2014 Amuse-Bouche Archive

Barbara McGraw

Spotlight: Dreamscape & Meditations on an Altered State

In a bed/ in an ink-wash of night sky/ a Chagall dreamer rises/ An omniscient moon/ hovers above the pines…

Eric Paul

Spotlight: You Are a Terrible Home Surgeon / The Heart Attack / The Lemon Law

While mowing the lawn, a small bird flew into my chest and stuck there. It’s America. I can’t afford health insurance…

Marci Calabretta

Spotlight: Your Mouth is Full of Birds / Orchard / Penance

You asked me once at dawn about forgiveness and I said
I didn’t think you had any need to be forgiven and you said

nothing…

Spotlight: It is leaving

On the first day there was stillness. For a moment nothing moved. The wind held its breath. The birds stopped in midflight—their wings pinned against the blurry space of sky.

Carolyn Elias

Spotlight: Woman, Where Is Your Crown? / Self Portrait #1

Woman, where is your crown? Why do you stand there dumb-founded? It does not abide in the swivel of your hips or the bouncing of your breasts!

Tim Suermondt

Spotlight: Snow and Snow / For the Persians / Waiting With the Squirrels

It keeps showing up like a complaint no one has answered for…

Spotlight: The Least You Can Do

Since it happened, Beverly has been able to talk and think only in imprecise terms. She’s said there was an accident and the baby is gone, but on the third day she wakes up and the first thing in her head is the baby is dead, and this, finally, is something real she can taste in the back of her throat…

Spotlight: Against the Troubadours

Casting off the fashions of those finders who refined their finery too far in passion’s fire, and reining in my own too-fond desire, I’ll tell the truth of what I’ve found in you…

Molly Middleton Meyer

Spotlight: When the Tide Sings Deep

Dawn calls the haenyo. They return to the shore, the soles of their feet worn smooth. They listen for the ripples of pearls and urchins, sing the sun from darkness…

Rey Armenteros, Time Traveler, 2012. Acrylic on panel, 14 x 11 in.

Spotlight: Turning Memories Into Cards

In painting my memories, I turn them into fortune-telling cards—my own deck of cards, for my own type of reading…

Adrian De Leon

Spotlight: Ang Kanta ni Lolo (Grandfather’s Song)

I stand with my back to the bus shelter, my coat hunched over my shoulder just an inch more so my nape won’t be exposed.

Spotlight: My Night as a Dumpster and an Urchin, and Other Poems

and I know you will not listen, you are like the cupboard,
but please forgive, yet again, my shredding, indefinite removal…

Spotlight: Reclamation

When I am three years old, I feel the burn of a cigarette on my arm…

Spotlight: Chipped Edges Crumble / A Criss-Crossed Sky

In summer, Gram lazily waves at me with the flyswatter while Gramp chain-smokes Swisher Sweets in his underwear, wrestling always playing on the heavy wooden-entombed TV…

Adam "Bucho" Rodenberger

Spotlight: Scaring the Stars Into Submission

3:48am Sleepless. Not just for a string of nights, but for several months. Is this what dying feels like?

Monique Zamir

Spotlight: We Breathe Through Harmonicas and Four More Poems

The anarchists must be somewhere says the orange man in the sun hat…

Jessica Barksdale

Spotlight: Monsters in the Agapanthus

My niece clutches the kitchen doorjamb, her brown eyes wide. Her face is streaked with something dark—mud, dirt, ash. Her thin hair is flyaway, thin, uncombed. “There’s monsters in the bushes…”

Spotlight: Chameleon / The Most Beautiful Thing / Uni-Love

I’ve found you Imposter Erect against the araceae backdrop Stealing your neighbour’s hue…

Tayla Jankovits

Spotlight: I Am Cold

My mother moved in with me once icicles began to form like claws on my fingertips…

Spotlight: Earth Mother / Dimensions / Me Versus the Dainties

My earth mother told me to rub cocoa butter on my gray winter legs, and never fake bake with UV rays…

Jason McCall

Spotlight: When You Choose Thor: The Dark World Over 12 Years a Slave

Tap into your Southern blood and blame Obama: A black president. A black nerd president. Anything is possible. These days, alien-space-Vikings seem as unreal as the Middle Passage…

Spotlight: A Pair of Red Shoes

This is a story about a pair of red ankle-strap shoes. High heels, of course, high heels that give the longest legs to even the shortest of girls—in this case, an Italian girl who stood just a little short of five feet tall, in the Jersey City of 1942…

Christopher Grillo

Spotlight: Fragments of a Shoreline Adolescence; Heroes Tunnel: Confessions of a Working Class Slob.; and Charlene Comes Home From College, May 2012

Frankie and I protect our town, on the scoreboard and at the town fair, still wearing our jerseys, proud of our colors…

Alison Rollman

Spotlight: The Feeling of Now

Tonight she’s in a park, sprawled out on her back under the shelter of a scratched-up willow tree…

Sarah Hahn, Pluto and Persephone / Chris Brown and Rihanna, 2012. Ceramic, 60 x 21 x 21 in.

Spotlight: Gods, Heroes, and Saints Revisited

My work is a reflection of past cultures, distorted by a mirror of aged antiquity, seen through a haze of modern neon lights…