Poetry

Henderson, Samantha: “Berry Cobbler”

Berry Cobbler

by Samantha Henderson

It’s a very old recipe. Almost

primitive.

1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar, creamed together.

Add 1/2 cup milk, one cup flour, two teaspoons, baking powder, a dash of salt.

Spread in a greased baking dish.

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Kopaska-Merkel, David C. & Stewart, W. Gregory: “The Gates, Or, He who sits at God’s left hand has one hell of a right-hand Man…”

The Gates,
Or,
He who sits at God’s left hand
has one hell of a right-hand Man….

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel and W.
Gregory Stewart

The funny thing about the Gates,
they were always open, even holidays,
so of course
things were bound to slip through
past Customs, out of someplace
off the maps

EXTERIOR – UniPoint Gates, Ellis
Island – DAY

(and probably become the things
you stumble on at night
– go bump! –
with no Mark of Excise,
no stamp, and
no accent of discernible origin – things
that burn their passports when they get here
and try to pass
for native or
outlaw or SOMETHING else)

INTERIOR – Somewhere prefrontal – it
is wet and there is foreign chatter, for some reason

but the Gates,
they were always open.
and though the tall ones’ll tell you
they bumped their heads, you know,
coming through or slipping by, you know
they really didn’t.

EXTERIOR – UniPoint Gates – DUSK
or EARLY EVENING as the crowd breaks up; in the background there
is a replicant noise somewhere in the Venn intersection of skitter
and scuttle

(cut from the heart
of some far star – and star only,
unplaneted, so not a sun –
tunneling through
the ‘stein layers
and the Heisenberg-Holland
down to the wholesale district
finally rolling up,
curbside
the Fernwirkung Frontier).

just DON’T EVEN GO THERE

but I was talking about the Gates.
my father took me to see them
when I was twelve.
he pushed me through, ahead of him,
behind another thirtyseven years.
I haven’t seen him since… I’m sure you knew.  

INTERIOR – Cerebral Cortex, off
to one side – DAY, Remembered, and briefly maudlin

getting pooted out
some farside Grand transcosmological Sphincter
like the fine specimen of Homo rosette
I could have been, to become
another frosted nipple
on the great universal cupcake –
is nothing like what happened.
I had to pass,
hardscrabble and
build what fringe life I could…

EXTERIOR –Muffin Man, it’s a
Zappa thing – DAY AS NIGHT (you can – well, you can always
tell)

It’s not so hard to get papers
and fringe is fringe
no one’s scrutinizing yr genetic material
or even asking if you have any
and to chlorine breathers or sentient
vegetation one biped is much like another

INTERIOR FRINGE – one of the
inhabitants, and green – DAY

I haven’t seen you since
dad gave me my severance
but I’ve constructed a 6D mockup
out of spare parts
from the factory where I work
let me tell you that you don’t
come out smelling very well
I’ve run trillions of simulations
and it all boils down to one thing
you were part of it

INTERIOR – olfactory lobe and
part of the optic nerve. Only way some of us remember, or THINK we
do

Oh yeah, I have a good job
so I work for this guy who models
things a lot bigger than yrself
things like galactic collisions
culture wars among spacefaring
civilizations and bumble bee flight

EXTERIOR – sky blue ceilings.
Working overtime off the CLOCK and taking care.

I put him on to that one
I’ve become pretty freaking
important out here on the frontier
I’ve got girlfriends from
two different phyla: both
are having my children
one knows about the other
and she’s cool; the other’s
kind of clueless but hot –
over 140°C when she gets going

INTERIOR – Nether regions. Third
floor. Plumbing and reproduction. Most species keep these strictly
separate.

IF God’s anywhere (anywhen? whatever,
anyway)
in any edition of an iterant multiverse –
is He singletary only, or through them all, I wonder,
then shrug. He’s here and now
and pays well, and I suppose it should be enough
that I get to name things. Sometimes, anyway…

INTERIOR – FRONTAL. Like coral,
or a lava flow. Bring light to life, kind of encapsulate everything,
then – BURN the shit out of it.

There’s no conclusion here
cos this is real life –
not some scripted farce
so I’m not, like, coming after you
or asking the Big Guy for any personal retribution,
just letting you know
that I know and I’ve
made it or something close enough
and if we meet it will be just
"hey"

EXTERIOR – wheel of stars. Space
Odyssey stationery. Inflation. Nutshell boats sailing to THE EDGE.

New planets, nebulae,
a problem in population,
the CHALLENGE
to build someone better than yourself.
Six million dollars –
just the registration fee.

EXTERIOR – cut away view. The
whole cheese. What it is.

Schimel, Lawrence: “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Hole”

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Hole
(after Wallace Stevens)

by Lawrence Schimel

I.

Among the twenty billion stars
that hang like eyes up in the sky
the black hole is a wink.

II.

They say that, “Black holes have no hair”
because only three things matter:
how much it weighs, which way
it spins, and if its thoughts
are positive.
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Swirsky, Rachel: “The Passionate Oven”

The Passionate Oven

by Rachel Swirsky

Mr. Barowicz is a gourmet chef.
His spatula, teasing, stirs milky sauce
agile fingers dipping, tongue darting to lick
sweet, sticky drops. Firmly, he spins
the oven’s knobs, compelling flames to writhe
beneath the grills. His tender mitts ease
hot dishes from the warm, secret cavity
nestled behind the oven’s modest door.

Small wonder the oven has fallen in love
craving to raise his soufflés, fluff
his meringue, brown his meat to firmness.
Mr. Barowicz bends to thrust a dish inside;
the oven’s temperature flares, soaring
high above the number on the dial.
Flames ignite the pastry, consuming it
in passion’s ecstatic, blistering fire.

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