Sundress Publications is thrilled to announce our 2015 Pushcart Prize nominations! You can purchase any of these titles at the Sundress store!
Congratulations to all of our nominees!
how to re-imagine your life through mythological characters
First, there will be a thin string, winding. A monster
in the gridwork –terrible– half god, half man.
A horned Anteros hiding in the bushes.
You’ll be half cocked, half alive, half-gone by the time
you get there, where the girls turn into trees then back into girls,
their crippled ankles swiveling in the wind.
Imagine that you are pursued by a stranger with white teeth.
Imagine the hunters gone from their supper at the sound of the trip wire,
The thin spindles of your spines snapping and cracking.
Here, the girls are always changing into cows then back into girls.
Into tables and countertops and stairwells with steep drops.
You will be pursued by a woman with a bow and arrow.
She may be your mother or your sister but you can’t tell for all the blood.
You’ll be wild with fever by the time you reach the threshhold
where a stranger will cut your tongue, your hands, before he takes you.
Before we replace your body with a doe at the very last second.
Kristy Bowen holds an MA in English Lit from DePaul University and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College. She is the founder of dancing girl press & studio and her work has appeared in various publications, such as Stolen Island, Projectile, and Requited.
Her book major characters in minor films can be purchased at the Sundress Store.
rubberbanded dollars oily two tampons like lures,
from recounting. A green face eyeless.
folded in half
a confetti of pills (a gap in a smile, nothing
useful fits here)
triple A batteries cribbed (972)386-4577: the one
from latchkey tv I45 motel unbooked
an hour ago
my dumb baby photo four Q-Tips;
shrunk to fit a fake one MickeyMouse
gold charm Band-Aid
the plastic Green Lantern red Swiss Army Knife,
ring he put on my finger, its cargo of sad
laughing, at the zoo stilettos
the sawed-off pencil, cut fishing line, my silver
dwindling thread to the door where
I entered this labyrinth
black flecks, lint, two onyx beads,
what might be exiles
lash-like insect legs never re-strung
a button a needle begging
missing a miracle
its moorings from its eye
Krazy Glue tube one nail on which
used once to hang; hang what,
bind skin and skin in whose house?
a trial lipstick speckled vitamin
mistaken like a continent’s
for salve magic seed
a spider tucked, oldschool razorblade,
all to itself, its gray
crucial brown knot highway edge
Allen wrench, crumbs/sand,
Hansel’s hex key
Melanie Jordan’s work has been published in the Iowa Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Southeast, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Southeast Review, and others. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before receiving her MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her doctorate from the University of Houston. She currently teaches Creative Writing, literature, and composition at the University of West Georgia.
Her book, Hallelujah for the Ghosties, can be purchased at the Sundress Store.
Claire Falls in Love the Day They Prove the God Particle
Fear of God has always been in me,
right down to smallest bones, down
to roots of unplucked hair.
We read exorcism rites
aloud in bed. Every cell of my body
hummed hallelujah, but cannot pull aching
from my throat—still circle you,
huge bird of prey in your dreams,
still shift weight from one foot to the other.
Should have known when I pressed this
black and white Polaroid to my breast—
plane from New Orleans to Baltimore,
whole palm tensed.
Should have known when I had to restart
lungs, shifting blood, sloughing skin.
Day they proved the God Particle saw
the small spot I was, how I walk this town,
same pattern the universe expands from,
too old to see everything a sign.
I’ve loved one too many skeptics. Darling,
you ringing cluster at my throat,
I tied you there, am not sorry for it.
Watch us collide.
Watch God explode from our skin.
Margaret Bashaar is a poet, performer, and editor living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She’s had two chapbooks published, Barefoot and Listening (Tilt Press, 2009) and Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press, 2011). Her poetry has also appeared in a variety of publications including the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 which was edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, and journals such as Caketrain, New South, RHINO, The Pedestal Magazine, and Copper Nickel.
Her book, Stationed Near the Gateway, is available at the Sundress Store.
Gretchen Foggerty, Mother of the Fox-Haired Girl’s Childhood Friends Philomena and Amelia, Was Arrested for Harassing Father Roderick, Parish Priest, Who Years Later Would Be Arrested on Multiple Charges of Pedophilia and Excommunicated
she thrashed she undressed
his rectory room, shirt
by shirt shoe by shoe
This belt, my girls, keeps me chaste.
