Paula Rittenhouse, Past

Past
Paula Rittenhouse

You act like you’re so special,
So unlovable,
Because you have secrets,
Because you have a “past,”
As if I’m also supposed to find it shocking
That you have a favorite food
Or that you have feelings
Or that maybe,
Just maybe,
You let your lungs inflate and deflate
Over and over again. Continue reading “Paula Rittenhouse, Past”

Jim Zola, The Gingerbread Boy Turns 40

The Gingerbread Boy Turns 40
Jim Zola

Last night’s love carries me
back across the river.
I hurry the kids for school,
replace missing gumdrops,
straighten crooked faces.
Fox grumbles that our life
has grown stale.
Sometimes I hear Continue reading “Jim Zola, The Gingerbread Boy Turns 40”

Jonathan Owen May, Spring•Summer 2017

Party City
Jonathan Owen May

Balloon flesh gleams through hot July windows,
winks in the light at all the passing goers-by.
The stoned employees slurp helium with shrill
glee, anxious for their next cigarette break. James
wants to wait for Stewart so they can make out.
Napkins and plates and table weights festooned
with the hero of a thousand and one faces, blue
and red for boys, funky pinks and mint for little
girls. No one rattles the maracas in the costume
aisle. The two night managers drink Continue reading “Jonathan Owen May, Spring•Summer 2017”

Marjon van Bruggen, Spring•Summer 2017

Sound Shadows
Marjon van Bruggen

Do you hear
the sound below the sound
of our footsteps?
The wiry black whine
of bluebottles sleeping
or the tiny sudden shock
as thorns emerge on the rose

subtle things,
I tiptoe in its shadows and listen—

the goldfish discussing
the coming contest
the delicate slurp
of drinking fireflies
and the dancing dust
in the center of sunflowers,
against the glint of granite. Continue reading “Marjon van Bruggen, Spring•Summer 2017”

Marilyn Pocius Shelton, Spring•Summer 2017

Anthracite
A Trilogy
Marilyn Pocius Shelton

1.

I hoist my hems for the devilish descent
Down where no bone reaches save my pen

I chisel by inches with the image of a pick
Picture of an axe, auger seen in no one’s eyes
But mine

Grandpa, when you lay down in a chink
Of coal, did you see your mother’s eyes
Rimmed with tears as she waved good bye
Rooted in her Lithuanian soil?

2.

Settling Accounts

After you pay for your carbide Continue reading “Marilyn Pocius Shelton, Spring•Summer 2017”

Harold Jenkins, Spring•Summer 2017

Double Dig
Harold Jenkins

Break the surface with the pitchfork
shave off the sod with the spade
Five feet wide, fifteen feet long

Dig out the first row
one foot down, one foot long
put it in the wheelbarrow

Add compost to the trench
loosen the soil with the fork
try not to think about you

Dig out the second row
toss it Continue reading “Harold Jenkins, Spring•Summer 2017”

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