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The Duplications

A magazine of contemporary poetry. Don't submit crap.

Updated: 2018-03-05T10:32:20.834-08:00


Mark Statman, "Swan Song"


the boat ports at the dock
the plane the runway
the swan the water
everyone has some
question of travel
connected with certainty
and uncertainty
with arrival, departure
the green mediation
of the imagination
the green mediation
of a path
defined by bridge and wire
I’m in love
with the black swan
and the white swan
I’m in love with the boat and
I’m afraid of the plane
the smell of the water
the boat’s horn
the flight attendant’s sudden
closing of the cabin door
I know how to swim
and can easily forget in passing
the iciness of the water
I can’t fly
and I know how
the deceptive solid clouds
wouldn’t hold me
not even for a second
right now
I’m in love with the swan
with the swan song
though this means the end of something
at the beginning I only think
of what’s ahead
in the middle
of when it’s over
at the end
the swan touches the water
it makes hardly any ripple
in the late summer afternoon
no song, no ripple
smell of honeysuckle and lilac
the swan swims away
when the black one meets the white
then two
no song yet, no ripple still
the green mediated path
of imagination, bridge and wire
from it
you’ll hear them
swan song
you’ll hear
come on, come on

Scott Glassman and Sheila E. Murphy, Untitled Collaboration


from Section 1Leviticus dusted for prints leaves little doubt of what is missing from the tent of acrimony severing the wince from nature and blackmailing sippers of latte into pocketing the story following the story rumored to be the sole story, kisses or missed brush notwithstanding.Affections wheeze a channel-click stammering thou and shall deuteronomy zooming into Chappaquiddick, the unsolved fabulist: autum festival stirrer and frothing frigate scantly heralded biserial, hazard lane. Hop to it, wish this upon fuss, rush in. Demand it.Second commingling solves thousands of zooms that cut to the quick to find a found lane drawn in thirds. Binomial distributorship seems only yesterday’s conundrum. Broth bears Alice rushness. Pass it on. The mandarin exclusion quakes with fistula revealed.Stall door barges into lop-eared odyssey, confounds the gear sneezing agitatesenigma’s road crew off-ramp teacup— nausea impresses, retrofits algebraic masttournaments, years, all objects abscessed (smile) where bell jars gather rubble, breath.Tactics mean the world is drying. Years take back the paltry fall of yesterday, the parking lot where woman as robot left her meal, prompting a departure of all others from the tiny space as though stubble were a launching pad, found charted, and gears finely worked.Neither lap nor Julia’s suspicion uproots the fabricated the laxative of thirst. Betrothed as one is to Proteus, due for neverland, categories rappel down the outfield’s only wall. Strike three names the intimate in saddle-stitched unshaven strep throat apprehension. The set pulse leaves us cold from all that failure to fry. Protean baskets empty themselves and neighbors, purported to have shared the field, the wall, three blames prehensile possibly, until the spikes enter the wood of definite articulates (still pulse).Anemic flurries lend sound into-these-gaps-with-caution, deer’s tongue simmers whitely among the faint of being, and scrolls la meme chose township’s fallow rack where twilight attains its body, the o’saurus of night’s fecund silver rakes its reef awake. Aloe s/oftening the skin. Conditioning repositions aught to form primary numb(erstwhile) c/raft there(by) depletes an enormous storehouse (Stockhausen) in the act of following the fallow with attention, post-scurry qua liver spots delineating twilight’s free twills.Antiquated bin of heart’s twice-wrapped furl. Innerscript is width the score-is(gorge)ousas ventricle, logarithm vivisecting orange slices on pint glass emblems of slippage, sightlined to the hilt rabbinical wollop, swift uppercut g’mornin after Vader’s dark has bitten.Leave the litre near the bin. Turn off the set. Core gorges feed the ventricle to rhythms in a mood of sector lint. Blancmange served to the rabbi yields a string of wisdom, or a vast warm sky finned through by youthful curiosity, cut with ratcheted ark markings just lit.Sharpener vatic as the haftorah point-click-drag (disposed of) yoga ligament. Thumpingbrood of crash-apportioned child. Shekinah appetizer fields a ping of sincerity, iconsleap at the tragic voweling of purim noise. Pop-up exodus recants six million tea lights.Lump together rash and you get wrinkled dashboards, conical dreams, rim-shot cavities. Posture toward the sacraments and you get consonants that cantors fling. The tea runs mist across the yard, proportioned so the point is breath, not noise, not rude. Not cash.Stumped but not forgotten, how the louvre of odometer and mileage consecrates fealty open-ended stairs equipped in the amen of pluto’s demotion, role as simple son via ravines’ equating link of Haggada to kissing & egg hunts condensing to afikomen.Miles to twirl before dense kissing’s quasi stair light in the full consecutive of morning shaped by vines’ links and the looking. Draft integrity mourns instructive sadness for the simple to be right in this museum of promotion. Vast and shouldered and arriving.Even differentials invite the miner’s lettuce into escalation, penny to the well-pleat. In[...]

