Karyna McGlynn:

Square in the gut of lovemaking lessons

                                                                           old elemental roses

                                                                           fell from the yellow

                                                                           cracks in the ceiling

A cubic inch of Texas tumbled to the bed

My eyes were still swollen from dusting


                                          Just then, I pinched the blue

bonnet cat-claw of what could be my future, entire

My bed sham shook in its lavender liquidity    

My Rangerette boot wanted whitener or death 

                                                                             The AC slowly began

                                                                             to play Suck & Blow

with the pages of my open book

Briefly, the rhinestone tiara retracted its claws

    said, “Fuck me. Go.”

Karyna McGlynn earned her MFA from University of Michigan, where she received the Zell Fellowship in Poetry and a Hopwood Award. Her first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, received the 2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry from Sarabande Books. She’s published several chapbooks including Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007) and Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008). Her poems appear in Fence, Gulf Coast,Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, Octopus, LIT and Ninth Letter. Her website is karynamcglynn.com.


A Journal of Literature and Art

Gundega Dege, whose photographs are on the top left and bottom right of this pagewas born in Latvia in 1971, in the small town of Ogre. She went to art school and participated in several young painters’ competitions, and also received her BA in English philology from a university in the capital city of Riga, where she studied foreign languages but also continued to do drawings and write poetry. Since then, her work has frequently been exhibited in galleries and magazines. She works in photojournalism and teaches art. For more information about her art, visit Gundega’s website at www.sundewart.com.

The photograph to the left is by Katia Fuentes, whose work appeared in Siren’s third issue. Katia divides her time between San Francisco and Mexico, and her work has been seen around the world. To see more of her photography, learn more about her work, or for contact information, visit www.fuenteseye.net.

Siren's first six issues, which originally appeared between 2006 and 2010, will hopefully be able to be viewed again, in full,  in early 2021. Below, however, are two poems from the second and sixth issues, as well as a few photographs from Issues Three and Six.  Check back in the fall to see the full archives, which include the work of many fine poets, writers, and artists, such as  Nick Courtright, Oliver de la Paz, Jehanne Dubrow, Kathleen Flennekin, Matt Hart, Amy King, Dorianne Laux, Karyna McGlynn, Daniel Nester, Kiki Petrosino, Paul Siegell, Tao Lin, Jenny Boully, Stephanie Dickinson,  Ira Joel Haber, Diana Magallan, and Peter Schwartz. Issue Seven, Siren's first new issue in ten years, will also be available in early 2021.

A Journal of Literature and Art

Nick Courtright:

The Movement of Beauty

In a building with thin walls, white 

walls, nothing is rotten or joyless.  

In there is your careful body.  

It is a body beginning at its center 

and moving outward.  It does this 

until it fills a place its own size.  

Under your head is a chest.  Inside 

the chest are gold coins and letters 

from the war.  Heads crack in there, 

you’ve been so thirsty.  Only some

of this is true.  For a moment, 

you are narrow as a chute of steam.  

Like steam, you disappear.  It is all 

you know to do.  You are pieces 

put together to make pieces.  

This is very molecular of you.  

It is natural then that you would be 

under a blue sky.  See it want 

to watch you.  The blue, blue sky.  

It finds you beautiful in a way 

it cannot describe.  It tries using 

simple and unaffecting language: 

graceful, supple, innocent, strange.  

This does not impress you,

a smooth, gentle body, steamlike

and permissive.  The sky struggles.

Still, you are blessed, by and by.  

Nick Courtright's second book, Let There Be Light, called "a continual surprise and a revelation" by Naomi Shihab Nye, came out February 1st, 2014 from Gold Wake Press. Punchline, his 2012 release, was a National Poetry Series finalist. His poetry has also appeared in many literary journals, including The Southern Review, AGNI, Kenyon Review Online, and Boston Review. Find out more at nickcourtright.com.