POETRY: Michaela McGrath – Half A Dozen

HALF A DOZEN

There is something to be said about the signature of some mornings,
a scrawl of life returns through the blackened blinds
and the cold in the room breaks, heat
ebbing and flowing and thawing the splinters.

Soon I’m feeding the half a dozen
brown birds, bopping along the cement stones
and skidding through the legs of plastic chairs.
They are so much like the pigeons in the park,
picking up rocks and pretending they are crumbs.

I’m facing this tree that has a dozen tiny trunks,
bees are blinking on the cylinders of green.

There is something to be said about the signature of other mornings
when the wind breaks impatiently
against a thousand fortresses,
and mothers in robes thrash the windows closed.

We are drugged by the glacial dust,
our jaws are unhinged and open and sore, ingesting
the undying itch of losing too much.

But this is not one of those mornings
and the sky is best whittled one piece at a time,
the glass falls away and shatters, maiming the bathroom tiles.

I have already started
by squeezing your enormous shadow
red-faced through every window sill.

 

See more of Michaela’s work at miaamcgrath.tumblr.com.

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POETRY: Robin Wyatt Dunn – Friday morning

Friday morning

no shade is like my own
my leather chair
my birth
for what it’s worth I’m older now
and coming closer to the road
what hold do you have over me now?
Only in memory do your daggered whispers cut me
And that’s shunting off too
(to better shores).

No trade is like my own in words
it’s dew
over the mewling mouth
of eager does
whose hooves extend into my house
and yours

drink it
and fly

 

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POETRY: Bruce McRae – How The War Began

How The War Began

Somebody said something to somebody else,
the gist of which is lost to the fogs of time.
Newspapers were filled with bathing beauties.
Strangers grinned. They gushed over the weather.
In a dark room someone else, someone important, drew a line.
He claimed it was a map, but a map sketched on wrapping paper,
the sort one tears to shreds on special occasions.
The wind was blowing west to east and back again.
Angels were reportedly sighted, and their flying machines.
They’d finally invented a gun that shoots only diamonds.
Children were dragged out of their homes and beds
and taught how to laugh and breathe underwater.
That’s when the bigwigs declared they needed more ice.
More gold. More elbowroom. More blondes, the bombshell kind;
women with large breasts, who didn’t ask too many questions.
We hate that, they said, lighting their foot-long cigars.
We don’t like questions, and we don’t like answers either.
Authorities got the OK to build more walls and tear down houses.
If papers weren’t being shuffled they were being signed.
People drained their swimming pools and burnt their money.
The family pets were given degrees in law and finance.
The enemy, chosen for their swarthy complexions,
were aiding us in the manufacturing and distribution of weapons.
Giants were said to have been stomping across the land;
huge three-headed brutes bent solely on our destruction.
A woman on the television smiled a heavenly smile, then lied.
Experts put their faith in the study of disillusionment.
A kind of lassitude set in, akin to half-baked existential dread.
You couldn’t go six feet without tripping over a headstone.

 

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POETRY: Joan McNerney – Occupant Apartment 2 D

Occupant Apartment 2 D

His days marched in place
days like tin soldiers each one
pushing the next aside.

Hurry, hurry before it is too late…
inside a gaping hole to be filled.
More and more of the surface
of his life was covered by dust.

The hallway gave off a musty odor.
Night after night, lights burned.
Busted dreams heaped in boxes.
Black marks covered floors.

Less and less energy to clean up.
His body betrayed him, both his
bones, his breath betrayed him.

One edge of his room spoke to
the other. His fan purred all summer,
basement furnace heaved all winter.
This incessant sigh gathering dust.

 

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POETRY: Stephen Gadbois – having a job sounds like a lot of work

having a job sounds like a lot of work

I keep forgetting how to write cover letters and I
don’t have a CV or anything on account
of how much responsibility scares me. It shouldn’t though
because I already pay for my own Netflix
subscription and that’s what being an adult is
I think, that and taking my vitamins
when I wake up at 1pm.
I feel youngest when I’m being pushed around
near a playground while waiting for the curry I ordered.
I wonder what having sex with someone
I respect would be like.
I wonder what having sex with someone
I like would be like.
I think it’s maybe like having a job in that
I’m responsible for something and the higher-ups
keep asking for my references.
I want to be pushed around
but also left alone, if you can manage that.

 

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POETRY: Broc Riblet – Ant Spider Moth

Ant Spider Moth

Mid-June.
Ants line up like opening night.
They look like spilled beans.
One of them carries an entire fruity pebble
on his back. A yellow one to
be exact.
Well done, small thing.
How strong, how impressive.
What admirable work ethic.
Ant women should tell him that he is
a good man.
He should get a raise from the foreman.
His weekend night should consist of a
dining out. A show if he is
into that sort of thing.
A couple of drinks if he is so
inclined.
And a chance to retire because he
has lifted his colorful boulder and held
it.
He did his job.
Ant, you are your own hero. Your
own accomplishment, if only for that
one pebble.
Later that day, a spider has grappled
with a moth, and the spider has
gotten the better of that tussle.
The moth’s wings are soft but
he was bullied by the spider,
more physically minded.

 

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