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Showing posts from February, 2014

Inspired by other poets: Poems from Jennifer Hurley, Norbert Krapf, and Diane Lewis

I Watched Him by Jennifer Hurley I am no source of honey or sweet but a swarm of domesticated honeybees buzz wintry-weak in my stomach, their fuzz bristly wire bottle brushes slowly scraping away cleaning what’s (left) inside. The emptiness overwhelms early in the day when the house is so quiet sun yellow warm I forget to crowd the halls with memories my son simply hiding, shadows. He had loved playing in the front yard pines lining the edge and he knew better at least I thought I taught him better but he ran into the street after a dry brown oak leaf bigger than my hand curling edges teased him along his fingers reaching out never taking hold. Alone I watched him from the living room window not even sure what I was doing so I’ll say drying a glass to prevent water spots not protesting because I didn’t know I didn’t know how far he would run or how unnaturally his body would hover legs splayed arms limp socks bloody. Italicized text from Sylvia Plath’s “T

Indianaville, a tale of the Hoosier swamplands from Randy Wireman

INDIANAVILLE By Randy Wireman Mint and sweat discolored his t-shirt. He spoke in fractured sentences, somehow conciliatory, into his cell. The mint made sense as there were miles of the stuff just northwest of the broiler. I remember mint always hanging in the air near harvest, and this young man must have been wallowing in that oil all morning, all afternoon. This town had always been a hub for potatoes, not necessarily mint. I’d grown up near here in the Eighties and this broiler had changed names a half dozen times. Steamy day. The young man slipped his cell into his pocket as he waited in line. He scanned the room as he tucked in his shirt and then wiped his black hair back. He stretched, taking little notice of me as I stood behind him, much less what I would think of his green-splotched elbows and forearms below the carefully rolled denim shirtsleeves.   Glanced toward a man sitting at a table pushed into wall near the bathroom and who caught his eye pretty much deliberate

Last word on winter: Two poems from Mary Sexson

Winter Dream by Mary Sexson The winter storm effect brings crowds to the stores, lines to stand in, the most coveted items sold out, and we wait, see if our patience holds. Late tonight I want to wake up and make note of the snow, count the flakes and guess their accumulations, I want to gaze out the upstairs window and look down on the literal abundance of it, enough to hold us all in, keep us to our chairs and couches, books opened, movies on, popcorn popped, the interior defined by our presence, our gaze to the fire, we will use words like cozy and snug, we will chuckle softly as we get another blanket from the basket. A Rabbit in Winter by Mary Sexson The rabbit’s tracks go over the top of the snow, all the way across the yard to the fence, where you can see he got out. Caught in this urban sprawl he has learned to deal with barriers. I used to see him every morning, alert in my front yard, assessing the day, wind riffling his fur, he did not

An antidote to Valentine's Day: A poem from Jennifer Hurley

Our Breakup by Jennifer Hurley The afternoon air smells of summer rain, almost overpowering the reek of bacon and onion fried early for the German potato salad that you love. I cook in the morning so the flavors will grow more distinct after having time to settle and melt into each other how we once did. We once did. Before disappearing for work you used to leave notes under your coffee mug, the paper stained brown from little spills—a watercolor of a white-spotted deer’s hide. I always imagined a fawn, your handwritten words crossed legs standing for the first time, clumsy wobbly. But last night when I tried to care for you, checked mangy fur for ticks and signs of other disease, your natural camouflage soon hid you in a thick part of the forest, a forest I continue to search, now falling asleep cold alone in a pile of knotty pine branches and slippery sodden leaves. Bio: Jennifer Hurley received an M.A. in Liberal Studies, Concentration: English, from

It was 50 years ago today: A poem from Lylanne Musselman

February 9, 1964 by Lylanne Musselman   Before The Beatles came to America’s shores The Fab Four were on the cover of Life Magazine in glossy black and white. I was in grandma’s kitchen the first time I became aware of them.   Mom showed grandma their photo to prove how “scruffy” those four boys were. I remember the two of them discussing their disgusting long hair. I begged them to see the magazine cover.   I immediately liked what I saw — youthful smiling faces, a welcome sight for a second-grader, who loved their long but simple hair. They became instant friends to this only child living in a much too adult world.   That Sunday night they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show I was sitting on the floor as close to the TV as I could get — those black and white images flickering four young men in dark suits and ties singing “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah…”   and “I want to hold your hand….” I had to strain to hear them sing over all the screaming young girl

Prose poetry from Thomas Alan Orr and Tracy Mishkin

How to Steal a Piano: A Prose Poem by Thomas Alan Orr Carefully, of course.   Keep this in mind: you must not be tempted to play “Heart and Soul” or “Chopsticks” as you lower her through a window on pulleys at two in the morning.   Don’t let her bang against the side of the building on the way down lest she belly forth with fragments of Chopin or Jelly Roll Morton.   Most say the stronger man should stay above, working the ropes, but you need more muscle down below in case a wind comes up and she starts to kick and buck.   You don’t want to waste time picking up sharps and flats on the street.   Tuck her into the bed of the truck and wrap her well. Nobody likes a chilly upright or a cold baby grand.   Wool socks on the pedal lyres keep her quiet.   And don’t drop the fallboard on your fingers or else you’ll be singing.   Driving through rough streets, avoid the potholes or the whippen will come loose, composing melodies to charm a ghost.   A haunted grand, though rare, won’t bring

A tale of survival: A poem from John Sherman

Anna Vasileva by John Sherman “We ate wallpaper glue and rancid horse meat and even scraped the spoiled milk off the bottom of the fridges in the yogurt factory…. Back then, I ate whatever I could. I even ate flowers.”            Anna Vasileva, a Russian woman describing how she survived World War            II, The New York Times Magazine, February 24, 2002 bringing the fragile petals to her mouth she is surprised the occasional lavenders lack the taste of their color brightly displayed against her small rough hands are scarlets perfect whites glorious pinks bursting out of   the ends of their green stems that she also eats the bitterness ignored as she stifles her own           I always admired flowers           finding fields of them a shock           as I rounded the corner coming home           while I busied myself with sums and sentences           they had opened up           waiting for me to gasp in surprise           as scores of startling