Through the glass doors,
at the back of the house,
she saw you dancing in the air
by the maples, at the
slanting gentle evening hour,
the day after you died.
You had insisted upon making love to her
when she came home with scars
where her lovely breasts had been.
It’s important to say they were lovely
because you were
and so was she and
you thought her scarred chest was too.
You always laughed at being the dark,
exotic stranger, the foreigner.
Their theories embraced the Other,
but your brown skin they secretly despised.
Speaking their tongue better,
your colleagues envied a playwriting,
motorcycling Sri Lankan
who knew the French, hifalutin books
better than they. Humbug, heartache—
they said you were remote.
You did lay on an Oxford accent
you picked up
in a half hour at Heathrow,
and despite the socialist rap,
strutted a bearing so regal,
you could be cast in a Kipling tale,
but the lines of students
were outside your door,
since uncommon mornings of mist
sticking to hills were in your eyes,
and your voice intoned prayers
for their kind of happiness,
so it might dance with yours.
In a cloud of fire, you rode up to my house
on a new roaring motorcycle.
Hadn’t seen you in months,
but you swooped up my woman
and took her careening
through Amish farmlands,
faster than she could breathe,
yellow machine outracing the hues
of yellow wildflowers,
so she came at eighty miles per.
Your last words while leaving school
for the weekend were I know
my body and the pain in my chest
is just too much life,
so I need to paint myself
across the tan, black,
and white skins of women,
finding my own line
to ride breezes of the night
in a Buddhist concentration,
while longing to dance in the air.
Glen A. Mazis
Glen A. Mazis teaches philosophy and humanities at Penn State Harrisburg. He has published many poems in literary journals, including Rosebud, The North American Review, Sou’wester, Spoon River Poetry Review, Willow Review, The Atlanta Review, Reed Magazine and Asheville Poetry Review (best of 1994-2004). His poetry collection, The River Bends in Time, was published by Anaphora Literary Press in March 2012 (nominated for a Pushcart Prize). His poem won the 2019 New Orchard Press National Poetry contest [The Malovrh-Fenlon Prize] and a chapbook, The Body Is a Dancing Star is in press with them. He also writes books of cultural critique and philosophy, including his newest book, Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology, which appeared in October 2016 (State Univ. of New York Press).
like a molecular cloud
hidden in spring flowers
wings of birds
leaves of artichoke
things eaten touched breathed
a Trojan army at the door
vortex unfelt unseen untasted
a pair of shoes full of venom
razor blade pants
shirt of rose thorns
in your nose mouth heart lungs
until you are overrun by a million ants
carried into gaping
tunnels to feed the young
a thousand invisible punches
to the head
knocking you prone atmosphere
forced into your body
like a reluctant invader until
When I first gazed upon the horizon
of an ocean
saw the endless
All the places I in my mind
Until the bottles
filled with piss
plastic grocery bags
my unused medications
filling the guts
guts of fish
guts of whales
guts of humans
guts of minds
Every vista one
of disguised beauty
floating in planetary
Brad G Garber
Brad has degrees in biology, chemistry and law. He writes, paints, draws, photographs, and hunts for mushrooms and snakes in the Great Northwest. Since 1991, he has published poetry, essays and weird stuff in such publications as Edge Literary Journal, Pure Slush, Front Range Review, Tulip Tree Publishing, Sugar Mule, Third Wednesday, Barrow Street, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Barzakh Magazine, Ginosko Journal, Junto Magazine, Slab, Panoplyzine, Split Rock Review, Smoky Blue Literary Magazine, The Offbeat and other quality publications. 2011, 2013 & 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee.
Beautiful. These rock band boys, giddy as pups given an open field. So pumped.
Drumbeats loud as amplified hearts. Muscled and optimistic, they can meet anything head on.
Years ago they’d have marched off to Vietnam, skinny and scared. Helmets and camouflage.
Shell shocked or blasted. Names etched on a wall.
Some of those boys, like Jesse, made it to Montreal. Guitars in hand, they held us close
in coffee houses and open mics. The war distant over the border.
They’re older now. Faces softened, almost female. Youth settled around their middles
like memories that won’t let go.
