Stuff

To minimize        sorrow’s splash & sizzle

baby lava drops        slow motion fall

leaving their tear ducts      empty of ways

to transport    the stuff of grief

some lean       toward heavenly things

the blue & white fluff    of paper Mache

obese clouds      of thunderous joy

the pretty and perfect        pulseless distractions

made famous         by the stuff of faith

consumption     is rarely subpoenaed

for questioning             too much stuff

in the gut’s garage           too much mail

in the mind’s cold box         to sort out    the real

from      the almost real    the who the hell sent

this wickedness to me     who has time

for such       stuff

 

by Daniel Edward Moore

Daniel Edward Moore’s poems have been published in the Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, Columbia Journal, New South, American Journal Of Poetry and others. His poems are currently at Lullwater Review, Natural Bridge Literary Journal, Scalawag Magazine, Tule Review, Fire Poetry Journal, West Texas Literary Review, The Chaffin Journal, Bluestem Magazine, The Paragon Journal and Sheila-Na-Gig. Poems forthcoming are in Weber Review, Stillwater Review, Hawaii Review, Blue Fifth Review, Plainsongs, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, Broad Street Magazine, The Museum Of Americana and West Trade Review. His books of poems are the anthology “This New Breed: Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians,” and “Confessions Of A Pentecostal Buddhist” can be found on Amazon. He lives in Washington on Whidbey Island. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. (danieledwardmoore.com)

Impressions

shadow

 

The shadow

of a cragged tree stands

 

sharp and complete

across an old apartment building,

 

though my angle

of vision

 

blinds me

to the shadow’s tree.

 

*

 

pigeon

 

A pigeon flies toward the cornice

of an old tenement building then

 

draws up short, startled by something

it finds where it was about to land

 

and it flaps in the air, in place, in

a flurry of disbelief; then it either

 

attacks or shoots away

but I don’t notice

 

because it sticks in my mind

as stuck in midair, in shock,

 

unable to square

with a truth

 

I can’t

see.

 

*

 

deli

 

The royal blue

deli awning, dripping

 

with rain, says:

Cold Sodas, Newspapers,

 

Sandwiches, Hot Coffee, Beer,

Play Lotto Here.

 

The cramped, over-lit, under-cleaned

deli itself

 

crunching these commonplaces

together in

 

the dark

reflection of

 

my deli-stocked

face.

 

*

 

mirror

 

The acoustic guitar

hanging on the café wall

 

behind me

hangs halved in a mirror

 

on the far wall

before me, a mirror

 

in whose frame is tucked

a curled, faded photograph

 

of a smiling young woman, a mirror

crossed by cropped reflections

 

of staff and customers

coming and going

 

until it empties

in the night.

 

by Mark Belair

Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit www.markbelair.com

Assumptions

An old woman stands on the corner of 5th and Wall, a book of poetry in her tattered wool jacket.

 

  1. She shouts to no one in particular.
  2. She used to be famous. I heard it from the postman.
  3. I think I knew her.
  4. She was my teacher in first grade.
  5. She was my Girl Scout leader.
  6. She is my mother.
  7. She is not my mother.
  8. It’s me. I am on the street corner and I am all alone.
  9. There is a white dog with scruffy fur in the alley. His front right paw is deformed and he limps. He is focused on his daily quest for food and sex.
  10. I call him goat dog.
  11. He protects me from the addicts.

  

Meanwhile, on the opposite corner.

A yellow haired man with whiskers is holding a fortune cookie and sobbing.

 

  1. He’s loved her since the day they met, at the office Christmas party. She had her hair in a bun, loosely tied with a gold and red garland.
  2. She doesn’t love him. She is ambivalent about love.
  3. It is raining outside. They are too busy with their mental chess game to notice. He wants her.  She wants his job.
  4. The office is on the 15th floor and with a view of the street.
  5. He has a cold and left his raincoat in the car.
  6. She doesn’t have a cold.
  7. He wants to get married and start a family. That’s all he’s ever wanted. Being promoted to Director was never in the plan.
  8. He is terrified of ending up alone.
  9. She’s terrified that this is all there is in life.
  10. This is all there is in life.

 

by Sheree La Puma

Sheree is an award-winning Author, Producer, and Social Media Strategist. She holds an MFA in Critical Studies & Writing from California Institute of the Arts and has published articles/fiction/books on a myriad of topics. In addition, Sheree has over 30 years experience in the charitable non-profit sector, working as a social scientist, synthesizer, and wordsmith. In 2012, Sheree traveled to Ghana, Africa to meet with a child trafficking survivor. Changed by the experience, she spent the next two years writing about his journey. Passionate about women and the rights of the child, Sheree wants to reach out and inspire the voiceless.

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