“Cityscape” by Faraz Rizvi
Wade through stygian night,
Through sprawl of suburbia outward
Into urban territory.
A single image of being in a place:
Los Angeles skyline jutting upward through
Stonewall darkness of nighttime;
Freeways like labyrinthine corridors
Of concrete. Allegedly, it was the Romans
In the second century who perfected the
Use of concrete in urban space.
These towers of glass and steel and iron, and concrete,
Diminutive to our human scale,
Hegemonic in their control of space are
“Shearing off the rains tresses.”
And those other lights below them, around them,
glinting like pieces of flint struck against steel?
The anxiety of being lost in these
Corridors, of realizing it just cannot last as
It all is. It is that too.
It is the negotiation of being in a place
And being swallowed by it.
“How to be an Artist” by Racheal Adair
Like all good authors, go to Paris.
Go on a boat, remember to sneak absinthe from
Chechen smugglers and hallucinate
the Frenchman you are kissing in front
of another ‘Madonna and Child’
is actually Ernest Hemingway, and
soon he will smash the heads of
challenging suitors in with a bottle of brandy.
Buy a hundred vintage ‘20s dresses and
rent an apartment with walls made of glass
perfect distance for jumping into the river.
Sit in the window naked, smoking cigarette
after cigarette, staring at a blank piece of paper.
Like all good writers; go to Paris.
“Fragile Today” by Christal Mims
Fragile and I have no home.
Dropping pieces, holding the phone,
realizing I have no one to call.
please don’t speak too loudly,
or I might just drop the ball,
and tell you that I’ve been cracking from the inside out,
my shell hasn’t been doing too well lately.
Fragile today and my inability to make up my mind and be
one person or
another seems like
Fragile today and I think maybe I’m ready to…
No I’m not,
maybe I am.
No I’m not.
I’ll think about this later.
Fragile today and I don’t want a later.
Fragile today and I’m trying to truly care
It is a danger to run out of reasons.
Fragile today and I’m trying to keep my glass shards
Fragile today and I’ll drop them all this evening.
No one sees my hands bleeding.
Fragile today and I still have no one to call.
I never have anyone to call.