Robert Balun


there’s weather today
but it’s gotten in static

in the anxious and


the predatory


violence of demarcation

I get surprised by
the angles
of the sun

of voiceprint

of wavelength
as function
and frequency
of time

I woke up

and wanted to

find you and ask

what do you
think of today

or tomorrow

here I am
my teeth


there is always

someone else
to blame

inside the restless

I remember talking

but not

a word
of what I


I was a part of that

but I forget

the way rain




the insectine




the newest


the point is to erase you

at home

I drink down all my yields

I listen to my neighbor

talk on his phone

looping our


I reach down

what am I
looking for

on the floor

I’ve got no passwords
I’ve got nothing
to hide

it’s all there


maybe if I leave
the lights on

the house will flood with bright

and I can collect
my scattering amplitudes

then tomorrow


Sodium Lights

does today feel like a day to you

awake but then everything

still some kind of

people talking
then dissolving

people talking

coming through

all loud and static

white noise

burning like lanterns

a name dripping
from a mouth

in deltas

of flawless blood
and jubilee

fantasy of dilated time and access

the sunny void

a few more minutes of here



I always get lost here

I don’t remember exactly

I remember I was there

with time

running like a script

we drank sparklers

called it celebration

looked for glories

what does it take
to feel like that

like new

like always

when I was commanding fleets

when I was steeped in victory

these are secrets

I pay the fare

I am

I carry me again
into the morning



    “insist on your embrace,
    double your fury,
    create a space for damages”

       -Alejandra Pizarnik

what is the weight of a garden

or a city

what is our labor
our architecture

what is the price

who pays

the unit of the day

who could you be
without debt

without context

who will you be next season

inside the pace
inside the disembodied

palace and kingdom

I’d like to carve out an ocean
to remember our cells
once knew jellyfish

I look up from years
and find only minutes

the radio playing crickets


ROBERT BALUN is an adjunct at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and composition. His poems have recently appeared in Prelude, Barrow Street, Poor Claudia, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others.

Kirsten Ihns

you want to be just like you, but

like, who was that trajectory, anyway

it was like finding a text
and around me nature was being
the kind of person who knew the hunt
for the wolf is the hunt for killing it

and the food was utterly nowhere:

he put the newspaper on the sit
in the meantime

it is either running or not running
these are the things we can know of the fridge

we know them while the size of a world grows under the sentence
in the presence of another with no size at all—
i just know how to be
a force and its empress
kicking my slit in the air:

the girls have learned to swing their legs in a way that is synchronous
they teach us this from the earliest age

– -my devices are the prettiest
of the things i betray—

make a copy of the wall
then peel it off
walk out bearing
the room on your shoulders.
i know
if i allow this nail
to grow
it will curl back into my finger
hi there, darling, i’ve come home
to you
fix my constellations from a ladder
arranging the loves and their restrictions

enter each day like

you will never get free of the people you have

the animal goes up the machine
it goes up
the machine of its step order
like a climax
flag on the dune
is it knowing
how to be good
about the come-down, now

hard thing to know
to be good for
fix that unfolds in time by means of causes//saying the wrong thing at the
same time//saying contagious object//pithy visual idiolect//peculiar to
street signs//still lives//ticker sticker countdown//parade!

protocol machine cherry i drew through my mind like a figure
and savagely it lets me

savage the long stem
its districted tonal forms
green aureole deep cerise taint rouge and melancholy thick luster

all over

what you wanted is an icicle for the take home
and disappears
as i’ve been here waiting in this glade for years

custard venal limber scented like a lemon incense pure but too thick to be pure
what i wanted is what i wanted doesn’t change not much
lux site
what i would burn up to have:

flush nervous seething something untrue in this mid winter winter ring—
mind fever beater green dream
but the sun asphodel rose blinking its order center talc coda for which i am standing firm on
the hilly reprise trees
and bitter polypore stick mantra, as bitter wires as a tricked winter

here is the place Necessitates the Visual Pivot

silk project, dirty penumbra subject to the photobox subject videopool so i come

to negotiate the surface settle my flesh on its sharp angles love it
as a sound that appears and calms to something else entirely:

polyplex, edifice
strapped to the machine of the pleasure
levers, white racket of the strayed
body o what
has fossilized in you
what is there given in this place to do

i eschew the past tense
because the past is just a little to my left relaxed

which original aspect do you wish to resume

as an annelid, but i shed my rungs
-progress -compost -one rich soil

object that listens to the world soft-eared resorbing
each sound as a new richness, new form to be
in pharyngeal futures pushed over
just slightly i find

i want the one i was afraid of
to speak to me
in the stride
of a novel permission
what is it that responds to my attentions

the term in its bright love radiant as any enveloping
flot blameless

a room without a heat in it
to people my evening

so i want

to trace the rise of the pvc

so i do, i call you up you let me
watch you in your bath

so fine in the soap, it’s exactly

so you are where the screen is

you are a positive and floating in it

you take the soul out where you can’t seem to carry it

so total in the water

so figure freer than its sense

so strong in this license, i like to do what you want with me

the water is a weak turquoise, but sparkling

it glints a bit where it pools in your ears

as you lean back into you are in the camera oh to be so ready

the only thing it insists on

apple in its early acid

flesh with a wish to dispersion

its very governance

new in its new teeth

blue and the hot kind of vain—

letter to be seen

stamped in it too reflects

the night its sky comes down in chariot, chariot

pitchy green—content to have been carried away
& sweet & utterly rutilated
KIRSTEN IHNS is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and will be a Ph.D. student in English Literature at the University of Chicago in the fall. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, The Offing, BOAAT, New Delta Review, POOL, Thin Noon, and elsewhere. She is from Atlanta, Georgia.