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Robert Lietz-

HOW THIS CAN GO

During some dark times in the Bush administration

Siren buses run, undeterred, and destined, who
can tell? Somebody’s thinking spring, searching
acres for arrivals, matched to, preoccupied ( he seems )
by conversations, among the backyard kits,
the playhouse platforms raised behind unbloodied houses,
and by the silhouettes you think could well be
looking in on families, with their high-lit antiquities, and
shelved, wall-mounted images, but no poem,
no poetry, to draw the priests of faiths, the priests of tribes
to such contentment, except for these chilled doves,
huddling ( self to self ) on the iced bridge-rail, and sensing,
in dove ways, the State of the Union, yes, mercifully
less, and the state of shanty slaughter and state worship,
these frosted limbs warmed some,
bearing the gold wash, hill over hill and breath after breath
assuming fields, come as the cold and thaw
and cold again another weekend, given the politics let play,
the Bowl run-ups say, and Teddy Kennedy’s endorsement,
these hawk sentried lanes, lit up against the tribal enmities,
the weather fatigue and sports-blogs,
exciting the incidence of or memories of pleasure, sensing
how humanly this can go, how mid-winter skies,
brushed blue, and unimpeded traffic might resolve, in
pre-dinner soaks and soups, in spiraling layers
love aligns with unaligned curriculi, subject to travel
times, to dusks, dark routes, and lifetimes
put together, well, and well enough.

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NUT HATCH

1

Would this ever again seem sensible? And
which of you would, if dared, hang
ankle-locked from twigged, impossibly high
park branches, or, shivering,
hangers on, imagine the redolence, joined
to that loony loveliness
you both know better than, until
the nut-hatch, sliding
across sub-freezing woods and blue,
through this earliest
gold, seems like the light
itself,
in unbecoming,
and
familiar.

2

The nut-hatch, slicing sub-freezing woods
and blue, through earliest gold.
seems light itself, the beat of which occurs
almost as a distraction,
a reasonable samizdat, or ( listen to this )
as an intelligence light puts away
or agent chemistry, while we are begging
to stay out late, and
speaking double figures, finding our way under,
out, and through the dream’s
comprising, into this unending we believe,
the car in the drive,
and the old man’s generosity no issue,
in ( all at once )
such dreams, the Holy of Holies say,
brocade-draped
on an embroidery-dressed table,
the key
in the last steep light, warm
in
the hand, and
promising.

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IN PROGRESS

1
Pretty Much

Pretty much tells ( I think ) — but what,
when you’ve
disarmed yourself, de-fused
the brokers’ rhymes
and perverse securities, what makes it
knowable, and
how, if not by this intermittent
snow,
these generic sweeps, as
amusements
work their
magic?

Here were our stations, stepping up or failing,
so that somewhere,
through light snow, meant to explain
or save
or something more redeeming, at six
o’clock
you know, a snow-curtained moon
comes up,
to dance or match the cry,
the
beat-box ex-
pletives.

2
Beat Box

Then what should this be, to be in love
and sixty-two,
not that the kids could fathom it, or
grandpa cavalier,

insisting the moon along, above Van Wert
or Indiana, ending a day
with its own fatigue and faux dilemmas,
and maybe some sleep, maybe

some dreams ahead this burnt out trailer
plays no part in, but
only this shimmering, this snow again,
static a driver

aches to renegotiate, acknowledging a city,
where kids live targeted,
and, even as they sleep, day-lit, while
we, with retirements

and wedding plans in progress, think
through the miles,
sounds, if only to infiltrate, bit
by bit,

in these lines, squeezed,
broken
by retelling.

3
Static

But Christ, I think, no poem worth bothering,
match to the Gaza vigilance,

the dreaming interrupted, and no calls,
no sympathy, to spare them

drum-kit dawns and scrambling for shelters,
no poem worth bothering, depending

on effects, a daughter in Ashkelon, sister
in rehab, getting used to plastic,

and Ohio, like another round of choices
acted on, when you’ve disarmed

yourself, west of Wooster maybe, some
place between late winter’s huff

and wind’s suspension, place like
a paraphrase,

parentheses, whatever we
thought

this was, and never
wholly
doubted.

4
Worth Bothering

What do you think that was, a saloon
or living room,
some place where the world ended
in the Nineties,

a local divertissement, working off its magic
or desire, until
the rest’s retelling, the pleasure to sense,
as the universe picks up,

some failing of mind on this chilled corner,
where the last bar floats
and impossible patrons seem to hover,
quarreling at darts,

or counting, subject by subject, the inspired
figures asking in, what
must be mimes you think, astigmatically
aligned, and then

the mimes’ disintegration, believing illusions,
as these play,
piqued by the flaking paint, and testing
your skills, as if skills

were all the world had to tell you,
and pretty much
dissembling, in brokers’ rhymes,
and in perverse

securities, in yet, I think,
another
weekend, holding
off
and out.

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CLOVERFIELD

Dressed for Valentines, the porch tonight’s
enough of a surprise,
and these two cars idling, lighting the garage
and last squeezed moment
at his project, stretched toward the suppertime
she reinsists, in each of several ways
piques kids to her exciting, however his labor
means to count, no less than
the late news, the children’s late accomplishments,
or these notes transcribed,
as the traffic weaves in sympathetic figures,
parts in this poem
I’ll find or have to wrestle from the scribbles, from
the inflected and feathery light,
as if another language, another vocabulary
evoked our first expressions, an
expedition yes, in location or adventure, sensing
the holiness, the terrible face
of God or of conditions, that only by training,
by being trained
we might discern tonight Elizabeth, while this shaggy
and suppering herd
affects indifference, and the last light, turning,
turns a night’s thoughts
to Columbus, to twilights, lengthening toward Easter,
a wintery correlative, imposed
upon the ends of properties, like invisible
fence-lines say, and,
unleashed, dog silhouettes, sinewed for running,
if you will, aligned
by her voice, commanding from behind, by
her authority, to keep
dogs built to run off the State highway, affecting
the sharpest edges
now, that cannot help but shape the night
to their attention,
while, some miles ahead, this cruiser sits, and,
flashing, keeps
his kin and local drinkers honest, since
it’s his job no doubt,
and Cloverfield holds their interest
just so long,
the architecture just so long, repeating
sequences of light
so long, phased through the next
and next
( undifferentiated )
love song.

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CLUB PRIVILEGES

Explore

then this dream : the nail-studded clubs
and club whipped
meditations, the sleep you can just begin
( uncomprehendingly )
to cry for, until the peace you own seems
neither benefit nor issue, with
its displays, its banners strung for leaf-oil
medications, so that the idea
fits, as counterweight or nuisance, so long
as the hackinigs, club privileges,
as the marked hours preoccupy, intimate
what comes to pass as entertainment,
no matter how cold, how dark, how little
comes to much, and
cautions spread among the villages, while
we slog home with our chinese, and
February, hinting spring, suggests the hours
we spend ourselves together,
as the clouds run on, freezing to thaw
and freeze again, but
not so much provocative, so much the wave
after wave of reconception,
outside the Freedom Bulk Store say,
after the shop’s shut down,
among the gatherers at Kip’s Bar,
in hearts and minds intent,
inclined to ignore ( again )
the cry
of shapelessness
and
naming.

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Nearly 600 of Robert Lietz’s poems have appeared in more than one hundred journals in the U.S. and Canada, in Sweden and U.K, including Agni Review, Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Epoch, The Georgia Review, Mid-American Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, The Ontario Review, Poetry, and Shenandoah. Seven collections of poems have been published, including Running in Place (L’Epervier Press,). At Park and East Division ( L’Epervier Press,) The Lindbergh Half-century (L’Epervier Press,) The Inheritance (Sandhills Press,) and Storm Service (Basfal Books). Basfal also published After Business in the West: New and Selected Poems .

Robert has completed several print and hypertext (hypermedia) collections of poems for publication, including Character in the Works: Twentieth-Century Lives, West of Luna Pier, Spooking in the Ruins, Keeping Touch, and Eating Asiago & Drinking Beer.

Besides the print publications poems have appeared in several webzines, including: Quasar Review, The Salt River Review, 2River Review, Terrain, The Alsop Review, Dominion Review, Eclectica, Gravity, The Art Bin, Olympus, The Black Swan Review, EWG Presents, Kimera, Pif, Instanbul Literature Review, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, Interpoetry, Lily and Valparaiso Literary Review.

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Masthead

Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley

Artwork

Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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