Sometimes I do feel the urge. I admit
Your beautiful faces. Examine
your conscience. The truth: What
have you wanted ––
she flailed, she assaulted
homily service pews she threw
her body facedown in the aisle
he strips them in school,
she sang, dancing backwards.
Who regarded us? Rapt
captives of pulpit.
Opiated. Apt. Exalted
He said suffer them unto me he said I tell you: sow a thought,
reap an action
by fountain & silence whose festering kindness
Who bled & who learned
of alchemy’s black: the sore, the burn,
that Wound plunging deep in the side
rendered whole as stained glass: bright slivers
of feather, of water, of fern
(the bullet implied)
sow an action, reap a habit
whose core cracked
sow a habit, reap a destiny
& brittle as the breast-
bone of a bittern
Fox Frazier-Foley is an initiate of Haitian Vodou who hails from upstate New York and northern Virginia. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Hydromantic Histories, was chosen by Chard deNiord as winner of the 2013 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Prize, and is forthcoming in 2015. She is a Founding Editor and Managing Editor of the Los Angeles-based small press Ricochet Editions, and Editor-Curator of TheThe Infoxicated Corner at TheThe Poetry Blog. She is co-editor of a forthcoming anthology of American political poetry (Sundress Publications, 2016) and Among Margins, an anthology of critical writing on aesthetics (Ricochet Editions, 2016). She is a staff writer and creator of poetry horoscopes for Luna Luna. She was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Binghamton University, received her MFA from Columbia University, and is currently a PhD candidate and Provost’s Fellow in the Literature & Creative Writing Department at the University of Southern California.
Her chapbook, Exodus in X Minor, is available at the Sundress Store.
This Is Not a Love Poem for April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This is the hiss of steam from an elaborate sewer system
in a city of rooftops and perpetual nighttime—
this is our love affair evaporating from under our feet.
We are essentially alone anyway, but it has been nice
to pretend otherwise. There’s a reason seeing yellow
makes an electric fence of my skin, makes my mouth wet.
There’s a reason you’ve started screening my calls,
a reason they’ll cast a renowned beauty in the movie version.
O reboot! So much starting over, it’s difficult
for anyone around you. I am not your father,
your brother, your super-villain ex-boyfriend,
but you will never stop expecting so little from me,
never stop looking elsewhere when you need
to be rescued. This is not a love poem.
This is not an apology. This is not the threat
that looms over our humanity. Your investigation
continues. You research and program and maybe
learn martial arts, maybe you and your friends
will save the world, but there’s little room for me.
There’s nothing I can do about the warmth of my blood.
Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His chapbook, The Insomniac Circus, is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press. His poems appear in the anthologies The Best American Poetry 2012, The Poetry of Sex, and Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry, as well as journals such as Rattle, The Collagist, The Southern Review, Poet Lore, Menacing Hedge, and others.
His book, Ha Ha Ha Thump, is available at the Sundress Store.
Never Ending Birds
Soft bulbs of morpho blue,
tight light pruned to a circuit,
the swallows feather and vector the wind.
I plume to watch, freshed in the ground;
they ring the trees as their own
sweet planets. Continuous streaks,
the green-blue preens take flying lessons,
beam to the ground they are bound by,
like no flown thing. They bring
around the ground and bright as floods
in winter, flap the wind that takes them,
pushes them into its envelope. The swallows,
so close, beat; I let them scrim
my stance, twist neatly solar.
I swallow, lift at my chest where the freckles
crack, where the wet wings gleam. Swallows
sweep out to swing my heart up with the hawk
who circles the skirmish, weeps, and screams.
Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, a debut full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications. Eating Dog Press also published an illustrated edition of her essays and poetry, A Detail in the Landscape, and her first volume, The Canopy, won Midwest Writing Center’s Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest. Sandy won Second Prize in Prick of the Spindle‘s 2014 Poetry Open and was a finalist for Gulf Coast’s Poetry Prize. Her poetry and prose appears in The Journal, Subtropics, The Hollins Critic, Sugar House Review, Mid-American Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, South Dakota Review, Appalachian Heritage, Southwest Review, Phoebe, and elsewhere. Sandy is a teacher and freelance manuscript editor who lives and writes outside of Chicago.
Her book, Confluence, is available at the Sundress Store.