April 9th, 2019
Laura E. Davis
Clifford Hunt is a husband, father, poet, editor, and teacher who lives and works in Half Moon Bay, California. Before that, he lived and worked in Bethel Alaska, San Francisco, Seattle, Arcata, San Diego, and Beirut, Lebanon.
Clifford is co-founder, editor, and publisher with Tim Badger of Just Press, small press publishers of poems, essays, and the periodical Violent Milk, and co-curator of the Just Press Forums.
Publications include the ⊄omplications, Chapter Ø, Outside & Elsewhere, 36 Days in Bethel, The Weekly, You Amuse Yourself You Amass Yourself (with Tim Badger).
What good are golden pencils
without a sharpener? How can
you write without a point? As much
as I want to say, without saying it,
it’s useless. And what’s less than
useless? A pencil you can’t sharpen
when you have something to say?
The therapist must have talked about
this some, told me or you to do more
to keep the pencils sharp. And she
must have also talked about the paper–
the where we write it down, the
everything we’re trying to write down
• Birth • Death • God • The Devil •
Sharpening pencils leaves butterfly shavings
on the desk, in the notebook, and
on the pages we write. Sometimes
I dull the pencil so I can sharpen it
again, and watch the butterfly-shaped
shavings fall across these words.
I forgot again what I was supposed to
do or say. I forgot to remember the
most simple things–like tell you
how lovely you are, and notice how
dawn light crawls across the floor
and turns morning into day. I
forgot again to notice how soft
evening light plays against the walls
and turns so simply into night. I forgot
to turn on turn off the lights
so we could make our way to breakfast,
or at this late in the day, to dinner.
I asked Greg if he wanted
to have a beer with me sometime
and he said, “I don’t have time
for beer.” I thought he didn’t
have time for me, but later,
he said, “I only have time
for stronger liquor.”
Laura Elizabeth Davis
Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Tinderbox, Pedestal Magazine, Muzzle, Rogue Agent, and Voicemail Poems, among others, and have been anthologized in Bared and The Doll Collection. Laura is a freelance writer in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner and young son.
Panic Attack on Easter, a Paean
I am barely treading
water inside the stone
walls of this cathedral, its
sea of heavy arches.
Candelabras are heavy
kingdoms hung in salt
water. The lips of congregants
murmur underwater slow-motion
syllables while I hold
my breath because
I do not renounce
the devil. I do not
believe in thy father.
I do not believe in saviors for sins, I do
not believe in sin. I barely
believe in myself. I believe in nothing
but my body’s hard
grip on a wooden pew.
Nothing but the pulsewaves
of heat blossoming
in my throat, nothing but this
kingdom of pressure,
my fat fiery lungs.
He Has a Beautiful Spine
Your skin is still transparent.
If you were here, I could see
your organs and muscles,
glimpse each jigsaw
block of osseous backbone, run
my fingers down every rung.
Would they light up one by one
as bright as a holiday
garland or unravel a scale of notes?
A singular curved column,
cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral.
Two sacred arches, lordotic
and kyphotic, built from
33 vertebrae, ligaments
pedicles and laminae
fused together. It was your first
compliment — beautiful
spine — its sturdy
curvature protecting a
precious cord. You know
all about cords, the rope
that connects neck
to back to hip. That other plait
too, that thick nourishing
you to me, belly to belly,
eternal, umbilical, placental.
Beautiful braided cord
reaching through galaxies.