Tuesday, July 20, 2021

CLARA TRIPPE—"BAD HABITS ON A NATIONAL LEVEL" (Issue 22)

BAD HABITS ON A NATIONAL LEVEL

The news declares the number of people dead every hour:
they had drowned in their own lungs.         Meanwhile:
flowers across the deserts of the Southwest open
their petals at night to avoid the heat.
They stain landscape
            in ink while inmates in New York are offered
six dollars an hour to dig mass graves. Spring has come, cherry
blossoms escape into the air or else
                    are eaten by green,
all while a virus blooms in white blood cells
across the District. The Met Gala has been canceled;
even those encrusted in diamonds must bow
to someone. The specter of public health hidden in their closet.
Still,     some things will remain holy even in end days:

the divets I chewed into the skin by my fingernails
burn when I touch citrus.         I keep dreaming
            of all the ways we could disappear, and each time
I awake less of us return. Sit cross-legged
at the edge of the grass
            and concrete unrolls from my ankles into a city.
Infant oil spills             coalesce in crevices, promising beauty
but killing my grass. Between two cell phone towers,
light cracks clouds and filters through voicemails,
missed calls,                 bated breath at the other end of the line.
There are tears on my cheek
                                                and I don’t know why.
Once I wished for a world as uncertain as liquid:
the existence of a frog suspended in a jar of formaldehyde. Now,
we are swimming in our own lungs.
            We try desperately to stay dry.


ABOUT THE POET 

Clara Trippe is a Midwest poet who grew up on occupied Chippewa and Ottawa land. She is a graduate of Grinnell College’s English department, and her work has been featured in The Normal School, The Shallow Ends, Rust + Moth, Glass Poetry Press’ Poets Resist feature, and Paperbark Literary Magazine. Clara is a lover of queer theory and freshwater. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @mid_west_dad.

 

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.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

COLE EUBANKS—"RETURN OF THE TENOR" (Issue 22)

RETURN OF THE TENOR

Last night I heard the cellomoan
of that hoot owl again.

Most evenings it sounds like
Pablo Casals, but this time he

was my dead father humming
Italian Opera. We rode arias

from Aida, Tosca, and Pagliacci
straight through to Maryland.

The second we crossed the Mason
Dixon, the curtain came down.


ABOUT THE POET 

Cole Eubanks is retired as an educator for the Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ School Districts. He was the featured poet for Atlantic City’s Sovereign Avenue Black History Jazz Celebration for eight years. Cole’s work can be found in Poets Against War, Apiary, The Journal of Baha’i Studies, F(r)iction, and Haiku in Action Gallery.

 

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.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

ELI KARREN—"PORTRAIT OF A SMALL TOWN AT GOLDEN HOUR" (Issue 22)

 PORTRAIT OF A SMALL TOWN AT GOLDEN HOUR

Surely this is the light you wanted. Everything turned
to amber in the afternoon. The windows peering out
over honeycombs, tessellated mountain ranges.
This, the only memory I have—
a twilight wash, haloed by nettles and pricker bushes.
The moon like a canker sore on the tree line.
Or maybe, I am remembering a dirt road at dusk,
a head angled out the car window, out past
Guernsey cows and paint-peeled steeples, out towards
the mechanized hum of campfire songs. Or was it
on a secret beach somewhere? Pruned hands
cupping the sunset, splashing it around, panning for what
lay at the bottom. What lay at the bottom of all this.
That has to be it. Us tap dancing on zebra mussels,
all tangled up in tape hiss, burnt away
in a lens flare we fed for far too long.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Eli Karren is a poet and teacher residing in Austin, TX. His works have appeared in the Harvard Review, Cimarron Review, and the anthology Turn It Up: Poetry in Music from Jazz to Hip Hop.

 

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.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

DANIELLE BEAZER DUBRASKY—"PETROGLYPHS AT PAROWAN GAP" (Issue 17)



PETROGLYPHS AT PAROWAN GAP

All things crisscross before they disappear into a silence
throbbing between jutted rocks. A trucker drives on a road

perpendicular to the wind gap, visible for a moment, then gone.
A Pontiac guns from the closest town, swerves toward me, honks,

and the men spin away, laugh at my startled jump—I give them the finger. 
We break the reverie summoned from eons of layers that streak rock

masked with graffiti. Names trespass a map carved five centuries ago in 
   sandstone: 
notches, ladders, a sun-circle of concentric rings that gives passage to the next
   traveler.

If we live in dreams, our eyes opening and closing to vistas we create
unless we step into someone else’s meditation, then which ancient one

dreamt this intersection of lines—the distant trucker, the men, and myself,
who wander past a length of road into spirals so carefully engraved?

Our crossing notches a groove in my palm—a new map I now see in my hands.


ABOUT THE POET
 
 Danielle Beazer Dubrasky directs the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values and is an associate professor of creative writing at Southern Utah University. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, South Dakota Review, Ninth Letter, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, saltfront, Sugar House Review, Cave Wall, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, Under a Warm Green Linden, and Terrain.org. Her chapbook, Ruin and Light, won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems were also published in a limited-edition art book Invisible Shores by Red Butte Press of the University of Utah. She has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best New Poets. And she is a three-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition for poetry. Danielle is also the director of the Eco-poetry and the Essay Conference at Southern Utah University. She received her PhD in creative writing from the University of Utah and an MA in English/Creative Writing from Stanford University.

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 12, 2021

OMOTUNDE OREDIPE—"IF I DON'T DIE." (Issue 21)

IF I DON'T DIE

News reaches us of men burning

at home. The police disperse

the crowd with tear gas and bullets.

We have all seen the footage. I can

still smell the fear, that Saturday afternoon

when the air crackled as the rifles chorused.

My father told me that during the war

the children were told to dive into the

gutters if the ground tremored or planes

roared overhead. I imagine my father

in a ditch somewhere, his skinny arms

flat in front of him, his nose in the dust,

as I hold my own breath under the bed,

in the dimming light of the guestroom.

Father Lord, If I don’t die

I promise to tell daddy about the TV stand I broke.

Amen.


 

ABOUT THE POET 

Omotunde Oredipe was born and raised in Lagos and studied at South Carolina State University, where he served as the Poet Laureate (2016–2017) and founded the Poetry & Ideas Organization. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, The Southampton Review, and The Carolina Quarterly.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. 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.