Thank you poets – thank you for sharing your words, your language & imagery, your questions, and your ways of interacting with this beautiful & confounding world we inhabit. #NaPoMo makes April a month rich with posts & poetry & poets to read. The submitters to Brain Mill’s contest have enriched our reading, from prose poems to lines of lifted wisdom to switching points-of-view, to poems paired with and sandwiched alongside images.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Editors’ Choice Selections over these last weeks, as well as highlights from our featured poets. We’re excited to share the poems of our winning poets, as well as a short list of fabulous poets whose work you should seek out & read – we know we’ll be eager to read more of them.
—C. Kubasta, Assistant Poetry Editor
Brittany Adames, “A TANK WITHOUT GASOLINE”
Alex Stolis, “Never isn’t as long as we think”
Paramita Vadhahong, “A Meme Reimagined: Love Between the Gaps”
Emily Hockaday, “Trending Topics”
Mira Martin-Parker, “Like a Poor Girl”
Merridawn Duckler, “Samsara” and “#Nine Pick Up Line”
Cherry Jubilee, “Bordello Song”
A TANK WITHOUT GASOLINE
by Brittany Adames
My grandmother once rationed her bones for each man who rapped his index fingers
against the wooden table, the sound a sweet, soft knuckle for the word: skin.
My mother’s ring is the only one that fits on all my fingers —
the same one that ripens enamel until the only thing that fits our mouths is: skin.
I learned of the word lust when I soaked my face in a tub and guzzled tap water
as if it were the last remaining ingredient in language. I remember its taste: skin.
My tongue gives way to wire mesh, thinned by the soft ruffle of linen sheets.
I voice my body as if it were resolute, framed by weft yarn absorbing: skin.
I thumb through Bible pages and name a testament for the women
who know of only one thing before their name: skin.
And for the women who coat their flesh in goatskin before
letting any man touch what is theirs: skin.
I ask my grandmother how woman and fear are synonymous
and she responds by striking a match in her mouth.
She says, “Skin.”
About Brittany Adames
Brittany Adames is an eighteen-year-old Dominican-American writer. Her work has been previously published in CALAMITY Magazine, Bombus Press, Rumble Fish Quarterly, TRACK//FOUR, and Rust+Moth, among others. She is pursuing a major in creative writing at Emerson College and serves as the poetry editor for Ascend Magazine and prose reader for The Blueshift Journal. She has been regionally and nationally recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards.
Never isn’t as long as we think
by Alex Stolis
We are impermanence, filaments of light. We are not straight
Lines drawn from Point A to Forever highlighted in transparent
Blue. We spin ourselves tales. Of beginnings, of firsts. First kiss
First touch. First fuck. We mythologize impatience, fumble with
Buttons, snaps, belts unbuckled and hair unpinned. We become
A sonic boom rattling windows and shaking walls as if never can
Be measured by decibels. Not how long we can hold our breath.
About Alex Stolis
Alex Stolis lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals. Recent chapbooks include Justice for all, published by Conversation Paperpress (UK) based on the last words of Texas Death Row inmates. Also, Without Dorothy, There is No Going Home from ELJ Publications. Other releases include an e-chapbook, From an iPod found in Canal Park; Duluth, MN, from Right Hand Pointing, and John Berryman is Dead from White Sky e-books. His full-length collection, Postcards from the Knife Thrower, was a runner-up for the Moon City Poetry Award. His chapbook, Perspectives on a Crime Scene, and a full length photo/poetry collection, Pop. 1280, are forthcoming from Grey Borders books.