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New Madrid--Accepted!

New Madrid: A Journal of Contemporary Literature is accepted two poems.

***
PEEL

My grandfather hides in a closet.
“I’m not afraid of dying in this war,”
he screams. Bullets

blotted out the sky
in 1945. Flower-printed
futon mattresses caught fire. Ash

stuck in my grandfather’s eyes. Like rotten
fruit, only the skin held a human
shape. His shoes were scorched.

Alzheimer’s doesn’t destroy war memories.

“Do you want to eat a tangerine?” I asked.
He crouches in the closet,
stroking his dried toes. I sit next to him. Cicadas

recite the Buddhist sutra. I trace
the tangerine’s peel and think of your
smooth body. My nails

pierce skin. Juice rolls
down between my fingers.
I lick

their tips next to the shaking old man.

***
IN LAWRENCEVILLE; HONEYMOON

Time and again; time..... and again; I sit
.....and stay in my Japanese body; no

honeymoon: no
dining table: eight months & three

thousand dollars to become an Asian
or Pacific Islander

immigrant; it’s pending: I can do
nothing: I am

nothing until it clears; I can’t hire you—
secretaries treat me like an illegal

alien.....and warn my red
passport will expire soon; I smack

a laundry basket into a chair.....so I feel
accomplished in this country; in Lawrenceville,

Illinois: two
blocks down from a Catholic church: we rent

an apartment and I look at the moon
over the wild stems.

***
Note: (.....) means space.

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Pre-Order "Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" Today!

"Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" (The winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest, selected by Janine Joseph) will be available from Backbone Press (Spring 2018).

Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”

Pre-Order Your Copy Today from Backbone Press!