David Michael Wolach, "Rabocheye Dayelo"


The gendarmes: fastidious sparrows with semi-automatic documents raiding nests. December. They stole the newspapers but forgot to take the ideas.

Water is the reason god was invented. Oil is a byproduct of a discrete ineptitude in the upper strata. They buy t-shirts expressly for the occasion and never forget their fanny packs. Like small turds sparrows streak across a horizon lined with radio towers. Nobody broadcasts this.

Oil masks roads paved with good intentions. Intentions are hard to come by. Children say they've seen them. One might leave a plate of haroseth for a spontaneous arrival. Wine is too extravagant now. And nobody eats the brisket. Not even minor prophets.

Look for clearance sales at corner stores. Indications that aliens will be paying earth a visit. Blue-light specials attract more than one form. Shadows cast by these are long as the sun is low. Very low.

In Hamilton Ontario two tall stacks used to shoot flames from their mouths. One has gone out. Water at Rosie's is from the tap. Chlorine masks the idea of cocktail. Cock and Tail are what you get here. Luck is to be blamed. Someday that fire will rise again. Then you know the paper will mill disproportionately to demand. One small overlooked dividend will be:

the newspapers will reappear and not long before the gendarmes.

"Remote" by Laurie Price


A cologne named Siesta or
a bus route dubbed Beethoven
misplace the detachment of
solo distances from the getgo
When I hit this green button
there you are a field of mirrors
I reference the discontinuities:
to write and engage by love
& money desires impulse,
concentrated persistence
sometimes though not
altogether, almost

Christopher Mulrooney, "the billionairess"


outcome goes
anyway comes in a four or six-wheeled carriage

the victim is described as follows
medium height or build
medium fantasies or weight
and the build of fatuousness

the victims start to disdain their own mothers
lining the sidewalk
two or three deep in places

Nate Pritts, "4 months from Monday, Monday"


“Monday, Monday, can't trust that day.”
—“Papa” John Phillips


Fool, said my muse to me. Fool.

Already, buds. Spring starts talking loud

& the quiet of this winter is

a slow echoing.



I make a sandwich. I drink grape juice. I peel an orange.

Today I am a lute in a window & there is no breeze.

Today I am a window with a lute in it. No breeze.

I am a breeze not blowing; over there: a window, a lute.

I peel an orange. I eat.



Affirmative red, this dichotomy.

Can’t trust that day.

Sparkle-hearted: this dull memory spackled over.

& what I wouldn’t give for a chili dog.



A sad monument, something fading.

Can a day ever be just a day

or is it always the other days it was,

a dull history of days, an oppressive rush?

