Street Light Press

Street Light Press is looking for poetry that moves us. We don’t care for elaborate use of language–give us your real, your raw, and your intimate. The work that you write and hideaway because it feels too fragile to share with the rest of the world, that’s what we want.

38

Trying to Earn the Years

By Fabrice Poussin

It has been one decade past a score since

she crawled on the synthetic neon fibers burning

those frail bones in a thin satin envelope.

 

The room yet echoes of the giggles of the silly

girl who would some peaceful dawn awaken

in the arms of destiny shared with another.

 

She watched those teens creep upon the shoulder

blades cut deep into the lovely games when

suddenly they said she was ready for life.

 

Laughing she passed through the gate driving

off to a setting star so flattering of gentle hues

glowing through the white silk dress of twenty.

 

It has been a moment since she has forgotten

numbers written on a doll’s house hidden

behind the door that held the embraces of a parent.

 

Embraces have passed, come and gone with

a zephyr leaving behind dunes smooth as if

never a soul should again trace a line in the sand.

 

In the attic a sled, a doll, jumping rope and training

clothes remind her that she simply forgot to

listen to those who know best, and still she plays.

 

She is the magician, the witch gifted of a youth

fountain flowing eternally to feed the torrents into

the deep of oceans where she will bathe nude as infants do.

June 15, 2020

our next nominee should remember

By Michael Chang

ne-VAD-da

always moisturize

                        hand sanitizer is your friend

                                    and clorox, for when you get to the oval office

check what city you’re in

                        never wrestle with pigs.  you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

                        look out for numero uno

avoid kitchens

                        lose the friends from back home

fail often

the opposite of armor is curiosity

if you do the team of rivals thing, go all in

leave the gun, take the cannoli

if you do not ask, you will not receive

            squeaky wheel gets the grease

two women on the ticket is a good thing

whatever you do in life, do it well

no one else can create the art you can

if someone says “would you rather i lie,” say yes

stop living other people’s dreams

don’t go to law school

play your opponent’s cards instead of your own

you come into this world alone and leave it the same way

time heals all

trust but verify

some things stick

when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

the real applicants never fill out an application

kill your darlings

i really don't care, do u?

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. 

Train Hopping

By Marilyn Humbert 

A founding member of the Pine Row editorial board, MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) is the proud recipient of a Brooklyn Poets fellowship. They were invited to attend the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass Amherst, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop at Kenyon College, as well as the Omnidawn Poetry Writing Conference at Saint Mary's College of California. Their writing has been published or is forthcoming in Yellow Medicine Review, The Santa Clara Review, The Summerset Review, The Broadkill Review, Heavy Feather Review, UCityReview, Chiron Review, Thirty West, Map Literary, Armstrong Literary, Love's Executive Order, Straylight, Juked, Radar, Poet Lore, and many others.  

Marilyn Humbert lives in the Northern suburbs of Sydney NSW Australia. Her tanka and haiku appear in international and Australian journals, anthologies and online. Her free verse poems have been awarded prizes in competitions and some have been published.

                punch-drunk

                on the last train

                popping pills

 

   step off

at the next stop

switch my cap to the back

 leap the gap

 

                   touch-down … spread-eagle

                        on the guard’s window

                              on the butt carriage

                                         vanishing

                                                down  

                                                   a black-hole

 

                                                                           tunnel-lights flashing

                                                                              shadows warping  

 

                                                       blasting

                                                         through glimmer

                                                            fingers grappling

                                                                a thin sill

                                                      volts zing down the wire

                                                           humming    in ears

 

                         wheels clanking      across points

                                      brakes jerk    jerk

   

                                                                     I’m

                                                                           fall

                                                                                 ing

patron saint of lost bagels

By Michael Chang

for evan

(#86 most popular boy’s name)

you know who you are


 

i stiffen :: is it wrong that : thomas rhett gave me light crabs : charlie puth made that choking noise : nick jonas said to cover my face : is it right that

