This selection, chosen by guest editor Samantha Duncan, is from In Our Now by Valyntina Grenier, released by Finishing Line Press in 2022.
Pressed Against This Smart Glass
Happen to find yourself a particular afternoon notice a makeshift craft floating through the narrow and bounded by steep shoulders waterway Notice fairies harnessed/ boiled a ramshackle armada of miracles from the comparative wilderness caught that afternoon care evidently distrusting the order ‘wanted alive’ Hollowed out logs lashed to a skinny man w/ a burlap sack deemed to be snoozing A rent in the net under the weight of streams blanketed with moss The sun already knows my nickname An arrow shot clean through my ribs Clock fragmented clots of day plan/ plant/ drain the fertile forest hills The wilderness riding me out across out of print autobiography w/ a resonance of mathematics learned bargaining sharply for apples can tease murderers and settlers to domesticate the frontier with old world exotics Disparagement might return a golden habitat an emblem of marriage from man’s peculiar craft Passengers point at a sign working for food waiting for the bumblebee to wake up to hover among wide eyed We give credit the power domestication represents take to dance Generations assume naive scenes Animals sit it out Nutritious acorns buried any arrangement with us long before boatloads dependent on bank territory or at least the folk hero I figured Modest our orchard or/ our childlike wishful/ wistful thinking how lost We accept fate in the tang of strangeness sweetened beyond recognition a blemish free plastic dimension one all-purpose-single-use-just-as-described-cheap-fake-sugar substitute for the strong desire to live to lounge in queerness with no address Hallow defiance a night swim a vegan frontier do you mind to ride a horse or punish a worm Children are not rumors For some cis-godfearing-rapist-white-men emphasis relies on their dress/ color of skin/ mitigation/ migration/ maps Some far flung account/ song led to the river the reality and the pipe littered behind
Valyntina Grenier is a multi-genre eco artist living with her wife in Tucson, AZ. She works with paint, ink, Neon, encaustic medium, recycled or repurposed materials and words. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, the tête-bêche, Fever Dream/ Take Heart (Cathexis Northwest Press 2020) and In Our Now (Finishing Line Press 2022). You’ll find her work in Beyond Queer Words, Genre: Urban Arts, Impermanent Earth, The Journal, Lana Turner, The Night Heron Barks, Querencia, Ran Off with the Star Bassoon, and Sunspot.
Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2018) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her work has appeared in BOAAT, SWWIM, Meridian, and The Pinch. She lives in Houston.
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