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Jack-O’-Lantern, a poem by Hiromi Yoshida


Jack of all trades,
of shivering,
shriveling Indiana
summer days &
nights, the
jagged mouth spews forth
orange shadows--
grins syrupy
candy corn
sweetness, the
hollowed head a 
luminous void, its
moist, fibrous, pulpy rind a
house for a

blackening candle stub--flickering Cinderella, her askew
       ballgown petticoats reeking soot & ash--hot molten striptease of dripping

wax, the jack-o'-lantern a leering
promise of plump, uncouth
       autumn days--pumpkin seeds spilling into meat grinders of the fairy-taled imagination.

Hiromi Yoshida, one of Bloomington’s finest and most outspoken poets, was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have been published in The Indianapolis Review, The Asian American Literary Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Evergreen Review, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. She is the author of Joyce & Jung: The "Four Stages of Eroticism" in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and the chapbook Icarus Burning.