Category: 69. November

A Rainbow of Oil by Carol A Alexander

A serviceable pool of light drips into dream while my father haggles to highway back before the sundown’s scrim. Which really is dark’s absence, strip malls and invitation, the slightly rancid smell of frying clams. I cannot grasp the magnet of his East– the…

a small memory by jonathan bracker

Quaffing a medium mug of a Belgian ale Brewed, the brasserie sign says, since 1240, What a surprise to have Hutch Hutchinson’s name Surface in my only slightly befuddled brain! Hutch whom I have not thought of for a lifetime. But then, I did…

Just Down Wilkinson Street by jonathan bracker

Just Down Wilkinson Street, He Lived I was still yet a boy, And weasel-faced Warren Metcalf was Also. But he was the leader Of a gang, of which I was not a part Though I yearned to be. One day – just that one…

Deeper Lives by Carolyn Cordon

The sky, the horizon, my love for both Love for people – family, friends Honesty eternal, it never ends Truthful engagement, heart and soul – Follow the sky up to the stars Or horizon’s line that mankind mars Pathways followed, dead ends, or none…

Nightcap by Helen Freeman

Late at night my husband and I go into the kitchen. We prattle about this and that: who’s eaten the most apple pie? What to cook for the next dinner party – the regular? Lasagne? And which cat is that intoning a nocturne outside…

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Clavicles by Helen Freeman

I With ruler and protractor I appraise the clavicle. II Among 206 human bones the only long one lying down is the clavicle. III A shoulder blade, a clavicle and a sternum are almost one, all three girdle magic appeal in place. IV Little…

The World Without by Bill Glose

Next door, neighbors shuffle junk in their yard, scrap metal and rusted-out appliances to resell on weekends. Across the street, two girls play hopscotch in a driveway, screechy giggles trilling through windows of our house, where a ticking clock stabs silence like a needle…

Look Down by Ryn Holmes

here, I’m in Hell, my scars plain to see, there’s no drama – stolen – no one knows me now. That time I was living insanely, I used up my words, made an ass out of myself. I am danger, everything to lose, down…

next door by Stephen House

in her worn dressing gown she leans over our falling down fence asks me if i’m doing ok i tell of ongoing tests and painful biopsies waiting on cancer results it’s not looking good her eyes mist over concerned and with care i glance…

shared darkness by Stephen House

a tall thin man dressed in a filthy frock shuffles along these streets each day i drag myself along them too on trodden grime we separately seek our own evaporating reasons for these solitary rambles to anywhere else but the wasted now of this…

My Granddaughter, Almost Twenty by Michael Craig Kasper

I watch my granddaughter Walk before me Or rather, I watch the men Staining their necks As they watch her walk by, Young hips swaying like the sea Oblivious. And I am proud That the blood of my blood Can draw such rapture Such…

The Dancing Trees by Michael Craig Kasper

There was a stand of trees Where the road from work Teed into the road home. They would dance in the wind, So close, their branches mingled, If one moved, they all moved, Choreographed. I would sit at the light, Waiting to turn, and…

Whistle Stop by Michael Craig Kasper

some minor city in Illinois past midnight, the neon signs running on the wet pavement the tavern hard by the tracks we stop here to let one off or two get on — minutes of stillness in the long rough night I watch him…

NO FRILLS by BRIAN KATES

She listened as I’d read my awkward lines of verse at night, sitting, legs splayed and silent, on the bed in shabby underpants–you could hardly call them panties: faded cotton, color indeterminate, loose-fitting, frayed. (Stray threads caressed her thighs; a poet in times past…

PROVINCETOWN HARBOR by BRIAN KATES

We watched the mermaid comb seaweed from her haughty breasts as moon-pulled waves sang their timeless John Cage song beyond our outward gaze beneath the pier that August night in Provincetown. Only silence passed between us. And wonder. And a night of blissful sleeplessness.

Mismar by Pratishtha Kharbanda

Mismar (Urdu) n. Demolished you left me like a storm leaves a city : in ruins. and all i could do was gape at the damage in the eerie silence of your absence. so how am i supposed to believe him when he tells…

Cry Lots For Father by Christopher McCarthy

The building maker’s second son walks up and down flight after flight of stairs with a ring of keys. Lock doors. Count A. B. Still. The site is under construction. Mid-morning groaning ceases for fifteen minutes. Then the first call is heard. ‘Lot 47’….

