I’ll Be at Your Altar

          If you die you’re completely happy and your soul lives on. I’m
          not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone
          else is the best hope I’ve got

               – Kurt Cobain

Did you come back as fire
burn-out, fade-away?

Just watch
from the tip of the needle,

the sea,
your old mountain,

the riding Puget
with no tone,

worms of your old veins
pricked might come still.

Were they faux wings
or simulated bodies?

Where would you fly
with perfect plumage

and no skin?
Carrying the future,

already dead.

You love people too much
when they’re gone.


A. R. Dugan has an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. His poetry can be seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary magazines and reviews, most recently Salamander. He taught high school English in southeastern Massachusetts for nine years. He reads poetry for Ploughshares and currently teaches literature and writing at Emerson College and Wheaton College.

Judson Evans is a full-time Instructor in the Liberal Arts department at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he has taught a range of courses, from a Poetry Workshop on haiku, prose poetry and haibun, to a course on theories of cave art and the role of the cave in ritual and philosophy. In 2007 he was chosen by John Yau as an Emerging Poet for The Academy of American Poets. He was one of the founding members of Off the Park Press, and published work in each of its three anthologies responding to provocative contemporary painters. His most recent work has been published in (print journals) Laurel Review, Folio, Volt; 1913: a journal of forms; and Green Mountains Review, and (online journals) White Whale Review and Amethyst Arsenic. He won The Phillip Booth Poetry Award from Salt Hill Review in 2013. He has collaborated with composers, such Mohammed Fairouz, Mart Epstein, and Rudolf Rojhan, who set several of his poems to music, as well as with choreographers, dancers, musicians and other poets, including Gale Batchelder, and videographers Nate Tucker and Ray Klimek.