Three Poems by Katerina Black

noah baumbach


it's getting late, he says.
do you want me to drop you off.

you watch farmland pass for
five minutes before saying anything.

you’re thinking about what you can do.
picturing the different rooms 
in your apartment, what will be on tv.
(you couldn't just ask someone in for a drink,
after all that.)

you picture the silence in all those rooms,
waiting for you like a cat, curled up
on a chair, watching the door.


when he gets to the hill above your building
you tell him to stop, you'll walk down.

you slip on the wet grass and just lie there
a while, letting it soak into your jeans,
staring up at the false moon.


not knowing any better, tomorrow will be a day
like any other. you will consider fonts,
bite no more than three nails.

at lunch you’ll walk to the edge of town
for a sandwich, and eat on a bench in front of
a preschool, your back to the kids.

you’ll sit and watch the cars go by.
none of them are his.




matt dillon

there's keeping your body fed
and there's keeping it clean. (there's crumbs).
there's keeping a job. there's pets if you have any.
there's socks. there's trash day, and then there's
recycling day.

there's losing a job and there's
losing weight. there's losing your father.
there's losing your mother, though less abruptly,
over a few years. there's losing a bike,
forgetting you had one.

there's vitamins. there's cars. there's pens.
there's house plants.

there's losing a sock and there's losing sleep.
there's keeping track of time. there's keeping
control of your drinking. there's losing a bet.
there's losing your marbles. there's losing your lunch.

there's the rest.




werner herzog

we lived back then in a house of thieves.
only once in a long while did they let us out,
and we wasted all of it talking to each other. 
(we had so much of each other already.)

we found whiskey as soon as we made it to the street.
(months in captivity can go by, and 
still it doesn’t burn our throats.) 
we got sloppy. we took our pills and remembered
to look for the things they’d stolen 
from us, the books, the records, the photos, 
ticket stubs and eyeliner pencils. 
we wound up going slow, stooping down 
every few feet, though the wind
tore terribly at our ears and i think gave me hepatitis.

we had hours of whispered arguments then.
i found myself saying things with my mouth
that my brain didn't think. i would have taken it back,
but i had so little to give those days,
it seemed the least i could do.

then some nights we heard them coming
through the walls, and held each other, 
sure they would break in at any moment
and find what we’d been hiding,
and beat us for lying to them,
whom we said we loved.

now all of this is over and we are out,
free to work and own things again. but 
i remember the scary nights. i haven’t been happier




katerina black is a dc native who has lived in tucson, amherst and nyc, but boston will do for now. she is a librarian by day and what she does at night is her own business, thanks.

Two Poems by C.T. McGaha


like holding a book up to look at a tree i saw you
standing in bluebonnets just north of fort worth

and the umbrella you held dropped like asshole ralph
like eyelids like hopes in east texas like you

want me to drop everything sometimes i do
but sometimes i just need my fucking pictures

in cellophane preserved with little light
to damage them i could just drop them

like sears tower pennies like new york pigeons
like lee oswald's rifle like marilyn’s panties

tissue paper wrapped flowers rub against one
another. like a bacon-eating pig i saw you there

standing in bluebonnets just north of fort worth 
wasn’t raining. your umbrella broke in hand

and you cried. when did you start crying? when
you held me? my little oshkosh overalls grass- 

stained. my ex-fiancée started crying 
a year ago. she asked me what she looked like

i ran out of the room screaming
bluebonnets bluebonnets bluebonnets





Two trees growing together
under the shadow
of fort worth texas 
and we are in the yard

we watch in the yard

as the holy hot bird feeder
is rattled to the earth
and the trees shoot skyward
taking tire swings with them
that smash together
—it’s a makeshift eight

and a swarm of bluebirds
plume the sky 
like they can fly enough 
to eclipse our mother

standing above us with 
hands like bluebonnets
that dart and sway
in the flat land wind

we sit bull on the lawn
clockhands in three
separate dots
and we watch




C.T. McGaha is a writer from Charlotte, NC. His work has been previously published in Gambling the Aisle, Haunted Waters' Press' From the Depths, and Crab Fat Literary Magazine. When he's not writing, he's driving down Central Avenue, blasting Outkast's "Aquemini." 

Poems by Anita R. Carroll

(inspired by "Steps" by Frank O’Hara)

How peculiar you are today, New York.

Like Judy Garland singing in the snow

And the stagnancy of the Seine at two o’clock

In the morning.

You are silent, New York.

In your frozen stupor and your beautiful black-ice concrete

Whose salt cracks under my feet

and smears on the pavement—

We all walk home, eventually.

I do not resent the winter.

It makes me think of cold Saturday nights at Carnegie Hall

When I was too young to understand but young enough to feel it
Dressed in stockings and pinafores and my dad’s coat

I slept with symphonies in the middle of December.

Hey, I’m laughing loudly by myself

Sitting by the East River at six in the morning

My glittering citadel

Always full, always mine.

I do not wish, I do not ache for a person

To be mine.

I live with ghosts and demi-smiles and cracks in my mirror

And the cigarette butts mangled by footsteps and rain.

The vagabonds sleep underneath the Cooper Union cantilevers

With their pitbulls and their heroin needles.

I don’t know where they’re from

And I don’t know if they remember.

How strange, how enchanting it is

To blow smoke out of my window

And laugh at the harlequins

And belong to nobody.





