Holly Day… The Trip

 

The Trip

we used to pile into my dad’s van, drive
all the way from Nebraska to Texas

mostly in

silence, because complaining about the unbearable
heat would just make my dad turn the car back

around, and home

was even worse than three hundred miles of
flat black asphalt, lines of heat

reflecting off the horizon

in wavy cartoon lines. once we had reached the ocean, nothing
could keep us quiet; we screamed

from sunup to sundown, splashed in the cool

ocean surf, trying to erase
the memories
of hot tar and dead cornfields.

 

Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include the nonfiction books Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, and the poetry books “Late-Night Reading for Hardworking Construction Men” (The Moon Publishing) and “The Smell of Snow” (ELJ Publications), while her needlepoints and beadwork have recently appeared on the covers of The Grey Sparrow Journal and QWERTY Magazine.

Copyright © 2015 by Holly Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dawnell Harrison… City Life

 

City Life

City life is a smattering of hooks –

cars honking, street lights blinking,

the crowds of cars that form

a parking lot of I-5, dogs running

in the streets, sheets of rain

beating down whatever there is

to be beaten down.

Questions without answers,

unsettling to a world of order

and foundation.

Coffee and stress flow

from my fingertips –

not knowing where things end

and begin or if they do at all.

My cats sleeps in solitude,
my only respite for the day.

 

Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 200 magazines and journals including Mad Swirl, Mobius, Nerve Cowboy, The Journal, Queen’s Quarterly, and Hazmat among many others.

Dawnell has had 5 books of poetry published including Voyager, The Maverick Posse, The Love Death, The Fire Behind My Eyes, and The Color Red Does Not Sleep.

Copyright © 2015 by Dawnell Harrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virginie Colline… Jalopy Haiku

 

Jalopy Haiku

 

Photo by Moominsean (with permission for online reprinting)

Photo by Moominsean (with permission for online reprinting)

 

Miss Jalopy in a rut

a fringe of dried mud

along her rusty skirt

 

Copyright © 2015 by Virginie Colline

 

Virginie Colline lives and writes in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The Mainichi, Frogpond, Prune Juice, Frostwriting, Prick of the Spindle, Seltzer, Overpass Books, BRICKrhetoric, Yes, Poetry, Dagda Publishing, Silver Birch Press and StepAway Magazine, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mark… I Can No Longer Trust My Pockets

 

I Can No Longer Trust My Pockets

It used to be you put something in your pocket,
it was right there when you got home.
You never had to tap to check
on that calling card or your money clip.

No safe was safer.

Even as breathless kids: ‘Here, I’m trusting
you with my stuff,
this is my rabbit’s foot, here’s my lunch money.
This cool thing I found in the ditch, protect it with your life.’
Back then there was no need to say the ‘with your life’ part.

Any worthy pocket would be insulted —

like telling water its purpose is to keep you alive in the desert.
The roles were clear.
The finder and the keeper.

That’s the pocket’s whole reason for being.

It’s not expected to live by God’s law, be a faithful husband,
a soldier, a father, a reliable worker,
a friend in the middle of the night,

a good man —

just keep whatever is put inside so later
it can be spilled onto the scratched homework desk
or your secret place in the closet, to be accounted for,

evaluated.

No more.

All that I’ve ever put in my pockets, my whole life,
has disappeared.
For example, Saturday is gone. I checked my slacks, my shirt,
coat.

How do you lose 24 hours?

And it’s not just one pair. All pockets are
untrustworthy, stupid, useless.
The carpenter style pants are the worst frauds;
pockets inside pockets hiding more pockets.

For what? Tricking, faking.

Look for yourself — you’ll find nothing.
There’s not a single tool I had put there, not a rusty nail,
not a hammer. How do you misplace a hammer?

Total incompetence.

The suit jacket pockets, all pressed and pleased with themselves —
phonies. That’s where I put my bank accounts. Left me with

zero balance. Crooks.

And my shame. The shame I made public
during the wedding toast.
That is my heartache. And it is gone from the inner breast pocket
of my tux.

Please, what is mine is mine. I want it back.

I will turn those thieves inside out and make them confess.

Tell the dry cleaner to shove a hose rudely down
their narrow throats
and pump their empty stomachs emptier, suck their silk,
cotton, linen linings raw
for stealing the graduation memories,

each of my Happy Birthday songs, my family photos.

Nothing is real anymore.

My place at the table has been taken by another.
The clever tax loophole I devised, like it never happened.
My ability to get a proud, handsome, belly-slapping erection — lost.
I checked — nothing, nowhere, not even balled up

in the corner with some lint.

All my ocean summers, taken from the pocket of my

bright Bermuda shorts.

What happened to certainty? To loyalty?

Light a fire.
Bring all the kids out to watch from a safe distance.
Hell, roast marshmallows, roast a pig for all I care.
Burn every suit and pant and shirt.
Burn them away.

Before you do, put my ashes in the pockets.

Maybe that’s how I can get out of here.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Michael Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin Jones… If Not This Life

 

If Not This Life

If not this life,
then this night,
a few gentle hours.
Hold me close,
past my fears.
Lead me to words
I have so long denied.

 

Erin Jones was born in Wisconsin and raised in Arkansas. After high school he served in the U.S. Army as a cavalry scout before returning to school to earn B.As in communication and economics. He is now a mild mannered salesperson by day and a struggling writer by night.

Copyright © 2015 by Erin Jones