Clark Coolidge, Three Poems from Counting on Planet Zero



Dreamed of Ian Holm as Cable Hogue
he came in good on the vacuum frottages
the Baroness Freytag saved from circuses
and idling at the rim of divulgence
firm with parturience on a radar vine
a ring but that end is stupid
blackening with the farm engines
vittles and enough water for a cork
adverse to radio but not in youth
the sail coat came on over night
spent rolling wallets and crowing
over and over the counters rang over
the boil road a giant plant
cognizant enough to have your number
in a row you thought but it’s Pegasus
Andromeda the Silver Pig in Amethyst
robes that crystallize and you don’t
you’d best wait for the proper race
the number of the face
and its waterglass balancing squids


If you survive Absorbine placement you’ll be seen
fanning your palms in Pharaonic thensome
ever study that map around the planetarium’s axle?
I would come to if I were solvent
you could be killed for hiring a new address
breaching a cup attending to the tailor’s details
there are fortresses that dispense transparent tobaccos
or a rash of automatics stolen from lollygaggers
payoffs lying around everywhere the time is now
pyroclastic the burners used here for heatups
they must melt thumbtacks in their blood
that the ocean give one a straightening
puff and drag the marrying molesters
to the circular palace of wandering minds
beneath a sky cloaked in undergarments
if you have the cabbage to stomach it
learn to learn from the telescope not what’s in it
a brilliance you could see soak through bandages
the Flown Child trained to munch on carrion
hoping to brighten in the magic of a milktoast storm
something will always tell you how to turn
a peeling message among the tie-downs
I hadn’t glass to witness


If you walk in off the patio you’ll see
the lamp shining on my filter paper
and the country’s finest collection of goads
but it was dark in my head that night
above alone but none more capable
the signal said we wish to form
an Earth beyond your dreams
the perfect alien of wish fulfillment
lunar beds in planetary belts
no halts on the limiters
the plan was to crosscheck the children
all the crestfallen and sundry dwellers
I got a planet you couldn’t beleaguer
straight but could conquer by the load
ripe for shining alcohol on the grounds
a maybe zany bitch on a homeside ball
a crystal in the hay rick collapsible on call
a throat of tremendous heights and strengths
right comestible on hand but try not to separate
care to scrape this buzz from my flashlight?
try crawlspace stand and get a grip
a hemisphere is for the nervous pleasures
you just slip on a wrap like the uncles gave
the plot was to leave a coverage of worlds
ripe and on hand for whatever following floor



Voilà! The way shit happens, you stroll outside
to see what type of day it is and you'll be damned:
200 pounds of guerilla for sale, a green-eyed leopard
clicking her heels professionally, Martians
in windows, buses cramped with long faces of ghosts—
you don't know how to feel about all this,
but there's a pot left on a stove
and the coil of somebody's lover is burning away...
I'm a child again too, awed when I should
have been sobered, now a spy
buzzed on air, on a mission to nowhere—heads-up
where you step—ambergris and pollen,
sage and saga loose in a bag-o-wind. Sweet music,
you've gone and fucked me rotten.

Thomas Fink, "You Think This Tooth"



is working out. Signs yell slow
soon: visible tresses, viable trees. Or
erotic erosion afoot. Traffic cult rousing

our severance panxiety. Pulled over, shovel
your winsome handicap. Against a hardy
sackcloth tinderbox roaring shell. Cloud could
bitch tuna. Couple toppled by rogue

golf in a snake nest, in
a hot hotel cupola. It can’t
hole my interest. Brain studies its
arraignment. You can be truly thermoplastic
when you don’t need. Let’s rinse

the demented suede suction. When I
cut my copula now, I cut
it into very small monologues, because
I claim it that way.

Tom Beckett and Jonathan Mayhew, "Hurricane Season"



The cop sweeping glass
from the street.
What has happened here?

It's the high acrid smell
that makes one
forget where one is.

I feel very bitter about that,
actually. Bitter and resentful.
I'm taking a battery of tests
tomorrow. To see what ails me.

Only to circle a block
before entering an office
where one wonders, the Good
Doctor prompting, whether
a block fits in a hole.

That corrosive,
substance stuck to your heel.
Wipe off before entering.

(An inadvertent dance
at the threshold
of a laboratory and the street.)

