Brandon Marlon, Summer 2016

The Shipwright
Brandon Marlon

Gnarled palms sand burrs along the taffrail.
Satisfied, he faces the prow and sniffs the air
above deck, identifying distinct scents
of timber–white oak, teak, cedar, pine–
as he steps lightly over sawed lumber,
reeming irons, pitch ladles, and caulking mallets
to oversee the fill of fresh oakum
and inspect watertight seams
running from stem to stern
while tar dries and lightens in the sun.

He paces starboard to port and back
listening carefully for creaks in the planking
or framework groans from keel or ribs
until certain of a solid hull under his footfalls,
then rechecks every spar, joist, scantling,
davit, hatchway, Continue reading “Brandon Marlon, Summer 2016”

Kenneth Pobo, Summer 2016

Wandawoowoo Wheezing
Kenneth Pobo

At parties Aunt Carla
was like a tea kettle
that someone forgot to turn off,
a whistle wheeze seizing
the couch.  Usually I kept quiet.
Silence, a swing that I made
go higher and higher until
my feet kicked low-flying clouds.
One Christmas

I overheard Aunt Carla
tell my two other aunts
that I was dumb as turnip.  True,
school felt like a shoe mom kept
trying to fit me into.  All
I felt was the pinch.  Mistakes
make me.  Aunt Carla never
admitted to any.  Relieved

when she died,
Continue reading “Kenneth Pobo, Summer 2016”

Mason Crawford, Summer 2016

Blue Jeans
Mason Crawford

I still feel ill
saying your name,
Miss

Or I should start calling you Mrs,
Does your husband
Taste the thieving of innocence
On your lips

Feel my young
Round, boy belly
On your hands

Does he know about
Your hunger for children
Mrs

See it in your eyes
How you long for the
Feeling of
An eggshell body

So
Smooth,
White,
Fragile

Mrs,
I know you’re state’s away
But I can still feel your
Breath in the nook of my neck
Your spider hands
Crawling down my ribcage
The tug of the blue jeans Continue reading “Mason Crawford, Summer 2016”

Jacob William Cox, Summer 2016

Generations
Jacob William Cox

She sat down in the shade and giggled. Oh, they were such silly people! So silly they made you giggle, and want nothing more than to run away through the first hot day of spring. Find a nice spot in the shade of a towering sycamore, and hide.

Sunlight filtered through the young leaves, mottling the roots and ground. The young girl smelled dirt. Earth. And she liked that smell, a rich living smell; the idea of bugs and worms. She dug her fingers in the dirt, moist after the rain which had fallen in the night. The pale blossoms on the trees, blown away in the winds, floated in ones and twos on the surface of the lake. Bending around the tree, hiding from nothing, she could see all this, the pond, the petals, and a mother duck with a few ducklings trailing.

She got up and walked over, dragged her dirty hands over her dress and stood watching. Continue reading “Jacob William Cox, Summer 2016”

Brian Dean Powers, Summer 2016

My Voice
Brian Dean Powers

I always sound hoarse.
Like a radio half-tuned to the station.
It’s hard to make myself heard.

I repeat myself often, every day.
It’s hard to make myself heard.
That’s the voice I have.

I can’t converse in noisy places.
Don’t ask me to speak to a group.
I’d rather not talk at all.

It’s hard to make myself heard.
There’s a furrow in my vocal folds.
There’s a flaw that can’t be fixed.

You might not hear my hello.
What can I say?
That’s the voice I have. Continue reading “Brian Dean Powers, Summer 2016”

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