LPR celebrates its writers for all of their imagination and craft. The editors have had the delightful challenge of selecting pieces for the pushcart nomination. Here are our choices. Congratulations to all of you!
“Black Light for Etheridge Knight” by Peter Marcus
“The Wind Makes It Impossible” by Kendra Kopelke
“Fly the Car to Mars” by Beth Gilstrap
“Locked Out” by Jeremy J. Kamps
“Runaway” by Cynthia Greer
“The Laws of Motion in the Heavens and on the Earth” by K.E. Butler
“Mongrel Wood” by Ilya Leybovich
“Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Clarinda Harris
“Sea Witch” by Margaux Novak
Peter Marcus is one of our featured poets in the Winter 2017 issue. He has graciously allowed us to reprint his poem here.
Black Light for Etheridge Knight
after Terrance Hayes
Count those living a locked-up life who sleep with one
eye open, always open. Black is the horse running from
the fires. Ka-toum Ka-toum, Ka-toum. Ka-toum. Black are
the horses galloping in silhouette across the stone-white
face of the moon. This song in which the dream-god said,
I will give you two hands that cut with the skill of Kara Walker.
The dead you left behind on Korean fields. The near dead
you lived among in wintertime on Midwestern city streets.
Those kept temporarily warm by Pluto’s snowy light.
The cemeteries of the heart one carries like an ancient vision.
Who among us is not less than their history of grief?
Who’s never drowned in the wine of their own blood?
Who’s not been beset with a vision of America without
its prisons, shelters, slums? I too lost faith in the systems;
sustained only by friendship, family, forgiveness, art. How
you sung the talking drum, the kindness drum. Bearded bard
of Memphis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh. King of cobalt. King
of indigo. Ka-toum. Ka-toum, Ka-toum. Ever shadowed by
a racial blues: its horses, her tender hands. That primordial
blue where the stars still yearn to feel themselves scatter.
Peter Marcus has poems upcoming in Miramar, Slipstream, and Prairie Schooner and in Broken Atoms in Our Hands, an anthology on nuclear war and disaster. He will be attending an upcoming residency fellowship at PLAYA (Oregon) in May 2017. He has published one book, Dark Square (Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press imprint, 2012).