Notes From the Forge

The Gospel of Love According to John

The Gospel of Love According to John

by Therese Masotta

 

1 YOU were miserable before you met me,

but you can be repaired, my love.

2 Remember with joy how I saved you from

knife’s edge—I know you are only

so beautiful when you are happy.

3 Let’s fuck again; God doesn’t have

to know about this one.

4 Think not on the hypocrisy you claim

to see in me.

5 Let’s fuck again, and you won’t notice

anymore, my love.

6 Ask not why you cannot leave, for you

forget the scripture I taught you when

we first met.

7 I am better to you than God will ever be

because I saved you, baby.

8 So, on your knees now, and repeat this

prayer after me:

 

I will not ever leave

Because I am a good person.

 

9 My love, you are my love,

and that is all you need to be.


 

Postcard From a Man Whose Heart Is On Fire For You

Postcard From a Man Whose Heart Is On Fire For You

by Kenneth Anderson

 

Please write and let me know.

Or better, keep your secrets.

Believe me, time will tell

everything there is to tell about that day

 

under the bleachers. Then reliving it

will be all you’re about. So find someone

to mind the store, and we’ll stitch

our little sighs together deep in the Catskills

 

like so much bellybutton lint.

It serves one best that serves one least

to think on matters such as these.

Still, there is so much left over, so much

 

ensconced in the reminiscences of old fires,

games of whist, and the unexplained knock

you dreamt you heard at your bedroom door.

Go ahead and open it. See for yourself.

 

Before Breakfast

Before Breakfast

prose poem by Jerome Daly

 

It’s Wednesday, but that doesn’t matter. It’s maybe around 5:30, and I’ve already been up an hour. I walk a block down 7th for coffee from the 7-Eleven. There, some people are gathered at the bus stop, and the ill-lit streetlight casts heavy shadows over their quiet bodies. It’s the end of March. I’m jet lagged, but enjoy walking without a coat. In front of my hotel I light a cigarette, and a man with puffy eyes pushing a shopping cart tells me his store is closing—medical marijuana, kept in an old orange prescription bottle. The tents and sleeping bags under the bridge that were empty when I passed by last night are full, the smell of piss more intense. I take a sip of my coffee, think about giving him a couple of bucks, but I’m not in the mood for what he’s selling—so I politely refuse. A car pulls over and a pink haired girl in a black miniskirt gets out of the passenger side and asks if I have change for a hundred. I’m only halfway through my cigarette. Why do these songbirds stay in the city, why do they feel comfortable? A man emerges from the Mexican restaurant with a hose and starts to spray the sidewalks. The sun is starting to rise; in the shift to shadows, palm trees appear, tall and long. The doorman greets me with a smile. They’re serving continental breakfast—through a window I can see a family grabbing croissants and coffee, their youngest girl in pigtails drinking orange juice at a table. She plays with her doll, happy to be by herself.

 


Jerome Daly is an alumnus of UConn, a recent graduate of the MFA Program at the University of New Hampshire and 2017 recipient of the Dick Shea Memorial prize in poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Gamut, Leveler Poetry, The Chaffey Review, and the Long River Review.

Dove and Menthol Pillows

Dove and Menthol Pillows

by Timmy Chong

 

You keep smokes in a soapbox. Past midnight

put a towel under the door and run warm water,

hold our cigarette up to the ceiling fan. Spit

and say the scent still sticks to the walls,

and ma doesn’t know, but she knows, you know?

 

Some nights you thunder like a storm

or stumble like a child.

 

You wonder aloud when the fuck you learned to sin

in stride. Chime it was sophomore year

you traded the Bible in your backpack for

a lighter in your pocket, you didn’t mind

aside from the youth group gossip.

 

Some nights you thunder like a storm.

 

You bristle no, that I don’t get it. That every boy

who’s laid in this bed has claimed common ground.

Flustered now, like there’s a line between us

in the ridges of the linen and the quiet

is crisp as shame.

 

Some nights you stumble like a child.

 

Dizzy off a trio of benzos though I pled, you press

all that is suppressed into shapes with soft edges.

Write wilderness, and wilderness, and love

‘til kingdom come, call it

modern gospel.

 

Some nights you stumble like a child

or rumble like a storm,

 

but in the mornings

you are unstrung out

and you, and

you are making toast,

singing in the slack.

 

The Question

The Question

by Ted McCarthy

 

Always, I see now,

I have been asking the wrong question:

not ‘Where are you?’ but ‘How did you get there?’

Dragged in a river I know to be the same,

whose course has shifted day by day,

I cannot bear to face the sea,

I stay afloat by looking back.

 


Ted Mc Carthy is a poet and translator living in Clones, Ireland. His work has appeared in magazines in Ireland, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada and Australia. His first collection ‘November Wedding’, won the Brendan Behan Award. He has also published a second, ‘Beverly Downs’ in the Moth ‘Some Poems’ series.

His work can be found on www.tedmccarthyspoetry.weebly.com

June

June

by Austin Veldman

 

the fallibility

of cornerstone

 

dust in the high beams

like a coming storm

 

desire

wanders into our kitchen again

says

you left the oven on

 

for two hours

 

you pulled weeds

gravel in your knees

 

my love for you

a precipice

 


Austin Veldman is a poet, fiction writer, and songwriter. He is currently pursuing an MA in English from Indiana University South Bend. His poetry has featured in Bateau, Dreams & Nightmares, Artifact Nouveau, and others. He currently is an Assistant Editor at 42 Miles Press and the Editor-in-chief at Twyckenham Notes.

Three Poems by Darren C. Demaree

I Have No Intention of Burying My Body #52

by Darren C. Demaree

 

You can call it a hymn,

or whatever the fuck;

if the fox

 

eats one of my fingers

then finally I will get

to be a fox.

 

I Have No Intention of Burying My Body #53

 

I am the seed,

cracked.

You’re going

 

to love this

next opening,

the rise before

 

the bloom.

Do I

really get

 

to be what

comes before

the garden?

I Have No Intention of Burying My Body #54

 

I tried

not to

sleep

 

too much

against

the flat

 

black.

How vast

is nothing?

 


Darren C. Demaree is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly (2016, 8th House Publishing).  His seventh collection Two Towns Over was recently selected the winner of the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and is due out March 2018.  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.