mantra review

Fall 2018


ferrotypes of drowning children


one sleeps loose toothed       at the foot of the dam     in florence, wi    the one that took
            great uncle fred trudell’s     twin brother’s life     as he built it     legend
                        has it       he turned silver     and now no one can forget
                                    how what we build     with our hands     will kill us

                                      that summer i took       the cheap gold knife       i got from lon finger
                    and carved a totem
                                                  from the august wake

                                                      i the black moth


    jordan       left a dollar     under a river rock &       i pretended
                                    i couldn’t possibly know       everything       that it meant
                                                              so i laughed & left
                                          a chrysanthemum
                                                            in a catfish's mouth
                                                                                  that night
                                the catfish came baring     a silver tooth
                                                                    he dropped it in the fire
                                  i’d never seen a catfish walk     so fast

                                                              i did not know how to thank him


    elowah     elowah     god’s green eye       summer before the red winter
        mouthrotted & moaning     passionately drinking     sunflowers
                                                more than wanting
                                to die     i wanted to be born     again     to eradicate
                                    water’s righteous
                                                to baptism

                                                      but i have lost too many

                                          names to ever bathe again


                                uncle randy has followed     me through the wiouwash
      trail to the slit     belly of butte des morts
                                                      he does not ask
                                      why i have a baby’s
                                                      first christmas ornament
or why i would want     to watch it sink     in the bleak     lake

                                                    i do not tell him     why i am cold
                                                    i do not tell him
                                                    i do not tell him
                                                    i do not tell him
                                                                and we walk home

                                    who am i to throw away     anything my mother gave me?


your brittle water
                                was trembling
my sea was turning out     so we sank
                                                aqualunged     & dreaming

                                                    a flood

                                                in our almost broken temple

                                                    we started to dance     the sky shattered
                                                    we cut our tongue on the glass     seven years

of okay luck   on the last day you told me     how often your mouth     is empty
    & you lied     through your teeth     i told you to think on it     i told you

        drowning     is the closest we can get     to being born again


        in a river that intersects       in a river that sleeps       the dreamless sleep
                                    of a mannequin     i find you
                                            you have my name   but only half
                                    of my face
                                        when you speak     i am terrified that you’ve grown
                                                    a head
                                            and try to pry         the pennies
                                                off your eyes
                                                    you tell me money is nothing
                                                    to us now

                                              you     the child of rain

taylor d. waring is a poet/musician from Oshkosh, WI, currently earning his MFA at Eastern Washington University. He recently released his first chapbook, infomercials, and releases music with the bands Baba Yaga, Carved in Bone, and Merlock. He’s the Managing Editor for Willow Springs Books, and writes music reviews for His poetry can be found in Manzano Mountain Review, Levitate, Malevolent Soap, Oyster River Review, Wisconsin Review, Coup d’Etat, and Pacific Review.

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