James Croal Jackson… Simple Machines, This Lonesome Noise

 
 

SIMPLE MACHINES

Force plus distance creates the want.
Machines make work easier to do:
 
pick up the phone and call her.
A sloped surface can move the heart
 
from one peak to another by decreasing
exerted force per beat while increasing
 
the distance over which the want
can travel– a simpler way to have
 
without the work of wanting.

 
 
 

THIS LONESOME NOISE

spare a key
you industrial
 
revolution
you need the split
 
bark
 
not the forest
not the wood
 
not the temple
not the gate
 
unlock the room
you need you
 

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Rust + Moth, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at jimjakk.com.

Copyright © 2017 by James Croal Jackson

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

William James… 111 Words

 
 

111 Words of Anything Goes

 

Azalea ran the numbers though Katz’s equation. Pushed the button. The machine clanged three times. The jackpot was hers.

Terry was in the playroom plugging tokens into the high-stakes claw machine. He maneuvered the claw over the thousand dollar bill, but won three butt plugs instead. Each time he grabbed his prize out of the slot, he shouted, “Look folks, another cliché!”

Azalea got careless. She was hauled out of the casino in chains.

Terry wrestled with the cops. He got a black eye. Later a sore bottom.

Katz was the big cheese of the operation. His brainiac hacks worked every time.

He kept himself out of danger with cunning schemes.

 

Copyright © 2014 by William James Lindberg

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cristina Umpfenbach-Smyth… Accoustic Memory & Olympia Peninsula

 
 
 

ACCOUSTIC MEMORY

 
He wakes, aware
of sound, rhythmic
against the window pane.
 
…. Rain.
 
He cannot see her in the dark.
sprawled beside him.
 
……remembers
 
long legged high breasted beauty.
 
Startled she feels his touch.
Fingers make their way
fumble, explore.
 
“Touch me” he whispers.
 
She reaches out,
cups him in her hand, gently,
holds his flaccid flesh,
dares not to hope for more.
 
Dementia pierced by sound,
small remembrances, from decades ago.
Kind darkness fills the room.
 
The rain stops. He startles,
withdraws deep into the pillows.
Silence sweats with fear.
 
…….he remembers nothing more
 
 
 

OLYMPIA PENINSULA

Between snowcapped peaks
valleys hold the promise
of spring.
 
Fog rises above trees
drifts towards the shore,
a long grey winter shawl
spreads over the land.
At the ocean’s end
lazy waves whisper
onto the sand.
 
A flock of winter birds
rises into a shaft of light,
soars to the mountains,
rests in the old growth
cedar grove
to watch
clouds travel by.
 
First Published in Harmonies & Discords by Nightwing Publications

 

Copyright © 2016 by Cristina Umpfenbach-Smyth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Conom… Salish Sea

 

Salish sea

crusted with black glass
speckled with color
of distant running lights
tonight cracks only
to accept their burden
easy going appendage
of the world wet
reacts to insults of earth or sky
so rarely gently
it gives no hint
of changing season
or reason it does
not warm or long caress
human flesh
will cool a person
fast back to its maker
as fast in july as
on a merry christmas
a cold and quiet sea
my home
 

Copyright © 2017 by Joanna Conom

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Norah Vawter… Lie Next To Me

 

Lie Next To Me

That raw poison used to shake my soul.
I am no longer angry at the world —
Now, lie next to me, and I am whole.
 
When I was very young, I felt so old,
With scars on my body, caught in the swirl —

That raw poison used to shake my soul.

Now we bob in the sea and shake off cold,
I am like a dancer. I spin and twirl.
Now, lie next to me, and I am whole.
 
I am lucky to be alive, I’m told
But I am no ordinary lost girl.
That raw poison used to shake my soul.
 
You showed me all the beauty in the bold
Ones who laugh until the pain is unfurled.
Now, lie next to me, and I am whole.
 
In your soft arms I am a newborn foal.
Into this new, fresh life I twist and curl.
That raw poison used to shake my soul.
Now, lie next to me, and I am whole.
 

Copyright © 2014 by Norah Vawter