Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Sound of Sugar....Natalie Bryant Rizzieri

Now I Am Ready To Tell How Bodies Are Changed Into Other Bodies.


Plane trees are dressed for severity;
snow drapes their sturdy shoulders

like wool wraps. Twists of collarbone
lie exposed, each vein coagulates

in the cold. Even their bare bodies
look alive against stormed skies.

To better survive concrete and smoke,
the native sycamore was crossed

with an Oriental. Lost in the transfer
to urbanization, my name changes

as the plane tree’s. Time requires
my body as a sacrifice. Or is it love.

Most century-old sycamores are
hollow at heart, not by scythe of shit

and smog but as a shield for swallows
and swifts. I watch their bark gleam

like picked bones at midnight, clicking
to the tremors of the blizzard. This

is how I console myself along with
the fact that sycamore wood is almost

impossible to split. Yesterday I saw
an aged plane tree at the butcher’s,

a bloody block, atoms still tightly
wound, endlessly hacked. I thought

of how it didn’t stand long enough
to become a hive for swallows and

squirrels but bleeds now through
other skins. After not eating meat

for years, I bought a rack of lamb.
The butcher tucked it in brown paper,

made a swift knot of twine and
wiped the blood on his apron.







About the Poet:

Natalie Bryant Rizzieri is a poet by morning, an activist by day, and a mother by night, except it isn't quite as neat as that.  She runs a tiny group home called Warm Hearth for orphans with disabilities in Armenia.  She also spends her time, at least in spring, digging for earthworms with her two sons and husband in Queens, New York. 



About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Sound of Sugar....Teri Youmans Grimm



My Mother Tells Me I Was Conceived In Fire Before I Was Condemned By It

I was admiring the trimmings in O.L. Keenes,
the lace, the ostrich feathers in pale colors. Was it
the steam whistle I noticed first, grey clouds
rolling up from the ground? I don’t remember.
The city was imperiled. From the doorway, I saw
flames in the northwest moving at a gallop.
It was terrifying. Bay Street filled with people
heading east, I joined them, passing families laden
with mirrors, dishes, children leading dogs on strings,
carrying bird cages, so many horses and drays loaded
down with trunks, me holding only a pale pink feather,
worrying how I’d pay for it now.

At Monroe Street,
unable to help myself, I turned around to face the blazing
pursuer. Angels of oblivion pummeled toward me
on billowing,black smoke, like an engraving by Dore’—
this nightmare rendered so precisely.
Isn’t it magnificent? I said to a man nearby. His eyes
considered me. They were oddly green, like verdigris
and heavy-lidded.

Sparks landed like confetti, but long I was willing
to stay there and watch this parade of danger so close
he brushed it from my hair and I brushed it from his sleeve,
before he clutched my hand, pulled me with the others
past Hemming Plaza, into the Windsor Hotel crowded
with the displaced, belongings stacked everywhere,
then down a corridor into a room.
Even when the door clicked shut, I thought of him
as protector while wondering who would save me now.

Ostrich feather gripped in my hand, I did all he told me to do.
Why I never let it go. Why I never fought at all, but laid there
long after he left until smoke filled the room clearing my head
and I fled with hundreds of other bodies, empty-handed
out of that hotel, each of us racing in the direction that felt right.

Toward the river I ran. Across it was this house, untouched
and I wondered if William was imagining me dead.
At the dock I turned around one last time,
and this is what I know of Hell:

The Windsor had become a furnace, radiating heat far and wide,
the flame of its burning ascending towards Heaven, groaning
with a thunderous voice in its agony. The steamer pulled
away and a dead moccasin floated by. Another then another
and another and another. What to make of it, I didn’t know.
As though it was a sign that evil had been vanquished.
But it hadn’t been. It burned inside and half the sky was on fire
and what trees remained in the distance looked like skeletons
and everyone on the boat was cast in the strangest yellow light,
like none I’d ever seen, altering features until any one
of the passengers could have been him.

