15 | lily brown, tiff dressen, steffi drewes, carrie hunter, alexandra mattraw, valerie witte

from the event, “of auras and bone frequencies,” at the clock factory

berkeley, ca, december 2015


and here in a meadow

you’ve seen the deer multiple

times now

they come out at twilight

where they go after sunrise

we all go            missing it’s the

———mystery that kills         us

if I could shut the dark my mouth

on the hill where       you raise your hand

to light / a way a cigarette / the way

smoke follows the sun, falling

every night now the problem is

falling asleep, the loops

———–smoke makes     in the meadow

—————————/ of becoming?

if I could open                my mouth

where deer shadows lift the strand,

rip the meadow, smolder across

the hill?


there is no more exhalation
ashy tendrils

to be had / heard you calling

—–come the hordes
————-of swampgrass getting

good and whiplashed
in the sea breeze

there is only ocean
missing / from your voicemail

——–the going going gone
tilted windmill / stilted sigh

do you miss me

———clump of fur in the fencelink
recalls a botched getaway

eyes follow
————creatures stripes in sand

even knots in the wood paneling

are watching

the fields of unseen handwriting

appear then re-


——-and then you sleep

——-and while you sleep

your body is replaced
by another


where did you go?
what has become of you?
and I?

——–green rosette on a tree, orange crust on rock,
hair entangled branch

the host hears her mistake

And opens the door to ocean

phantoms undeleted

crossing a street, feeling

that you crossed by car
in another time

with another person
on touched concrete

en route to the party
laced with bare feet.

and then you

in another plane


the fields are sky

what is opened, crossed or closed

you are always looking for places

to fly

The visible advised.
“As if I were you.”
The good luck wraith.
It being “more ardent to regaze.”


(back here in the meadow)

you’ve seen the deer multiple

times now

what becomes of the many

variations on us?

an “I” borrowed from “you”

given back to “her”

for the taking

and taken to split

ground and sky,

country and tree.

We are split and welded to the invisible

seam we feel between instinct

and antlers marking tree bark.


mistook your quiet for disappearance
your lapse in memory for blind longing

let the eye follow along a branch from trunk to tip
and if the sun hits just right there is no more
branch just leaves dancing in formation

believed your fear to be clouded
your tongue fallen under a trance

maybe the days multiply under all that fog

went to the shed and returned with gravity
tossed you     I     we     her
over a shoulder and carried on

maybe we pooled all the creatures
claws wings and otherwise

maybe we begged for a song


lily brown lives and teaches in the Bay Area. She is the author of Rust or Go Missing (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011).

carrie hunter’s newest book, Orphan Machines, is just out with Black Radish Books. She edits the chapbook press, ypolita press, and teaches ESL.

tiff dressen currently resides in Oakland, and is actively seeking further details on emigration to Canada. They are learning letterpress; type setting poems and making broadsides makes them happy.

alexandra mattraw’s most recent chapbook can be found at Dancing Girl Press.  Her poems and reviews have been featured in journals such as VOLT, The Volta, and Denver Quarterly, and her newest work is out soon in Fourteen Hills. She curates a reading and performance series called Lone Glen in Oakland.

steffi drewes organizes Featherboard Writing Series in Oakland, and her poetry collection Tell Me Every Anchor Every Arrow is forthcoming from Kelsey Street Press.

valerie witte is the author of a game of correspondence (Black Radish Books). She is a member of Kelsey Street Press and the Bay Area Correspondence School.