|Arsenic Lobster poetry journal
|Issue Thirty-four, Spring 2014
Many moons, many microscopic worms, as if we were born of Jupiter. (George Kalamaras)
Last month it was my favorite moon—Worm Moon. I like it only for its name; March is that wet, cold month before the sunny warmth of April. It’s hard to get through March sometimes. Even though the days are getting longer and the sun is shining brighter, March seems like a lost month between the seasons. If it’s too cold we say, “But! It’s March!” If it’s too warm we say, “But! It’s March!” The Worm Moon gets a bad rap because we’re all anticipating the approach of April, of Spring, of the Pink Moon, National Poetry Month, daffodils and lemonade on the porch, planting flowers or herbs for our summer gardens. Tonight, the Pink Moon is watching me write this, and when I look at her, I think about the poet’s fascination with the moon. As poets, we’ve claimed the moon and put her in all our poems.
Each full moon of the month has its own name to denote what’s going on below, how the seasons are changing, what we need from our Earth—from Wolf to Snow to Worm to Pink—and I want to rename our moon to reflect the poet’s fascination with this great celestial wave-maker. So, I threw out my Farmer’s Almanac for my copy of this month’s Arsenic Lobster in order to find the fitting names for our poetry moon.
Andrew Cantrell’s January moon, the Careful Echo Moon, starts our year of new habits, old routines off with some winter light. Endless scrape, finger’s careful echo / across bones of routine’s read pages. / Interval glare of atmosphere / and eye caught once.
February seems like the longest month, to me, despite being the shortest month. It’s cold and dark and drags on forever. It’s home to the Oyster Cat Moon, named for Abigail Bautista’s line about longing for warm days and good times. Still we mourn our longest days: / how we drank whiskey and seawater, / how we fed oysters to the cats.
Worms be gone, the Glass Cup moon is less squishy but still a bright, bright, bright sign of good things to come. When shaken these buttons click together / like teaspoons against glass cups. (Julie Standig)
Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton together named April’s Egg Moon: Don’t freeze / all your eggs in one / casket. Life is like a glass of sherry.
One of my favorite moons, May’s Fish Gut Moon (in lieu of Flower Moon, mind you), is bright enough to do some late night frog-gigging or early-early-morning fishing. Harvey J. Baine explains, He died with the afternoon / and sky that could have been / the color of fish guts.
Finally, our first summer moon, the Water Bird Moon, is here. Warm nights, probably filled with biting insects and bonfires or little league games. Summer’s here and it’s lovely. They looked like the birds that play in incoming traffic, / distant and water-like. (Laura E. Miller)
Did you forget what summer was really like? July’s Sweating Moon won’t let you forget when you’re out after dark looking for reprieve from the harsh summer sunlight but can’t really find it. In certain parts of the U.S., you can cut the night air with a knife because it’s so humid. Sarah Merkle nails it: We daily find ourselves sweating / under the light of bridge tolls / or next to television.
Carta marina by Sebastian Münster
About the Artist
The Bat Cache Moon is out looking for you come August. Summer is winding down, but thank heaven for bats, the nighttime creatures that eat the mosquitoes that have been eating you all summer. he married into horse / people, i gifted him a cache / of bats. we zodiac’d. (Daniela Olszewska)
Fall is the new wedding season, so I’m told. The Wandering Love Moon, then, is aptly named. Forget the harvest, let’s eat cake and dance all night! Mary Kasimor writes, someone (my love) / wanders through / human bleak / the average commute.
So maybe the harvest is actually this month, right? Jeff Tatay’s Fabric Moon will light the way for all the new-fangled combines with super-powered headlights to get the job done and send the corn on its way. Of course, the scraps left in the field are good for something, too. The fabric of fields, / the body of a coyote, / a deer perhaps / floating in the spoon / of a small lake.
Goodbye warm nights, for months. The Bone Moon is bright and cold and waving goodbye to the hint of warmth in the air. The Bone Moon ushers in Thanksgiving in the U.S. and ever-shorter days. We feel like Rachelle Cruz’s poem: Sometimes we are scavengers licking dust from bone china.
My stomach groans on / like old men in cold houses / a thousand layers of socks, writes Amanda Kimmerly. Thousand Sock Moon closes out our calendar of moons with the too-cold toes we get from walking around in the winter. All we want is to curl up with thick socks and to stay warm and fed and close to the people we love.
With every lunar cycle is a New Moon, a chance to start over—from here on out we’ll call them Latch Moons. The arena fills with winter rains. / Each clasp repairs, latches / bronze with clean and shine. (Jeanie Stevens)
I hope our poetry moons light up your nights—and your poems—this year and for always.
From the engine room of the Ohio night, it’s a full Hay Moon, pushing its trip,its sack full—light, like nothing else’s—into us, over us, out of us,through the intercrossed limbs of the neighbor’s ruinous orchard trees. (Ted Lardner)
Associate Editor, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal