News: Award Nomination

I’m excited to announce that Whale Road Review has nominated my poem “Porcupine Denies His Vulnerabilities” for the Best New Poets anthology! A huge thanks to Founder and Editor & Chief Katie Manning and Managing Editor Ellen Huang for the nod. Here’s the poem. Please go read (and submit to!) the lovely Whale Road Review.

Porcupine Denies His Vulnerabilities

He is monogamous, but always stands quill-
length from his mate. Only the pads of his foot

are naked, his tongue, the nervous sentinel
of his eye. When she cries, he whirrs

his bristles like rainfall on the dust-
packed savanna. She forgets

their distance. She burrows while he collects
the bone-wrought scaffolding of lesser

plantigrades, builds a shrine
to what is hard.

What I’m Reading: Stirring

Stirring’s gender-themed issue this month is timely, given Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition (and the responses thereto).

This is such a beautiful issue I’m not really sure what to feature, so here are a few things:

She watches my hands for me
and I try not to let them shake,
the force of blood pushing
through veins.
When I drop the needle, she tells me
secrets can keep you safe,
but never as safe as trust.

from “Book of Days” by Amber Edmonson

You saw Steve
naked? I asked
my aunt in front
of her mother
over a bowl
of Cocoa Krispies,
as if nudity
was the worst of it.

from “Sex & Santa” by Katie Manning

Occasionally light from other cars muses through the foggy windows. After it’s over, Michael can hear sweat sliding down a cheek. He reaches out but nothing’s there. It takes him hours to find the word pain blooming inside him like pleasure.

from “The Fall of the Archangel Michael” by Michael Schmidt

Seriously, do not miss even a word of this issue, guest edited by M. Mack.

“Floating” by John Capps Jr. (Stirring’s cover image this month)