And of the ones drafted who came back, some sleep on sidewalks
while next door my neighbor just wants to shoot every damned poppy on the block.
Originally from Montreal, Babo Kamel now resides in Florida. Her work is published in literary reviews in the US, Australia, and Canada including the Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Lines + Stars, and most recently in Poet Lore. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, is a Best of Net nominee, and a six-time Pushcart nominee. Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. Find her at babokamel.com She has a poem forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2020
Once, when beasts could shed the expensive fur
of an evil spell, and pigs find the tools
to save themselves, the frog words to secure
his place beside all that beauty, the mule—
beyond his usefulness—who lugged those sacks
of music deep inside for Brementown
proved (like the mermaid’s chronic bellyaches
to know how suffering makes one heaven’s own),
led me to believe anything was possible.
Even disappointment—having first crossed
my path disguised as a newt, for whom high
ground’s shoebox palace was never fable
to one day finding water, getting lost—
disappointment on its own true wand relies.
Shelley Benaroya is founding director and teaching artist for the Writing Center for Creative Aging (www.writingcenterforcreativeaging.com), launched in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in all the sins, Diner, Ekphrasis, Letters Journal, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Thirteenth Moon, and elsewhere. In 2017, she received the Ekphrasis Prize and a Pushcart Prize nomination.
The night the trees in the orchard
dropped their peaches,
the ground shook,
and a nurse told us it was almost time.
His breath was little then less.
With drooping eyes, he tried
to speak that day and night
when our whole world was stacked
against a disappearing sky.
We prayed his color,
somewhere between chlorine
would pinken when dawn arrived,
turning blackness to rust and pink
and then, clear blue.
Taking turns warming his hand,
my daughter and I switched seats
and shared memories
we hoped he could understand.
But nothing could stop a breeze
from blowing from the four corners
of the room or a blare
from seven trumpets
calling to the sea to wash it crystal.
Teresa Sutton’s fourth chapbook, “Ruby Slippers for Gretel,” (under different titles) was a top 50 finalist in the Wingless Dreamer 2019 Chapbook Competition and a semi-finalist in both the 2018 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award and the 2018 Quill’s Edge Press Chapbook Competition. Her third chapbook, “Breaking Newton’s Laws,” won 1st place in the Encircle Publication 2017 Chapbook Competition; One of the poems in the collection, “Dementia,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The final poem of the book, “Confiteor 2,” was honored with second prize in the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry. Sutton taught for 10 years at Marist College and 29 years as a high school English teacher. She has an MFA in poetry from Solstice at Pine Manor College, an MA in Literature from Western Connecticut State University, an MS in Education from SUNY New Paltz, and a BA from SUNY Albany.
can’t we see that,
escorted elected barbarians
in bed with morphine drips,
confused, hapless, wanderers
like brad pitt trying to explain
strike out to walk ratios,
mormon from utah ending
two year mission to watts
trying to explain the green
stain on her white denims
glass of catawba
at halftime then
too drunk to sing karaoke
in nantuckett harbor after
stepping out after midnight
with crazy mad childless women
six hours a night
in casino back bars
doing a glacial hip hop stomp
the heavy razor edges
a classic southern Sabbath softening
to melodic sounds of bluegrass
away the crush, the glory
forgotten, erased, and discarded by
blowhard blackheaded rascist twits
who will read nietzsche in prison
just metaphors of martyrdom well placed
on the tantric twitter or
the everyday falsetto of facebook
played like a banjo
at an ozark pig roast
Dan Jacoby is a graduate of Fenwick High School, St. Louis University, Chicago State University, and Governors State University. He has published poetry in the Arkansas Review, Bombay Gin, Burningword Literary Review, Canary, The Fourth River, Steel Toe Review, The American Journal of Poetry, and Red Fez to name a few. He is a former educator, steel worker, and counterintelligence agent.. He is a member of the Carlinville Writers Guild and American Academy of Poets . Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. Nominated for Best on the Net for Poetry in 2019 by Red Fez. His book, Blue Jeaned Buddhists, Duck Lake Books, is available where fine books are sold.