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Showing posts from September, 2014

A poem from Brian Beatty

How Faith Works by Brian Beatty My granny always tithed what remained of her Social Security check at the end of each month to a few of her favorite radio evangelists — to help them reach out across the AM airwaves to touch more souls with their holy healing powers. But I never saw her seal one cent into an envelope addressed to any of those charlatan TV preachers she watched just as religiously on a black-and-white set balanced in the window ledge of her rent-controlled senior citizen apartment — no matter how often they asked for her prayers. “You wouldn’t see Lord Jesus prancing around the front of a church in a fancy suit like that fool’s,” she told me more than once. “Not up in my idea of Heaven, you wouldn't, anyway.” How her gold brick of President Reagan’s government-issue cheese turned blue in the back of her fridge I remember now, too. Bio: Brian Beatty was born and raised in Brazil, Indiana. He received his undergraduate

An ars poetica from Bonita Cox Searle

I Am Fat with poems unwritten. They came uninvited and bred like rabbits. They clogged my heart and smothered my throat. They impacted my gut— it no longer worked. They crammed my hippo thighs until I became an elephant. Elephants don’t write. My pachyderma expanded and expanded and expanded until it cracked and words seeped out— One thin poem at a time. Bio: Bonita Cox Searle lives in Noblesville, Indiana, where she writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and mystery novels. Her first published story, "Murder on Potter's Bridge," won The First Annual Armchair Detective Story Contest sponsored by the Polk Street Review. It will appear in the 2014 fall issue.

A poem from Helen Townsend

Thumbs by Helen Townsend I have my father’s thumbs. I first noticed them o n a summer road trip, when no teenager wants to ride cross country in a Ford Taurus with Mom and Dad. From a bored stare from the back seat I first saw the thumbs on the hands grasping the steering wheel were the thumbs on the hands holding my book. We pray to remember who we are. That’s what Sr. Christina taught from inside her cavern of black fabric under reprints of Jesus and Mary. I didn’t know yet that I carry my icons on me. Bio: Helen Townsend lives in Indianapolis. “One of my favorite things is sitting down to write or revise, and when I look at the clock, hours have gone by. Everyone who writes or makes art or has a great conversation has experienced that. It feels like a glimpse of eternity.”

The Literary Life and a Little Death

By Dan Carpenter I am fresh from an online debate with bookish friends about one of America’s most celebrated living poets when death comes to a family member who shares the poet’s name by sheer coincidence and shares a trademark quality of her favorite subject matter: Non-humanity. No sooner do I vent my weariness with Mary Oliver’s incessant animal poems than Oliver dies on me; and I must try, against all hope of achieving poetry, to write him a decent eulogy. He earned it; he gave a pet’s perfection in his six willful and sporadically violent years, and he may have lasted his full feline half score and five had it not been for my lassitude, my complacency, my wishful thinking that his profound lethargy and pitiable crying of the last day was just one more occasion for a tough little guy to barf out his troubles and trot on. Probably poisoned by some plant or refuse he ingested, the vet surmised. Who knows? Who springs for a $100 autopsy for a cat, especially if it might y

A poem from George Fish

Humanity by George Fish             I have often felt a bitter sorrow             at the thought of the German people,             which is so estimable in the individual             and so wretched in the generality.                                                 Goethe Is this not true of humanity as a whole, and not just of the Germans, both in the generality and the individuality? Are we not, as a species, plagued by halfwits, fools and idiots? Does not our own stupidity undermine us? Is it not true that the study of human history gives the lie to the notion of Intelligent Life on Earth, or at least renders it problematic? Are not these words I write true, and all too telling? And when I affirm my humanism and my love of humanity, does not this very humanity which I wish to affirm compel me to give that caveat expressed by T.S. Eliot in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “ ‘That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.’ ”? Bio: Georg