Stephanie Anderson

With Love and Baths and Rage and Love,

I go grasping
with language &
my plush
body unravels.

January, shitting
blood in a Georgia
beach house,
five months

since last I wrote.
A shutdown
is not poetic.
Did you leave

to jot down
a line, you ask.
No, I went
to take my

blood pressure.
I write on
hoping the bath

is not too
hot because I can’t
Google a
good source on water

temp. & pregnancy.
Fluid facts,
willful walls.
I have applied to 48

jobs. We’ll flip
a coin, you say, to see
whose basement
you’ll live in.

A freight train, a plane.
I should be
to a job right now.

I hover over
an article titled
How to Rekindle
a Friendship.

PPD felt like
the personality
of strong Salvia.

It’s not repetition,
I say. We keep
looking for a way
to want to stay.

I imagine
you as a tiny
shell. What gets

isn’t form,
it’s a form
of supplication.

With Love and Summer and Rage and Love,

the statuary headlines pivot apart
because of hurricanes and pardons
   in North America     you all looked

up     here only particles blotted
the sun     we wanted hope in the form
of ambition     it was like staring

into a well trying to outline limbs
   what wave is this feeling     we can hear
a clarinet and a hammer

   self-preserving punctuation
   we wanted to wander in rooms
full of musical instruments

   it’s selfish     the air has been
good for three days     a dash
to get to the station     an elevator

to the terraces     taps of fat
raindrops on the train windows
   in the Netherlands the bat houses

are shaped like bats     our body
doesn’t feel like this     do you know
how many slugs are in the world

   discarding verbs     we wanted
to need no ends     but the only truth
of that is anagram     we get good

and butthurt     the way underbrush
gets illuminated in grey     there is space
in this car for bikes     old bodies

   pregnant bodies     we collect places
in Instagram     we pass an hour with
calendars and panic     it’s a kind

of construction project     you say
the hay bales look like public art
   he tells the former president’s daughter

about conception in her country     the track
edges are dotted with pink     we spend
40 hours in the future     storks in a chimney

are good luck     what kind of stability are
we after     tonight we’ll see a movie
I knew the star when

With Love and Irritation and Rage and Love,

We make a pact not to look
at Facebook for the week. I only cheat twice.

We walk into the thick air
for wolf dinosaurs.

I never was a good loser.
I keep saying that we should see our work with humor.

There is no voicemail in China.
We run the filters on high.

This week I try I do this
because I keep collapsing
into a tedium of lists.

We walk into the thick air
for a second story called Heaven.

The holiday letter drama returns.
A tedium of flushing.

I try not to say Ask your students
and believe them.

I gesture heart sparkles at you.

Can I Taobao one of these clever pivot stoppers for my brain.

In Heaven, the fish is so orange
the camera can’t pixelate it.

We can’t tell from the headlines
what people are talking about.
A tedium of forecasting.

They’re so afraid they
keep feeding the oligarchs.

It’s unpresidented.
All the humor changes key.
It’s serious.

I can’t hook the present and we can’t get up.
The humor is monstrous and should be.

With Love and Grief and Rage and Love,

We must disenthrall ourselves. Where
we live the ground is lava or it’s a play.
We undertake to call and call. The canker
sore medicine is bitter and blackens

my mouth. Age made it seem like the sudden
hadn’t crested the peak yet. Poise
is a performance I keep trying to
repeat, but for me the costs are low.

On Facebook the police are posting fake
news: protesters block an ambulance.
The curtain’s up on crowd control. Repeating
lines become we hope that you will hear

us out. Hearing the right redshift between
stepping up and getting out of the way.

Stephanie Anderson is the author of three books of poetry, most recently If You Love Error So Love Zero (Trembling Pillow Press), as well as several chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Bone Bouquet, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Guernica, Lana Turner,, and elsewhere. She co-edits the micropress Projective Industries and currently lives in Singapore.

Stephanie Anderson

from The Ditties

A good wound, it fascinates. Folding paper cup stand attached to Double cock keeper. Momentarily has parental knocks.

