Unknown Poet from Rue Montpelier

A Poem by Michael Lee Johnson

I warned you darts with advice
strong words tripping over emotions
like an imbecile-
so you think you’re Leonard Cohen
loving some naked Nancy in a cluttered
matchbox apartment overlooking
European culture simulated, 
above some obscure narrow
Montreal street?

For your information,
straight poetics from insanities Almanac,
Leonard Cohen died years ago
in a twisted pickle poem he
entitled “Narcissism.”

Do you and your welfare lover
desire to be the 2nd generation,
deceased, unnoticed, unheard of,
unwarranted for failure artists
inside this thin, onion-skinned wall 
dingy with your dreams?
I warned you darts with advice,
tapering off with your impotence.

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A Poem by Melissa Studdard

Someday I’ll meet you again,
and we’ll sleep like the eyes of hurricanes,
lidless in our trek to taste each other’s tongues
as they throw dirt over my face, into the quivers
of my throat. I’ve been meaning to say a little
something each night, to light a candle
in the doorframe, set fire
to the empty church: For you, I’d drive
the people back into each other’s arms,
where they could see, finally, your
softness again. I meant to say I knew you
were unhoused, the original nomad. There were
none living there among the pews. What was left
was pressed among the pages of psalmody.
And this is no new thing.
Another costume off: My golden hair.
My blue-green eyes.
Shed beneath the dirt.
I meant to say, how are you? And, also,
this is not about me. Because there are tigers
scratching at the swirling wind, and there are monsters
banging on the shutter doors. Because I’ve had no time
to think or eat properly or rest.
It was all just a blind sneeze in the wind.
Let me know everything about you, please.
I’ll go back. Do it right this time.
I’ll be a dragonfly, a pebble, an earthworm, a flea.

*From I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast

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Lost Hour

A Poem by Sandra Kohler

The morning after daylight savings begins, three weeks early this year. Waking to the darkness, I make coffee black, hot, strong. I need every sip.

The change in spring is harder than the one in autumn: the hour lost is missed, the hour restored spent without thought, an instant not an hour.

I was travelling with my sister in my dream, driving a narrow snow-packed road in Italy, when suddenly part of it diverges, becomes

a sharp rise with a steep drop at the side of the berm; we can’t backtrack to the main road. We see lights, a restaurant we were looking for;

though it’s late they’re still not serving. The road’s blind alleys, unexpected gifts, are offshoots of memory. An image comes from a novel I just

read: a room full of the sloughed off selves of the main character’s grown children. What about hers? Mine? Where is the woman I was, driving

that road with my sister two years ago? I find that vanished self in the pages I write, reiterated, stalled by an inability to break from the past.

While reading those pages I am plunged into a deep pool, still waters from which hours lost resurface, recovered, transformed, regiven.

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