Three Poems


The Word for sitting in a restaurant on Bond Street and it’s raining outside and 
it’s June and you drink seven glasses of water because you have nothing to say. 


You would complain about how skinny you were but I became comforted by the 
feeling of your hip bone jabbing into me. If these walls could talk they would say 
we were drawn to each other because of our fascination with jagged edges and 
things that don't fit.


I want to lie down on the filthy concrete and feel the pulse of the earth’s crust, 
watching all of your errant limbs tread this ground and forget the way home.





Anita R. Carroll is a twenty-two-year-old writer, filmmaker, scholar, and multimedia storyteller based in New York City. A graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, she is the co-founder of the Little Fox Collective and Storysmith Productions and is currently pursuing her law degree at Fordham University. Follow her on Twitter @lolitanitaa.

Two Poems by C.T. McGaha

Two-Hundred Eight

I mostly miss the smell 
like mud-sunk cardboard
and broad acrylic canvas
characters / sitting
characters / tendons taut
in throbbing ankles of these
characters / house cats pawing 
at waterlogged couch cushions 
of front porches, foyers

and I’m amazed by you 
by the steady breaking 
as I crawl away from you
and the tooth-aching seizure 
as I smell you and smell you
in the dead air / stuck
in the fibers of these pillows 
coupled on my damp bed

no memory exists 
without its sensory 
c o u n t e r p a r t 
so I hose down
moving boxes
and sleep soundly atop.





Hot Glued

it's kind of like tripping
over uneven pavement
or the cracks in Rea Rd.
the way we used to walk home

so busy laughing at trees
i'd forget their leaves
and fall, scraped knees
mirroring yellow grass

Your mother's lips 
would right my patella 
Your father's singing 
would stop the red

we'd sit on the couch
‘til the moon came out
You'd call me a scaredy cat
walk me home

where i'd lay on my mattress
and dream of Your ceiling
hot glued glow-in-the-dark 
Bethlehem stars 

it's kind of like tripping
but i don't fall anymore
i just keep gathering speed
exponentially: stumbling

way down Rea 
past Bryant Farms
clutching at stop signs
all along Mockingbird

until my soles are worn through
and You wave from your porch
as i keep tripping
and tripping
and tripping
on past




C.T. McGaha is a writer from Charlotte, NC. His work has been previously published in Gambling the Aisle, Haunted Waters' Press' From the Depths, and Crab Fat Literary Magazine. When he's not writing, he's driving down Central Avenue, blasting Outkast's "Aquemini." 

Day 2 by Amanda Dissinger

cross over

the breeze blew sweet, reminded me of our summer selves
the things we said in breakback august, sitting on your rooftop in the
dragdown brooklyn heat

we were always a little afraid of our fall selves
afraid of our ambitions, afraid of actually doing the things we always
dreamed about
afraid like a schoolgirl on a sunday night
talking about the things we will change come labor day,
talking about the people whose names we won’t carry around in our throats
once the leaves change

remember the time we fell asleep with the lights on?
remember when i knew your 5am?
remember when you knew how my bones felt underneath you?
remember when you finally untied your bow of inconsistence?
my winter self has always been a summer shell
i am living out of my body come December
the sweet and wayward words of july,
a hazy sugary mess of a dream

remember the pretty girlfriends, the ways we still tried?
remember the taste of your birthday cake and how we left it in the moonlight?
remember the way that you burned coffee beans every single morning just for the smell
remember the things i can’t recall?

let’s not be afraid this year, let’s do what we feel is right in our sun-ridden bones
or we could defy growing older, stay on your rooftop, dizzy with dreaming
don’t let anything drag us down this time





This poem is from Amanda Dissinger's first collection of poetry, 'This is How I Will Tell You I Love You,' out now via Bottlecap Press. The book release party will be taking place at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday June 6th at 1pm with poetry readings (including Potluck contributor Eric Silver) and musical performances. More info is available here.

Day 1 by Amanda Dissinger

i am: a personal poem revisited after seven years

all those years ago 
when i said i was like wildfire, i was more like a brush fire 
when i said i was an artist, i was in love with the idea of art 
and now 
i am still
i am bare bones
i am too true
i am too fragile
i don’t exist in full form yet
i cut off all the hair you weren’t sure about that i still wanted
my body is too much
my vessels are too new 
i wear 11pm on a saturday the same way i wear 8am on a monday morning
i am too Columbus

it sometimes gets so hard wearing this goddamn smile on my face 

i want a steamboat
i want a green garden
i want to not trip on black ice 
i want to want the things that other people want sometimes
i want to know you exist out there somewhere 
and i am not Juliet
i am not a bombshell
i am not the girl you will go up to at a bar for one sole purpose 
(and am i any less for wanting that sometimes?)
i am not beautiful, i am only smart 
but what happens when i am only smart sometimes?
what happens when the closest thing to happiness is loneliness?

and if you wonder how i am 
i look exactly the same, i am the way you left me,
i am the way you didn’t want me
if you wonder how i am,
i will tell you i am more cultured now
i will tell you i feel less, so i can get on with more
i will tell you i hardly think about  you
(i am a great architect) 

the last thing i’ll ask is
would you have thought i was more beautiful if you met me when i wasn’t eating?




This poem is from Amanda Dissinger's first collection of poetry, 'This is How I Will Tell You I Love You,' out now via Bottlecap Press. The book release party will be taking place at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday June 6th at 1pm with poetry readings (including Potluck contributor Eric Silver) and musical performances. More info is available here.