or love?                             In them we find our danger.
This Lent, we are Renunciates.                        We have given up much.
It is a kind of prayer.                                     We offer it for one another.


                            “The Underworld is made of men’s memories and the ruins of their habits.”
                                                                                        — Jean Cocteau

When Death loves you, there is nothing
more to want.
                      Deft, she pulls on her black
gloves and motions you: attend. Speech
is useless, but song—song….
dream are you? Into whose vision
do you descend? Singing in your slop and mire…

Sound bells
                the canvas
                      of your little boat
and you race along
          a glassy face.
                    When singing stops
the water blackens. There
                                        adrift with you,
her fingers
                 bid you pluck
each stanza, each
                           bleating quatrain.

Good Friday

What had been promised?
           That the light would return
                      The land blush green
                                 The antibiotics restore
The fevered amnesiac
           Shivering in her pool of sweat
                      Now gasping
                                 For more water
What had been promised?
           A reliable test for the invisible
                      Contagion, a world
                                 Without masks, the kind
Of place we might walk
           Arm in arm, even
                      Embrace when
                                 Meeting the dead.

What to Do From Confinement

                      This Spring’s a wet catalogue of flowers
                                 addendum of birds, a lovely time
                                            to have to stay home.

Bewick’s wren          gnatcatcher        bushtit
I see your eyes        watching glass-   black
from the leaf litter    shadow ranch
from under the smoky sage stalks
as in smell               earth green
gone silver               how you hide
goldfinch                 towhee
of one who waits      and learns
that she must wait   again                 so near
to crescendo            the final act
chord, world            interrupted         in fact
no cymbals clash
                                                       I am in
suspended time       everything’s        thicker
I feel selfish            I languish            these mockingbirds
repeat                    a subtle chase
are they fooling?                               I want
another nest in the neighborhood
vireo                      flycatcher            I wish I could