All posts by Sharon Ackerman

Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman

book suspended open
 

Like Portland or is it Austin I am also trying to keep weird. Nobody says keep Oakland weird. It’s got a gentrifying mix with floaters on top and busted bits settling on the bottom and curious pieces swirling suspended. According to Ferlinghetti simile and metaphor make poetry. Ferlinghetti whom I once saw at Brandy Ho’s getting lunch as was I at the counter after having just bought Carlos Fuente’s Terra Nostra as I needed a novel the size, shape and weight of a brick to give my MFA bildungsroman some DNA like Moby Dick, or … Continue reading Master of Fine Arts by Robert Detman

Listen and Blessing the Way, 2 poems by Cindy Buchanan

empty phone booth in rain
 

Listen When I first conceived of you I was inside a graffiti-covered phone booth near a rundown beach motel. I wept. The OB’s voice on the other end filled with static. You swam through the phone line anyway, lodged for years inside my heart before you sped away. I loved you as best I could, but leaving was what you got good at— lured by street meds, accelerating down tracks that imprisoned us both. Do you ever pass abandoned booths and wish you could make one call? Pick up the phone. Hear my blood pound … Continue reading Listen and Blessing the Way, 2 poems by Cindy Buchanan

Stories by Sharon Ackerman

Mother holding a baby next to a mountain
 

I Like the Story Of the watch my father gave my mother How it stopped whenever they fought, except that is not the full story, the whole one. In the beginning there was a hard-earned dollar then another and another in a jar. And a jeweler in Hazard on a bull hot summer noon, the boy charging in, a gold chain paid to his keeping, and his face, which glowed but did not show yet that love is a stop-start thing unwound and lapsed into the silence of a drawer. Collecting years of bitter dust, … Continue reading Stories by Sharon Ackerman

Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

wonder woman crossing wrists
 

back then on that Bronx block few of us stood a chance against reruns of Lynda Carter’s Bracelets of Submission…..truth lasso or pale décolletage rendering erotic doses of televised justice on a daily basis. but we all know it wasn’t just her alone. so many of the finest neighborhood girls played defense with both their hearts and breasts—and rightfully so— because we’d wetted our tongues too often just to get a chance to one day lick the closest thing we could find to a cinematic Caucasian nipple. and into the Internet and collegiate suburbs we … Continue reading Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

Journey by Billie Hinton

dark figure on a boat at night
 

…………Perhaps when the boy built the elaborate scaffolding between sand trays in his first therapy session he was building bridges from me to him. …………Perhaps the melting down of crayons in aluminum foil was alchemy, testing the boundaries of the place he would heal. …………Perhaps the Playmobil medical worker locked in a tiny building while opposing armies fought was for her safety, or for his own. …………Perhaps, in a much later sand tray, the same Playmobil medical worker holding a light at the prow of the boat in dangerous waters was lighting the darkness. …………Perhaps … Continue reading Journey by Billie Hinton

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

sidewalk cafe with red, white, blue table
 

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk …..a long look up into branches I’ll see him, ………………his blond hair in a butch I wore more than fifty years ago. ………..Where wind currents swell every which way, ……………..a tree where limbs are bustling, ………….his arms around a pair of branches, ………………he’ll thrust them away and draw them back in, ………………somehow getting the whole tree …………heaving in his sway, ………………anything for my attention, …..his face filled with sun, ……………his eyes alive, his jaws wrangling ………………with a wad, while below, on the sidewalk ……………….the sweet scent of Bazooka as … Continue reading Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

A Habit of Walking II by Sharon Ackerman

yellow crocuses and old boots
 

  Moreover, you must walk like a camel, which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking.–Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” 1861 Solvitur Ambulando. Since Wordsworth logged his 175,000 miles in the Lake District of England, much has been suggested about the relationship between poets and walking. I am a compulsive walker and I cannot imagine writing poetry without first walking the poem, letting it spin into a kind of worthiness on wooded footpaths and open meadows. This is a modern luxury, however. Virginia Woolf aside, walking poems have generally been the province … Continue reading A Habit of Walking II by Sharon Ackerman

The Pepper Jar by Luisa M. Giulianetti

a single red pepper next to sunlit leaves
 

Luisa M. Giulianetti is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest The Pepper Jar ………………….……….for Dad Guided by the moon, you germinate seeds. Transplanting infant plants well after the final frost. Fostering them. Withhold water before the harvest to deepen their flavor, reaping a basket of red fruit adorned with green hats. Summer ’09: your last labor of horticultural love. You lay the nightshades to dry under the August sun, discarding the soft bodies. Tending never ends with the harvest. Two weeks later, their plump, glossy skin withered as a crone’s. Drying, you … Continue reading The Pepper Jar by Luisa M. Giulianetti

Treatment Team by Victoria Korth

Two Stained Glass Windows paired together
 

Victoria Korth is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest Treatment Team Found lying in a parking lot on Union Street, close to the shelter where she’d been in flight from a husband who sex-trafficked on and off: a delusion she was prone to, one resistant to meds. Found splayed across chalk lines, knitted cap knocked off, balding head’s few strands splotched tar—she had breast cancer in addition to bipolar, you see was childlike off her meds, lost to our expertise. That’s the way it is, an ember melting us together, annealing, it … Continue reading Treatment Team by Victoria Korth

Why My Father Cannot Lay a Stone Wall by Gina Malone

Stone wall leading to white house
 

Gina Malone is the 1st place winner of Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest Why My Father Cannot Lay a Stone Wall Nearly eighty now he drags out the soft middles of words when he plunders his past, sweeping disparate bits into piles his voice steps around. I always wanted to learn how to build stone walls, he says. ……………………………………………Eyes elsewhere he tells of a man ……………………………………………he knew when he was young, ……………………………………………an old man who said he would ……………………………………………teach him how to build a wall, to lay stone level upon stones in layers of orderly precision. … Continue reading Why My Father Cannot Lay a Stone Wall by Gina Malone