087.2: The Offending Adam:: 2011 Pushcart Prize Nominees 087

Is 2011 really almost over? It's easy over here at The Offending Adam to lose track of the time, our minds focused on preparing each week's content. But here we are at the end of November, which means Pushcart Prize nominations time. Making these selections is difficult, as our intimate relationship with each piece we publish makes us want to nominate pretty much everything. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all our contributors this year, who have made our second year of publishing a huge success. And, in particular, we would like to thank our Pushcart Prize nominees Jaswinder Bolina, Randall Horton, Amorak Huey, Lauren Ireland, Keetje Kuipers, and Johnathon Williams for sharing their remarkable work with us and our readers. We invite you to read or re-read their poems, and we hope that you find them as engaging and uncommon as we did. The Offending Adam

Jaswinder Bolina:: Aviary

do you remember the time we didn’t go to Topeka
we were ready to go with our sandwiches packed
and you had your harpoon and I had my headdress
but we didn’t go though we agreed it totally boffo
we could go to Topeka whenever we liked
but I said I’d rather live here than Topeka where
all they have is a crummy zoo and whoever
heard of Topeka anyway so we didn’t go
and spent the day instead alphabetizing
the pantry quipping how this had become going
to Topeka

Randall Horton:: The Weight of All Things

once there were particles, atoms clung
together & glue

there were noises from the bang

another universe begun, life
& the body formed, a shape

obtuse the head splendid. o human.
o being…

Amorak Huey:: A Death at Pictured Rocks

They arrested the husband, who said he turned his back
for only as long as a man’s urine takes to hiss steamslicing
                                           through concise spring air
                                                    to the ground
at his feet and when he turned back around to face the view
he saw only his wife’s sandal and immediately passed out.
Waking, he crawled to the edge of the cliff — saw
something white below — passed out again.
                                           This was his first story…

Lauren Ireland:: Sorry It’s So Small

Remember how you went away.        Now Nature hates you.
Well    I want to die    but just a little bit    every day.
I have learned    that everyone has some    great sadness.
I will let anyone    do anything    to me…

Keetje Kuipers:: Dolores Park

In the flattening California dusk,
women gather under palms with their bags

of bottles and cans. The grass is feathered
with the trash of the day, paper napkins

blowing across the legs of those who still
drown on a patchwork of blankets…

Johnathon Williams:: Anniversary Sonnet

We fought all night, all morning, so I treat
myself to breakfast down at Common Grounds,
a Fayetteville thing to do. A regular pounds
the dregs of a Bloody Mary, and the heat
at 10 is already too much. It’s all
too much: the water bill, my promises,
her steady, undefeatable love…