Still riding the billows of smoke like clouds,
the angel of oblivion appeared to me and in my own bed
that night. Awake or dreaming, it was a true vision all the same.
I was with child and this one would live. She smirked at me
and the clock read 11:00 exactly and your father’s face
(your father’s face?) was bathed in that same yellow glow
and it was more than I could bear. I turned from him
and pressed my hand to where it hurt and was horrified grateful.
Looking at you now, I’m horrified grateful.

At church, in a park, on the trolley,
when I see men that resemble my memory of him—
a grey serge suit, drowsy-lidded eyes, a cleft chin,
to this day I want to ask: Were you that stranger?
Were you that stranger? Please, tell me your name.










About the Poet:

Teri Youmans Grimm lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband and two children. Her first collection, Dirt Eaters, was chosen for the University of Central Florida’s poetry series and was published by the University Press of Florida. Her work has appeared in the Connecticut Review, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, South Dakota Review, and Homegrown in Florida: An Anthology of Florida Childhoods, among other publications. She teaches in the University of Nebraska’s low-residency MFA program.



About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Sound of Sugar....Ryan J Browne



Theory of Spall

Ft. Carson, Colorado

i.

It’s your job now. Creep
beneath them with a gun.
Blunt the dumb and serrate

work of time and sand.
Douse those Hummers
parked in rows

like ornamental gourds
set out to dry, spray them down
with the pink Product.

There’s vats of the stuff
in the white truck, and it sloshes
like a filling piggy

bank when tanks cross you up
and you have to unkink
the hose to your air gun.

You get Product in your mouth—
and taste gristle—because
you’ve removed the mask

you’re supposed to wear.
A song kept getting caught
in it and steaming up the goggles

you’re supposed to wear
but have also taken off.
You get Product in your eyes.

It biodegrades. You’re safe.
You’re on a military base
where the sun bleaches and dyes

you when you’re up top
blasting each line
of rivets, every hinge,

swinging grille, seam
or possible seam, bolt, nut,
washer, mirror joint, antenna.

Underneath, another anatomy.
Spine, scapulae, ribs, hips, coccyx,
hunks of grease and mud, a whole steel ruck

you let your air gun joyride across.
Shoot from the hip.
And those holes punched through into the cab

you first thought were from bullets or shrapnel,
dreaming up and immediately dismissing the carnage
boxed in above you, they blow like a jug

keeping irregular time
for the hissing refrain of pressurized air.
You’re thorough enough.

But if you miss one bolt on one Hummer
you miss it on them all.
But that one bolt, well, it may not matter.

ii.

This morning you sweat booze,
and the whole damn thing seems worse.
Your skull is a soft warhead

you wish to squash
against a tank’s armor,
but the tanks are off-limits.

Though their cannons are named
do not speak their names
above a whisper.

DARTH VADER
DONKEY PUNCH
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY

They’ve been tearing through
the prairie like flat havoc
riding heaves of friction,

their treads looping infinity,
their engines jet,
their camo cryptic,

you lose them
in a dust cloud,
their camo dazzling,

some still forest
green, brown, mustard,
and they scramble

what sobriety pools
in the shade of other ordnance
you break beside.

One is in for repair, the turbine
hauled out by another Abrams
that’s equipped like a Hercules

beetle. The process is laborious
and loud. You press a stiff finger
into that plush where your neck

meets your head and hear
the insane hum of planets
and feel as though you have

a way to position your body
so that it may hurt
appropriately, like when a leg

injury forces your arms
into right angles
and your back to a stretcher.

Each bite of the warm
cold cut sandwich drops into your gutless
stomach like a bolide.

The engine’s returned and smears
sound and air behind, almost blows
the decal off the side of the Product truck.

Jesus, this Cyclops has another eye!
And when both open
throttle the world dilates.



About the Poet:

Ryan J. Browne runs Poetry & Pints in Madison, Wisconsin, a reading series that pairs writers and his homebrewed beer. He holds an MFA from The University of Alabama. His first collection is Outside Come In, and poems from that collection and his second manuscript can be found in Cimarron Review, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and The Journal. His favorite bittering hop is Magnum.


