Love and Light
Isabel Rae McKenzie
dad worries i’m having a miscarriage
but i’m just bleeding in weird ways
that went unlisted in god’s bodily SOP.
when editors accept my work and publish
as-is i feel like i’ve duped someone,
using phrases like “vintage leather suicide letter”
in reference to the old samsonite i keep
empty bottles in.
god, are you listening?
you didn’t give me directions for any of this.
i waited for a golden light
and all i got was parking tickets.
so many fucking parking tickets.
[i joke about being the reckless child
because that’s easier than admitting
i don’t understand parental love.]
i walk to work and throw the bottles out,
choking on love and light
i’m so loved it’s unbearable
that’s not why i drink it’s why i drink i don’t know why
because i’m bored or lonely
or bored, mostly bored,
because everything, nothing, something,
evening, morning, light, love,
Isabel Rae McKenzie is an essayist and devout Chicagoan. She is a regular contributor to Queen Mob’s Teahouse with forthcoming work at Plough Quarterly. You can find her on Twitter at @birdpoems or at isabelraem.com.
upon viewing Dark Iris No. 1 and Calla Lillies on Red by Georgia O’Keeffe
The artistic scientist put her findings
on a plain white canvas to be viewed
by a general public. Grabbed her
subject by the throat, pulled it apart,
splayed it on vibrant reds, dark greys,
pinned it down. Used blood and laurel leaves
and charcoal to recreate
Mother Nature’s body in detail, a sign
of daughterly affection, and put it out to the world,
where men in suits cry out
about a woman’s sex on the page.
Vanessa Vigneswaramoorthy is a Tamil-Canadian community organizer and writer. She is currently working on a chapbook through the Poetry inPrint Artist Residency at inPrint Collective. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram as @vandoesthings
For the past half century, I have never seen
A single frog in this city, not even in the whole country
But there are four big-mouthed frogs leaping around
Afar in a ricefield of my native village, four frogs
Squatting under the rotten bridge on the way leading
To an unknown town, four frogs playing on a big
Lotus leaf in my heart, four frogs calling constantly
From the dark pages of history invisible at midnight
Four frogs meditating under a puti tree transplanted
In a nature park, four frogs swimming into a fish net
Like bloated tadpoles, the same four frogs whose
Monotoned songs resonate aloud in different tongues
With different pitches, yes, the four frogs still there
Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.