Sometimes when people don’t say things, they don’t say things differently.


Linguistics, University of California, Santa Cruz

<i>Beyond Deep and Surface: Explorations in the Typology of Anaphora</i>

I sit before flowers

hoping they will train me in the art 
of opening up.

I stand on mountain tops believing 
that avalanches will teach me to let go.

I know 

but I am here to learn.

(Source: fer1972)


For the Woman Who Loved the Predator More Than His Prey” by Jeanann Verlee

“I wanted to sing you a curse song.”
            —Marty McConnell
I would wish on you the knowing—knowing
with your own good body, but I am incapable.

You are made of flesh and nerve and thought,
of heart and love and wonder and grief, as I am.

Let me wish for you this: a deep sleep, trust
in the man at your back who has promised

sanctuary, and you have sipped of the sanctuary,
rolled your milk skin in it, leaned your eyelashes

on his breastplate, removed your bones for kindling
to warm his hands. And he has drunk of you and you

are almost whole in the clumsy wonder of maybe he
is the one, though he appears a strange divergence

from your girlhood imaginings (they say this
is always true). His mouth is filled with the world

and he is giving it all to you and you believe. I will not
wish for you the bruise. The leap in the throat, shriek.

The shock and scramble in your own flowered sheets.
His glazed eyes, the sudden property you’ve become.

You, a scatter of chalk dust beneath a heave of muscle.
You taste its singe. How he culls your pleas into a storm

of thrust, grunt, drool. How you, here, cannot move.
You are nothing more than your wit and your lungs

and neither seem enough. You are the torn cotton,
wrenched thigh, the perfect stone-colored fingerprints.

You are the scrub and the sob, all his countless
hands. I do not wish you become the night terrors.

The flashbacks. The grief and grief and grief.
Insomnia, delusion. The disbelief. The holy holy

holy holy wreck. The awe and burn. I do not wish you
stay. Stay and forgive. I do not wish you forgiveness.

Do not wish you cordial. Polite. I do not wish you his
manipulations, nor the mind’s trickery. I will never

wish you “liar,” as you have christened me.
I do not wish you answer why or how or show me

evidence. I do not wish you silence. Shame. Whiskey.
Box cutter. Xanax. Do not wish you erase. Erase.

I do not wish you anything to erase. I do not
wish you this. No. I will never wish you this.

"For the Woman Who Loved the Predator More Than His Prey" by Jeanann Verlee, originally published at NAILED Magazine []

I am trying to tell the little scoop of hell in me
not everything is a catastrophe:
the mounds of snow on snow, the cooped up dogs
barking at couches and wood-paneling,
the chewed patent heel of a shoe
too dainty for this hill and ice town.
Excerpt from "Communion" by Jeanann Verlee


"I think I’m used up. I think I’m the grit under his nails, the girl who looks good in pictures. I don’t think he loves me. I think they broke me, Dad. I think I drink too much and it’s because they broke me."
— Jeanann Verlee, excerpt from “Communion” in her book,


J. Scott Brownlee - “English 301”

"I understand the word desire now, I think, mostly because of you."

We’re amping up to announce this year’s summer chapbook contest. We can’t contain our excitement, but we’ll have to for a few more days. In the meantime, check out this video from last year’s contest winner, J. Scott Brownlee, whose manuscript was chosen by finalist judge Rachel McKibbens for the 2013 Button Poetry Prize.


It is very often anxiety and urgency that move me to write poems. And it seems to me that everybody who is not a Wall Street banker or a venture capitalist is engaged in the radical act of being a better person. I mean, it seems so easy to become awful. When I say that poetry is a radical act, I mean that there is no late-capitalism approved economic theorem that even remotely suggests poetry is a good or meaningful idea; it does not mean to be approved by late-capitalism. It is ‘illogical’ in the best way. It does not make money. It is not FOR money. It is a radical act because it is filled with hope and widely ill advised.
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.

Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?




this. a million times this.