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.
Gundega Dege, whose photographs are on the top left and bottom right of this page, was 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.
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.