Current Features

February Featured Readers

February 12th, 2019

Joel Katz

Heather Folsom

Joel Katz

Joel Katz has worked in Silicon Valley as a business software specialist. His poems have appeared in various literary journals, including Sand Hill Review, The Montserrat Review, West Wind Review, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Spillway and Red Wheelbarrow. His chapbook Away was published by Mayapple Press in 2008. Together with colleague Robert Perry, Joel has translated poems by the contemporary Dutch poets Ingmar Heytze and Saskia Stehouwer in the  bilingual book iets anders | something else (Dutch Poet Press, July 2017). A translated volume of Saskia Stehouwer’s recent ecopoetry volume Free-rangewill be published in April 2019 (Dutch Poet Press).

We set out in the boat

We set out in the boat
to bring back something
to eat or at least a story
but the waves yielded neither
so we brought back the wind
which was tasty and full of suspense

For a New Year

We needed a new kind of Bible not so much a testament as a ball of
twine to be unraveled opened something linear yet undirected something
beyond a ring-tone and finger-swipe to focus our attention something as
vaporous as a cloud yet casting a shadow on the very ground we walk on
while we consider how many haircuts it takes to feather a pillow or how
the storm drain at the corner of Putz and Montana in Cincinnati is the final
resting-place for misplaced car keys how it’s a portal for errant raccoons
how during autumn rains its grillwork resembles a coffee filter soggy&rank
with leaves how at that corner with no school crossing-guard the storm drain
is an arbiter of flow is this where the twine will lead us and will we find
something to believe in

Heather Folsom

Heather E Folsom is a poet, gardener, and works in the tech industry. Her first published poem came out in Modern Haiku, October 2018. Heather says: “I write poetry on purpose and by accident. I focus on the intersection of time and place, and I care a lot about precision. When a poem goes well, it comes close to capturing the detail and clarity of a still life painting. This thing, at this moment, viewed from this angle, by these people – and why it matters. I also write a lot about work. The human interactions that happen in offices, the communities we build up at work and how they function – that’s fascinating to me, and I think somewhat untapped from a poetic perspective.”

What if

What if I take
everything I want to believe as true?
Myself fearless, you undamaged –
life open before us. What if

the landscape has already shifted, already shattered the weight
of stones we gathered, unknowing?

How does the world appear
with both our pasts wiped clean?

The flight I did not take

The flight I did not take
was the flight that left on time, pulling out of the gate
at eight-
-oh-five a.m.
no delay or pause, no need to hesitate and reboot navigation.

The flight I did not take
was the flight where I did not spill my coffee
halfway down the jetway
where the entertainment system was filled with music I didn’t know
but loved precisely.
It was the flight with attendants handing out
room temperature water, which I prefer
no ice
no slippery napkin
no pretzels
just chocolates and caramel and strong black coffee.

The flight I did not take
was the flight with three cute babies
all giggling, none crying
and one tiny dog that escaped down the aisle
and stopped at my seat so I could pet it.

The flight I did not take arrived twenty minutes early
and my hair was not tangled
and my mascara was not smeared
and I arrived at the train platform just as the train pulled up
and I stepped on and was whisked rapidly away to my much-loved far-away city.

The flight I did not take
led me to zero jetlag
to afternoon tea every day at four
to sunny and non-humid weather
to cheerful and usefully collaborative meetings
and plenty of free time.

After the flight I did not take, I slept well
and woke, refreshed,
in a new and different city.