Lo Kwa Mei-en: Babel / Lions, Babel / Pastoral,
& Romance with Blackout

Babel / Lions

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After fall. All riot all royalty, oh. What have we done? Where I break
thee I break in two, it’s true, as red in the water that watered horses,

strain of major sugars and a minor key clawing up the trough’s relay
cracks. My heart is freak filigree—hell is a Fabergé tree, so you loved me

after lions left me. Gold scar the sexed bone. A gun my heart, an X on you
and bravery’s remainder. A cuss. My breast gutters war light gorged and

all gold as red light hung in a stable of lions. A flesh that won’t fall bride—
chest cagéd—no hotter canyon of hunted feeling, I can vow that, can’t change

the change. Slept with in winter a tonnage of kings, a bondage, a sword
wanting out. All wrecked all reward in alto. Don’t you hear me wanting

more. Roar a dumb bell diving through the day for sorrow and damned.
Thy kingdom cut. What will we do? Like scissors to the mane this is hard

-up hearted. I was lions in spring beneath a red tree lit before the tower
kicked open. Now men pour out the hot air of my ripest cage. Gold fruit

rolling in the gallows (hard to repay thee) sea sink hard as hallelujah and
you are gone from me. My breast the warring thing—this weather came

together like a chain and throne, beating. Lady or a luxe cur laid in wait
for a heel to slaughter—waitless, I am neither. You found me in horses

rang open on wet red floors, just me, killing calvary to know my name
run free. How I love to feed the lion, though her body be unbearable

and treacherous light.

Babel / Pastoral

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After summer. All revel all ransack oh, in the stable we neck. We break
thee on the bastion of. Sore? No sire, sicker. Negative blooms of horses

strain at air, a red surf—men restrain, sunny horror sung, or hit replay:
crack calls a trigger concluding the mane I love—country sides made a me

after spring. Half true was thy keepers whipped up a purity purely you
and you. As war gets war so you a soft cuss of flesh for it’s natural and

all, neat sunset disaster, dowry cantered on. Rude bridle on a ragéd bride,
chest of cut weeds want creeped is to love prettily (my weathers change

the door on the lock). All revere all revolve at duet, machine and password.
Want pit cracks a diphthong wasted on desire, lowing, left thee wanting

more than you. Heroic light left on, oh in the stable we ogle the damned:
thy handle, thy door. Thy trophy gully outside rots to heaven; the hard

up of ever onwards funnels to feed a stable of kings stable under tower.
Kicked in? No sir, sucker. Taking sides made a me, violently. War fruits

rolling in stress the wagon, deadpan wheel of hallelujah making me and
you. Citizen, check the undercarriage of that legend, it’s true. We came

together then, too. A fire to lock thy rule like hot iron on mule can’t wait
for summer. For the smell can fuck the free field and ricochet off horses

rang to apple flesh now dappled red, ruin carried on a wind, wind’s name
run through the stable door, the girl slammed to it, a vowel unbearable

and terribly light.

Romance with Blackout

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When a blackout is what I am, not what I had,
loving is my nursing a love with just enough stories
to leap from. When day’s gone down, news is what is
thrust into proof. Be it ink sank into me, or how
cavaliers on tape can be seen to rescue (from ruin)
a girl’s flickering body, a ghost manifest like a train

when blackout—I am what I had.           Loving, my
love is just stories, just leaps, when gone, news what
thrust proof. How it sank me. How cavalier. No, be
rescue from ruin—that girl’s body, ghost-like train.
Now half my concave cave spits swallows and spit
spun from their bright maker’s mouths. My dear

blackout, am, I am had. My stories leap, gone.
What proof? It sank? Cavalier on. Scene: rescue.
Ruin: girl’s ghost, her train. In my cave swallows
spit from bright mouths, making.                     My ear
holds something lush like court in its golden church
as I do remember holding you. I remember every

blackout I—am stories gone. A proof sink, cavalier
scene, ruin or ghost train. A cave spit bright, making
my ear hold lush court. Gold church, I remember you,
my every.           O,                  I remember nothing
better than bastards. Better than any before, all my
dreams of bullets did not unwar my waking. Dawn:

I story the sink. Cavalier ruin, cave of spit. Bright
my lush church made. God, remember you, my
every nothing? Better bastard than before.
My dreams, bullets on, war waking, my dream:
                    and all the king’s men bucked up
braided on the backs of their own blackout. Sorry

story: I sink. A cave leers my cave-bright church.
Made god, remember nothing? Bastards before
bullets. My war dream and the men up on backs,
          the blackout sorry        for every last they
are not sorry. The cave playing back to my heart.
A light working out the weak, honest as a caved

story. I carve a bright god, remember nothing before
my dream. Men back up out, at last they,           sorry,
cave back my heart. My light-out, weak as a cave.


ART: Zachary Tate Porter, Jeannie Vanasco

FICTION: Katya Apekina, John Henry Fleming, Lacy Arnett, Claire Harlan Orsi, Chantel Tattoli

NONFICTION: Emily Carr, Nancy Singleton Hachisu, Johanna Stoberock, Steve Wasserman

POETRY: Janelle Adsit, Ryan Bender-Murphy, Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni, Dan Chelotti, Lisa Ciccarello, Christopher DeWeese, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, Tyler Gobble, Fanny Howe, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Nick Lantz, Matthew Lippman, Aditi Machado, Alice Miller, Marc Paltrineri, Christopher Rey Pérez, Allan Peterson, Jessica Poli, Lynne Potts, Dan Rosenberg, M. C. Rush, Ed Skoog, Cindy St. John, Russel Swensen, Emily Toder, Laurie Saurborn Young

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