About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Erica Dawson


Jesus Age

When someone says, I’m hopping on the train,
I see that person bouncing toward the train,
And bouncing like a crack-addled rabbit.

When I stand on the platform, James Brown yells,
Let’s count it off, let’s take it to the bridge.
And Gladys’s Pips woo woo their way to Georgia.

When I consider jump, I think of all
The people over 33 who say
There’s no year better than this one.

Jesus was supposed to save me at seventeen.
When he said no man knows the day or hour,
He said nothing of adolescent girls.


About the Poet:

Erica Dawson’s first collection of poems, Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser 2007), won the 2006 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Her new collection, The Small Blades Hurt, is forthcoming from Measure Press. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, Harvard Review, and other journals and anthologies. She teaches in the undergraduate, and the low-residency MFA, program at University of Tampa.

About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Scott Poole


A Beautiful Flower

Don’t call her vagina a beautiful flower.
Please don’t.
If her vagina were a beautiful flower
then she would have bees in her pants
all the time
and it would be impossible to hold her
close enough
to be intoxicated
by the gossamer tendrils of her perfume.
One cannot be swept away by subtle
drops of dew welling at the corners
of her eyes when you reveal
your most vulnerable,
baby-chick-softness
sentiments
if your dearest love
is hopping around
like a River Dancer on crack,
waving her hands madly
in front of her crotch.
Then, all you’ve got is
is a screaming freak-out
ripping her pants off in public
and that would not be a flower,
my friend,
that would be porn.



“A Beautiful Flower” from The Sliding Glass Door © Scott Poole 2011 by permission of
Colonus Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




About the Poet:

Scott Poole is the author of two books of poetry, The Cheap Seats and Hiding from Salesmen. Poole is also the resident poet of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s weekly show, “Live Wire!” and the founding director of both Wordstock, Portland’s Annual Festival of the Book and Get Lit!, Spokane’s Annual Book Festival. Currently, he is a software developer who lives in the town he grew up in, Vancouver, Washington with his wife and two children.




About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Lucy Biederman


ALL OUR HITS ARE ACCIDENTS

The dead are dead—
we can do whatever we want.
At no station on earth do they stand
and wait. Have we crammed this barren land
to spite them? They might not recognize what they’d return to haunt,
they’ve missed so much.
Someone said they liked the color red
so we painted the station, the trains, the casually panicking bus.








About the Poet:

Lucy Biederman is a doctoral student at the University of Louisiana and the author of a chapbook, The Other World (dancing girl press, 2012). Poems of hers are forthcoming or have appeared recently in ILK, Shampoo, Many Mountains Moving, Gargoyle, Ping Pong, Word Riot, and The Tusculum Review.


About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it. 

Monday, October 28, 2013


Two Important Utah Poets Present Their Work

Poets Rob Carney and Michael McLane will present from their works at Cedar City's Main St. Books (25 N. Main St.) at 7pm on Monday, November 4, 2013. A reception and book signing will immediately follow at nearby Artisans Art Gallery (94 W. Center St.).

Refreshments will be available.

This event is free and made possible by sponsors Main St. Books, Artisans Art Gallery, and Sugar House Review.

Rob Carney is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Story Problems (Somondoco Press) and Home Appraisals (Plan B Press). His poem "Seven Pages from The Book of Sharks" just won first prize in Terrain.org's poetry contest; the latest issue is available on line now. He teaches at UVU and lives in Salt Lake City.

Michael McLane earned an MFA in Creative Writing and is finishing an MS in Environmental Humanities. He is the review editor for Sugar House Review and a co-editor of the new journal saltfront. His work has been published in numerous journals including Interim, Laurel Review, Colorado Review, Sidebrow, and Denver Quarterly. He is the Literary Program Officer for the Utah Humanities Council.

Please take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear two exceptional Utah poets present their work.