POETRY: Mark J. Mitchell – Stranger Dance

Stranger Dance

He watched her back a long time. Her soft sway
kept slow time steadily, his metronome.
Her elastic music measured his day.

Not a dancing creature, his mother would say,
he herked and jerked stiff as a moon
clock. Her soft back was long, a controlled sway

was her weapon of choice. She liked to play
roles: child, temptress, wayward wife whose next home
was elastic as music. All working days

bored her. His hot gaze was modeling clay
her cool hands enjoyed. He lived on his own.
She watched him back. The swift time held soft sway

over each of his steps. Her eyes delayed
his dreaming self and her diva mask loaned
him elastic music. He measured days—

rationing them. He was trying to save
her like coins but knew she’d remain unknown.
He watched her, lost in time, her soft sway
stretched musically through his measured days.

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POETRY: David Eves – To Hachijō Island in October

To Hachijō Island in October

We look out at you

split into your full

figure-of-eight shape

and we think

it’ll pour here or it won’t

there’ll be food for us

or we’ll rumble up at

the full-bellied clouds

we’ll find a bed

or we’ll sit up

counting the stars

that float

like candles

upon the Philippine sea

 

Hachijōjima I

think I’ll halve you

at your waist

and fold your

two peaks into

a ball as warped

and cragged as

the earth itself

then I’ll roll you

back to Tokyo

(pouting, probably

heavy with

smoked grey)

and leave

you soaking

in the harbour, dyeing

the gunmetal water

the dark green

of your many

maybes

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POETRY: Abigale Louise LeCavalier – BIONIC JUST THE SAME

Bionic Just The Same

I pulled a nail
out of my head
the other day,
more out of anger
than in a panic,
it’s a real bitch
being bionic.

I’ve taken a knife
to my womanhood
in front of the world,
I know pain
and I have been dead
before.

I know what it’s like being dead.

That scares an audience;
that and being a man-made
Xanax-cyborg.

Mulling around in my afterbirth
looking out of my one good eye,
feeling my way through life tragic,
picking metal shavings from my own vomit.

So melodramatic!
So VERY punk rock!

Eh, the ruminations
of a tired poet,
reality of dinner for one
and horrible coping skills;
it’s made me the woman I am today.

Bionic just the same.

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POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS

Fantomas

The baby is crying.
We are all alone.
She is Fantomas
And we don’t
Know what to do.

Last time I was here
They didn’t give me
A paper cap.
But the guard offers us three
And I put them on us.
I feel Napoleonic.

Fantomas is inconsolable.
She wants to face out.
So I carry her
Past the guns and armor.
The Grand Palais was closed again
And so we are here amongst the arms.

You are interested
In how a world war starts.
I never knew you to care before.
History is hard, you say to her.
But what you don’t say is
Because the future is not just ours.

How can cities be taken?
You search with a mother’s concern,
Work to build a cursory understanding of
What to fear in the coming years?
You look for signs as I pace
Rocking the baby to sleep.

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POETRY: ANDREW HUBBARD – VISITING THE PIERCE’S

Visiting the Pierce’s

I greet you with a hearty handshake
And a half-hug, your wife
With a decorous peck on the cheek.

We go inside. We’ve been friends
So long I make my own drink.

I and my martini wander the comfortable family room
While you and your wife clash
Dishes and tart words in the kitchen.
There are framed photos from early days to present.
I always start at the same place
The one of your wife on Martha’s Vineyard
With her left hand holding her blond hair out of her face
Laughing, while the cold wind
Turns her nipple to a bright raisin beneath her thin top.

I see that picture in my mind
Almost every night when I go to sleep.

I turn my attention to another picture:
Your first-born, then a toddler in a sailor cap
Now a handsome young man.

Try to turn my attention…
It doesn’t work. Never does.

Once, over wine, on an anniversary date
My wife, who was in a very hostile mood,
Said I married the wrong girl,
Should have married yours.

In a stroke of genius, I said nothing,
But I’ve wondered ever since
What women know, and how they know it.

I drain my martini in a brain-twisting gulp.
And seriously consider another.

~

Check out Andrew’s second poetry collection The Divining Rod.

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POETRY: Anne Britting Oleson – November

November

All day the wind bemoans
its solitary state, the birds
of summer long since fled,
leaves turned from green to red to brown
then stripped away from skeletal trees
to race dryly along the roadside.
In the cold house she wanders
from room to echoing room,
wrapping her arms around herself,
speaking once or twice to hear
a human voice. When she settles
among the shadows with a book,
her eyes stray—to the stopped clock,
the dusty photos. Outside, the sound changes,
and she turns: suddenly, a hailstorm.
The ice clacks against the glass.
The sun shines on, oblivious.

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POETRY: SEAN LYNCH – THE SODOMITE IS DEAD!

The Sodomite is Dead!

Philadelphia’s Market
street continues underwater
and onto Delaware’s eastern bank
where empty structures are no longer
stores in designated places
along the four lane formerly city
street [this is no longer a city]
with no fear of getting hit [it’s already hit]
on its own accord the blood moon once full
bled out and yet its gray visage remains
if only because of parting clouds
and in that instance poetry is seen
by some the few walking this still street.

What liquid courses
through our veins tonight
Walt Whitman?
As ghosts stride
by your beloved Delaware
they try to catch a glimpse
of your penultimate abode
only 200 yards south of Market
and yet the view is obstructed
by the Panopticon prison
rising as one of countless
American/Babylonian
towers, this one jutting out in the cluttered
but abandoned Camden air.

What thoughts course
through ghosts’ minds
of you tonight Walt Whitman?
Someone built a fair, tents, rides, and all
on the former foundation of another prison
directly north of the big blue bridge.
Imagine the revelry the prison was only torn
down a few years ago and now it’s a party.
America’s screaming drunk children
revitalize the cities kick out the residents,
redistribute the poor not the wealth.
Prisoners shipped beyond
the suburbs in privacy
not so subtle slavery what do you think
Walt Whitman?
How long is the party going for?
Will we overstay our welcome?

There are no peaches left in Camden’s Market
no penumbras for you to fondle, what fun is there
in eyeing the now jobless homeless grocery boy?

“The sodomite is dead!” they said and still
the phantom mob stands
on what used to be known as Mickle Street
when they heard news of your death
the city rejoiced and since then America
has changed the name of your street
to MLK Boulevard in mock honor
and all the incarcerated are thinking of you
Walt Whitman even if they don’t know
it, our sinful American saint.

Rise from your gray tomb
renounce manifest destiny
renounce racism
renounce the empire
so that we may begin again
bathed in fresh morning dew.

~

Find Sean online. 

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