Howie Good… Text Object & All the Doo-dah Day

 

Text Object

Don’t come at night. God closes doors and then opens them right up. I start remembering all those incidents on the news. The violence. Teeth getting knocked out. I’m sick of this (expletive). The dog knew it was coming. He started barking and jumped off the bed. Then the house started shaking. It felt like I was on a boat in choppy seas. Someone asked, “Is it true that whenever you walk on the streets, you get stabbed?” My 85-year-old neighbor still remembers how painful it was. We’re not really going to know that, though, without some combination of a time machine and an experiment we can’t do.

 
 

All the Doo-dah Day

We’ve probably found the oldest smiley emoji. As for the interpretation, you may certainly choose your own. None of it makes sense. It’s like my legs have carried me here by themselves. We don’t have a grasp on what the mechanism is yet. The real soldiers wear rags on their faces. I’m looking, but I don’t see my child. Things happen to people, and people don’t really understand how easily those things can happen. First they’re an animal, then they’re a volcano, then they’re playing with their cat, then they’re making songs, then they don’t finish the song and they’re jumping into the void from an elevated point.

 

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Howie Good

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Jared Pearce… Prognostication

 

Prognostication

On the day you came home
I am hustling one place
To another, sweating on
The air that won’t lift and won’t breathe,
 
And there are three blue jays
In the oak up third, younger,
I think, and quieter, chuffing
Softly and letting me near,
 
Fanning their tails to match
The blistered sky, looking askance
As I perambulate by. I hope
They’ll stay and believe
 
In the love and the need in me.
Yet the blue in them wasn’t heaven’s
Grace, but the blue of your eye,
The blue of deep space,
 
And without a shout, without
A race, they spread the day and hurtled away,
With nothing of cruelty
And nothing of hate.
 

Some of Jared Pearce’s poems have recently been or will soon be shared in Marathon, A Quiet Courage, DIAGRAM, Inlandia, and Poetic Diversity. His first collection is due from Aubade Press in 2018. He lives in Iowa.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Jared Pearce

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Mark… The Gathering

 

The Gathering

In lavish circles whirling, they skittered over the water top
weird women flying, their snarls and tatters streaming,
laughing profanely like bawds.
 
It wasn’t All Hallows Eve or any occasion that those
who weren’t these Witches would know. Yet it was an occasion
for them as their little ones were beginning their way in the Craft.
 
Seven of them stood wide-eyed as the Circle was cast.
They were smudged and invited within the muddy Sacred space
as the Spring rains continued to come down to soak the Earth.
 
The Quarters were called and they each in turn faced
the High Priestess’s Athamé and intoned the words they had
long rehearsed to be perfect on this most important occasion.
 
Despite the rain’s fall they were glad that they were now a part
of the Sacred Sisterhood. The cakes and ale which followed
made them feel that they were indeed growing up
 
and on the way to attaining the wisdom which had passed
from Mother to Daughter for so many generations that
their lines were lost in the mists of memory.
 
As soon as the last cake was eaten and the last of the ale sipped,
the Quarters were thanked and the Circle opened and the Witches
old and new dispersed to the four corners of their town.
 
Rain fell softly on the town cupolas, chuckled from rain-spouts
and spoke in strange subterranean tongues beneath the windows
of the town which had no idea of the importance of the evening.
 

Purple Mark aka Mark Wirth courts way too many Muses: Chocolate-Making, Costuming, Millinery, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Novel-Writing and Poetry. In College, he was the Art Director for the MSU Literary Annual for 2 years and an issue of Scimitar: Illustrations, Layout and some Poetry. In the Seattle area, he worked on Mythos in a like manner and provided additional photography as well as short stories.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Purple Mark

 
 
 
 
 
 

Joanna Conom… The Cigar Box

 

The Cigar Box

that he bragged held enough of thing
to take him around the world twice
was found years later under his bed
in it the expired able bodied seaman
identification box checked cook
 
a picture of a small boy in shorts
holding the hand of his mother
who bought him a hot cinnamon roll
to eat on the bus trip home
from their weekly trip to market
 
a small card with an icon of
the virgin mary on one side
the 23rd psalm on the other
birth and death dates of his father
whose face he had a difficult time
putting into memory
 
four glass marbles of various color
a slingshot carved of bone
another picture well handled
of a young man in shorts wavy hair thick
grinning each arm around a south sea
island woman with belly ready to birth
 
a glossy of another bride
standing at the altar dressed with
a huge smile and yards of white satin
a dried red rose from her casket
documents showing baby names tiny footprints
 
a mugshot of indeterminate alleged crime
from unknown place assorted coins
clippings from newspapers
announcing the death of old friends relatives
an origami ring made with a dollar bill
union book local 8 miscellaneous cards
 
all fit into the cigar box cheap pine
worn shiny by touch and travel
and life in times forgotten
 

Copyright © 2017 by Joanna Conom

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Valentina Cano… Purgatory Around a Table

 

Purgatory Around a Table

How is it this feeling has taken
over my very veins?
I am thrown out,
disposed of myself,
and filled with swamp water,
dark and brimming with flies.
I cannot sit still,
but rising burns my toes, my calves.
Even breathing has lost its charm.
My hands are stiff
and held at my sides like plates,
ready to smash themselves
to pieces against the wall.
My voice slashes upward in a scream.
The only sign of its sound,
the teetering of wine glasses.
 

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, Super Poetry Highway. You can find her here: carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Valentina Cano