Ryan Skrabalak












RYAN SKRABALAK‘s latest books are Levitating Scum (Tree Jumps Rainbow, 2023), in which these poems appear, as well as The Technicolor Sycamore 10,000 Afternoon Family Earth Band Revue and Assembled Climate, both forthcoming later this spring and summer. He currently lives in so-called “Lawrence, Kansas” with his dog, Donkey, where he runs and edits the poetry press Spiral Editions and curates the poetry reading series DOGPARK. He is also an instructor at the University of Kansas, a radio DJ, and an organizer for AFT Local 6403.

Jed Munson

Love Letter

There is no letter.

for 규, no

one G would communicate the bend
of 기억, the name

of the letter, which bends
between us, means memory

serves. the greater
river by feeding the lesser, the

many. K would not communicate
your aversion to K’s

harshness. To harshness.

Q would sound like 규, maybe, but,
unmuted, despite its roundness, staked.

in the ground. A tree
by the river at the river’s

its groundedness, even
tuning fork struck

this note through bedrock
rings of



alone would not convey the other
half, the balancing
act of branches

that is 원 holding the silence


of 이응. In winter a tree

still holds its vacance. You
contract s at the edge
of One and grow s outward as
do river s into their s


The Guard

Wood jaw under of

the key
Change s. Keyed
to. The

Of the melody ironing
Out—that which is

Melodized, unrumpling the

note. C

-arries the paper through a crowd. No
Wind but it rustles the half-past

Hour round as
s yoke is

Greening-in, unfastening—that which
is ours is an

H our cut short. An a.m.
of ours. An amour like a flag. At

Half-mast, us evens,
breaks the remote

future I crave
the news—Van, the H
R guy,
the news of delay. Delays the news

of relay.

Of course it snowed as a matter of

Course, it rained

Fact. Also.

You cannot hear me; you are too tired to

speaking of cars, the cars are

that us streets hiss


All and Only

Rain without resumable cause. Concentrating fingers fumble. At Mothernode. Syntax problem builds.

Actual attention spreading mode. Heads only requirement. Trees analytic tools for studying air. One of us trains towards others.

All took exemptions. They live in heads rent-free. Woods guy neverminded into that guy. Wash tall quickly wraparound scrub.

Of course: not-perfect mirror. Pin doubles under scrutiny. Not needled by riddles. Rain taken down from the beginning.

Of path through chart. Moving with rain or because. Of deep structure passing into surface. Nodes flash back.

We live in the middle of nowhere. And I can give you rides whenever, wherever you need.

Trees assume grammatical branches. Grammar assumes roots that end. What is optional is eating noodles. With a fork in noodles.

I unbox. But stiff and scrambled. Tree is optional. Green’s descent.

Draw every possible tree as one. Tree. It is so. Non-one.

It somehow barely resembles anything. The last thing to figure out is the words. Leaping out of the last thing’s order. Of anything left.


어디든, 언제나 [wherever, whenever]

Was it looking at the speed at which rain through trees

makes sense and it isn’t rain’s speed through trees

or the speed of looking at rain through trees


looking for the light pull’s pleasing

weight in my palms counter it

wasn’t light’s


pull or push or light, or weight of one’s breathing-concentrate

on palm’s sweating—or sway, I was sweat and swayed with

the light consume me and I blemish that way ants tickle


peach ooze down the table’s dwindled

Leg. Loneliness on the clean floor. Radiator’s

outside-my-air voice when I turn to be reminded of the bay in every window, not the machine of me whirring


simple stuck wipe up the table leg, song against grains I can’t see

on my knees, desert-vacuumed palm. I half-remember looking up

to feel you there, my admiring your ankles and your knees—how beautifully you are connected


to yourself—unclasping the phrase from my some such mouthing. Was it when we crossed

불광천 on those wide-flat stones the current pushed into place you asked me did I like the rain—no,

not rain, but days of it—비 오는 날들—living at the speed


they force—yes—we were in one and it appeared to only be stretching on my glasses on the outside

of my breath, it comes taking down the day’s 미세먼지 and the last week of blossoms and the light

I slowed to wipe the streaks you slowed

JED MUNSON is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Minesweeper, winner of the 2022 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook prize. A book of his essays, Commentary on the Birds, is forthcoming with Rescue Press. His writing can be found in Conjunctions, Bat City Review, Vestiges, Annulet, P-QUEUE, and other journals.

Maxwell Rabb


and the August sun is quiet

beneath the heat and speed of Nevada

i trace silhouettes of audible mountains

a vestige
the geometrician steals my iron spine

beetles scrambling

magnified consonants
spiked by hard sand

a gambling swarm
ignored mumbling laughter

spillover noxious language



insect voices yell complicated double knots

i cut prayers for a stoccato god

scalding pedestrians
shut their blinds

paused suffocated by living room edges

hollow cymbal

familiar smokescreen noises

i am wide awake two stink bugs nauseating

release steam above decorative porcelain

bounty fine fabric of raincoats

strangled by mildewy smells for three days–

my blurry radar is showing stones
flattened by the sea salt burden—

vowels to be notated

cutting the lawn
is a neighborhood tremor–

play rotted bones at dulcet frequencies,

and the fake grass is an irreducible obstruction

next to fallen half-cuttings from dogwoods

i picket the granular bone into fresh sod–



stress pathology of sewer flows
as an ocean depth synchronizes on a green diamond

i am ditched at the colossus

barnacle lining grafted fields
this grass-sized muted siren is flayed by a monolithic voice



as oil pools in the base of the frame

i paint a picture of a bull on the ceiling
and there is not enough in the pocket of a giant–

talons of antholites bounce sour sounds
segments of blank space
nestle beneath molting wood sorrels

wrought wasps move frenetically collapsed by vacuum

submerged by the flood of sun rays scorching leather chair

open curtains— shredded

the immutable geometer is killed by his enamel coat

and this rotted obstacle closes

i place dynamite on the counter with plaster birds–

of kinetic departures— a trash fugue

curtailed plastics pile up by middle June
weaving against suffocating living rooms

i am poisoned by its asthenic furnitures–


or a heavy foulness,
anabatic by a multitude of herbs

my words
by a ballet

collecting aerial mint tulips, i am staring
into the sun’s mirror

phases road blocks
of terror traffic


a splintered geometry

pray to weaved
and fragrance vapor

acid bath

spoiled saint parades a silent February
by dancing jokes
crumpled harmonies

i navigate a bismuth garden,
carved into an unconsulted Oklahoma



wisteria sensitive to a cataract whistle
my skin is beginning to break off

convergences of rich blooms
by page length creases

melting point to stale winters
curved to massive appearances of unfamiliar insects

i live drowsy on heated flatlands
and the geometrician practices

a routine of seeing double—





MAXWELL RABB is the author of the chapbook Faster, the Whirl Wheel (Greying Ghost, forthcoming 2023). He lives in Chicago, leaving his heart in New Orleans and Atlanta. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Action Books Blog, Sleeping Fish, mercury firs, and ctrl+v, among others. He is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He co-edits GROTTO.