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Showing posts from April, 2014

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Tess Baker

On Being a Poet by Tess Baker   She lies to me, the muse does— On days like this, she sings But like an old lady, too Jealous to give up a recipe She leaves out Essential ingredients And I am left on my own With a flat verse Not tasty To anyone. Bio: Tess Baker has written five unpublished books of poems. She started writing in her late teens. She writes prose occasionally for local Southside Indianapolis newspapers when the muses call to her. Tess is currently enjoying retirement.

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Anne Haines

Save As by Anne Haines Small transformation demands a whole new name: to document this new omission, pristine identity. Select location, puzzle out the path. The old one’s shadowed. How we can begin again without destroying, certain of reversion. How we are so in love with every draft that ruffles through the pages. How we save the changes. Bio: Anne Haines’ chapbook, Breach, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Individual poems have appeared in Diode, Field, New Madrid, Rattle, Tipton Poetry Journal, the anthology And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana , and elsewhere. She lives in Bloomington, where she works as the Web Content Specialist for the Indiana University Libraries. She can be found online at and on Twitter at @annehaines.

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Thomas Alan Orr

Indiana Badlands by Thomas Alan Orr He wears a hat made of sky and walks his cougar through the corn. A buzzard circles overhead. Now is not the time to ask his name. A woman watches from the doorway. She clutches a tiny cameo and her Bible hides a derringer. Love will test her vigilance. It could be midnight. It might be noon. Time plays every trick it knows out here. Light moves, they say, like a ghost across level ground. The harrowing is hard, the furrows slaked with tears. Beware the walking man. Give solace to the one who waits. Bio: Thomas Alan Orr's poems have appeared in Good Poems , edited by Garrison Keillor, and other anthologies and journals. His poetry has also been read into the record of the Maine State Legislature. His first book of poems was Hammers in the Fog . He is finishing a second book under the working title, Tongue to the Anvil .

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Jo Barbara Taylor

Heathcliff and Catherine and All the Others By Jo Barbara Taylor I found an old letter in a library book, the stamp Brazilian, the missive in English, a feminine hand on monogrammed linen stationery, now yellowed. August 31, 1922 Dear Carlos—             I sit on the terrace—you can picture the emerald Atlantic and hear it slapping rocks below—my handkerchief close, for I will use it, I am sure, before I sign my name below. On the table, your favorite breakfast item—a chocolat éclair and your favorite relic, the rusty lock without its key.               The air is fever. My tears fall already like tropic rain. I say adieu. Please do not come again. I know you ask why. No answer I have is pleasing. I hold your heavy lock in my hand, consign it to my heart. I taste you in the delicate éclair, find you delicious. I glance through our time and smile. You must know I have loved. You, ever in my thoughts— Amelita I folded the letter into its envelope, returned

Seasons: February

It was far colder than I expected it to be. I walked quickly, into the breeze that carried the whooshing of the water from the nearby creek. I pulled my cocoon of sweatshirts closer and wondered which was more chilling, the late-winter breeze or the sound of the winter water. As I followed the creek, its gurgling sotto voce   mimicked my rapid pace. I had walked there many times, listening intently to the creek’s susurrant mystical language, unintelligible to me yet tantalizingly wordlike. It was always trying to tell me something that I couldn’t understand. The trees along the banks were brown and bare, crowded as though seeking warmth from each other, lifting as one supplicant bony fingers to the featureless white sky. Except for one, which mutely called to me.   I stopped, puzzling. Then slowly, over spongy early-spring ground, with a mysterious sense of presence, I approached it. The creek ran smooth there, silky and subdued. That tree was darker than the others, and

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Norbert Krapf

Queen Anne Reflections by Norbert Krapf We were gathered in a Queen Anne house moved along roads that wound through woods to a site on an open hill surrounded by trees. No walls on the main floor. Just exposed two-by-fours with art hanging from studs Tables with covers and fresh flowers set up in café style. Pitch-in food in the basement. Beer and wine brought along to share. A pianist and I brought jazz and poetry with a southern Indiana accent. We all floated together free of gravity. As I half sang, half-chanted, and recited my poems, a young woman with long curly hair seated almost within reach looked and listened with the quiet intensity of a plant sending out tendrils. A white light radiated from within her. She looked familiar and of the place, but shone like a local mystery. You could tell by the look in her eye that she had something to give, but not a gift that calls attention to itself. She knew how to look and listen, to absorb what she saw

American Grace, a Hoosier homecoming of springs and circuses from James Figy

AMERICAN GRACE By James Figy The people of Kemp, Indiana, had all assembled with their improvised torches—but no pitchforks. Instead they carried bats and unused rackets from cheap badminton sets, along with crow bars and oversized monkey-wrenches from the Kemp Spring Factory. The crowd chanted, "Ho hum, humdrum; Billy Guy has come." They packed the crumbling concrete bridge—the only way out of the north-central Indiana town—suicidally tight. A reporter from The Kempee Tribune took photos of the whole thing. It would have been tough for Billy Guy to drive through the crowd if he'd had a bulldozer. So the chances of his blue ’62 Volkswagen Beetle making it probably did not exist. He stopped the car on top of a huge metal plate, the kind the Kemp Dept. of Minimal Public Works workers used after they cut into the road. He pushed in the clutch and pulled the shifter to neutral, then stepped out of the Volkswagen. His stocky frame towered above t

For National Poetry Month: A poem from Richard Pflum

A Little Self-Indulgence by Richard Pflum Everybody writes, but nobody wants to write it . “Too much work,” they say. Everybody’d rather just speak it out now. Get it out of their system. Because everything depends on how one feels now, not to- morrow or yesterday but inside this very exact microsecond. And besides, to write, one might really have to read their own text silently when what one really wants is to hear his own voice—whatever sound that makes, wants to flap his arms, look everyone straight in the eye so all might accept his music, this huge bone of abandon—brutally inserted. One doesn’t really care how anyone feels about it. After all, he is the Artist. The audience is unimportant, has only its own sense of hierarchy so he must meld his dependence into their esteem or any fanaticism he can provoke to add to his own sense of importance to their universe. For as with any Artist all he wants from an audience anyway, is that they hear his howls of ecstasy i