 

you are my :: war with loneliness : 30-day trial : rubber duckie in alligator-infested waters : undeserving love : made in china : love 1994 : per-my-last-email : cat’s paw : beast of burden : little nap : long bath : second favorite : pure love idiot : brainwashed little prince : daily forbidden fruit : not-necessarily : winner-takes-all : better-than-you : eureka moment : hand of god : lucky draw : moonless night : moonlit pool : ghost ship : heavenly kingdom : weather of love : right as rain : hot 100 : lightning in a bottle : so close : so far : so what : faulty parachute : search for black box : sea to shining sea : kennedy curse : kennedy hair : whiteboy : branches of government : united states of : shit sandwich : past life : worth-waiting-for : chat a little, dance a little : charity lover : 10 seconds later : honeymoon suite : boyfriend in prada : blacked out : red white blue : buzz lightyear : no. 0 : beef with broccoli : wild child : cheap love song : genius children 1985 : private tutor : spellcheck’s worst nightmare : unhappy hour : 10 years later : lost love museum : love in the wrong universe : paris hilton : queen of jordan : tamil tiger : honeyed sun : black rainbow : dumpster fire : hungry hungry hippo : wonton : cheat day : question mark : dictionary and bible : red carpet ready : ugly gurls b quiet : chillin with no makeup on : whereabouts unknown : every thursday : that-should-be- me : pumpkin carriage : pumpkin spice : september : june and december : watergate : still got it : cobwebs : crickets : human search engine : human decoder ring : japanese robot : one-eyed jack : loose sleeve of wizard : intern like alexander skarsgård : intern with huge dick : call me maybe : this time next week : goodbye : wawa cherry icee : some personal news : peach emoji : peach emoji : peach emoji

please pardon our appearance

By Michael Chang

                                    leonie hill

                                    up

                        up

            up       

 

whiteboy in athletic shorts                   smoking in the gazebo                         guero  

eyes like ivy                  hair like maple             more leg than a bucket of chicken

ninja turtles lunchbox              pb&j                            half-eaten apple

drives in stanley park               old money shaughnessy                       canadian flags flapping

sheepskin rug               homemade zhajiangmian

                                                                                    novi high school, novi, mich.

varsity jacket    heavy sleeves of calf    smells like you             she asks where it is

she is not for you         i am for you                 okay

last gasp of summer                 red cardinals                            blue jays in my backyard         

                        your head on my chest             my heart beating for you

this is our song            you say             like a threat

you join debate club                 for me              our fingers interlace

stairwell           senior prom                 she sees                        she cries           we keep going

you tell your friends you love chinese food      a little joke       i guess              you still taste good

            lazy afternoons in the kitchen              no longer an island

the dumplings aren’t successful                        but the meatballs are

            i meet the juices running down your throat                  adam’s apple like hard seed

i trace your dimples with my finger     

my dreamboat              my kurt cobain             my love astronaut

because america needs someone to believe in 

me       ???        unsheathed like a dagger          third eye          

glowing like three mile island

remembering you                     in my bunny slippers

A founding member of the Pine Row editorial board, MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) is the proud recipient of a Brooklyn Poets fellowship. They were invited to attend the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at UMass Amherst, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop at Kenyon College, as well as the Omnidawn Poetry Writing Conference at Saint Mary's College of California. Their writing has been published or is forthcoming in Yellow Medicine Review, The Santa Clara Review, The Summerset Review, The Broadkill Review, Heavy Feather Review, UCityReview, Chiron Review, Thirty West, Map Literary, Armstrong Literary, Love's Executive Order, Straylight, Juked, Radar, Poet Lore, and many others.  

By Andrew Shields 

The Drinkers

after Celan, for John Felstiner on his 70th birthday

            in memory of an evening reading "Die Winzer," in the spring of 1988

 

We poured the wine of his lines,

of what he had made of his weeping, we too,

willed by the night,

the night he leaned against, the wall,

attracted by the river,

the river on whose bridge his crutch led us into

the silence of answers—

his crutch still speaking to us

back then in spring and still,

when the year swells to birth, a full glass

that back then spoke to us right through muteness,

and still does, out of the mineshaft of musings.

 

We poured and pour, we drink up the wine,

our eyes are pressed by his eye,

we come out of the cellar of weeping

into an evening he made ready

with night-toughened hands:

so that our mouths can thirst for it, now—

our latemouths, perhaps like his own:

bending towards vision and healing—

mouths to which the draught from the depths foams upwards, meantime

the sun descends into waxen seas,

there and here, our candle eyes still glistening,

at last, when our lips have been moistened.

Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems "Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong" was published by Eyewear in 2015. His band Human Shields released the album "Somebody's Hometown" in 2015 and the EP "Défense de jouer" in 2016.

 

Twitter: @ShieldsAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewshieldspoems/