Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hereditament: flash anthology no. 2

The other day I invited friends on facebook to write poems called Gloria for a napowrimo prompt ... and they did! I am planning to continue doing occasional flash anthologies this way and posting them here.

& so this is the next one, Hereditament, from a quote put up on FB by Susana Gardner:

"Sir, having no disease, nor any taint
Nor old hereditament of sin or shame."
Sidney Lanier; Poems of Sidney Lanier; 1916

Thanks to the poets! All flash anthologies remain in progress so do let me know if you have something to add. xo.


by Michelle Detorie



by Melissa Eleftherion Carr


by Carmen Gimenez Smith


by Arielle Guy


The Opposite of Crow
by Lisa McElroy


by Hassen Saker


The three perfumes
by Elizabeth Treadwell

by Katy Bohinc

Oh you asked me about heraditament, we were just talking about this, about the square root of negative i. about how nothing works without it but we can’t see it. I can show you a table, I can show you 1, I can show you all the counting numbers up to the number of poets in a room, but I cannot touch you the square root of negative i or i for that matter. It’s like a body that has no sense of itself, what do they say, a vegetable, and I say identity is the cause of warts and nothing works without it.
We were drunk of course and drunk again and drunk and drunk and drunk on something I could never show you but then that’s me but you could never see it either but we did and we were and we and pronouns! How insane and irrational pronouns! But they are! And nothing works without them.
Like I don’t know if this’ a poem but nothing works without it.


by Sarah Anne Cox

"Sir, having no disease, nor any taint

Nor old hereditament of sin or shame."

Sidney Lanier; Poems of Sidney Lanier; 1916

The birds have been washed of tar oil
dishwashing liquid rinsed clean
no taint
the nested hatchlings chirp a bitter song
no yellow feathered birds left
clothes horse
secret illness borne to bear
arousal hedgerow
a tiny blood stain
the manifold of disease
a beggars almanac
in the ship’s window
a flea and louse
a tripod burns whale oil
then sugar
then sexual appetite


by Carrie Hunter

In the ballad of the bread.
To marry with a limp.
Dross, the invasions tradition.
Frothy dale veiled estate.
In the lows. Everyone is a fraud,
The only truth in pantomime.

The Real Presence's absence.
With teeth through saddened
textiles. The softened saying.
Spectre flower. Legal formula, speech act.
Our unconquerable, untranslatable name disappears.
The truth is here but faded. The first of the vine.
He is dead. He is drunk. He is the first to be drunk.
Fabulous bird we never see, always reconstructing itself.
We shade the meaning into the words.
We consecrate yesterday to the future.

I always wished I was a Thursday child.
Kerouac's hero's molars ancient from the grave.
We don't remember what burns,
we remember what moistens.
We have to take supplements for this.
Everything red crossing the uncrossable.
I could change the form.
Where salmon go to die.
Having survived the flood.
Let's practice love-feasts.
Confusion, the second stage, feeling the abyss.
Dismally bundled. That precise buzzing.
Gullible like gulping like uh oh where is that fishing line, theta.


A response to a lie (lit) (lie)
in two parts.
For JH, but then, not at all.

by Brooke Lynn McGowan

Part I: taking

Give me chattel
give me the hard thrust
the chains weighing body to the earth,
or chains to chair or chair that bitter undercarriage
of a rombus. It has no wheels, no house, no philosophy.
As peripatetic as a vector.

Have we thought of this my love?
You say you cannot leave, you have gone,
I go.

True, as verring air, constant in your faithless flight.
You say come.
I go.

And seek another, as she said, as I sought you first.

You say you cannot leave,
you cannot, you will not leave, you with the strength of a vector,
the f, the x, the y, values unerring.

You say come.

Be done both with your philosophy, your fixtures
--there is no open air. Only the breath gone out of beauty,
and this house.

Give me chattel
give me the hard thrust
the chains weighing body to the earth,
The slap of flesh, the blood
The stink of skin.

The curdling cry.

Have you thought of this my love?
The loneliness of the parallel line…

Give me angles and contrary strife.
The not-never-meeting of complement and correlation: give me crocked. I am not your likeness, your match, your kin or kindred, similarity or twin.

Do not ask that I look in the same direction:
the blind dereliction of abstract ambition. The landscape will rot before you reach it.

No hooks no hands no waists no vistas no horizons now:
I will cross you.

Give me chattel.
And of your body: owner.
And of your body: slave.

Chained already to the earth

~ ~ ~

Part II: Leaving.

To seek you again as I you sought me first
Death is not an easement.

I go.


by Kathleen Ossip


A large plane crashes into a residential neighborhood.

In Africa—no big deal.
In China—yeah so?
In Australia—aww that's too bad.
In England—oh really, is the queen OK?
In the US—oh god, this is just terrible, oh the humanity,
everyone a hero, and right here the captain hero
of the Fire Department, and the 911 operator hero.

—Sir, what were you doing before you became a hero?

Sometimes I think fantasy is the opposite of poetry
and sometimes I think they’re the same
and sometimes I think poetry is to fantasy
as blood is to a laugh
and sometimes I think we’re a patch of lilies
glazed with rainwater
on a wet black bough.


Beyond the Reach of Taint
by Sarah Sarai

When the wave recedes across
terrified fathoms and
walk-on sand is swept by
oceans' untouchables moonly moved
on mother globe (our sprawl)

When sun stains thighs (or love) and
we are mounted by kelp and esoterica,
by minerals of swampy seas a harvest

When barnacles tattoo buttocks with
pleasure forfeiting fear as if
in a trance as if Earth enmass were
dervish like angels spinning on the
beloved enchanted to be
itself (Earth) a mother a mother itself
of living and the dead, sexing and
the leaping, of tears

When moonly a mother moaning
‘gainst terror's high pitch to
waken in sweat and serenity (surprise)

While our axial planet's being (like
a lollipop) stupefies stupids: there’s
one mother only and only one womb

That we are one in rotation and
we are beautiful (yes) until finally
tossed into memory where dreams live
wild with confidence they cannot be
explored like jungle or reef

When mother, woman, any who opt, live
out our lives, our private infinities


by Nicole Stefanko-Fuentes

She wrings the necks of songbirds

that made the little one cry & upon seeing the field littered with dead birds

who croaked

not a song

he can not be consoled, so she cuts down the branches of all the nearby trees so songbirds could not nest there

and she pierces the flanks of the spotted fawns too soft and too far out of his reach to touch

(Salvaging arrows he was proud to have made himself, before he killed the first bird and changed.)

She shutters the windows against nights without stars and tears her at her breast and curses when he continues to feel and continues to grow. Lilacs call to him about the smell of girls. A nag is for riding away.

These are figures living in tapestries and friezes

that muffle all sound but the conflict they stumble toward

whose thousands of stitches and etchings cannot fathom a whole. Drama queens to cut one's teeth on.

Not the kind of people who small talk at the counter and in waiting rooms

whose own losses don't tear their private sky from their frames, whose counter intuitions don't wrench the world off its axis, stripping the screws.

People whose eyes can still see and reflect both inward and out. I see. Not all or nothing but something. Positive space.

Not without sin or disease but with outcomes unknown. It was nice talking with you today.