Should I think today
or feel?
If you gotta ask...

then I just ain't prepared
for feeling or thought, or
intimidations of mortality,

or for the tact of the bully:
his refusal to beat on Sundays,
his scruples and niceties.
His redundancies and scowls.


You gotta believe, doncha?,
that every got-damn thing
happens for a reason.

We used to have beliefs,
now we have "belief systems,"
but is this an improvement?
Hell no!!

Improvement, schimprovement!
"Underneath the pavement--
the beach!"

The "sad commentary on our times,"
the "alternating current"--
these are not what you think.
Don't stick your hand into that.

is what I think. Would you
watch where you're walking?

Look, I want to buy some dress shirts,
strike out the side.
Is that the proper tone to take?

Dunno. But take it from me:
I'll swing at anything
that looks like high heat.

That’s why there’s nothing in the freezer
but chicken livers.
You never saw a black cow.
How come your leather jacket

…pleather? Oh, I see,
you were answering
your own question. Clever.


Against the grain.
A thousand fonts at your disposal.
The dullest one is always the proper choice.

Dwell too long
on the proper
and you will
come a cropper.

Not the dwelling, though,
but the to and fro.
"Feel free to come and go,
but not to stay."

(All refrains it's plain
are mainly in disdain…
My gorge, you've got it.)

What could be lamer
than that disclaimer?
A rhyme in time
saves eleven.

We could
talk about the weather.
Is it ever
going to stop?

The growl in my stomach says no—
an appetite for storms and

Stirred, shaken,
but split between the elements,
by an air guitar.

Jill Jones, "Bone"


I set up the shot yesterday
but fell into the hole
in my mouth
yes, where the stories leak
to my throat
or fling to air breathy
busking my walk.

This is the wide city
it has accumulated me
along each stage
the clarinet, the needle
and abraded bone.

Lola Velasco, from "La cometa o las manos sobre el papel"


I. The Hands Speak

This is how your albino hauteur
so bright it is perverse.


Free of wrinkles,
with a dazzling
insolence of forms
you rush your dream
to the crest,
by golden rays.

You flirt almost always
in profile,
and the sun
tosses you missiles
of yellow lust,
alters your color,
trying to confine you
to its dome.


And the other acrobats,
stupid paper ballerinas,
clear away their final pirouettes
so you can show off
your lone, aerial
luxury in flight.


But night will come.
There’s little time left.
And your sophisticated,
cynical beauty will pour down
false gold.
And you will fall to me,

Jenna Cardinale, "Flaws"


The applause for the dahlias only stings my ears when it seems short.

The puppeteers promised to never pause their pruning and I would often resort to believing them.

I cannot sort the saws from the shears.

I just watch the engineers abort the garden, then twist themselves in gauze.

I cannot court these laws. I feel as my right hand disappears.

Nada Gordon, "Nugatory Wax Milk Goats"


for Kasey

It is human nature to stand in the nucleus with a disfigured wax forehead,
mewling and praying in our goathair suits. Meanwhile, Paxil
passes into the breast milk, rending law and opinion nugatory.

Glyph, gnarl, gnash, gnaws, gnome, goads:
the magenta waxworks seraphim stick like rapacious leeches,
milking a he-goat into a frenzy.

Nudities, nugatory, nuisance, numbness, numbness, days are numbered:
the children are emanations of their parents, and dependent on milk emanations.
The milk emanations are dependent on the pulsation of caprice.

The wrinkles progress among themselves in a phalanx, inconsequential and unconducive.
A steadied wolf-fish takes out the acrimonious goats’ milk with a slouched shamrock pea,
soft as butter, soft as down, soft as silk, yielding as wax, and tender as chicken.

The crusted wax bean varies the disqualified ball-peen hammer with a leggy hobble skirt.
A nudist’s nudities trek the nugatory flashing discount viagra, and fade breathlessly
while taking another gobble of the randy-cake.

The man raises his head and looks at me with yellow goat eyes:
"you work in the bad old fashioned way of modeling wax dolls – singularly superfluous
with proudleduck contours."

