Apr/May 2021  •   Poetry

e c l e c t i c a
s p e c i a l   f e a t u r e


In an ongoing series, the editors, former contributors, and readers of Eclectica have been invited to write a poem containing four pre-chosen words. The words for this issue are last, held, find, and town.

If you would like to participate in the next special poetry assignment, the new words are gnaw, let, house, and same.

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

reverb or

the yokes i held to myself. what have i made of it now; now
i know of the tangibility of my body.

Skyler Arden Barnes


scientists whoop and holler, high-
five each other, marveled at images

Nathanael O'Reilly

The Wages of Estrangement

When I left I shifted / east to stand
in the City Beautiful, / community less so

Emily Rose Miller

Anatomy of a Storm-Weathered Quaint Town

On the foot of our disheveled home,
tides nibble, light leans for a look inside

Mandira Pattnaik

No Safe Shelter

All this I missed in a town near a city called Milwaukee, myself renamed Mary,
which cannot counteract the newly earned headscarf
hooding my face or English struggling to fall from my tongue.

S.Y. Chen

For D.K.

The last time I saw Dan in person
he'd just pulled a knife on some guy

Beau Lee Gambold

The Concept of Hell

as if the snake wasn't made in his image too

Jayant Kashyap

Going to Memphis

Church held me
with its harmonies. But my savior
was my uncle

Bob Bradshaw