Monday, May 9, 2022

SAMANTHA SAMAKANDE—"SELF PORTRAIT" (Issue 23)

SELF PORTRAIT

a lake of a window
whited out by the finishing
December        coming out the rear
of the worst blizzard to drop
by the east coast in years         the yawning
door     a snare of a mouth        collecting
lookers like the white gunks
at the corners of lips     becoming
spectacle in a paper gown
the gauzy shade of a dollar store
shower curtain              so many priests
in white robes charging in to format
my sins            chart them        take my
confession with my temperature
Were you trying to hurt yourself?
Why were you trying to hurt yourself?

ritualized         the thwack of a stethoscope
urgent against my rib cage and the throbbing
underneath       systematized     the chatty
machine and its long-winded
appendages     see-through and skeletal
and plastic      holding my hands and arms
at needlepoint             the itch on the belly
side of my palms        the tickle on the inside
of my elbow I am forbidden
to scratch or bend and the wail
of the machine when I do
the light and loose kind of faded
my mind is      the brilliant anger
bringing me back to my own body
the aching       unsoothable       the pressing
hard on my chest to find it
smell it like you touch the back
of your ear and smell it
the filmy afterbirth of grief        and I
right on the rim of dissolve

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, New Jersey, where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. It is her lived experience as an immigrant that made her a poet, an observer, and a daughter of many tongues and in-betweens. Her work has appeared in Pif Magazine, Hobart, and Gordon Square Review. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets.


ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, April 25, 2022

ROS SEAMARK—"THE CREATION OF THE WORLD" (Issue 23)

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

Brushing my teeth in a South Station bathroom is the closest I come
to being myself this morning. The buzzing florescents illuminating
my body bent here over the sink, my hands flashing under the faucet
is not a faithful copy of dawn like I am. I am so faithful. I am the sky’s
dog. At 6:03 a.m. I look in the mirror and I see words scratched into
the weather. I spit, and it’s clouds.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Ros Seamark is a queer poet and translator from Central California.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, April 11, 2022

JEREMY ROCK—"ON THE DRIVE DOWN" (Issue 23)

ON THE DRIVE DOWN

Behind the washed-out boards of a roadside
stand and those empty shacks with windows so thin
the glass becomes part of the room, lawn signs

remember lost elections, their letters uncollected
and warped with moisture. I’ve resolved never
to meet these houses away from the road for fear

they’d try to keep me, so I hold an even sixty-two
in a fifty-five and watch the pawn shops fade
to vulture feathers around pits of old rain. This trail

is seamed between homes, crosshatched the way
snow melts striated from a hood and I see, by the lights
lining the water, a bridge emerging as if it was just being

formed. I play the good moth and lope along, morning
wearing over me in dull blue streaks.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Jeremy Rock is from Frederick, Maryland, and is a graduate of Salisbury University. He has work published in Ninth Letter, Waccamaw, The Shore, Stonecoast Review, Cider Press Review, The New Mexico Review, and elsewhere.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, March 28, 2022

IBE LIEBENBERG—"THINGS THEY WANT AFTER FIRE" (Issue 23)

THINGS THEY WANT AFTER FIRE

to the dog I found under a bed

Hands offer
compressions

to swollen body.
Mouth around

blackened nose
expires. The taste

of failure stains
the hole dug

beside a tree for you.
At the station,

in my room
I shovel through sleep.

Like a bad obituary,
plagiarize me better.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Ibe Liebenberg lives in Chico, California and works as a firefighter and a lecturer at Chico State University. He is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has been published in The Journal of Chickasaw History and Culture, Chico State Universities Multicultural Echoes Literary Magazine, and The Threepenny Review.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, March 14, 2022

KIYOKO REIDY—"PORTRAIT OF MY BROTHER WITH HIS HABIT" (Issue 23)

PORTRAIT OF MY BROTHER WITH HIS HABIT

After Nick Flynn

Though the internet claims
it takes twenty-one days
to form a new habit, I am here
to tell you it takes only a single
moment of choice, then a lifetime
to unmake—powder
falling up through a slip
of sunlight into his nose or a loose
handful of pills, dead white
bugs in his palm; without sense
of where his body began or how
it could end he bent
the world to his will: like a cartoon
he traced his wants onto air
and they solidified, he drew windows
on his arms and they filled in with stars,
black holes the size of a needle’s
point, tiny mouths with
their unremitting hungers, and all
the while I went on assuming
the worst, though what I imagined
was the worst was not, and even
once he told me I couldn’t really
imagine—a body of doors swinging
loosely on their hinges, the twenty-one
days coming and coming again, an army
of days that were all the day
he was going to quit, the day he’d
rewind, walking backward
through every opening he’d made until
he stood at the entrance
to himself, the first door
of this life I couldn’t imagine,
and finally he’d slam it shut,
all the other doors behind it
falling like dominoes.

ABOUT THE POET 

Kiyoko Reidy is an MFA candidate at Vanderbilt University, where she also serves as the editor in chief for the Nashville Review. Her poems and nonfiction can be found in the Chestnut Review, Red Rock Literary Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Trampset, Driftwood Press, America’s Best Emerging Poets, and elsewhere.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.