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Day 8: Tupelo Press 30/30 Poetry Project ( National Poetry Month)


BEFORE SLEEP

I love your nude from a distance.

I never say that.

On a bed, under the white 
sheets, I say, Don’t touch my breasts 

when I write.

The lead of a pencil crumbles. I wipe 
my wet palm on the blue notebook. 

I want you to turn off
the television and hold my hand.  I am lying 

curled up and my legs 
knock your left thigh. Your bruise does not heal 

like your first marriage.

(You are drowsy.)

Did you pay rent? 
I repeat twenty seven times by your ear.

(You softly nod.)  

The silver stars are 
peeling from the sky. I scream, 

Don’t you dare sleep before me.

I throw 

the alarm-clock into the wall. 
Jupiter falls into the sun 

and the whole universe is fucking 

collapsing.

I want that.



***Note:  A part of the first line is from “A Neon Tryst” by Lina Ramona Vitkauskas. 





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RHINO Poetry 2017 this Saturday, April 29, at The Book Stall

3 pm RHINO editors write poems-on-demand! Order a poem-to-go on any topic of your choice. RHINO editor-poets will compose a poen for you on the spot in ild school typewriters for a small donation to the magazine.

4-5 pm Featured reading by RHINO 2017 poets and editors. Copies of the new issue will also be on sale. Grab some RHINO swag--bookmarks and buttons and meet the editors and poets of this 40+ award-winning literary magazine.

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Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University South Bend. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, “Home, No Home”, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Other short collections, “Silver Seasons of Heartache” and “Cochlea”, will be published by Glass Lyre Press in May, 2017. Currently she is working on her graphic poetry co…

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.”

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