#30

Alan Britt
CRICKETS

Crickets, the only stars
on this overcast full moon.

The crickets are thick
distinct choruses
discerned
by leaning this way or that.

Their trilling
resembles frenzied
blueyellow beaks from the Peruvian rainforest.

The sky kneels on surrounding
green maples,
spreading her mother-of-pearl nightgown
over white lawn chairs
and the bare shoulders of a split-rail fence.

The crickets are industrious,
oblivious to personifications in their midst.

It seems they’re hopelessly preoccupied
chewing tiny holes in the nightgown
worn by this aging humid July evening.

 

Doug Holder
The Woman Who Sat on the Toilet For Two Years

* The Boston Globe. March 13, 2008.
( Wichita, Kansas) Authorities are considering charges in the bizarre case of a woman who police said sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years.

And when you
Think of it
It is only a hassle
To get up from
What you revisit
Time and time
Again.

All that you
Take in, in
This life
Is a wash
Anyway.

All your slick
Posturing
The endless histrionics
Will wind up
In a dance
Cheek to cheek
Above the bowl.

All your
Upstream paddling
Leads to those
Placid waters
And royalty
Yes
Even a king
Will make his
Royal flush.

 

 

Rodney Nelson
THIRTEEN

ROBINSON JEFFERS

Robin
in a world without Batman

HARRY MARTINSON

the one-way cruise
of earth

KENNETH REXROTH

mountain syllables
town journalism

THEODORE ROETHKE

better word and phrase
every try

DELMORE SCHWARTZ

brains talent hard work
that was all

DYLAN THOMAS

and Churchill on radio
wartime

DENISE LEVERTOV

counterargument
of the muse

ROBERT BLY

try to imagine
a biography

ALLEN GINSBERG

on tour
with Bob Dylan

JAMES WRIGHT

the idea of book
meant nothing

GARY SNYDER

sayonara
to all that

KENNETH WHITE

in Brittany for Celtic myth
or a marriage contract

SEAMUS HEANEY

never mind
the way to put it

 

 

Lance Curran
Wounds in the Back take longer to heal

I’ve cleaned my plate
While others piled on
Conversation

I’ve gained weight
While others forgot about stop signs
and using a signal to change lanes

Ordinarily
I wouldn’t comment
But a passerby mentions, “beautiful day”
Age lines sagging his face
He recognizes the panic in mine

I turn and sprint home.

 

 

John Rocco
Second Class Bad Guy

When Ingmar Bergman was
waiting for sneaky Death
to cheat and beat him at chess
on a small island off the coast
of Sweden
he watched
James Bond movies
to help him sleep.
Kim Jong-il
meanie dictator
of North Korea
behind the mines and the bombs
enjoys his Bond movies too.

I am alive
and I do not own any
weapons of massive attack
destruction. Thinking
of Bergman and Kim
hanging out comparing
Bond scars
I remember the scene
in the first novel
when Bond is playing
Le Chiffre
at baccarat.
Bond notices
the cool gambler’s henchmen
among the spectators.
One has the mark of
the sadist but Bond
does not think it is
natural cruelty.
It must be drugs.
The name hissed like a curse:
Marihuana.

I am that henchmen
second class
like the square
Oddjob hat less
or Jaws flossing
his metal teeth for flesh.
I am in the casino
blasted on hydro
under orders
contemplating Bond’s
torture and death
in a million weird ways
because I am a stoned sadist
and second class bad guy
wishing that I was real again
and held blushing Flushing Queens
in my arms.

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