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Showing posts from October, 2019

Blanket Welcome at Kennedy Airport, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Blanket Welcome at Kennedy Airport                                                         — for Peyton, my grandson by Norbert Krapf  There was a small pink, blue and green blanket we sent to Bogotá for your mother to be wrapped in when she came to us in New York. When her plane arrived at the gate at Kennedy Airport a beautiful young Colombian woman with long black hair stepped off the plane smiling. When we walked up to her she placed baby Elizabeth Maria in that blanket in my arms. I held, beheld, kissed her and said, “Welcome, Love!” There was no wall whatsoever. No insults on any tough lips. We wrapped and held her in love. Which is what we give you also, her beautiful Colombian and German son with dark light-filled eyes. Norbert Krapf' s latest collections are T he Return of Sunshine (2018) and Indiana Hill Country Poems (2019). His adaptation of his Catholic Boy Blues collection (2015) into a play was per

Inner Workings, a poem by Mathew Early

Inner Workings by Matthew Early                          —for Dad You taught me to skin squirrels by the time I turned four: Knife-slice down the belly like scissors through wrapping paper. Tear guts from shell, make the inner workings forget they ever needed to be hidden. I would, not of want, but it made you smile bigger than the splitting pelts. So big, pride flowed like squirrel blood from the corners of your mouth. Your words never failed to drought my eyes: We’re all wired different, and there’s no shame in that. The woods were your church, so I’d go on our hunts: October swelling, squirrels gnawing hickory from stem in the treetops like some drunken Morse Code. I never told you I hated the ease of it all: How they’d fall like skydivers sans grace and chutes, but I know you could tell, that you were hurt when I didn’t want my camo dirtied with dead blood— and I forgive you for feeling

Cuban Missile Crisis Anxiety, a poem by Steve Brammel

Cuban Missile Crisis Anxiety by Steve Brammell Lunch in a brown paper bag, eating in the bleachers, reading my Lord of the Flies , the other kids loud, but not enough to hide the sudden sirens in the distance only I can hear. I try not to move too fast across the basketball court, its circle a bullseye, push the bar on the exit door, the runaway elevator I’m trapped on never reaching bottom. Outside I sprint to the edge of the playground, look west where steel mills never stop smoking and the Nike base, with its white-finned rockets, guards against those slow bombers of another era. Just beyond the curve of the earth Chicago is the prize. I estimate the minutes it will take for grinning Khrushchev’s missiles to cross the Early Warning Line, and how many more until the people, now alert in the streets with nowhere to go, all look up, just like me, and watch the warheads, bright in the autumn sun, fall like Armageddon’s stars. F

The Dragon and the Wolf, a poem by Maria Pizzo

The Dragon and the Wolf by Maria Pizzo I want to believe I met a wolf in my past life. I want to believe he wasn’t a figment of my imagination. In a world with so little, missing genuine love, I want to believe his arms that held me were real. Have you ever been so alone that the walls begin to talk? Buying into lies, philosophizing the woken lonely nights? I want to believe what he told me was true. I want to believe that balance sustains life. Where everything is nothing, and nothing is everything, the absence of all is so much in itself. Have you ever been so wrapped up in someone that you shrink down to nothing? Feeling like your existence has ceased, finding peace in the silence, hoping never to return? I want to believe he was real for my sake and his.  Hidden away, menacing face, completely unapproachable, desperate for love.  Out of the cloud of delusion, I know the sky is painted and music is artificial. I know love is