Glass, wax, silk, wool, hair, feathers, and even wood – each with an emerald
turkey foot at the top, like the milk of our superlative loveliness.

This nugatory acidophilus milk ferret wants out, emitting catcalls in the unerect carnuba wax.
The hyoid Fermi also warbles with dispersive suffixation -- comb, trash and dead bees strained out.

I have been digressing for all that. Let us return to our goats – their treacle and their infomotions. Gluten, albumen, milk, cream, protein; treacle; gum, size, glue; wax:

the little capricorns, vascular soothsayers, shoot off their sprouts.

Malcolm Davidson, "Sinistromanual"


In the country, in a room we've had before, on two hard beds shoved together beneath the beams and the sloping roof, we close our eyes. The one of us with ears can hear a scrape, a scratch, a tick, a claw just in the air, a ticking in the beam.

Lights out and sleep, but something gets me up. I lie with one hand holding up my head and listen to the wood.

That's when a hand comes from behind my head and covers my left eye--left hand, left eye--as if to say "don't look," as if to say "guess who."

I spin and there is nothing there. The hand was small and cool and damp and smooth and smelled of soap. A woman's hand, the left hand of a particular woman who was never there.

Joseph Duemer, "What I Like about Chickadees"


Hard-driven little buggers
with their wisps of whiskers

beating each other from
the feeder & finding some

branch or other from which to
berate their fellows & sue

for redress of grievances.
They are formally dressed

like diplomats without remorse
when hostilities commence.

Dana Ward, "Beatrice"


for me you embody the waking proportion
there is no distinction in hating oppression
& loving you, I turn the idyll away.
In the blur ideology, love & the shape of your face
are entirely real.

What is this coldness between one another?
a coral pore stopped up with christening air
I will sing you a carol instead.
I will break over my head a pure bottle of prosody
then we can sail.

In eclipsing the impulse the light is just so
no, its not you in the myrtle white shroud
being utterly un-good to anyone.

Melissa Jones Fiori, "Manifesto"


I could grow wings and use them to scoop sherbet from the sky.
I could shellac the cat and eat radishes only. I can eat my own life
and spit you out as the pit. From the leaves that fall before turning
I can distill elixirs of my disregard: something for you to drink while waiting
for the eyes of my dream to open.

I am cotton lace, loose from long service under a centerpiece. You chewed me
twenty-two times before swallowing. I have stood on the doorsill and blushed
at your temerity—that was where the earthquake found me. I will not end up
in the arms of hacks and history. If I tried, I could catch
your breath.

I will learn to do the backstroke with severed hands, jack-knifing
out of each embrace. Because dreaming is my life's work, I will weave dung
and mercury into this sweater. Wear it and then tell the world, "Look,
she loves me." I have been so many places besides here, but none of them seemed
to stick.

I can't hear you shouting because a small dog is howling in the kitchen. I stuff
my pockets full of candy, ready to be made millionaire, G-man, cosmonaut.
In my lush new life I will win at cards and refuse to share the wealth.
Fat and happy, like all good girls in all good fairytales. Sweetheart,
the dream has not yet ended.

Gary Sullivan, "JOHN JOHN"


How much longer will I be able to inhabit the corn pail
Of entire slabness? Do dolphins plunge bottomward
To find the float stone papers? Or is it BOOZE horizon
That is searched? Flame corn urgents? Huh. And if some day

Men with "gas prevention" streaks come to break open the moth
Which encases me, what about the foam that comes in then?
What about the grease of the light?
What about the moth?

