TIM STALEY – A POEM FOR LANCE

DOOMSDAY JOGGING
(for Lance Leonard Gambrell)

Imagine a book
open to the black
depth of the universe.

Death is a wave of sound
you can’t wave off.

Sometimes instead of Lance dying
I imagine the tracks of a train
Vaselined and lit from behind
like an X-ray.

Sometimes instead of him dying
I imagine a steel-blue deity with 18 arms.
I guess 18 arms is how many arms it takes
to headlock something wrong.

I’m likely to round up a common stain
into a regional one or worse: a personal one.

The catch of crying is crying
kills bacteria, releases toxins,
improves vision.

Every white, elastomeric rooftop
in this desert town is haunted
by the dusty fingerprint of rain.
So much dust and blood work
between each papillary ridge.
The desert takes its time
showing us things die.

I was walking the acequia with my daughter
when she told me polar bears
have clear hair.

I was walking the acequia with my daughter
when a jellyfish of photons
came smearing across the tracks,
softening the steel.

I had a vision I went to see him
near the end in a hospital bed.
The walls were smoking
and we were playing dominoes
on a swiveling tray. It was horrifying,
I was still trying to win.

Lance writes poems on pizza boxes.
He gets to stay alive
a little while longer.

Last night tight ropes of light
crossed behind his eyes.
I wasn’t there. I was at home
looking for a dollar.

Last night in the pocket
of a yellow pillow, the tooth fairy
found my daughter’s 11th tooth.
The fairy came with a dollar,
dressed in mirage
except for his flip flops.
I heard in Mexico it’s a rat that comes;
it’s a rat that trades your tooth for cash.

I was walking the acequia with my daughter
when I told her polar bears have clear hair
because the air around those hairs
scatters light of every color
in every direction.
You could tell by her face,
the laws of light
were a let down.

Imagine a book
open on a table
only instead of pages
the black depth of the universe.
Now imagine
sunlight all spread out
on that same table.

Can you see him on a Tuesday in February?
Can you see him leaning
into the needles of wind like a vein?
Can you see him?
He’s walking there with me down Boutz
toward Avenida de Mesilla.
His curls so blond
they mirage.

Read more "TIM STALEY – A POEM FOR LANCE"

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).

 

Read more "poetry: Joseph Somoza – Hasta La Vista"

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.

 

Read more "Cathryn Shea – Epiphanies"

John Dorroh – “Missed Opportunities”

“Missed Opportunities”

1.

There were missed opportunities with your sister

that I no longer regret. I did for a while because I

love her homemade chili the stuff with lime and

cilantro and those those little flecks of ghost peppers.

Any woman who can make a bowl of chili sing like that

deserves to be honored. And believe me, I wanted to

honor her before she changed into a man.

2.

The miracle was not in the fact that she always knew

that there was a man living in her house, but the fact

that she carried through, unafraid to tell her family

and friends that she was planning on tossing her

vagina a farewell party, complete with midgets,

tattoo artists, and kittens dressed as baby possums.

3.

The surgeon took her scissors and made a nip tuck

then a tuck nip and pushed God out of the way.

“He’s mine now, so you sit over there and close

your eyes and mouth. I will call you if there is a

moment of distress.”

4.

Those opportunities are now memories of things

that could have been: a little family moving with the

rhythm of the ocean, water grinding itself across

the sand to make changes that all of us can feel.

~

This poem was originally published on April 9, 2018, by Piker Press.

Read more "John Dorroh – “Missed Opportunities”"

POETRY: LAURA MANARDO – Lemon Water in Lake Michigan

Lemon Water in Lake Michigan

 

Midwestern boys use tongue. And I’ve sprouted

from cracks in concrete. Midwestern boys use their fingers.

And I’ve used my hands

too. Trust me. I’ve used numb hands

to mold Midwestern boys. I know how they form words

in their heads before slapping asses

in beds that I’ve made.

I don’t wash my sheets anymore.

I used to know Midwestern boys, but they don’t bleed

with the vigor that I do. They don’t smack

ball of foot to earth the way that I taught them to.

And Midwestern boys use pretty words

like “only child” to water me,

make me grow, spread me

out, lick me clean. Midwestern boys borrow

my knitting needles and use them

wrong. Midwestern boys show me their photographs,

let me put finger to gloss. Let me put finger to mouth,

Midwestern boys. I’m stuck

between two slabs of planet

and all of the Midwestern boys are drinking

lemon water.

Read more "POETRY: LAURA MANARDO – Lemon Water in Lake Michigan"

poetry: catherine wolf -hack attack

Hack Attack
Finally! Obama shot back at the Russian hackers
who attacked our computers, the Democratic National Committee,
Hillary’s email, and just fun Vermont’s power grid.

But shot with a BB gun, it could shoot someone’s eye out,
leaving him dazed and bloody, not like a nuke
which could destroy a country or a world,
leaving the scent of smoke no creature could smell.
Obama, did you smell the flaming planet?

Trumpeter tweeted Putin putting off his own retaliation,
shining “very smart.” Treason is giving aid and comfort
to an enemy. Is the president-elect dipping
into treason like chocolate mousse?

Trumpeter sided with WikiLeaks founder
who said “Nyet, not a Russian hack.”
Does dumpy Trumpy want to build a golf course
in Siberia? It’s all about money.

With his glowing bare muscular chest,
Putin must have a dozen women
Trumpet can grope.

~

Bio
Catherine G. Wolf studied language development in graduate school, and was fascinated by this unique human ability. In 1997, when she was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, her ability to speak was taken away by this disease. She found poetry had a special capability to express her innermost feelings. By losing her physical voice, Catherine found her poetic voice. Catherine has published in the 2016 Rat’s Ass Review edition of Love & Ensuing Madness, Rat’s Ass Review, Front Porch Review, Verse-Virtual, Cacti Fur, and Bellevue Literary Review. She uses assistive technology to communicate, and raises her right eyebrow to type.

Read more "poetry: catherine wolf -hack attack"