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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 13: May 2022
Poem: 148 words
By Jonathan Yungkans

Duplex Beginning With a Line by Xi Chuan*

 
The stars don’t mourn. The stars aren’t flesh and blood. 
They are glass and light in the shattering sky. 

	Night spills, shattered bottle, scattering darkness, 
	hue of every moment mixed together. 

Petrichor, moldering leaves, jasmine mingle 
with the terror of a skunk meeting an owl. 

	Two owls watched me pass at three a.m. No fear 
	as they perched, grey angels on adjacent poles, 

the City of Angels flashing gold, distant 
and close as those night birds. All lent a presence—

	a specter of light and the softness of down 
	as if caught in a Mason jar, lid screwed down tight, 

gold light shimmering inside, glass cool to palm—
rejoicing like stars while two strigiforms watch. 

 

 

*Poet’s Note:

The first line is from Xi Chuan’s poem “Mourning Problems,” translated by Lucas Klein, in The Paris Review (Issue 213, Summer 2015).

Jonathan Yungkans
Issue 13, May 2022

is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review, Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was published in February 2021 by Tebor Bach.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Le Grand Matin by Jonathan Yungkans, a Finalist in MacQ’s Triple-Q Writing Challenge (Issue 11, January 2022)

La Porte by Yungkans in MacQ’s special Christmas Eve issue (10X, December 2021)

Two Duplex Poems, plus author’s notes on the poems and on the form, by Yungkans in Issue 10 of MacQ (October 2021)

Lawful and Proper, poem in Rise Up Review (Fall 2020)

Cadralor in the Key of F-Sharp as It Cuts into My Spine, in the inaugural issue of Gleam (Fall 2020)

I’d Love to Cook Like Hannibal Lecter [video], read by the poet at an event sponsored by Moon Tide Press (10 October 2019) celebrating the anthology Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror

Saving the Patient, poem in The Voices Project (18 January 2018)

 
 
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