From the top of the Bull Street library’s rooftop, compressors groan, and pneumatic tools bang and whine and almost drown out the workmen’s crisscrossing commands.
Those guys are, undoubtedly, among the crews Cara has seen throw lunch scraps out their truck windows. On sultry mornings
her Black Russian Terrier, Piper, will rush for nothing except the chicken bits. Gray bones camouflaged on stained concrete. Some Piper will swallow before Cara can get on her knees to wrestle the splinter-dangers from between his slimy cheeks and deflecting tongue. He’ll dance and gulp; Cara will get slobbered;
Savannahians in starched outfits may saunter by and stare.
Piper curls over to shit on the library plaza’s coarse tiles. Cara waits.
The sun glares. Perspiration dribbles beneath her sleeveless shirt and shorts. The half-year she’s lived in Savannah, Cara has come to accept she drips;
she doesn’t dew like the local ladies’ claim.
Though Piper, with his knotty fur, must suffer worse. Cara reaches to rub his head, halts:
she shouldn’t distract.
The silence makes her squint toward the top of the library. Men backlit in haloed hardhats stand along the makeshift pine rail.
“Lemme lick ya lollipop legs,” someone shouts and incites crass laughter.
“I’ll never dump you,” shouts another.
Piper bobs his rear:
“I’ll sue your company,” Cara yells at the workers,
louder than they.
The driver of a Porsche cabriolet that passes just then shoots her a side-glance. His red tie flutters.
“For fucking harassment,” she yells, harder yet, cheeks burning.
The lip of men
drops back out of sight.
She collects Piper’s shit with a biodegradable bag.
Why couldn’t they just have tossed a bone?
Pernille AEgidius Dake
Pernille AEgidius Dake was a finalist for Glimmer Train Press 2014 New Writer Award as well as December’s 2015 Curt Johnson Prose Award and has been published in Skirt!, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Dime Show Review, Glassworks Magazine, and is forthcoming in Adelaide and Typehouse Literary Magazine. She is an MFA Candidate in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
They drifted west from the North and South to taste
a common dust in the rearguard of uncommitted cows,
Surprised maybe that they could dig their spurs cooperatively
into the partisan enterprises of ubiquitous rustlers.
Pinned down in a wallow, fighting for their left-over lives,
Union boys and Johnny Rebs passed the ammunition.
Behind pearl-button pockets, sick hearts healed
and soiled souls bleached cleaner under a wide sky.
They forked their broncs, built their loops, and knew
the stench of branding from their own seared hides.
The horses rode clean and hard through sweet-grass.
Eroded lakebed arguments of landscape didn’t matter.
They circled, sang to the night, and shaped an honest pride
that helped to hold the poker peace and scab the civil wound.
Robin B. Carey
Emeritus prof residing in Missoula, Montana, with wife and family. National Endowment for the Arts Award and Oregon Book Award, both in creative non-fiction.
is harvesting eyebrows grown in a petri dish teeming with a mixture of Minoxidil, Finasteride, (think recent, indecent President), sandalwood oil, lavender, rosemary, and thyme oils, or a mixture of hippopotamus fat, crocodile, tomcat, snake and ibex oils. Alternatively, in a mirror experiment, he parboils porcupine hair in creek water, which, when cooled, is applied to the scalp for four days. In his spare time he sautés the left foreleg of a female greyhound in 50 weight motor oil with a donkey hoof, the smell of which he finds efficacious. He shies from the likes of Hippocrates, a shining dome himself, whose hoary recipe included horseradish, fresh pigeon guano, beetroot, opium, and an obligatory artillery of other spices, though not necessarily in any requisite order. In a later immodest proposal, he, Hippocrates II of Kos, none too gingerly suggested castration at an early age, an effective procedure confirmed by modern day researchers, but not advocated. When Jules Caesar began losing his hair, and minded, he tried everything to reverse the curse and hide his shiny pate. He firstly grew his thinning mane long in the back and brushed it over his scalp in an early version of the Propecia comb-over. His lover Cleopatra recommended a home remedy consisting of ground-up mice, a neigh of horse teeth, and slathering of bear grease. This too had little effect. So the Roman dictator took to covering his scalp with a laurel wreath. Truth will out. The Ides will march. Though popular in ancient times, hairpieces were revived in the 17th century by such as King Louis XIII of France, who donned a toupee to mask his blinding baldness. Massive wigs featuring elaborate curls and peppered with white powder, raged among French and English nobles. Many superstitions surround hair and hair loss. A Man bemuses: most common in North America concerned disposal of hair combings. If a bird acquires the combings, the owner will go mad, lose what’s left his or her hair, or simply die. To lose one’s hair in a male pattern or female pattern can be extremely distressing. Modern therapy involves the use of topical minoxidil (2% and 5%) and oral finasteride. Excreta of various sorts have featured heavily in history’s baldness cures – presumably inspired by the same fertilizing properties sought by gardeners. A gentle physician in old Rome prescribed burning the genitals of a donkey and mixing the ash with one’s own urine to form a paste. While Aristotle may have applied goat’s urine to his scalp, King Henry VIII was said to favor dog and horse urine. Some Native American tribes preferred a poultice of chicken or cow manure. Ireland, 1000 A.D.: One Celtic remedy for baldness instructed patients to stuff mice, no matter live or dead, into a clay jar, seal it, bury it beside a fire, and take everything out after a year. A tip to the not so wise: Make sure to wear gloves when you touch what’s inside! If you don’t, hair will sprout from your fingertips. Meanwhile, the man, remember him, has lost interest in things depilatory, and gone madly Nair do well.
The author lives in Baltimore where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, the Baltimore Book Festival, and is the poet-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. More than 100 of his Prose Poems have appeared since 2016. He is also the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and provided the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars, 2005, performed 3 times to date by the Birmingham Symphony, and once by the Juilliard Ensemble. He is neither a blockhead nor a stanzagrapher.