Part 5 Contributors


Millicent Borges Accardi
Kim Addonizio
Marjorie R. Becker
Jacqueline Berger
John Brandi
James Cagney
Carol Moldaw
Kosrof Chantikian
Brendan Constantine
James Cushing
Kim Dower
David Garyan
Valentina Gnup
Troy Jollimore
Judy Juanita
Paul Lieber
Rick Lupert
Glenna Luschei
Sarah Maclay
Jim Natal
Judy Pacht
Connie Post
Jeremy Radin
Luis J. Rodriguez
Gary Soto
Cole Swensen
Arthur Sze
Charles Upton
Scott Wannberg (In Memoriam)

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

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

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Click to enlarge picture Sarah Maclay
Sarah Maclay
Californian Poets Part 5: Five Poems
Sarah Maclay



Is Drowning Upside Down in Stars

Because your skirt flew up reversing gravity
Constellations lace you loose as jewels as these rare bijoux
Dream of weightless arms of fins in backstroke flow
Elegantly awkward in your improv
Floating through abandoned weeds in humid deja vu
Grass just wet with dew in barefoot midnight
He lifts you in the dark as you turn together under stars
Is the clover the stars are the stars the clover
Lap to rest his head to see Arcturus through the leaves o
Morgan Street for miles no thought of noon
Never will hordes of moths attack his hands if you hold them
Past the cemetery lit by his firefly lantern book
Questions settle into skin no longer a mirage
Slip out the door of your own soiree with him who was he with
Twenty-first solstice brand-new birthday-body summer-singing
Under the leaves his eyes are enough
Virtuoso he’ll say my dear virtuoso is it strange to say I’m proud of thee
Walk past the edges of town to the place where the night is curved
You need to take yourself seriously     Decades to absorb
Zodiac is cousin of the clover the alfalfa
After midnight when the field becomes a fleeting waltz
X-ray your heart and you’ll find the dogwood the redbud

                 ~ Forthcoming in Nightfall Marginalia, What Books Press, 2023

Real State

Thou shalt hang thy blankets from a tree

or thou shalt score a gig as a retail doorman on Rodeo

Thou shalt cover thyself with a sheet of clear plastic and kick at the corner of Broadway and 6th, while pedestrians pass

Thou shalt fumble for keys at the end of the night shift, still in scrubs

Thou shalt hang a right in thy pre-owned 911 Carrera

Thou shalt remove all personal belongings from thy cubicle before the end of the business day. Here’s a box.

Thou shalt spring for the 27-thousand-dollar beaded gown not far from the Bois d’Argent

Thou shalt prop the mattress against the eucalyptus across the street from the house in escrow, the two-story for lease, and the reno covered in Tyvek

Thou shalt park thine SLK 320 under the sycamore leaves

Thou shalt not be able to light your cigarette in the wind as you sit on the stoop behind the open storefront display of wighead mannequins

It’s an economy storage box

Thou shalt pick up the tab on the ornamental 13-thousand-dollar Buddha and that 6K bottle of scotch in the duty-free

Thou shalt dry thy clothes on the guardrail in front of the Walgreen’s and Shabu-Shabu

Thou shalt walk with weights in the evening as the sky turns amethyst then amber and the water comes on, inches from the rusty grass

Drive 45 on the boulevard

Thou shalt leave the couch and the plastic plant on the curb at the end of the month

Thou shalt load the Relo Cube for pickup at Glyndon and Vienna

Thou shalt live in the back of a 1950s Buick with shattered glass

You can use the wi-fi at the Starbucks next to the Dollar Loan

Thou might get a construction job on the northern side of the National Rent-A-Fence

Thou shalt put the tents up after the shoppers leave

Thou shalt no longer be able to afford the unpermitted room within earshot of gunshot and helicopter

Thou shalt “join the 17 million readers who have fallen”

Thou shalt try to sleep in the late afternoon at the base of a streetlamp on the hidden side of a Shell in the Marina

Thou shalt lose thy shirt selling armor, rugs, and chandeliers

No Parking Any Time

Thou shalt stick two signs in the lawn: “house for lease” and “tutoring”

Thou shalt check the stats on the listings from the last six days

Thou shalt organize thy belongings carefully under the overpass

Thou shalt not vacate the premises without giving a 30-day notice

Thou shalt guard the tents at Venice & Globe

Open door policy

Thou shalt not sleep except upon a concrete floor

                                  ~ First published in Pratik: The Ghosts of Paradise.
                                  Forthcoming in Nightfall Marginalia, What Books Press, 2023

At Hawthorne Bridge

Until a bear arrives, in darkness.

As though the air has gotten into everyone’s clothes.
Or the water has. I force myself to look away.

The men walking solo. Staring into the muddy brown,
the towering. That weird sense of Celan.

So many posing below the promised petal canopy.
Uncomfortably damp.

Or that fantasy of too much whiskey.
You know, there are ways.

And I’m close to turning back to lie in the snow. A little too close.
Or I’m shooting a video of my footsteps on the phone. Cellos, violins.
Something like a carnival arrives. And what to call those sounds

weaving from their strings? Black cases open.

But maybe there’s another way . . .
my grandfather tumbling rocks in his garage. Until the smooth stones glistened.

Glistened as much as when they were submerged.

Another kind of baptism.
Like water without water.
But with the absolution with the shine.

                                  ~ Forthcoming in Nightfall Marginalia, What Books Press, 2023

Would Not Have Seen Each Other for Years

Jupiter comes. The red whips. Smoke-dusk clouds of mauve.
I am the bass note, the string. You’re the finger.

            He says, Try to get your images
            from the inside. It starts small. Precise:

the lingering shadow of a ghost web
hangs like lichen, lifted by a fan.

            I tell him it reminds me of Durer’s
            last self-portrait: that’s how his face looks.

Toward the same magnet: birds fall like ash,
untouchable through blackening trees, carnelian.

            Here’s an image: flying back from his face;
            what will it look like from inside?

Fire-skies of ruby, skies of garnet.
Birds, like falling paper, twirl down

            and that’s how you face it. It starts small. Precise.
            I tell him it reminds me of Durer’s

birds like ash, falling.

                                                ~ Forthcoming in Nightfall Marginalia, What Books Press, 2023


How could it come to you, again, from such a past
            Or, as later, rain pelting the hut
And you don’t question them—
            The new, temporary ditches lining the thresholds
            These rushes—kettle pennies clattering skylights
                                    Or now
A neutral silence, just ringing
            Or an engine tracing the movement of a passing plane
                                                An itching hand
A start
How does it translate
            The vague sounds of distant tires
            A recognition: stiffness in the neck
And a residue of truffle honey on goat cheese saved from a party
            The old red, or the muscular sable
Like a cat, offering its tail
                        Or the little trickle in the body waking itself up
And tired eyes
As though one could hear
                        The sound of the dark

                                                ~ Forthcoming in Nightfall Marginalia, What Books Press, 2023