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NaPoWriMo 2014!

30 Poems 30 Days

April is National Poetry Writing Month and poets from all over are celebrating by writing a poem a day the whole month. That might sound like a Herculean feat to some of us, but even if you write just one poem, that's one more than you had under your belt before!

So whether you find yourself writing thirty poems or one, we want to hear from you—like actually hear you! We'll be accepting audio submissions of poems written during NaPoWriMo to release in weekly collections through our new podcast, RiverLit Recordings.

Starting April 1st, there are two ways you can submit.

Poets with a recording device:
Go here during April and upload your audio recording of your poem to be considered.


Spokane poets without a recording device:
Go here during April and upload the text of your poem. If we choose your work, and scheduling permits, we will do a recording with you.

There will be additional instructions on the submission form, so please take notice! Questions can be sent to Keely Honeywell, editor@riverlit.clymergallery.com.

Issue 14 Preview

Art by Austin Stiegemeier

Noah Picks Batman, but Noah’s Retarded

Noah says it again slowly, from the beginning: if he were a superhero and he were fighting a boss—or, not a boss, like, a supervillain—he couldn’t beat, he’d call in Batman over Superman.

"Bruce Wayne's parents got killed. He's angry. You have to be... like... really strong to get over stuff like that. Mentally strong." And plus, Noah says, Batman’s just human. He isn’t super- anything, so he always has to be smarter than whoever he’s fighting. Superman’s never had to outsmart anybody. “He can’t be beat,” Noah concludes, “so he wouldn’t know what to do with someone who could beat him.” Against a foe as powerful as the one we’re imagining, Superman would go down and never get back up.

I stop walking and face Noah. He takes his hand off the joystick and turns his head to look up at me out of the corner of his eye.

I say, “Superman is a goddamned invincible alien, Noah. He has eye lasers.”

Written by Luke Baumgarten

RiverLit 14 Art Preview

Magnificent Sun,

cracking the boughs of my neighbor’s pines
with your light—your first appearance
in what feels like months

Let me stand in my bathrobe,
one foot in the pantry,
the other in the kitchen, and lean
to the left

so your silken fire
finds my irises

Written by Brooke Matson

The Condom

An act of hope—I’d overcome
my teenage embarrassment
and dread at the Five and Dime
to buy a pack of Trojans,
and stuck one in my pocket that night,
that Friday night when, despite
there being not a girl in sight,
I’d hoped, as young men do, I might
get lucky after the football game,
or at halftime even, and win
the lose-your-virginity lottery—
and here was my ticket.

Written by Jonathan Potter

After The Cutting

After it’s done, perfume of new
mown grass wafts to my bedroom
window which I’ve opened for this;
comes a bliss of lacy numbness.
But while it droned, the mower blocked
all other sounds from the house—
no crying baby, no staccato siblings
or playing horse in the driveway,
no canned laughter
spilling out into the living
room like cheap wine.

Written by Teresa Vanairsdale

Reading Aloud for His Grandson

For the seventh time in a row
Jonathan reads aloud a story
in rhyming couplets
for his grandson
who rests his head
on Jonathan’s arm
and sits with his dirty boots
tucked up under his legs
upon Teresa’s white couch.

It is a tale of a fisherman
who stands upon a muddy shore
of a lake in front of his home
and for months has hauled in
nothing but shoes and key rings
and buckets and bottles.

When he finally lands a fish,
the biggest fish ever caught
from the lake,
and the book ends,
Jonathan’s grandson says:

Written by Stephen Page

Issue 13 Preview

Art by Austin Stiegemeier

The Gospel of Thomas EXCERPT

He searched by touch and found the GI Joe called Snake Eyes on his back with one leg buried up to the hip and his body bent around it in an excruciating way. He plucked Snake Eyes from the ground and washed away the soil and laid hands on the figure the way he had laid hands on Sally Martin when he made her knee better.

Tommy tended to each of his flock in turn—Gung Ho, Wild Bill, Ripcord—removing them from the mud and laying them in repose while he tended to their wounds. Cover Girl and Snow Job proved difficult. Snow Job was completely buried, and Tommy only found him by the invisible hand of God, which guided the boy the way it had guided him to Jami Reynolds, unconscious in a drainage culvert in the the woods past the hole in the play field fence. Cover Girl was bent in half and Tommy healed her back the way he had helped Andy Cummins feel his hands and feet again after diving head first through the hole at the top of the jungle gym.

Written by Luke Baumgarten

RiverLit 13 Art Preview


i. You are the one solid the spaces lean on, envious—
your son, your father, your husband—

they were elusive as ether, and you were the fire
eating the dark in which they left you.

I take the first antidepressant of winter
and sit alone in my apartment,

watching the fire’s wavering wings,
and wait for you to rise.

Written by Brooke Matson

Issue 12 Preview

Discovery comic by Justin Winslow


Might I just explain to her how this happens from time to time? Might I just tell her this: "Look, you will meet four or five men in your life that you could commit to and be happy with. It's all about timing. When the time is right take the one who appears next and stick to him. And if it works, don't be wooed by the next one. Because the next one will come. This thing we've got happens sometimes. I felt it before my wife once; twice since I married her; and now with you. Our chemistry comes and goes. But if you act on it every time you end up alone. It's a metaphysical rule or something. I've seen it happen."

For some reason I can't say those words, Joseph reflected. Too personal. Those revelations come after having tasted her lips, after the tempest of your bodies has blown away all mental barriers. Then you truly connect. Then you share such intimacies.

Written by Stephenson Muret

The Palmist EXCERPT

They never get it right. A stranger will always cross your path. The lines in your palm say you have a choice—you can go left and find love,   or go right and play Pick-Up-Sticks with chaos and/or hardship. It's always Either/Or. If you're a man, your Satin Doll will be all holy days, spicy, gorgeous, prick-ready, to "die for." She's your virgin, double-wedding ring girl, but a tigress.  Believe this: she'll love your birth sign, savor     your mayo-mustard Subway (which she hates), even dare to ride Coney Island's cyclone.

Written by Isaac Black

RiverLit 12 Art Preview

The Epistemology of Hospitals EXCERPT

I have yet to survey the Irish grit
of my grandmother’s hands, to ask after her first
stumbles with needle and thread—the awkward outline

of butterflies drifting the pillowcase. I’ve struggled
to conjure the deftness of her youthful fingers
thrust between the thorns, as she ate blackberries

straight from the bramble. Now I wish I’d memorized
her tenor of silence or chanced being the grandchild
crouched at the crack in the kitchen door

Written by Geffrey Davis

You Don't Give Dogs Champagne EXCERPT

[...] Leslie shows up in a dirty white tee shirt, size XXXL, that says Pig Farmers Never Starve, and of course no bra, which means her boobs are playing rugby with each other whenever she moves, and she’s holding a Bucket O’ Soda, because a Big Gulp isn’t big enough. And she’s with her boyfriend Andrew—her husband Dave’s away in prison for armed robbery. Andrew, a good old boy from Autaugaville, Alabama with a face like a vanilla Moon Pie, weighs 300 pounds and is not wearing a shirt.

It’s too hot for a shirt, Dolly, he whines, flexing his chest muscles to make his breast tattoos shimmy.

Written by Brandon French

From RiverLit No. 11


A honeybee stung him and he dreamed
of caves deep beneath the Earth,
ballads of silk and honey,
sweet oil that burned an eternal fragrance,
and two amorphous shapes battling,
the every contour of one
the exact opposite of the other.
"And they never even touched."

Written by Mark L. Anderson

From RiverLit No. 10