ROBIN WYATT DUNN – 13 WORDS

the charter

the chart

the cart

the art

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JOHN TUSTIN – SHOWER, SHAMPOO, SHAVE, SHIT

SHOWER, SHAMPOO, SHAVE AND SHIT

So I was drunk

And the big storm was coming

And I decided I wanted to hear Luke the Drifter.

I get up after a few songs and the darkness has fallen already.

It goes from light to dark in the time it takes

To shower, shampoo, shave and shit

In this place.

Luke gives way to The Stanley Brothers,

The Louvin Brothers.

The night will end with Bob Dylan telling me

The levee’s gonna break.

I look out my window and see nothing but calm,

Darkness.

The storm is coming. Or it’s not.

I can only wait.

Whatever happens,

Be it cleansing or drowning

Or nothing at all.

Let it happen.

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VERN FEIN – AUNT DeDe

AUNT DeDe

is dying to no one’s surprise.
88 and has been failing,
survived Parkinson’s for 15.
Meaningless numbers,
just like the spate of emails
and texts about her pending demise.
There will be no gathering
at her request.
Would be no gathering anyway.
Virtually everyone who would come
have had their own funerals
or live too far away.
The texts elicit tiny pebbles of sorrow,
barely a ripple in our ponds.

She had a vibrant life,
a noted audiologist,
world traveler with her doctor husband.
Then one daughter committed suicide,
another succumbed to a painful disease.
For that Aunt Dede is remembered.
Not her life—those deaths.
Oh, she was also afraid of cats.

Hibernating away at the edge of a Wisconsin burg,
she and her husband dealt in antiques
until they turned into them.
Today no one gave more than a sad
passing nod in their texts
to her going.

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ROBERT FORD – Towards the end of our knowing one another

Towards the end of our knowing one another

that infamous whisky-hour conversation ceased

its looping flight and fell from out of the clouds,

becoming more a string of painful retreats

from the same old mountain, with no guide

to navigate a way between the boulders,

the only choice to keep on going down.

But then I remember you telling me how

you always really preferred the plateau,

the big-sky possibility of the high moors

or the wide-open silence of the desert,

with the comfort of its horizons. How it

bathed you in a bottomless pool of space.

Where did it all disappear to? The quiet

sine-wave of your voice circling my ear?

Sharing your untold versions of the darkness,

pointing them with the tired light of our stars?

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