Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: My Secret Flag

My Secret Flag by Rachel Loden

What a giant I must seem to them, an exhausted giant who dozes about her sewing.

Asleep in mid-stitch, sorting the day’s haul of cinders, rubies, griefs—

They were laughing and carrying on, their tiny silver needles flying in and out, tiny silver thimbles on their fingers.

It’s no use of course, keeping secrets from them, when chattering is almost their religion.

Some held corners of the flag like an enormous quilt, and some danced on little shelves above the workshop.

They were so merrie they fell asleep again.

In the morning my beautiful flag was finished, every stitch in place and every seam.

So now I raise it—slowly, underneath a secret sky.

Near the door to the half-daft and the cradle of kleptocracy.

Where it rips and shivers, rips and shivers once more

and makes me furiously glad, and fills me up with secret pleasure.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: A Lending Library

A Lending Library by Rachel Loden

This is a book of meteors, as well fiery and ayrie as watry and earthy; by W.F., Doctor in Divinitie.

This book is held together by a rubber band.

This book fell on the head of a girl in Perth, who read it and founded a new school of poetry.

This book irritated Thoth, the Egyptian god of scribes.

This book is a trap door into the underworld, twelve pairs of tattered shoes, and the hapless dozing of young men.

This book has a small wormhole in the margin.

I’m afraid to put this book on top of that book. They both bruise so easily.

This book was made by Wang Jie on behalf of his two parents on the thirteenth of the fourth moon of the ninth year of Xiantong.

This book contains certain grievances.

My secret name for this book: ‘Mam’selle Fifi.”

This book smells like a hot night in a Greek prison and the groin of a voluptuary.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Dust Anniversary

Dust Anniversary by Rachel Loden

Write a secret on a piece of paper and burn it.

This was so long ago, today it would have been our dust anniversary, our dross anniversary. No one can convince me that your hair was ever that color. No body lies in a drift of light and smiles so languorously.

The clerk at the Hall of Records led down a corridor into yet another room of papers, stuffed into folders without ceremony. I came to prove that you ever existed, to enter some last page number into evidence.

I thought by now you would have been torn to pieces by the Thracian women. Surely your name is disappearing from this poem, even as a scrap of creamy paper curls into ashen ribbon and is gone.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Idiad

The Idiad by Rachel Loden

Shall I write a poem about you

and your epic struggle against stupidity?

Feh. But if the brain is a city

I too have rooms in the swampy part, surrounded by crocodiles.

The monarch butterflies sail down from the Canadian Rockies

to overwinter in Pacific Grove, pair off and fly away;

They bruise me. I get crankier.

If you are coming down through the narrows of the Saugatuck

please text me beforehand,

and I will come out to meet you

as far as Palookaville.