Lucid Lucy Lululy

She had plugged The holes atop Her head with hair To keep the brains From knowing there Was more to life Than dark and matted skull. But if she’d once Considered the cold Bare fish tail strands A-dangling exposed To brushes, combs, Hot water, wind, Men’s clutch, she’d Maybe not have shrieked When all the hairs Sunk down to sub- …

Compass

Another of my father’s dense metal hand tools   That he’d never find or use again once we took them from the shed.   That caught the exact size of things by reach, touch, sight — not needing inches and eighths or arid calculation.   That turned perfect circles without even trying.   That had a not-so-well-oiled joint twisting between …

A Rural Life

When the birds and bees die off because of chemical misuse, where will procreation be, who will make love? Only the Doomsday Clock will keep moving and gasping. Every field is being stripped. Big Dude tractors, and grain hoppers the size of two car garages. Harvest is part of mid-America; it’s what we do; it’s how we feed the world. …

Memories that Wander

Recalling a melodious pitch, or forms of movement, thus Swarms of creatures the mind adventures, the swooning of the thrush And while I beckon hitherto ineffable thoughts I ponder: the motive of a person’s word and deed when that one says, what’s wrong dear? Further, have I not known the brilliance of mind on earth The one that makes me …

Golden Fields

The night breeze kisses the amber, coaxing it to twirl and dance A twinkling speck of rich medallion, melting my fingers, warming all these downtrodden souls.   Faceless fields of fire, voices both green and golden, crying for the fall of a marionette and her puppeteer To snip off the poisoned strings, once and for all.   A beautiful scene …

Notes for an Awkward Morning

A few things you will seek the morning after: wallets, words, contact lenses, meaning, directions. Lessons learned upon rising: kisses can complicate as much as language, dividing desire does not diminish desire, no victims exist once the sun peels back darkness, drink and decision. You will remember what she was quick forget: boundaries between teachers and students, rules to minimise …

Kasandra Larsen

The Narcissist Hears What You’re Trying to Do There   Grabs your argument in a certain hand, clenches your words in a fist, spits   them back at you before you’ve decided what you were even trying to say. Perhaps   there wasn’t a manipulative germ or any exhumed dirty word, maybe   what he can hear and see is …

The Martyr

Who are you? You don’t know? No. I’ll come closer. Your face.  What happened to your face? You don’t remember? No. Are you sure?  Look. It’s horrible.  The holes in your face.  Your chest.  Your stomach. Yes.  So many. Why are you laughing? Children laugh.  Don’t you know children laugh? Stop.  Stop it, please.  The sound. It hurts. Yes.  It’s …

Marco and Nothing

Marco looked at the empty space that his sculpture was going to occupy.  What the hell did he have to say that would be worth occupying this space with?  His collection of found objects that were going to be used for the assemblage lay in boxes and sat in bags all around him.  He had metal and wood and plastics …

The Letter Opener

I pulled open the small drawer below the wall phone and saw a point of silver sticking out beneath the mélange of business cards, a sticky pad, and a strip of lime green cloth. Sucking in a sharp gasp of air, I said, “I never gave up hope I would find you. I just put you in the wrong drawer.” …

Entropy

Scientists call it the measure of the disorder or randomness in a system. Too abstract? Then reduce it to this: it’s hard, very hard, to make things better but it’s always possible to make them worse. Thus relationships, children, companies, countries. Entropy is the clock that forever runs forward and down until it no longer resembles a clock at all. …

Marian Kaplun Shapiro

Swimming Laps   crawl up 1 crawl down 2  up  3  down  4  up  5  how many minutes   how fast the heart rate   down 6   the second hand do-si-do-ing with the minute hand of the big wall clock the beat of the rock-a-billy on the boom box   up   7    breaststroke   down 8 up 9   down   10  flip turn   up 11 …