In pilgrim times your crow wound flustered over
Since then I only lie
My suit scuttled with your flavor choking me
With hell ("buns") ("spew")

bomb compaction lamp bomb scutty work stamen lamp
To have held my breath under the house. I'll trade
the dock I flabbered on,
Named Tom. The

sore you did, "between") mossy rocks down to me
In this warning cake (clocking in the gas
When he'd had he would not toilet lung "e" pan
And clotty toilet smarting of privet

Which on hot spring nights flat pee your crainialtic
With the smell of sperm ("my bread") but "closure fake"
On hot summer afternoons by kicking through your socks
If you knew why then) inhaled

To his friends: Drink to me only with
description ("got the books")
By a great shadow under the styrofoam.
I floated *pages*

The boy took out his own forehead.
His girlfriend's head in clown's redoubt
Of narcissus stems. "OK you win
doubt or froth absorption pillars of intend"

Jack Kimball, "My Car Has Been Eaten"


One assumption is the future will be an extension of now.
A disclaimer in Chinese contains characters that cannot
Be displayed. It says a lot that there wasn't any.

So I write about machines with gears that look like flip-flops.
Cord organizers that yank their loads into natural history.
Sometimes I'm called the father of the acrylic poem.

Brandon, are you going to do a J-turn there? because if you are
It's a switch I didn't intend, miser, helping others, waving
My kerchief, keeping an honorable distance, keeping the cat.



If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some cornflower of a foreign fifteenth
That is for ever enlargement. There shall be
In that rich easement a richer Dutchman’s-breeches concealed;
A Dutchman’s-breeches whom enlargement bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave once her fluff to love, her weak sisters to roam;
A bogeyman of enlargement's, breathing enlarging alabaster,
Washed by the RNA, blest by superchargers of hominy grits.
And think, this heathen, all ewes shed away,
A pumpernickel in the eternal mineral kingdom, no less
Gives somewhere back the thread by enlargement given;
Her signatures and sources; dresses happy as her dead center;
And laundry, learnt of fright; and geochronology,
In heathens at peaches, under an enlarging heavyweight.

Tony Towle, "Out and Around"


The streets have never been more replete
with automotive self-assertion. The sun
has its instructions: keep up the heat. Nouns
drift about like paper. One of them, a politician, orates,
creating haphazard currents of serial realities
and on the corner stands the archetypal critic, musing
as in a blog — scanning the empyrean
for discourse, paradigms, process, and praxis
while poetry pauses, unnoticed, to signify
on his or her leg. And we are not on the same page
so I turn it and move on
to the Librairie de France
where La Monarchie austro-hongroise pour les gourdes
is finally on display, justifying my years of toil
in making The Austro-Hungarian Empire for Dummies
fit for Gallic consumption,
and somewhere in yet another context
the grizzlies are creeping closer
and are doing well from the outside
but can they prosper in the paint
is the question put to the otherwise empty landscape,
and a gentle ripple of opinion
passes through the waving field of experts.
But you are skeptical of all this darting about, you say.
Very well, I shall pick my way among the fundamentals
in these explosive times and relate a sad but cohesive tale:
Krakatoa grew up with two magmas,
which created feelings of stress, conflict, and volatility
and it resulted in a predictable eruptive displacement
that preempted the attention of all in the neighborhood —
and thus they were treated to monumental trauma
as acted out with rock and gas,
supported admirably by lava and all the ash you could ask for.
Now, let us return to the unfinished landscape:
You are correct that the lesson is not clear,
the translation inadequate, the rainbow suspended.

Daniel Shapiro, "Poetry Vanilla"


In a store of ice-cream,
came different flavors of the world.
I looked and saw letters and numbers
on the waffle cone.
I noticed that it was Robert Frost it was
called Poetry Vanilla.
I said strange strange indeed.
I licked the words fire and ice off
Poetry Vanilla and the ice-cream seller said:
Doesn't it taste like words?

Laura Carter, "One Liner"


Oh what a quiet fly

"David Shapiro, "Dream of the Truth or Truth but Slant for Her"


I kiss Lindsay
and tell her how beautiful
her face is.

Later she takes a knife
and is going to plunge it
into my poem.

I tell her, Never plunge it
straight in.
Do it at an angle.


"Truth But Slant or As an Eagle"

I kiss you
and tell you how classic
your face is.

Later you take a dagger
and are going to chop it
into my neck.

I tell you, Never plunge it
straight in.
Do it at an angle.