Enough already about it, a poetry professor
once said. There is no room for the moon
in poems anymore. The idea being it has
all been done before. Undeniably true.
I tried the advice, writing about waves, ill fate,
petals like bells, eyes & lies, secrets to confess—
all other things that have fully been said.
Then last night, early spring, getting late,
trees black & still bare, you held me hard
in your arms. We were one, lit by it, entirely unknown—
full pearl button, huge sequin sewn in night’s lace dress.
Julia Caroline Knowlton is Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, where she has taught for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in French Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University. The author of four books, she was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2018. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets College Prize and a Pushcart nominee. Her work has recently appeared in literary journals such as Boston Literary Magazine and Raw Art Review. You can find her on Facebook.
haunted by the past,
I hear the slipshod music
of a distant summer
loosening its bloodred grip,
easing-up, not on the heart,
but on the memory of itself,
until I’m left with the blur
of vanished faces
and the glittering, indistinct desires
prowling the fabled hall.
Even with time passing through
the jeweled carcass of summer
I still find myself
climbing the dim hillside
to take the moon into my hands,
that dark bread, which all my life,
has fed my longing,
has made my hunger shine.
Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress (www.sevencirclepress.com). Their work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, Ghost City Review, Rust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. Visit them at http://www.sethjani.com.
IDEA OF DIGS
I’m a fan of gneiss and schist, both formed under pressure
to make layers, which happens with personalities too
but I prefer schist because you can pry the layers apart
spread them on the picnic table and see them glisten.
In college geology, rocks were my favorite topic
and I liked the idea of digs. Imagine how Herbert Winlock
felt when he dug through that wall in a mountain cave
outside Thebes to find hundreds of tiny clay figures
depicting ancient Egyptians in everyday life:
rigging ships, threshing wheat, feeding cattle,
rolling papyrus into scrolls to be used by bearded scribes.
Part of me wants to do digs in some faraway land
but part of me wants what I’m doing now:
sitting in a backyard lawn chair watching the sun
make shadows of clothespins look like miniature
tree swallows about to make a move, but not quite.
SOON THE MOON
Soon the moon will seem strange—
we won’t see it in the same light
which happens frequently to me.
I once thought a clean oven was important
or when Sam didn’t tuck his shirt in
after moving to Brooklyn.
What would Akhenaten think of
a man in a bucket loader floating the alley
three feet above our backyard fence.
Akhenaten was an early monotheist
wanting everyone to believe in the sun.
He saw things in a new light, you might say
as I do this morning hearing how many
people are signing up for moon travel.
The bucket loader has been
rattling the alley for over a week
remodeling houses across from us.
Sam is successful as Brooklynites go
and I have completely forgotten the oven.
I have to say Akhenaten could never
have imagined things people believe in
since he first promoted the sun.
Lynne Potts has three published books of poetry: two by National Poetry Review Press and one by Glass Lyre Press. In addition poems has appeared in Paris Review, Nimrod, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Oxford Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, DrumVoices, New Orleans Review, The Journal, Cincinnati Review, Art Times, 2River, American Letters and Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Broken City, New Millennium Writing, Seneca Review, Karamu, SPEC and many other literary journals – more than two hundred poems in all. She won the Bowery Poetry Club’s H.D. Award in New York and was the winner of the Backwards City Review 2007 Poetry Contest. A poem from Paris Review was selected for Poetry Daily. Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, Moulin a Nef (Fr.) and Ragdale have awarded her fellowships to their colonies. She lives in Boston and New York.