LIBBY CHRISTENSEN – GLASS

Glass

Broken festering wounds

deep within shins that try to crawl through it.

The glass shatters from a ceiling that

surrounds, encases, allows

others

to see

ogle

ooh

ah

point.

The dome may be broken

but there are other things to

break

smash

scream at.

To be consumed by the glass

to fall into the glass

to drag an already limp and outrageous body through the glass

is only just one victory.

No one can stop at just one victory

because to stop at just one victory

is as bad as giving up.

These shards come from

cracked vanities

ruined window panes

curved glass domes.

Devour these shards

swallow them

slice your throat open

with ragged edges.

Embed them

into your stomach walls.

Splinter them off into smaller pieces,

digest the fragmented remains.

Pierce your skin

and let it be known

that you don’t mind blood

pooling at your feet.

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Jack D. Harvey – BOMBING VIETNAM

Bombing Vietnam

Good old Joe,
a hell of a pilot you were.
You was my friend,
you was a big child,
all heart, stupid as paint, sure,
but the feel in your talented fingers,
your far-seeing blue eyes;
you and that plane united to kill
every goddamned gook down there
living in that green placid land.

I thought of you,
bombing airstrips, roads,
buildings, villages, factories,
the whole place;
it sickened me and
was I ever up your
big face and down,
looking for tears,
for remorse?

I’m sorry, Joe,
best friend,
I gave you love and respect
with full conveyor belts,
encouraged you
to blow this green land
to hell and gone,
so it’s me and you,
doing a lot of death.

Now you’re dead, too,
burned to a crisp
in your crashed B-52.

He was Joe from Muncie,
a bull’s eye,
a real true soul
who didn’t think much,
an O.K. guy, a
stamper on
American roads,
and now he’s gone.

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AMANDA VAN VEEN – SUNDAY AT VILLAGE INN

Sunday at Village Inn

Sunday morning at Village Inn,

coffee or orange juice? I am asked.

Every time, every day, those two drinks.

What if I want a milkshake for breakfast?

No, that is for dinner with your

chicken, bacon, ranch sandwich and french fries.

Always the same. Each. Time

 

is a constant, or is it

really? The clock always ticks at the same

rate – sixty beats per minute. A

metronome keeping the pace –

the pace of a walker, a jogger, a runner, a marcher?

Trumpets play too quickly, their egos

force it. Flutes play too slowly, their fingers

ache. What are the drums even doing?

 

Marching

at different rates, in different shoes, but still

to the same, old tune. Never

updating the song that plays when

the sports team scores their ball in the endzone

or the pep rally begins with the batons in the air.

Until that day that

 

The band director came.

The one that took the repeating

notes of the sheet music and switched them up.

The one that took that old song,

burned it to ash, then like

The Phoenix,

morphed them into a

New show to bring the audience to their knees.

 

Yet, in the end,

when the trophy is given

and the players celebrate their first place banner,

What do they do?

Have their milkshakes and

chicken, bacon, ranch sandwich with french fries,

at Village Inn, on a Sunday afternoon.

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POETRY: MARLENA CHERTOCK – CEMETARIO GENERAL

Cemetario General

Cemetario General is one of the largest cemeteries in Santiago, Chile. Patio 29 is a plot used to bury the disappeared, the homeless, the unidentified, and victims of the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship.

 

What’s left of them is arranged in boxes,
fifty or so line a wall.
He turns off the leaf blower,
passes a woman kneeling, her head lowered.

Even in death there are mansions.
Glass criptas encasing tías.
He coaxes leaves away
from the marble structures.

In a narrower section
ice cream and chip vendors push their carts.
Crowded together are plots of dirt, maybe some hierba,
a Nescafé bottle filled with wilted hydrangea.

He asks families to give more.
Sometimes there’s no response. So he digs up the land
and transfers what endured to a mass plot, Patio 29.
He’s so close to the body then, touching its bones.

At home he holds his esposa’s hips
as she cooks dinner, the smell of her sweat and the humitas
mixing in the kitchen air,
holds her as she undresses and they lie down together.

Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.

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poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista

Hasta La Vista

Here I find myself again,
in the company of
trees and sunshine,
a quiet workday morning.
It’s like emerging from a tunnel
where my mind was cloyed
with mundane matters such as
providing food, doing dishes,
and having to
respond to others—

who are my family,
who have gone back now
to being themselves
in the far distance where I can
make out the details better,
hear their words more clearly
in the sparse air between
here and there, as if minds can’t
co-exist in close proximity
and must always be
sent on their way.

Order Joseph Somoza’s new volume of poems As Far as I know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).

 

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Cathryn Shea – Epiphanies

Epiphanies

I wanted a magical telephone
to dial me up and announce,
“This is college calling. We’ve
decided your major.”

Then I would fall asleep
and in the morning I’d know
with certainty what career
I’d be hired for.

A bird would descend from
heaven and chirp in my ear
to confirm my choice of mate.
“Yes, this man is to be
a good husband.”

Somehow I’d know to have
a child at age 25. Ring ring.
The doorbell sounding. It’s
a package!

Someone said to always ask
yourself a question about
any problem at bedtime and
sleep on it. The best answer
would always reveal itself
in the morning.

I wanted epiphanies
when hard decisions arose:
Move? Buy the house? Rent?
Quit this job? Have another
child? Leave my husband?
Stay with my husband?

I had an epiphany today.
I must be calm
and not need an answer.

~

Find Cathy online.

 

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JOEY NICOLETTI – Motherfucking Jeopardy at The Gypsy Parlor Café and Bar

Motherfucking Jeopardy at The Gypsy Parlor Café and Bar

Hayburner on tap. Todd, the bar owner, turns up

the TV’s volume: It’s time

 

for Jeopardy. “Drink and play, Balls,”

he commands. All questions must be shouted

 

at the TV, as well as preceded

by the phrase, “What is motherfucking.”

 

Todd clears his throat, then demonstrates:

“What is motherfucking Donkey Punch?

 

What is motherfucking Enceladus?

What is motherfucking Hiram

 

Ulysses Grant?” A Daily Double. Tequila shots are on

the house, as long as the Jeopardy contestant bets all

 

of his or her money, and asks the right question. Not tonight.

Todd shakes his head. The people seated at the bar boo

 

and hiss. The bartenders laugh as they mix

and pour drinks. Another Hayburner for me.

 

“That guy has no guts, Balls,” Todd bellows. “Absolutely no

motherfucking testicles.”

~

Find Joey on Twitter or Instagram

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