Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Photo of cracked asphalt
 

  In a recent batch of ‘reviews’ from an online magazine, I was struck by the variety of descriptive words used to evaluate the thirty-five or so poems. They ranged from “funny,” “strong,” and “moving” to “masterful,” “cinematic,” and “sardonic.” These superlatives were illustrated by a phrase or line which purportedly was the essence of the work; the impressive image, at least. Clearly, there was little effort to delve into the subject, the art or mechanics of the pieces. I wonder, would readers just pick out the “exhilarating,” the “charming,” the “delightful” in hopes of … Continue reading Philosophical Poetry by Fred Wilbur

Hello Icarus by Gary Beaumier

helicopters floating above mountain haze
 

Gary Beaumier has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest Once I shuffled along the wings of biplanes I know this because I always fall in my dreams from very high and unsurvivable places tugged inexorably toward cliffs by some invisible force or tumbling off high buildings When I get old and rickety like those planes I’ll take one burst of wind too many and collapse mid flight impossibly high guy wires slackened trailing struts or tail fins as they are loosed spinning rapidly toward a thicket of trees Maybe my last words … Continue reading Hello Icarus by Gary Beaumier

An Audiobook Review: Landslide by Susan Conley, Narrated by Rebecca Lowman by J Brooke

Photo of Landslide book cover
 

There are audiobooks enhanced by the author’s voice reading their own words (Becoming by Michele Obama), and those where an otherwise terrific book in print is hindered by the author’s out-loud read (Kamala Harris’s The Truths We Hold). And then there is the third category, a wonderful book in print made into a terrific listen by a professional actor relating to and embodying the characters (what Jim Dale did for the Harry Potter series). Landslide, Susan Conley’s newest novel, about a contemporary family living (and seemingly sliding) in rural Maine, is the third category of … Continue reading An Audiobook Review: Landslide by Susan Conley, Narrated by Rebecca Lowman by J Brooke

Yoghurt with Honey by Ion Corcose

snow white heron reflection in dark water
 

Ion Corcose has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest When I first gazed upon the world, eyes like a dragonfly over a field of grass, I did not see lightning or crows, or a camel stubborn on its knees. I did not see a man pluck hair from a rabbit, rub chilli into the eye of a cow, burn a monkey with a blowtorch; telling the truth came later. I remember learning that the word for truth in Greek, aletheia, means to reveal the forgotten. Looking inside, I found Rumi eating a … Continue reading Yoghurt with Honey by Ion Corcose

History Lesson by Susan Muse

Photo of bell in hole in wall
 

  Clouds flatten against a gray sky and cover what had once been the color of bluebonnets only a moment ago. Suddenly rain begins washing the windshield as we turn and head for Houston. Earlier, in San Antonio the sun squatted down to squeeze the breath from my chest, like smoking my first Luck Strike at 10. We had hidden from it in the quiet cool of the mission and ran our hands over rough rock, cracked like old bones or parched earth. its Spanish tiles were the color of canyons and hills that round … Continue reading History Lesson by Susan Muse

Becoming Vegetarian by Nick Barta

Photo of highland cow
 

“A vegetarian walked into a bar. . . . I only know because he told everyone within two minutes.” That joke perfectly encapsulates why I never tell anyone that I am a vegetarian. I either hypocritically write a blog about it, or I am introduced by my mother as such, “Nick is a vegetarian . . .” and then leaning forward a bit she clarifies, “that means he doesn’t eat meat.” Reactions can range from wild ecstasy to tepid disdain. One friend solemnly nodded her head and then proceeded to rub my back as though … Continue reading Becoming Vegetarian by Nick Barta

Visiting My Mother After Her Layoff by Erik Wilbur

old car with headlights on with desert background
 

Erik Wilbur has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest As she prepares a mirepoix for the soup—her spine curled slightly over the blade, over a chipped laminate countertop—I consider that a woman can only live for so long like a stilt-house pillar in a flood. Fuck the floods of her life: . . . The flood of the drunk asleep in her bed . . . The flood of her daughter pawning heirlooms for drugs . . . Silently, I curse the ones I know of until the soup simmers. Then we … Continue reading Visiting My Mother After Her Layoff by Erik Wilbur

Ray’s Fig Trees by Derek Kannemeyer

Photo of tree tops in sunlight
 

Derek Kannemeyer has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest My father planted this fig tree. 25 years ago, the last time my folks visited. The flight back got too much for them-—missed connections, no sleep, lost luggage. And I put in a sapling plum, with dad’s help, but that one’s died since. I thought the fig was dying too, but on the phone, my dad just laughed. The day that fig tree dies is the day that I die. We scattered the ash of him five years ago, but his fig tree … Continue reading Ray’s Fig Trees by Derek Kannemeyer

Spring’s Memory by Sharon Ackerman

two crows on wire
 

I will never forget the first time I read Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and its startling portrait of the character Pilate. When Milkman first meets her she is standing very still, dressed in black and cradling a round, luminous orange in her palm. That image never left me, suffused as it was, with archetypes of The Crone, The Magician, The Shadow. Morrison knew how to make heart-stopping use of instinctual images. Plumbing deeper, I think the portrait of Pilate personified the Earth Mother, her darkness and her light, her life-giving power and her predation. … Continue reading Spring’s Memory by Sharon Ackerman

Beehive Hut Near Dingle by Wendy Jean MacLean

Photo of stone wall
 

Wendy Jean MacLean is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2020 Poetry Contest   Fenced in by the property owner the beehive hut of an Irish monk still stands as it has for fourteen centuries. Three euros will get you in through the gate with the added bonus a pen of baby lambs you can fondle for photos. (Behold! The lamb of God!) Inside the hut the owner has stored his gas tank and his electric sander. (Behold! Sins worn down on demand!) The sharp cliffs and fierce waves have not changed over the centuries. … Continue reading Beehive Hut Near Dingle by Wendy Jean MacLean

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