Why do I think walnut? Lips looking east, reading manga while walking. Dear monster, hello. The repetition is coming in.

Mustard structure in the sun. A triangular shadow. The noontime has some bite, some familiar flights. The pale violet houses.

It’s a day for bowling shoes. The tadpole was always respectful, he says. The golf balls gliding on the too green green. Crowded today.

She says, the task of interpretation is virtually one of translation. The school chimes startle. Pouting, pointing at throat.

Her tiny mustard tights. What does sopa mean? The doors slide open by themselves. A mountain fire to celebrate spring.

She scooches close the chalkboard. France is on the wall. Now his son is three days old. I’d like to talk to you about it but you won’t.

from The Ditties

In the dream I play a wicked witch. We’re on embassy attempt two. Blissfully, there’s a poison for every budget. Tickets?

The tourism TV is blank. Do not ride in the wrong direction, as it would be very dangerous. Why do I feel so.

Everyone sits in yo-yo park, staring at the buds. Water goes up and water goes down. What I love most about my house is who I share it.

Streets and boards and bees and swords. Punk cake, chicks on speed. Abstracted bellows. Brushes. Rubber soles and water colors. Swizzle stick set.

Half basement height beside the boxing gym. It’s basically beer-flavored soda. Mushrooms are better furry. Sing Star Wars again.

I took a picture for you. The experts say she put too much water in the tea. Is milk god blonde? The boss seems tyrannical.

from The Ditties

In the dream, we unbooby trap the house. That is not what a raspberry looks like. The bakers’ poster reads, not by bread alone.

Back to behind the hot dog. Back to shrillness in the mind. Stealing internet from the bus. A fortnight full throttle. It’s non-step.

Menomication for you. The usual guitar gang is out. He brings home magic beans, and I try to stop working. Maybe.

Images introduced in Europe were quite different from the real. Perry made a strong protest against these unfriendly acts.

Americans exercised their military parade, guns. Japanese, on the other hand, arranged sumo wrestlers in lines.

Japanese and Americans experienced lots of culture shock. Figures drawn in Shimoda have a friendly impression.

Articles which she used. She gained nothing at all. A horrible fate was creeping behind. But she firmly refused the order.

She was sent riding in a cage. She felt desperate solitude. She suffered from hemiplegics. She drowned sorrow in the river.

Second daughter of a ship-carpenter. An awful tidal wave. People called her with despise. Drunk out desperately to forget.

They make the bridge several times a day. He also worked for civilization. Japan adapted a seclusion policy.

The movement made Japan to end closing its country. Paints made from coaltar to protect from corrosion. Carried three hundred crews.

It means rice-transport ship in old time. Of course it’s model, but wall is real one. The white part looks like sea cucumbers. Inside, warm.

from The Ditties

Press hacked in the dream. Ladies legendary professional wrestling. Okay yes, the pale in the morning light is pretty.

When we cross the canal, all murmur at the sight. The trees are growing snow. At school, cheerleaders and trombones and sign up here.

The forty bird sings, let’s clean up your hands. False tram trip. Erotic is when you use a feather; kinky is when you use a whole chicken.

We squeeze past the goth club. Petals fall into the canal, coins on water, Caution difference, following the tracks home. Ice cream.

Smile corporation buses. Time to look up the appendix. The evening spent in missives, captions. Carrot and burdock root.

Stephanie Anderson is the author of In the Key of Those Who Can No Longer Organize Their Environments (Horse Less Press), Variants on Binding (forthcoming, The National Poetry Review Press) and several chapbooks. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in 6×6, Black Warrior Review, Lana Turner, Map Literary, Tammy, and elsewhere. She edits Projective Industries and lived in Tokyo until recently.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 5)


Welcome to Posit 5!

In this issue we are proud to feature literary and visual work by many rising, as well as gloriously risen, stars. As ever, we offer a range of literary aesthetics and approaches, from excerpted book-length projects by Anne Waldman and Pamela Lawton, Jane Lewty, and Deborah Poe, to short fiction by Luke Whisnant. This issue also showcases the poetic potential of the long prose line, put to innovative and distinctive use by Stephanie Anderson, Rob Cook, Kristina Marie Darling, Vanessa Couto Johnson, Bobbi Lurie, and Zach Savich.

