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Showing posts from July, 2014

A poem from Joseph S. Pete

Untitled by Joseph S. Pete O squat office towers in a distant suburb, you barely scrape together a skyline at 12, 14 stories high. You’re visible from about a mile away, but too diffuse to fill a camera frame. But the metro area is so full, so bursting, that not all of the corporate headquarters can     be squeezed into the laced corset of the central business district. You’re mostly boxy, in one case cylindrical. There are few curlicues to draw the eye     except for the crowning radio aerials. You stand primly in contrast to the hurly-burly of Gothic, Modernist, Postmodernist and whatever-else architecture downtown. Downtown      is all glass and bygone craftsmanship and ambition; you’re an upended cardboard     box bobbing in a sea of surface parking. You’re a cheap date. You loom over La Quinta motels. You loom over Outback Steakhouses, Olive Gardens,     Texas Roadhouses. You loom over gas stations, strip malls and outlots. You loom over Costcos, Petcos, Diamond

A poem from Jo Barbara Taylor

Concert at 2 A.M. by Jo Barbara Taylor In the deep of night, no moon, no streetlight, I hear thunder drumming, drumming far to the west as the percussionist tunes the tension of the tympani behind a black velvet curtain. The drape spreads and the pianist's arpeggio splashes like raindrops. The storm snares on a skylight washed in lightning and drowned in the pounding of drums, a string bass, the deep-caverned tuba, the moan of a trombone punctured by staccato yips of a cornet. The storm moves east as night moves west. Morning is rinsed in deep grays of wet concrete and rain clouds. The music fades as the orchestra sets up on a distant stage. I listen for the dissonance of tuning up,          the thrill of the overture,                   the assurance of harmony. Bio: Jo Barbara Taylor lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, grew up in Indiana, and remains an Indiana farm girl at heart. She taught English in public school for 21 years. Her poems and academ

A poem from Frederick Michaels

Sing It, Buffy Sainte-Marie by Frederick Michaels Crimson flesh and onyx flies— a vicious scar across the plains. Breath stealing rotted air chokes off slaughtered vision. Wagons heaped of black hides snake away in morning haze to rail heads and all points east, into seamstresses' tiny hands. Feathered men with teared eyes knew the truth foretold by stars— bloody knives will change lives, gone nature's gift of food, clothes. Arisen such time unwilled, lament dead bison naked to your gaze. Now governments become beasts, a whole world the land despoiled. Bio: Frederick Michaels draws a good deal of his poetic inspiration from the land and history. A retired engineer, living in Indiana for nearly 40 years now, this expatriate New Yorker once thought the land was in parks, and history was in books. He knows now that both are in the mind and heart of the poet. Editor’s note: “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie: https://www.youtub

A poem from Anne Haines

The Measures, The Years by Anne Haines You step out of shadow for your moment. The singer nods and you go on, roar of the band receding just enough for you to step forth and be heard. You know these six steel strings like you know your name. Better even: you play in dreams, nights far afield when you’ve lost the word for who you are. All the years. All the bars, the smoke and funk, the bad deals when you never got paid. Nights when you rode home flying and nights when you wanted to die— all of them now woven into notes by the scars on your fingers, your capable hands. Could you ever stop loving this? You stroke steel and wood, feel the beat at your back— it’s a story you’ll never stop telling, how you bend notes to your hard will, let them take you where they want you, where the sweat and cacophony need you to be. Every night, all the years line up behind you to speak some of them laughing, some of them grieving the way bad nights do. Every night you

Five Letter Word, of chance and remembrance at Key West, from Crystal Lynn Kamm

Five Letter Word By Crystal Lynn Kamm A man is sitting in a diner. A fish taco stand on Front Street near the beach. His head is bowed low over a crossword on the back of the newspaper. It’s an old paper, crunchy from getting wet on the tables and grimy from being handled by an entire day’s worth of patrons. The man wields his pen over the blank squares and is surprised that no one has done the puzzle yet. Golden light halos the paper, shining through the lens of his water glass. Sunset. He looks up. A mirror. Usually he knows where all the mirrors are and carefully avoids them, but this one takes him by surprise. It’s only a few inches wide, wedged in the little space between two windows. One could look at it and fail to see it at any other time of day, but when the windows are glowing with sunset, the gray streak of mirror in the middle is impossible to miss. The man catches his reflection in it, spotlighted by the probing fingers of sunlight that seem to enter with the s

A poem from Jo Barbara Taylor

Gravel Road by Jo Barbara Taylor I remember how hard it is to drive in fresh gravel, to keep the tires straight. Front wheels dig for the weft of the road, back tires weave a wavy pattern      that shuttling sound how dust bloats up as a car trundles down the road, leaves you cloaked in dirty talcum powder, croaks a deep cough      that rasping sound how it is hard to walk in gravel, the clumsy road stretches ahead, no steady groove, you just slip-slide, roll with the rocks to balance,                that shifting sound I know rejiggering gravel, twisting stone under wheels. The grader guts through grit each week, the rattle of settling,                   that shuffling sound I remember the hope of a tarvey, black and smooth, to lay dust on a thirsty day, pave your way                        that mumbling sound Bio: Jo Barbara Taylor lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, grew up in Indiana, and remains an Indiana farm girl at heart. She taught English

A poem from R E Ford

Thick Hair by R E Ford It’s thick—internalize it please. In the nature of you it becomes you. In its tangled mane and darkness, you arrive looking in a mirror. Those dour hours of retreat; those seconds of freedom on Friday; I watch the hair move a new way, some secret we entwine in. Blackness first then the age of color, highlights shriek age and dignity. I study it nonchalantly. It suits the mood that you incline. Somewhere in this poem was you as the hair repels so many unlike. Bio: “I live in Brownsburg. I've been writing poetry for quite some time. I enjoy reading over writing, but with the accumulation of ideas comes the want to form my own and place them somewhere. My first name is just the letter R. There are many myths surrounding that name, and altogether I like to have several stories circulating about it at once. I work at UPS and attend classes at Ivy Tech. I have six poems going into The New Voices, the literary journal.”