Imagine Charlotte by Christopher McCarthy

Fly to the place (not the person) in your mind. Do it in a dream. Imagine it’s years from now. Laugh. Cover. Laugh some more. Know so little of each other and so much. Mother. Meet family. Love. A daughter. Moon. Heartbeat. Red. Art,…

Harvesting Blueberry by Mary Ann Meade

String after string mark the rows where rake and I must pull. What if I find a knot. What if I am caught, my rake beating like a bird wing against the earth. * Evening. I empty the last bucket of blueberry. Follow the…

On Our Daughter by Cecil Morris

Our girl, turning seventeen today, has grown too big for her pink room. She feels closed in by the four walls we helped her paint. The whole narrow house, in fact, is too small for her blonde longitude. The rooms, the people, the whole…

Reaching for Her Body by Cecil Morris

At thirteen my daughter chose her own swimming suit, a bright pink two piece for someone with a figure. The bikini’s leg holes arch over her thin hips, over those twin bones still closed like folded wings. After every dive she adjusts her bikini…

the true name of god by JB Mulligan

gullsoar slow winterbreeze wintertrees branchetching blue sky and milkstain clouds oozing eastward no meaning message word can hold as if it were a thing as these things hold a morning a timespace in all this stillness (even movement is still) the throb the pulse…

The Herb Garden by Robert Nisbet

Tarragon, rosemary, fennel and thyme. Barely a herb garden, more a collection of herbs in pots, ranged in her small back yard. Tarragon, rosemary, fennel and thyme. She dwelt on the scents and the sweetness. Rosemary, that’s for remembrance. But no-one had died. He’d…

The Morphology of Compassion and Indifference by Nynke Passi

Raindrops advance kamikaze-style, surrendering individual, perfect smallness Do tears of an onion look differently under a microscope than tears of grief? A cracked shard of glass reflects the sun as beautifully as a church window Pizzicato spider feet play cobweb harps up in heaven…

there is absolution by Nynke Passi

there is absolution in the unexpected coolness of a sheet_____the whispering of lovelorn cicadas changing form as life does— _____in one room after another_____in husks of cocoon _____behind doors of eyelid, forehead, lip_____hidden by curtains of lashes _____beads of days prayed one by one,…

One thousand seconds by Timothy Pilgrim

No motion permitted, lie back, hope dermatologist named Lance knows enough, laser in hand, can scorch an evil layer off cheek in sixteen minutes plus. Eyes closed to each flash, time to dream womb, baby, dark to light. More sparks, face teened, back seat,…

12 Exposure Film by Lillian Ramirez

milk of weeds dim eyes earth-crawler jaded coffin early light fallen ashes last tears still frame wisp of wind feel of flight kaleidoscope sweet nectar

Just Visiting by Andy Roberts

I was lost in the ‘40’s for twenty years. Sharp clothes and heroin. I found some comfort there. I was born against my will, like every actor on earth. But I’m in no hurry to leave my sip of black coffee and crisp white…

Pagan Purples by Andy Roberts

The smallest bees I have ever seen are swarming the foxglove and loosestrife, standing on their heads for nectar in the delphiniums. I stop under the silver maple for shade, where the tiny oak tree fights for light, stem the size of a gnarled,…

Too Close For Comfort by Andy Roberts

A guitar strummer sat down among us in fifth grade and taught me a lesson I still forget – until I see it in the eyes of someone I’m teaching chords to. The bully who beckons his muse onstage to sing his love song,…

France in September by Janice D. Rubin

That autumn I lived in l’Hotel de la Petite Fleur in the old part of Nice, la Vielle Ville. The room, four flights up a narrow winding staircase built during the Inquisition. The walls a light brown Italian plaster. Walking through the ancient streets…

Similar by Christopher Strople

My head is filled with drowsiness, and my eyes are droopy the way an old woman draws a shade in her house that is broken because she is too old to fix it, but she wants to and she resents that shade just a…

Missing the Bison by Keith Allan Welch

Go walk in the tall grass of a farmer’s field you may feel strongly the absence of the bison all his gruff rolling muscle and tough horn, and wonder where the puma has gone the night is missing her angry yowling, the ground the…

All Backs Wear Out by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

All those beautiful women in their twenties with their naked, supple bodies, incredible pre-sagging, pre-kids breasts, buns, still firm and shapely, and well-muscled thighs wrapped around my waist, as I carried them to bed. Could that be the cause 30 years later of this…

Everything is Lost by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

Me, the dumbest sentimentalist of all times. Today I’ve been thinking on that run-down apartment house my grandma lived in near downtown decades ago. Been razed for years, but today that musty smell in the hallway came back to me. Is there even one…

In Jackson 5: My Wife’s Last Birthday by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

In the psyche ward’s cafeteria, she sits, barely picking at her food. Her brow, wrinkled like a hieroglyph, meaning unbelievable suffering. Cutters, schizos, manics, substance abusers form a rag-tag choir. . Belt out an off-key “Happy Birthday to you” to someone they don’t even…

Woe to Those Poets of Easy Comfort! by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

Weekends in Connecticut, chipper didacts, trust fund babies, who live in cities but write of “nature,” not as anyone who knows it sees it, but as a kind of gentrified ecosystem. Survival of the cutesy! Woe to those poets of easy comfort! May they…

Dance of Oaks by Clarence Wolfshohl

Saturday nights the old folks scrub the dirt from under their nails, as best they can, wear dress comfortable shoes, go dance, go to St. Hedwig or Liederkranz Hall, go to talk crops and rain, go to drink beer— beer barreled belly farmers and…