We hope you enjoy:

Stephanie Anderson’s delightfully surreal and surprising Ditties, in which “everyone sits in the yo-yo park, staring at the buds,” and we are playfully invited to “look up the appendix” but warned not to “ride in the wrong direction”;

Marcia Arrieta’s gossamer constructions, at once contemplative, startling, and forlorn, in which “everything is dreadfully calm,” “deer come and graze on [her] bed,” and the narrator “often feel like an orphan”;

Rob Cook’s somber, foreboding poems in which he informs us of “the screams where I went / looking / for the clothes / my mother wore”;

Kristina Marie Darling’s wittily slant re-imaginings of nostalgic iconographies of femininity, charting their magical courses “from Iceland to Finland to anxious”;

Vanessa Couto Johnson’s wise wordplay delivered via statements that “think with the delicate,” awakening us to the mystery and ambiguity of our own existence, in which “the heart is not a pound but an apothecary dispensing needs”;

Jane Lewty’s “Spatio-Temporal [Re]Mix” of aural and visual referents amalgamated with precision and care into poems of musicality and provocative design, resonant with “a strange elation,/the skitter guilt of/achievement”;

Bobbi Lurie’s dense and powerful evocations of strength in the face of pain, shunning what is “fake as plastic shrubs” to reveal “how much the pursued is pursuant upon/a clause in the material fabric of a lie” with “the skill to slice whatever needs to”;

Nils Michals’ prose poems, teasing us with the contents of boxes: “an entire forest, petrified white, whereby the occasional breeze stirs the crowns” and something “unclaimed . . . is gifted to the Church in the name of a holy work that shall be unnamed”;

Deborah Poe’s quiet, serene “prouns:” elegant transformations of space to states of being we “don’t have to understand” although we are led to consider “[w]hat is lost when you ask why,” and assured that we “don’t have to connect dirt to language, But the histories cave right there”;

Zach Savich’s spare, starkly simple nuggets of imagist magic, demonstrating that “the things I like are the things that happen,” in other words, why “pleasure educates”;

Anne Waldman and Pamela Lawton’s feminist appropriation of classical oral tradition in which “women’s work is never shunned” and “the skies [keep] circling the/liberated hearth” where the female body is sung by its self and she/we can feel genuinely “welcome to the symposium”;

and Luke Whisnant’s post-apocalyptic flash fiction about a mandolin virtuoso in whose “music [resides] the anguished song of a headless doll and the rubato stagger of a cripple’s broken crutch.”

Thank you for reading!
Susan Lewis and Bernd Sauermann


Welcome to the visual art of Posit 5!

Made from found and fabricated objects, Mari Andrews’ sculptures delicately dance the line between nature and nurture, form and object. Each piece suggests a multitude of possible references. At once open-ended and concrete, her works are bits of sculptural poetry.

Kevin Brisco’s series “Build” presents a world of young men at work with muscular energy, both literally and imagistically. The raw materials that his images are painted on – wood, tape, and sheetrock – interact with the subject matter in a way that comments on the process and the product of a creative life.

The fact that Marcus Leatherdale uses the English colonial name for the Indian sub-continent, “Bharat,” in the title of this stunning photographic essay gives more than a clue as to its intent. This reference to India’s past jives perfectly with these elegant and haunting portraits of his friends and neighbors, imbued as they are with such a feeling of timeless nostalgia.

Oriane Stender’s work plays with the imagery and the objects of our material world. Using US currency and found paper, she sews, weaves, and paints these sly commentaries on the cultural interplay of commerce and art, image and meaning.

And finally, the video artworks by Tim Tate, elegantly framed in handmade glass, conjure the bits and pieces of half-remembered dreams. Their inhabitants share a moment with us and then, poof — they’re gone.

I hope you enjoy!
Melissa Stern