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Showing posts from March, 2014

A pantoum by Michele Mattice

Family Photo by Michele Mattice The furrows on my mother’s face frame her features, like a photo of a warm, familiar place as comfortable as home. Her features—a framed photo, crinkled as fine linen and comfortable as home— tell a story, draw me in. Linen-crinkled skin pulls her coffee-colored eyes into a squint, as I’m drawn in to the depth of her soft smile. Her coffee-colored eyes dance as memories, retold, deepen her soft smile, each worth more than gold. We dance to stories told— a near-century of life— treasured more than gold; years as mother, teacher, wife. A near-century of life, yet beauty never clearer. Years as mother, teacher, wife grace the face seen in the mirror. Graceful beauty ever clearer, born of a familiar place. I look into the mirror, I see my mother’s face. Bio: "A native of upstate New York, I currently reside in Indianapolis with my husband and son. I have studied poetry under Shari Wagner, Micah Ling, Allison Jose

Power of music: Poems from Norbert Krapf and Richard Pflum

Scorpio Wrecking Ball by Norbert Krapf I’m your Scorpio wrecking ball, the red pepper in your soup, the flash of pain in your belly. Oh I can sing it intense, I got the gut-bucket blues deep down in my psyche but I can see the stars when they flash and sometimes I climb the ladder higher and higher. If you’re the one listens well I’ll sneak into your office and let my roiling guts spill in your truth chair. I bet you’ll even smile ever so slow and sweet and offer me herbal tea. That’s when I go ballistic, baby, quoting the prophets and visionaries before you put a hand on my shoulder and tap me into good-boy submission. Come on outside and we’ll howl together in harmony at the full moon over our heads before it’s time to head back to the cabin. You wouldn’t believe how calm I can become when the time is right. Sit with me, stare into my animal eyes. Bio: Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, Norbert Krapf is the author of ten full-length poetry collectio

A St. Patrick's Day poem from Dan Carpenter

Happy St. Paddy’s Day by Dan Carpenter I remember it best as the best of excuses for cutting class and getting drunk and kidding yourself that you looked as good to the girls shedding their winter pelts and inhibitions as they looked to you; that their green tongues said go. It came to reside, with New Year’s Eve, in that locked upstairs room of the mind and heart kept by the loved ones of alcoholics; misshapen mockery of faith, flag and sex, lost youth leering beneath a green plastic derby. With you in my March, I open again to the phony sodden clamor, extend my thousand Irish welcomes to the daytime drunks, the knob-kneed parochial step dancers, the corsaged politicians, all the flaunters of the color the singer reminds us my ancestors wore at the risk of their shabby lives. With you in my retreat, across the miles, as they say, I say to them, Yes, you are, all of you, please, be Irish for one afternoon, herded away downtown, insane and innocent of Yeats, of

An ekphrastic poem from Lylanne Musselman

Bye-bye Blackbird by Lylanne Musselman                To Wounded Bird and Cat, 1938 – Picasso The cat’s bloated belly fades into the blues— a blackbird, once vibrant and free, now limp, feathers plucked— unsung music from a beak agape, its last song fed black cat’s hunger for winged beauty, plump breast, wishbone. Bio: Lylanne Musselman is a native Hoosier with many family, friendship, and poetry ties that keep her returning often. An award-winning artist and poet, she has been published in many literary journals and anthologies. She’s authored three chapbooks, and co-authored Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013) with Jayne Marek and Mary Sexson. Although, in 2011, she moved to Toledo, Ohio, she continues teaching online writing classes for Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis.  Wounded Bird and Cat

Tales of the heartland: Poems from Don Nelson, Thomas Alan Orr, and John Sherman

Crossing Into Iowa by Don Nelson On steel rails westbound horn blaring crossroad, corrugated grain bin, winter wheat flea market, back lot spray painted track-side junk yard, small town water-tank cash crop cell tower, power line signal arm gas truck crossing gate lone tree corn stubble, waterfront steel bridge river barge mark twain sand bar Mississippi milestone. Bio: Don Nelson is from South Bend In. He is a graphic designer specializing in magazine design. He studied visual communication at Herron School of Art and Design and was a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame (communications arts). Act of God by Thomas Alan Orr When the Mississippi crested at Cairo, Illinois, they called in the army to blow the levee, sparing the town and flooding a hundred thousand acres of farmland, doing, the old Mennonite said, what the military does best, wreaking havoc in service to the greater good, a man’s livelihood in exchange for a bel

Seeing miracles in the mundane: A poem from Mac Greene

25 th and Central by Mac Greene cracked concrete, broken glass, empty half-pint whisky bottles, McDonald’s litter, dog turds, a red condom with French ticklers, wads o’ foil, a crushed crack pipe here we find the unending search for transcendence:           whisky, the sacred fire;           cocaine, Freud’s magic key. we find evidence of           food, love, and man’s best friend. a waist high field of chicory grows over this abandoned lot flowers blazing blue in morning light. morning glories wrap the knobby stems. dandelions peep improbably from cracks. ants travel on their busy highways. bees buzz and flies inspect. starlings gossip. pigeons thrust out iridescent purple chests as they soar down to steal from house sparrows who find seeds to eat in all the grassy weeds. Bio: Mac Greene has been a Hoosier by choice for the past 17 years, finding Indiana a wonderful place to raise a family. His goal is to become an "emerging writer," but fo